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A HEALTHY MIND IS THE GREATEST TREASURE TO FIND (Student Blog B.A. Hons. Psychology)

 

Conversations around mental health have always been a taboo in our Indian society. It has been related to how a person might be possessed or simply is dysfunctional to be ever cured; thus not be able to work in an environment to sustain oneself. People in our country are struggling with varied psychological issues that have a direct impact on their overall well-being. There is a tremendous mental health crisis that has been brewing in our society ever since 2015. The problem is aggravated as people believe that mental health issues can be cured by visiting religious centres where God is the only source of direction and solution to cure such problems. Even today, such belief systems have a found place in people’s life which is quite far off from logic and rationality.

Rural areas perceive mental illness very differently. They consider mental illness equal, to be possessed by some evil soul under which individuals facing problems are many times handled quite harshly which leaves a long lasting impact on their mental health & well being. Many times patients whose families are totally unaware of their condition end up abandoning their family members considering them mentally unfit, which leaves a long lasting scar in the life of the suffering person. Lack of mental health awareness has many a time led people from backward areas to a wrong diagnosis which worsens the mental condition of the person, leaving him in a situation where they may have no door to knock.

There is a great need to create awareness about mental health in rural areas, as compared to the urban sector where acceptance and initiative for treatment has taken a positive turn over the years, where mental illness is not seen or considered a taboo to talk and discuss.

Cases of mental illness in urban areas are increasing as people face daily pressures in work and personal lives. Working hours that go beyond the schedule of 9-5, has left people with no time for themselves. Ambitions have over-taken the need for personal care, healthy diet, appropriate sleep and even family time has been compromised giving an open entry to multiple mental health related issues.

Addressing mental health is very important. Once we understand and open up about our struggles we would be in a position to see what awaits us. Living with stress is equal to letting a cancer slowly but steadily grow to eventually harm us one day. Opening up about one’s feeling, emotions, physical symptoms, or lifestyle can be a great start. This will bring focus on the prospects of managing one’s well being. It is like healing a wound which might initially seem quite painful, but with the right diagnosis can cure you to be your wholesome self again pretty soon. The more one explores, the better one feels about his/her mental health condition. Just accepting one’s problem, living with it and not taking corrective action is not a good idea.

One must be very careful, attentive and address any problem they might face. Some symptoms are:

  • Confused thinking.
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows.
  • Excessive fears, worries, and anxieties.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Strong feelings of anger.
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)

It is imperative for a person to seek the help of a professional psychologist, and get the right treatment. People should be made more aware of what mental illness is, through campaigns and workshops.

The first step should be taken by schools to create awareness amongst children and adults of all age groups explaining that “it’s okay not to be okay” and that it’s absolutely normal for boys to cry and experience emotions like pain. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Dedicated counsellors and special educators should be hired in schools, to help people know about mental health issues. Workshops for teachers, parents, and students can be organised to understand how to deal with stress and day- to-day pressures of life. Talking to a therapist should be emphasized upon.

In the end, always remember that mental health issues are never something to be ashamed of. Only when awareness increases in society, will we be able help each other in times of stress and emotional instability because as the saying goes – a healthy mind is the greatest treasure to find.

At IILM University, our Psychology faculty members are trained psychologists and you are welcome to reach out to us for free counselling sessions. Please visit www.iilm.edu.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

Simulation Games Enhance Learning Outcomes

The biggest challenge of our education system is to leverage the learning of concepts and theories with the use of modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all students that represent the reality of their future.

Most B-schools and universities follow a teaching style that is a blend of theory and practical. The traditional methods of teaching within the four walls of the classroom that include lectures and textbooks do set the basic foundation for a student. However, to attain the skills, which will be required at the workplace, these concepts have to be applied. The application of the learning will ensure that the student has been able to improve their critical thinking skills. The two years of PGDM should comprise of this blend of theory and practice giving the student a comprehensive curriculum.

Subjects like Entrepreneurship give the students ample opportunities to collaborate and work with peers. For subjects like this, the implementation of simulation is the best solution as it deals with the real-life application of the knowledge gained in the classroom.

