Business Schools in India now face a transition period from non-digital to digital operations. Many business schools face a stiff competition and survival of the fittest. Those management institutes that adapt the ever-changing needs of industry alone sustain. The major focus of any institute is to prepare its graduates versatility and creativity, as per the current and emerging industry requirements. The changing business environment warrants all our management graduates to equip themselves with modern technology and their application to the current scenario.
In the educational field, digital technologies bring many exciting opportunities by imparting on what, where and how education is delivered. It helps to store large volumes of information and use it anywhere and anytime. The major advantages of digitalization are time saving, cost effective and non-repetitive process. In recent times, it has become inevitable prominent to use benchmarking, collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches in the field of education to bring the winning edge in any field of our governance. Many management institutes, use online mode of teaching, virtual lab, case based flipped classroom and simulation exercises as part of teaching pedagogy. All professors are using online networks and social media to connect with other globally recognized management institutes who can help them, adapt their teaching practices to make use of digital tools. Similarly, students are also using digital technologies to connect with other students across the country and across the world, and to engage in self-directed learning in areas of personal interest and ability.
In general, connecting with technology brings several innovative processes in our day to day activities.
Following are the digital tools widely used in business schools for the virtual experience.
1. Students Attendance Monitoring System using biometric attendance (SAMS) promotes good practice of time management in delivery and promotes ethical management in handling classrooms.
2. Wi-Fi enabled classrooms, facilitate the students and teachers to go online for teaching / learning and evaluation.
3. Smart board in class rooms enable teachers to change their mode of teaching from offline to online, conduct online quizzes during class room teaching, track students’ participation in learning resources, bring live audio-visual experience to students both in observation and participation. This also saves teachers’ time in storing files differently and transferring the teaching material for future reference.
4. Audio and Video equipment contribute much to teaching and learning.
5. Virtual labs to enable all the students to do their lab exercises beyond the lab hours with their own laptop using internet connectivity. This will cut their physical lab dependability.
6. Video Capturing of lectures by the faculty and guest faculty adds to library resources for future support. The same can also be used as resource material to prepare the MOOC /online courses by our own faculty team in future.
7. Digital books, online materials and business supportive e- newspapers supplied by leading publishers as students learning materials with the support of inbuilt ‘Learning Management System’ (LMS) enables tracking students learning and connecting students and teachers constantly.
8. Intranet supported LMS, is supported by an inbuilt integrated software, facilitates in supporting faculties and students in all academic matters like students online courses registration, fees payment, proctor system, students and faculty information, students attendance monitoring, course material uploading, results publication and sending internal communication to students and parents.
9. Continuous assessment tests and term end exams are conducted in using tablets. This makes the evaluation system easier and more secured. For this, special type of tablets with specific software are used and the entire examination process. Similarly, all those digital answer scripts collected from students are initially pushed into the cloud space for storage and then pulled back for evaluation. Further, the same software supports result publication, paper seeing and revaluation. This is added advantage as it terminates need for space either to store or do evaluation.
10. Digital footprint is a self-reference mode added by an individual to online media through their Internet. Comments on social media, Skype calls, blog writing, and website, uploading materials, app use and email records are part of online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked in a database. In general, connecting with technology gives a new face lift to the entire teaching and learning exercise.
Our future is more on a dynamic trend on one hand and uncertain on the other. To balance both we need to adapt ourselves to the growing demands of technology and adapt it too.
By Dr D Ashok
Dean, VIT Business School Vellore