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Let’s smart it out!

 

Did you know the pseudo names of the digital natives? Did you know turning into a smart campus can play a vital role in achieving the enrollment goals of a college or a university? Welcome to the world of GenZs… yes, our very own digital natives!

Students are no longer just students, they are consumers. Yes, you heard me right… consumers!! Today’s students are armed with social awareness. Their choices are based on purpose, value, and experience. For this reason, institutions should now reflect on their objectives and reshape how they move forward using advancements that other sectors have adapted to. The higher education landscape is at the junction of an amazing digital shift. A gradual yet robust shift toward being a Smart Campus.

Enter the smart campus

What, precisely, is a smart campus? Smart Campus links devices, applications, people, and technology to enable novel experiences or services and further develop operational efficiency. Some innovative experiences include wayfinding, smart parking, transit, wait times for cafeteria, finding lost belongings, and more. A Smart Campus starts with universal, dependable wired and wireless connectivity – indoors as well as outdoors.

How can educational institutions turn smart 

Our 21st-century world is being restructured by rapid technological change. But no change can happen overnight. It takes planning, strategizing, a common understanding, and a holistic vision. A study by Deloitte (https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/strategy/the-next-generation-connected-campus-deloitte.pdfsays, the vision of a smart campus relies on a diverse stack of technology capabilities that should have the following layers: presentation/channels, analytics and automation, data platform, integration, enterprise applications, infrastructure, security and risk. Having said that, once the IT infrastructure is in place, the next step is to form intuitive platforms to make interactions effortless and persona centric. For example, voice technology could be used to enhance lectures by professors. A “smart” way to keep your campus sustainable is ensuring your entire system is flexible enough to adapt to the dynamic world of technology and integration. Traditionally, campuses are local in their reach and scale. A smart campus, however, should allow for global scalability that leverages digital tools and technologies to provide data-driven experiences.

Enabling contextual, personalised and interactive campuses

In the competitive landscape, universities must adopt smart campus technologies to remain ahead in the race. The design of a smart campus is paramount to the success of the implementation. Institutes need to envision and create a synergy leveraging user experience, mobility, digitalisation, safety, artificial intelligence, and embracing cloud benefits. Investments made today towards smart campus initiatives will catapult such institutes to the next orbit of growth.

IILM University continuously works to build on innovative practices, leveraging emerging technologies to enhance the student experience. We understand that campus is the epicentre of all activity and therefore we leverage technology and strategies in a way that improves the experience of the students. To learn more about us visit www.iilm.edu.in

Do leave your comment on what you think of the smart campus impact on future learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

 

 

 

Business Case Studies – An Effective Teaching Tool

Tell me and I forget.

Teach me and I remember.

Involve me and I Learn.

These lines by Benjamin Franklin have rightly pointed out the gap in our education system. The traditional model of teaching i.e. lecturing would only help students to remember the concepts that have been discussed in class. The effectiveness of the learning process exists only when the students are fully engrossed in the subject. With the availability of electronic gadgets and the internet, the attention span of students has been reducing day by day. In such a scenario, an effective teaching tool that can be used for the business management students is Case-Based Teaching. The concept of case-based teaching is not only found in the management subjects but also found in courses like law, medicine, science, etc. The idea is to make the students understand a real-world problem that needs to be solved with the application of the concepts that the student has learned in the class.

Benefits of Case-based Teaching:

According to Professor Chris Ronald Christensen of Harvard Business School, the case-based teaching classes unfold without a detailed script. This is because the case is relatively unknown to the student, and the discussion that may take place in the class in the context of the case is unknown to the teacher. Many experienced faculty members say that the same case study brings out different learning for the students each time it is discussed with a batch of students. The classroom becomes an open platform for discussion that helps each student to come up with their idea and understanding of the case.