What are the benefits of Simulation?

Simulations are games that follow a system or a phenomenon. The players are expected to achieve certain pre-specified goals and the environment of the simulation is pre-defined through algorithms and programming. The biggest benefit of simulations is that students get involved in playing the simulation and they consider it as a game or a competition in the real sense. In the process of playing the simulation, the students start applying the concepts that they have learnt in the classes. This provides them with an opportunity to find out how the concept actually works.

It is also the best way to implement Action Learning, i.e., learning by doing. These days, simulations are available online so they can be accessed from anywhere. Students can form teams and access the simulation from any part of the world. It also encourages more interactions among the students that set the platform for learning from each other. They can also afford to do mistakes and learn from it as the stakes are low and they have nothing to lose in terms of money or any other resource.

How to include Simulation in learning pedagogy?

Since simulations are beneficial for management students, it is imperative that it is included in the learning pedagogy. IILM has been implementing simulations in its UG as well as PG courses. Some of the key aspects that need to be considered for including Simulation in the learning pedagogy are:

  • Decide the learning objectives of the subject and check the relation between the concepts taught and the simulation game. There should be a perfect match between the learning objectives of the course and the skills that the simulation tests in the student.
  • The simulation game should be in a sequence. The sequence should move in terms of complexity. For example, a simulation may be played over 4 quarters and the decisions that the players have to take in the initial quarters should be simpler than the ones that they have to take in the later stages.
  • The class has to be guided by a coach who will channel the thoughts and ideas of the students. There has to be a little bit of hand holding in the initial stages of the simulation so that the students understand the process.
  • The coach can first give a brief synopsis of the situation in which this simulation is being conducted. If required, the initial stages can be demonstrated by the coach so that the students can follow his or her footsteps.
  • As the students play the simulation, the coach should encourage the students to think about their decisions and predict the consequences of their decisions. The coach will then have to connect this analysis with the learning objectives of the course.
  • The teams should be able to present their decisions and if required prepare a brief report of the simulation. The coach can then give their feedback so that the concepts become clear to the students.

In the present dynamic environment, the main focus of higher educational institutions is to enable student-centred teaching. This will be possible only when learning happens in an active and collaborative environment. The inclusion of Simulations in the teaching and learning of management concepts will not only make the students better learners but will also prepare them to face the challenges of the corporate world.

To know about other Management teaching best practices like case based learning, mentoring have a look at the following:

Business Case Studies – An Effective Teaching Tool

https://blog.iilm.edu/case-based-teaching-learning-management/

The Many Avatars of a Teacher – A Facilitator in Learning

What is the Mantra for right mentoring?

 

 

 

 

Higher Education: A Changing Paradigm

Introduction

The world of education has been ever changing and evolving. The unprecedented situation created by the global pandemic , Covid 19 has prompted higher education institutes to rethink yet again. Educators have been researching on the best ways to inculcate the appropriate skills in students and also making efforts towards bringing the best of talent to teach students. It is a difficult task to design a program that meets the needs of students who are from diverse backgrounds and ensure that they get the kind of education that fulfills their purpose and ambitions.

Teaching Pedagogy

Teaching pedagogies are being developed to include interactive and engaging experiences rather than simple dissemination of information. Earlier research suggests that the essence of teaching lies in the faculty’s ability to reflect on their style of teaching. Critically evaluating one’s own method of teaching by making notes and constant reflection may help faculty to improve the student’s “meta-cognitive awareness” and thus help him become a better decision maker (Cook-Sather, 2012). Education is being seen as a means to enable the student to be ready for the real world. Hence it needs to include more of practical application of concepts that provide students experiential learning rather than theoretical knowledge. Teaching methods have been changing from lecture method to flipped classroom, case studies, and blended learning. Technological advancements have enabled blended learning mechanisms where students can learn theoretical concepts through online lectures and use face-to-face class room interactions more effectively. Organisations like Adobe, Cisco and Microsoft, for their growth and high valuations, are investing in building education as a focused vertical and devising ways to help bring technology to the classroom. The idea is to use the classroom time for meaningful interactions. Many educational institutions advertise their tech- savvy classrooms with pride and showcase the flexibility given to students in completing the requirements of their curriculum.

