by April 1, 2011 0 comments



Education institutions across India are increasingly realizing the importance of technology and are putting efforts in leveraging it for their benefit. Recently MBAUniverse.com, an MBA education portal organized an annual conference christened ‘Game Changer’ on the theme of ‘Leveraging education technology in MBA education’. The event also saw the release of MBAUniverse.com Survey on Education Technology 2011 conducted by Dr. K.K. Jain, Chairman — FPM and HR area, IIM Indore and Amit Agnihotri, Chairman, MBA Universe.com. The survey findings are based on 102 respondents from 48 leading management institutes including IIM A, IIM B, IIM L, XLRI, IIFT, MDI, IMT and many more. The conference brought out many interesting findings regarding how management institutes are actively using IT to enhance the way in which education is being rolled out to the students and making the whole exercise increasingly interactive and effective. It came out that leading management institutes in India, like IIMs, ISB, XLRI, MDI are increasingly leveraging educational technologies, such as e-Learning, Knowledge resources, e-testing, ERPs, virtual classrooms, Learning Management System (LMS) and many more tools.

According to the national survey conducted by MBAUniverse.com, MBA educators believe that leveraging these educational technologies helps in improving the quality of program delivery and extends the reach of management education for inclusive growth. Some key findings of the surveys were:

-Biggest challenge facing e-learning is the lesser acceptance of e-learning programs by the industry and society when it comes to admission in higher education and jobs. A high percentage of respondents agree when asked, ‘e-learning will never be effective if it is not supplemented with some physical class room teaching.’




-Given the success of CAT 2010 and NMAT, MBA educators believe they are leveraging IT best in the area of e-assessments for admissions.

How management institutions leverage IT

Many management institutions are already using IT in a big way and are beginning to change the way education used to happen traditionally. Some of these key areas were discussed at the conference.

e-Learning resources

One of the major areas of concern for the Indian management education is the low research output. According to the MBAUniverse survey,’promoting research and innovation is ranked at #2 amongst the list of priorities’. A recent trend has been more and more management institutes are resorting to e-Learning resources which are leading to better research. e-Learning resource providers, such as Emerald Group Publishing, Pearson, ProQuest, Harvard Business Publishing and McGrawl-Hill are offering customized e-Learning platforms to help Indian B Schools to focus on quality and quantity of their research output.

Harvard Business Publishing : It is offering a range of e-Learning resources, including online courses and Harvard ManageMentor, which is a practical, engaging resource for developing and applying management skills. It covers a range of 44 essential management skills and competencies put together by a range of experts. This is used by ISB and several IIMs.




McGraw-Hill Higher Education e-Learning Group : MHHE e-Learning group, a part of McGrawl Hill Education, has also launched a number of e-Learning initiatives for MBA instructors and students. They launched PowerWeb about a decade ago that enables users to create their own branded virtual libraries of news feeds, online news articles and essays. This completes all the preparatory work for the instructors. For instance, it finds all the right course information, updates it everyday and allows instructors to teach. They also launched Aleks, an artificially intelligent web-enabled math tutor for developmental mathematics, statistics, business math and accounting. This can be used as a foundation of an online course or for a tutor. It assesses what students know or don’t know. Accordingly it creates learning paths for each student. More than 150,000 students have used it.

Pearson : It is offering a vast repository of media-rich teaching resources that helps faculty to provide a learning environment for their students. An example is Mylabs which was launched in Nov 2010 by Pearson. It is an advanced teaching resource used by instructors and students in over 233 countries. Delivery of teaching experience happens through teaching aids like video cases, lecture videos, management simulations, mini cases and games besides access to scholarly material.




E-testing

A survey conducted by Merit Trac and Edge Value Notes indicate that the Online exams here to stay. The survey reported that 77% of all vice-chancellors/ registrars from various management institutes across the country are considering introducing online exams and 50% of these respondents indicate that they will adopt it in the next 6-36 months. It was in 2009, that we saw computer-based testing (CBT) entering the management education domains with IIMs and NMIMS Mumbai adopting these. Various other exams like Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET) and law entrance exams are also going computer-based.The major advantages perceived with CBT are, that it not only gives candidates the flexibility of choosing the dates but also reduces chances of question paper leaks. CBT also negates human error that might happen while evaluating answer sheets. Such exams also enable scalability across geographies and are easy to conduct and analyse. Pearson Plc., Prometric, NIIT’s online test division, MeritTrac, Everonne, Eduquity are active in computer-based testing in India with dedicated Indian branches. Where Promteric conducts IIM’s CAT, Pearson conducts NMAT and CLAT (Common Law Entrance Exams).

Business simulation games

Business simulation games involve role play through which the students enjoy the challenge of decision making. IT is enabling development of many interesting business simulation games that are of interest to B-schools because as they enable fast learning from simulation games than through theoretical learning.An example is Stocktrack, a business simulation game launched by McGraw-Hill Education in India in 2010. This simulation game connects users to all major stock exchanges around the world including Mumbai Stock exchange, Nekkei, S&P etc. For students this game offers hands on experience on how to trade “virtually” on any of the stock exchanges using 10 minute delayed data. Mc. Graw-Hill India has about 50 B-schools adopting these simulation games.




Distance MBA programmes

Some of the leading distance MBA providers in India , such as : IGNOU, New Delhi; Sikkim Manipal university (SMU), Gangtok; IMT CDL, Ghaziabad and Symbiosis Centre for Distance learning, Pune are making full use of education technology to make MBA education all inclusive.Few technologies that are being utilized currently by educational providers are internet based I-classes, audio-video tapes, virtual classrooms, Learning Management system — a software for delivery and tracking education and many others. Though MBAUniverse’s survey says that the biggest challenge that e-Learning faces, is the lesser acceptance of e-learning programs by the Industry and Society when it comes to admission in higher education, jobs etc, some advantages are that it eliminates the costs incurred in infrastructure, travelling and other heads.

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