Efforts required in Case-based teaching:

Many faculty members have been using case-based teaching as a part of their teaching pedagogy. This is also practiced in many leading universities like Oxford, Stanford, and Cambridge, etc. The faculty in these institutes believe that the core concept of the case study as well as the course content has to be discussed simultaneously. This requires rigorous preparation on behalf of the faculty. The challenge lies in the ability of the faculty to make the students connect the theory with the practical case study and create ‘teachable moments’ in the process. These teachable moments arise from the classroom discussions and it is the responsibility of the faculty to guide the students through the discussion as well as give the discussion a desired direction. Thus, case-based teaching is a way of discovering the concept in a new manner. It requires the faculty to learn the art of balancing the discussion, planning the direction and also being versatile with strong and powerful storytelling skills.

Teaching cases online:

The current pandemic has created a new normal which includes online teaching. Teachers of all age groups, across the world, had to switch quickly to the online mode of teaching. This was not an easy task to do but then the change was quickly adapted to by faculty members so that the on-going semester could be completed successfully. In this context, the task of case-based teaching became more challenging. One of the major hurdles that the faculty faces while teaching through cases is that not all students read the whole case study and not all students read the case study before they attend the class. This became an even bigger issue to address when the classes shifted online.

To address this issue, the faculty of IILM had to be more proactive and plan the session in small segments. The cases that were taken up for discussion had to be smaller and crisper. Short case-lets are best suited for online case discussions. The questions had to be deep. Taking the advantage of technology, the students were made to discuss among themselves in small groups i.e. break-out groups where the faculty would visit just like it would be done in a physical classroom. The faculty also had to design more short exercises like polls and engage the students in a better manner. An effective way of doing this was by sharing reading material with the students before the class, beginning the class with a recent example, and sharing the faculty’s screen with students so that they can participate actively and share insights. This is followed by a quiz or a small test so that the students can assess their understanding. It can, therefore, be said that undoubtedly case-based teaching is one of the most effective ways of teaching but it will have to be modified with the change in times.

Importance of Case-based Teaching:

Case-based teaching and learning are important as pedagogy as it helps in developing the lifelong skills of critical thinking, collaboration i.e. working in groups, open inquiry, communicating ideas, and thoughts along with subject knowledge to arrive at a solution. Students also like this aspect and are engaged and interested in case discussions. It is a time-tested way of teaching that has been implemented successfully in various courses and institutions. It is an ideal win-win situation for both the faculty as well as the students. On one hand, the faculty can engage the students and also drive home the necessary concepts, the students can apply their knowledge and learn effectively. Thus, the time has come to implement the case-based teaching and learning pedagogy, with a little bit of revamping.

Do comment / write to me on how do you think Case-Based teaching will evolve in the blended learning format.

The Future of Education: The Flipped Classroom or Blended Learning?

We are into week 11 of the lockdown and as educators, we have seen days which we never imagined in the wildest of our dreams. The entire experience of education changed overnight. Educators became learners and students were suddenly given those very gadgets (read smartphones and laptops) for which they were earlier cajoled for constant usage. Online education suddenly became the new normal. Many of the faculty adapted very quickly to the situation and got their act together to conduct classes from their homes. The students on the other hand, geared themselves to studying in the comfort zones of their homes. Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp, WebEx, Skype, Google Meet, etc – all possible platforms were explored, and a new classroom was created.

IILM University also swiftly adopted technology to ensure that the learning did not stop, irrespective of the lockdown. In fact, IILM went a step further to ensure that almost all the scheduled activities other than teaching were also conducted online, viz mentoring, dissertation guidance, Club activities and placement preparation workshops for the students. The Placement Cell at IILM University leveraged their strong industry connect to get virtual summer internships for their undergraduate and postgraduate students. Faculty mentors at IILM have been continuously guiding and hand-holding these interning students to keep up their motivation levels while working for home.