Student Engagement

Student engagement was highly linked to campus life until now. This included all kinds of engagement – class room interaction, clubs and societies, participation in activities and contests, process of internship and placement services, sports and many more. All these are various ways by which a student’s personality takes shape, makes a student more competitive and responsible and helps in development of leadership skills. The process of engaging students is again being re-thought now to include same services online. Institutions have to use technology and deliver the same course and curriculum to the students through various available platforms provided by Microsoft, Google,  Zoom etc. However there is a constant evaluation of whether the students are truly feeling “engaged” or is it a one sided discourse which ends after a session.  The guidelines provided by Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Kuh, 2001) are still relevant from the perspective of being assessed on learnings, value time factor and applying the learnings in their lives.

This continued uncertainty of Covid-19 has made educational institutions look at ways to “manage” the situation rather than reflect on the purpose of education.  In the absence of campus driven activities, student engagement is being looked at differently. The very nature of teaching and learning may undergo a transformational change.  Private colleges like IILM have created Undergraduate and Postgraduate Student Engagement teams working towards understanding the perspective of students and creating a schedule for engaging students. Focused group discussions are being done with students across campuses to understand what students are excited about and what are their barriers to learning and feeling engaged. Several inputs were shared by students which have been referred to here. Instagram pages run and managed by students wherein they can showcase their talents, writing blogs on previous trips made and their experiences, interactive webinars to hone up specific skills and inspiring lectures by industry experts are few of the ways that can promote learning apart from the focus on the program curriculum. The evergreen alternatives of having fun sessions that promote positive interaction, buddy programs for those students who have freshly enrolled in the system, and the joy of being rewarded by peers and teachers for various initiatives are always welcome. Students with writing skills can be prompted to run editorial columns/blogs/newsletters whereas students who are more adventurous can be asked to lead Instagram pages. Social media contests like innovative cooking, gaming and talent hunt are few which can grab their interests and make them feel engaged.

 

 

The Dilemma

There is a marked difference found in the offerings of distance learning and on campus learning’s’ which institutions were earlier using to differentiate as premium learning. Face to face interaction induces better comprehension and teachers can pull students into discussions, design activities for them and provide real time presentation opportunities thereby helping develop the complete personality of the student. A very obvious fact with the on-campus option has been the experience of the student life and its lifelong influence and networks. The thought and the fear of online education impacting the campus/classroom based training has been in existence for many years however it is only the current crisis that has made it look strong. The need for value delivered through sustainable student engagement in various facets and not just limited to academics will have a huge role to play.

Educational institutes will need to think beyond clubs and societies and show their creative side to win and sustain themselves in these uncertain times.  The question is whether institutes will go back to their earlier way of teaching, post Covid -19 or will be able to bring about a more permanent change in their approach to imparting knowledge and look at higher education as a changing paradigm. A lot will depend on how the situation shapes up, however we have to be prepared now.

 

Remedial Plan

Educational Institutes might consider restructuring their current curriculum in order to plan for blended learning.  A combination of online education along with class room teaching would gradually gain importance wherein students can learn the theoretical concepts online, but still have face to face classroom experience wherever necessary. Choosing the right online platform from among the list of options available is also an important factor that will help the institute connect with students and provide different and interesting modes of course delivery and thereby engagement with students.   Maintaining high standards of quality education under all circumstances along with an element of differentiation is a must to create a platform for the institute and to attract students. Overall, institutes will require to rethink their current strategy and approach in order to sustain in this uncertain environment.

References

George D.Kuh (2001) Assessing What Really Matters to Student Learning Inside The National Survey of Student Engagement, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 33(3), 10-17, DOI: 10.1080/00091380109601795

Cook-Sather, A. (2012). Lessons in higher education: Five pedagogical practices that promote active learning for faculty and students. Journal of Faculty Development, 26(1), 33–39.

