Why Hybrid MBA Model can become the New Normal?

Most management faculty and administrators held this belief that the conventional Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program was unlikely to witness massive changes. According to Prof. Srinivas R. Pingali, Prof.-Practice, IIM Udaipur, a year ago when he joined the program of MBA he was told that effectual managers must be prepared for changes.

Hence, managers and students need to take in their stride the COVID-infused New Normal. Kopal Tripathi, an MBA student of IIM Shillong happened to be one of the 3 panelists in the 3rd conference of Normal Reloaded, which is a sequence of panel discussions that observed life in the New Normal which was presented by Ashwin Rajagopalan, writer-speaker, cultural intelligence coach, and content architect.

Rev. Fr. Joe Arun SJ, (Director of Loyola Inst. Of Business Admn., Chennai) was also a member of the panel. The panelists shared their visions on How conventional MBA might adapt the Normal.

Faculty should adapt fast

While summing up the huge shift needed in teaching mindsets, Rev. Fr. C. Joe Arun said that he believes that MBA faculties need to relook at their present teaching methods and they also have to influence technology smartly besides making their sessions highly engaging.

Professor Pingali has got intensive research learnings regarding Digital Transformation space and he believes two vital features in the process are delivery mechanism and the mindsets.

According to him, the shift needs to be made to online fast and also believes that possibility of real interactions to change is very less. His tip for the faculty of B-school is including more and more guest lectures.

It was possible for IIM Udaipur  to bring in industry leaders and experts even when the session happened to be of a brief period of only 15 minutes and wasn’t possible in the offline scenario. Additionally, he needs faculty to use more videos for breaking the dullness and utilize aids, such as virtual whiteboards and breakout rooms.

The evolvement of the whole ecosystem

According to Professor Pingali, besides the teachers and students, the whole ecosystem requires adapting and there would be a remaining effect even in the era of post-vaccine. He believes that normal life is nearly impossible and so, the need arises for the blended or hybrid model in the long-run.

Additionally, the perspectives of employers on hiring students too need a change and for this, the hiring process should be changed to online.

The online shift of the socio-emotional learning

Rev. Fr. C. Joe Arun holds this opinion that as virtual learning commonly leads to cognitive learning, so, a shift of the socio-emotional learning online will be a major challenge.

However, the question remains as to how is it possible to reproduce a B-school argument or group discussion online? According to the majority of the MBA students, they have learned more from the outside environment rather than their classroom at the time of their management program.

Like many students, Kopal continues to miss her collaborative and brainstorming sessions as her classes transferred online and she only hopes that whiteboards would be able to substitute this.

The shift of the responsibilities to the students

Kopal firmly believes that students similar to her require displaying more ownership and Rev. Fr. C. Joe Arun restates that students will turn more accountable for their learning and the role of teachers will become accompanying rather than instructing.

The role of the teachers will not remain confined to the curriculum alone as they will be needed to provide more help to the students for building their characters. Again, students too will be required to get to active mode from passive mode realizing this fact that they are liable for their development.

It is up to the students whether they wish to fill their cups of coffee with chat on FB (Facebook) messenger or beer even when it is the center of the session. The matter of making appropriate decisions at this time of sessions turns crucial.

Students would be required to utilize the same methods of communication as well as social platforms for education instead of fun. Hence, students can arrange for a group video call too when they need to discuss a case.

How will rural sectors transform?

In this process, management education has avoided the major part of rural India and rural areas can get benefitted from a virtual program which wasn’t possible previously. Professor Pingali believes that it can become a long-term benefit which will permit the MBA program to spread farther from just some institutes only.

The chances of new rules and a new reality

There is a chance that education will look afar the limits of rationality. According to Professor Pingali, the B-school system might take signals from the industry of gaming which has transferred to keep many millennials stick to computer screens.

Again, there is a probability of the hastening in the idea of sharing all across industries too. Kopal figures the recession of 2008 as a time when start-ups, such as WhatsApp and Uber and entrepreneurial ideal came to the forefront. Rev. Fr. C Joe Arun summarizes his dreams of the fresh blended MBA which integrates online learning, industry learning, and classroom learning in equal proportions.

Source: India Today 

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