Business is rapidly changing, so is business education. The need for experiential learning, not limited to classrooms and books is well acknowledged by management institutions across the globe. Top business schools, Stanford, ISB and IIMs; have been experimenting with different methodologies to come out with pedagogy which offers a right mix of class room and hands-on learning for their management students.
While industry orientation is one of the methods adopted by various business schools, Dr. Merlin Mythili, faculty at Rajalakshmi Business School (RSB), in Chennai, this time takes the first year students to a popular small tea-stall to get the students acquainted with the nature of small-business and its processes.
As students try out steaming cups of ingi tea, popular ginger-tea enjoyed by locals, interaction with the stall-owner sets the hands-on-learning process with first-hand information on challenges faced by the young entrepreneur.
According to Prof. Gautam Ghosh, Director at RSB Chennai, “Geopolitical shifts, evolving technology, social and cultural changes makes hands-on-experience indispensable for MBAs to remain relevant in a business landscape. The onus is on the business schools to upgrade their traditional way of teaching in order to equip their students”.
“Classrooms at RSB are generally active and lively as faculties engage students in various activities like debates, games, role-plays. The learning atmosphere not just helps students to pick-up concepts faster but also enhances the faculty-student bonding by manifold. Plus students keeps participating in conferences and seminars presenting papers on business topics”, adds Dr. Tanusree Chakraborty, faculty member.
Students admit that in an active classroom, with every students having to participate, contribute and experience various processes, learning is not just fun but happens more effectively with better insight into the subject matter.