Mankind 4.0

Humans are ever-evolving- This phenomenon is triggered by their needs and wants that are required to be fulfilled for survival; well sometimes for luxury too. Every kind of change that takes place in the world develops mankind in certain ways that makes them a little more capable. There are no limits to what humans can do, but it is only discovered when they face a crisis. This is the perfect time to move up the ladder of maturity and once again prove that nothing is superior to humans and nothing can end this mankind’s reign on earth.

What happened so far?

2020 is the year that escalated the revenues of the News Industry and Media Houses. A series of events have been taking place globally which have had a large impact, rather a very negative impact be it to people, biodiversity, climate, or economic growth. The Australian bushfire, Delhi communal riots, coronavirus pandemic are just a few examples to site. The effects of the pandemic have been the most massive so far, so huge that the world has come to a standstill. Lives have been lost exponentially and so have the hopes of people of going back to normal ever again. There is going to be the start of a new normal soon after there is some control over this situation. The pandemic has had far-reaching consequences on human behavior and there have been unforeseen innovations and development taking place concerning a new lifestyle.

It is the beginning of a new era with changes influencing healthcare, consumption, values, society, education, politics, finance, economy, and so on. Such humanitarian revolutions had been taking place from time to time with the genesis of civilization. Firstly, it was the discovery of fire, secondly, the rise of agriculture and thirdly, the industrial revolution. Perhaps a technology revolution is on its way because that’s the only way to keep things going in this crisis. Just when the world was moving towards technology adoption at a very rapid pace, the Covid19 pandemic has fuelled this phenomenon.

Re-shaping industry and economy

All the sectors that are likely to be dominant from now on are healthcare, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, education, and social welfare. There will be a significant influence of technology either in the form of virtual reality or artificial intelligence, in all these sectors. The new economy will be technology-driven. Disruptive innovation is going to be a focus point. Social welfare also will gain significance. All of it will be facilitated by public-private partnerships which can lead to socio-economic development. The need for the hour is to focus on all these areas so that the world is ready to face such a pandemic again without severe loss. Otherwise, the economic depression cycle will continue for a prolonged duration. The cycle goes on like this- business exists for profit and no production leads to no sales and hence no profits. The capability to employ becomes less. So, companies only hold on to very essential employees to meet demand when the economy picks up. Subsequently, people lose jobs or have the fear of losing jobs and buy less, consume less. So demand goes down and profit automatically goes down. It is evident that revenues are falling and both consumption and production are going down paving a path towards economic recession. However, post the pandemic, the countries with a zero growth rate will be looked upon as an attractive business hub as compared to the countries with a negative growth rate which is going to be common after this catastrophe.

Life comes first

Many of the best paying jobs only facilitate the exchange to make money and serve the no wider purpose to society. This leaves us with huge consulting firms, the advertising industry, and the financial sector. Health care and social care never got the limelight as they were considered “unattractive”. Looks like in the present-day people are realizing that there’s more than making money to survive. A much wider approach to life needs to be followed. Life should be valued more than anything else. Nobody anticipated that a microorganism can devastate the most evolved and developed organism on earth; the humans. This is a signal that the next phase of evolution has arrived where we need to reconsider our way of life. The priorities need to be altered and a more vigilant human needs to take shape.

A transition in lifestyle

Post the 1918 Influenza pandemic, many lifestyles, and hygiene etiquettes were being followed that were never imagined about earlier, yet are a part of our daily routine in the present day. Similarly, there will be some concrete transitions now. Just to cite an example, as social distancing is so essential, multistory buildings might become history. Too many people jammed in one apartment is undesirable. We need more open spaces with better ventilation. Filtration and neutralization of air and water will become mandatory. The home will be the new office for jobs that don’t essentially require movement and physical interaction. Work will be digitized to the farthest extent. The internet will be more accessible and the blood of information flow. Traditional jobs will be replaced by robots. Education delivery will become blended and rich. Globalization will move towards localization. Countries will try to be self-sufficient by having an entire supply chain within the country borders. Country borders might be closed except for extremely essential exchanges and international trade will be redefined. Social welfare, poverty reduction, education, and employment will be prime concerns. In addition to this, people will value their jobs, focus on productivity. Family life will be back, eating nutritious home food with the family together, interacting, bonding, all of it which was somewhere lost in the mechanical life will revive. The scarce resources will be better utilized for needs first and then wants.