The Way Forward

As the pandemic situation gets critical, experts around the world are deliberating on the way forward for higher education, anticipating online education to assume greater significance in the coming years. Academicians are exploring the options of the flipped classroom and blended learning to offer an effective learning environment for the students. The author discusses here the case of these two trending topics which are likely to show us the direction, as we prepare ourselves for the forthcoming semesters to welcome the existing and new batches of students.

The Flipped Classroom

Let us take the case of a flipped classroom first. Based on my experience and having heard several online discussions, I feel that the success of the implementation of the flipped classroom lies not only in the orientation of the faculty but also on the ownership of the student in his learning. Until now we as faculty majorly adopted a passive learning approach which was faculty-centric in a lecture mode with the objective of content dissemination. What is required is an active learning approach that is student-centric and works on a collaborative model with the objective of content creation. The flip of the traditional classroom works on this principle. An element of experiential learning is brought in along with academic learning. A robust LMS makes it possible to create a flipped classroom. The conceptual learning is done by the students through the LMS and in the class they are given pedagogical tools to apply that learning – whether it is through a project or a case or a simulation.

This sounds exciting, but how many of our students would seriously come prepared for the class and contribute to the classroom discussion? Given the fact that most of them look forward to an exhilarating experience in college and campus life, academics is the last thing on their mind. Forget students, will we able to orient and motivate our faculty to create a flipped classroom? Moreover, the perception of undergraduate students towards education is different in comparison to post-graduate students. Also, there is a huge effort that is required on part of the faculty for creating online content for the LMS. And last but not the least, LMS comes at an enormous cost. Will institutions be able to afford this massive investment at a time when student recruitments look bleak? Will we be able to restructure our infrastructure for creating this learning environment?

I feel that the answers to these questions will tell us whether we should head in the direction towards flipped classrooms or not.

Blended Learning

Blended learning according to me is a healthy mix of the traditional classroom and online teaching. Technology cannot replace educators – it is an undisputed fact because interaction with the students is a must for learning to be effective. And for this, student engagement in class is particularly important. In fact, for blended learning to be successful, the end objective should be participative learning. Given the low levels of the attention span of our students, it would certainly be a Herculean task in online teaching.

Blended learning is possible if we change some of our existing teaching practices. A differential pedagogy is the need of the hour. An increased use of simulation, gamification, role plays, and case studies in the online classroom setting are foreseen. Faculty preparedness with respect to the design of the course, course learning outcomes, course content, and pre-class groundwork will be of utmost importance. The focus would be on curated content and overload of reading material would become passé. Increased usage of audio and multimedia material by the faculty in the new age online classroom is likely to make the sessions interesting for the students. Faculty would have to design the communication plan for each course and establish certain norms for their class. Class time management would be of great significance. The duration of the classes will also have to carefully deliberated. The planning of the timetables and the schedules will have to be done in such a way that students are excited to attend their classes, rather than feeling compelled.

Whether the future lies in the flipped classroom or blended learning, I believe that facilitators are required to be academically, physically and mentally prepared for their classes going forward. The old teaching practices will have to be done away with. In fact, faculty preparation for each class would decide how effective their session would be. And it is not just about digital literacy, but also the online behaviour while conducting the classes in the new-age classroom. Their mannerisms, their involvement and conduct would decide if students attending are mentally present or only logged in to show their online presence in the class.

Conclusion

Rote learning and the traditional learning approach need to be replaced with a student-centric learning approach while making best use of technology. A hybrid model of teaching is the need of the hour. A meticulous planning is required to ensure that students enjoy their online learning journey rather than feel disinterested. The time has come to innovate the learning pedagogy and create an ocean of new knowledge. It is time to rethink, plan, and prepare.

The Economics of Innovation

Innovation has become key buzzword for the economy around the world. There are reasons for that.  The recent research shows that a major part of the rise of productivity in developed economies comes through innovation. Innovation in technology and management practices has raised productivity all across industries. This has increased the size of GDP and also per capita income. The good part Innovation led growth is that it requires improvement in quality of education and health and also human rights and democracy. They all contribute to this factor.