Life on earth is precious and with every passing day, facing challenges and changes, mankind has always learned to adjust and endure. With this optimism, we can hope that with time we will evolve to a stronger, more sensible, and responsible being and harmoniously share the planet with our fellow beings. We need to make some quick lifestyle changes and inculcate healthy habits. With our efforts, we can have a better and happier ending to the year 2020 and have a successful decade ahead.

Please comment and share your views on how the Human Race will evolve in 2020.

By Manisha Kar                                                                      Dr. Anjali Jindal

IGSM/PGDM Student                                                 Assistant Professor (OB & HR)

The Student Teacher Relationship at IILM University

The bond I share with my students is an incredibly special one. This is a relationship which continues for life and, IILM University has given us teachers this flexibility to not only interact with our students inside the classroom but also outside.

At IILM University, this is a relationship of respect, love and trust. The foundation of this relationship gets laid on day one when a student takes admission. It gets nurtured during the tenure of the student, continuing even after the completion of their program. The teacher is a mentor, a friend, philosopher and guide in the true spirit. The students have long conversations with their teacher – whether it is in a professional area or an academic concern or connecting on a personal level or just generally talking on any topic under the sun. There is seamless communication between the teachers and their students. At IILM University, teachers not only guide them to make informed choices about their careers, but also motivate them to bring out their true potential. They give them feedback so that they improve themselves. The teachers enhance their confidence levels so that they are prepared to face the challenging corporate world. Most importantly, they spend time with their teachers at IILM University. This relationship transcends the boundaries of formalities and the teacher acts as a mentor for the students.

At IILM University, we understand that students are at the cusp of an important juncture in their life, and they need the support of their teachers to hand-hold them in order to take judicious career decisions. IILM ensures that they have a smooth transition from being happy-go-lucky students to sincere and serious corporate professionals. The role of a teacher in shaping the life of the students at IILM is far more critical and serious business than anywhere else. At an age when most of the students are unable to take professional guidance from their parents, the teachers act as an anchor in their lives, giving them the direction they are seeking.

IILM encourages its students to come out of their comfort zones. As teachers, we persuade them to take challenging tasks and set tough goals for themselves. In the process, they emerge as winners, because they also learn the art of accepting failure and moving on in life, even if they are not successful.

On my part, I feel, it is this bond with the students that completes me as a teacher. It does not matter what time they call or send a message on WhatsApp. It is my commitment to them that they will get a response at the earliest, if not immediate. I do not believe in scolding them. In fact, I do not remember shouting at any of them ever. But it certainly does not imply that I accept whatever they do and say. It also does not mean that I am a lenient teacher. Throughout these 13 years in academics, students have always listened to me and complied to what I would have said. The students of my first teaching batch of 2007 still get back to me for help and guidance. And the reason for it is only one – I treat them as adults and very gracefully put across my point. I do not hurt them, nor do I say anything that I would regret later. I do not believe in taunting them, nor do I ever expose their weaknesses in front of others. I have never embarrassed them by sharing their personal experiences to other colleagues or students.

I conduct myself in such a way, that it gives them the confidence that they can connect with me and take my help any time they want to. This attitude has never let me down. It has made students connect with me, even if I would not have taught them in class. And not surprisingly, I am in touch with all the student batches that I have taught in these years, in some way or the other. I attribute this to the mutual love and respect that exists in my student-teacher relationship. I believe that if we want our students to become good human beings, we must treat them as one.

Top 10 Tips to crack CAT! Do you have a knack to crack?

With only a few days in hand, the students appearing for CAT are struggling hard through the dilemmas about things like – what to study, how to study, what is more important and what can be dropped, so on forth.

#CAT2015 | Top Hacks To Crack CAT

#CAT2015 | Students of IILM B-School bring you the best hacks to crack the CAT.Watch and apply for PGDM Admissions 2016-18 at www.iilm.edu

Posted by IILM on Sunday, November 22, 2015

Every year there are lakhs of students who sit for the CAT exam. So, what are the ingredients that you need to keep in mind to make the most of the extra minutes in hand to earn those extra marks.

The students of IILM share their CAT experience with all the aspirants out there to crack CAT this year. Hear out these top 10 tips which could possibly make your CAT study journey effortless

1. Do Self-SWOT – Know yourself inside out thoroughly. Understand your weaker areas, work on them and keep a hold on your stronger areas, in respect to quantitative, verbal logical, reasoning and data interpretation.

2. Stick to your strategy – Your strategy will help you solve the question paper in a much better flow. Sticking to the strategy you planned while preparing for the exam will make the solving of the paper with a better clarity.

3. Time is money – It is highly important to know when to quit on a question that you may not know after a number of attempts within a few seconds of application. Timing is everything. Time management is crucial during the preparation of exam as well.

4. Practice, practice and practice – Practice is the gateway to success. More and more you practice, the better you get hold of the knack to crack through the exam at much ease. The trick is to learn the shortcuts and also logic during the unpredictable patterns in the paper.

5. Break free all the tension & jitters (mental & health well being) – Keeping it cool and calm is very essential. If the mind and body are at ease, cracking a competitive exam becomes much smoother.

6. Refer to the past (crack all the mock papers) – This should be taken very seriously, getting familiar with the complexity of the question papers as presented year after year will help you know the unseen patterns that might play the trick in the next paper.

7. Hit the bull’s eye! (Focus on the target) – Mantra is to build up the confidence to achieve anything and everything. Setting a target is important, but in CAT targets are set in parts.  CAT is prepared in different sections, and focusing on the stronger areas is the key to hit the bull’s eye.

8. Did you check the latest changes in CAT 2015? – Every year there are new changes that are reflected in the CAT paper. Trick is to be well verse with the changes before hand.
► Basic on screen calculator will be permitted for the aspirants.
► Duration of the examination is 180 minutes from 170 minutes as to previous pattern. You have 10 minutes extra. Use it wisely.

So, exam pattern can be highly unpredictable every year. Keeping your nerves calm is the key.  Learn how to change the strategy on the fly. Don’t get ruffled over the changing pattern.

9. Walk along with the fundamentals– Sticking to the basic concepts is what will get you through the study journey to main destination with success. Learn the smart way to apply the basic concepts in different questions, which might be presented on unpredictable terms.

10. Don’t brood over, just act – In the end, depending on the results we can only learn something out of it. There’s no point brooding over it. The preparation requires a little more investment of time in hand. Understanding the mistakes and learning the smart way to handle everything with available time could do miracles.

All the best!

Holi Celebrations at IILM Gurgaon

Holi Celebrations at IILM Gurgaon

The festival of color always rings with the spirit of joy at IILM. Utsav – The Cultural Club at IILM Gurgaon brought students, faculties and staff members to dance and enjoy the Festival of Holi. The festival was celebrated in full fervor right before the students went off for their break.

The lawns were sprayed with the vibrant colors that the students and staff members greeted each other with. Gujiya, Cutlets and Thandai added flavor to the celebration as it proved to be the perfect end to the day.

It was interesting to see the International students and faculty enjoying the festival in full spirit as they blended with the Indian culture.

The celebration ensured that students from across the Post Graduate Program got a chance to network and enjoy with the students from the Under Graduate Programs.

The day was truly special for all at IILM Gurgaon, which left memories to be treasured for a lifetime!

Foreign students celebrating Holi at IILM Gurgaon

Students from the Semester exchange program celebrating Holi at IILM Gurgaon