The role of  innovation in economy was recognized by famous economist Schumpeter, calling it necessary condition for economic growth through the process of ‘creative destruction” where new firms come up and old firms die out and in the process the overall economy and society get benefitted.

Economic growth depends on two ways in modern economy.  The one way is to increase inputs as land, capital and labour and the output increases. The accumulation of capital leads to the increase in output .But there is limit to this economic growth.  A low per capita income economy can rise to middle level economy. After that if the country does not start focusing on the research and innovation, the economic growth stagnates. The middle income trap sets in.

There is another way to increase the output by improving the productivity through improvement in technology and management of existing resources. It is also about finding cheaper alternative which increases productivity and lowers cost. Over the last few decades, the economic growth in developed economies has been spurred by that innovation. The computer, IT, telecom, Internet, Bio-tech revolutions have done stellar role in that.  New materials which are used in cars, airplanes, glass buildings, mobile phones and other gadgets make products better, cheaper and more effective. Innovations in medical equipment and diagnostic will make more effective .

Some of the innovations have done wonders to Indian economy. The best one is High Yield Variety  seeds which led to increase in production of food grains in India ,making it self sufficient in that. The productivity per hectare also increased, farm incomes in Punjab, Haryana and western UP also increased. Overall economic condition improved.

But to make innovation happen, one needs an eco system. The eco system includes Universities, R&D laboratories, interdisciplinary research, private companies spending on research and also sponsoring research in universities, culture of experimentation, investment in education, the facility of incubators, accelerators for start ups, the  private equity  firms and venture capitalists and Angel investors, robust  Intellectual property  and patent laws,  a start- up culture where student are encouraged to come up with new ideas and allowed to set up companies.

It is a tall order but a few shoots of this Innovation culture is springing up in India lately. Companies like Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal and Ola ,musigma, Inmobi, and many others have tried to become successful in recent days. There are thousands of small companies which are trying very hard.

The other part of startup eco system is focus on high growth small companies. The higher growth comes from scaling up and going beyond their home market.

India needs innovation because we are capital scarce country with huge population and high level of inequality.   The quality of innovations will determine the growth in economy and the quality of life in India.  How do we create schools where fees are very low but quality of teaching very high? How do we create hospitals where quality of health care is very high but charges very affordable? Two sectors have done this kind of innovation; one is telecom service providers and second is Delhi Metro- they provide best class services at cheapest cost possible while making reasonable amount of profit. Ola and Uber have shown how innovations can make public transport smooth, standardized and profitable for everyone.

Society which will try to solve global problems through innovation will become richer and better.  That’s why governments across the world are scrambling to get on board of this bandwagon of innovation, but it requires whole range of co-ordinated and yet independent institutions and also culture of tinkering and experimentation.  This is really hard to achieve.

~ Professor Rahul Mishra
IILM Lodhi Road Campus

Brand China

Lei Jun – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xiaomi Corp has once said according to one report, “Doing the right thing is much more important than doing the things right. A pig could fly if it finds itself in the eye of a storm.” Probably by this he means that things get much easier if one jumps on the band wagon of existing trends instead of innovating new trends. He has been successful by doing what he preaches.

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Apple of our Eyes

What is it about Apple that draws so many eye balls and so much headline space? I’ve never heard of people queuing up or sleeping outside stores to become the proud owners of the first Samsung S3 or Nokia Lumia or Blackberry for that matter. But, what is it with Apple that creates this magnetic field. There is no doubt about the fact that Apple products are superiorly engineered but what is it about them that creates that “halo”? Umpteen numbers of articles have been written about the comparison of iOS with Android. Numerous tech-gurus have shown a hands down to Apple when comparing it with Android vis-àvis the entire package of features and pricing. Still it continues to make heads turn and stock prices soar.
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