The pandemic has forced several business schools to rewrite their curriculum to move forward in the new session. In the last one year, several institutes have made efforts to promote social connection and learning online a habit. Now, business schools are rewriting their curriculum according to the time to make the learning process for budding managers more holistic and inclusive, with technology at its centre.
To foster analytical and critical thinking abilities of students and help them make data-based decisions and inculcate cross-cultural perspectives so they can function seamlessly in a global business environment, business schools are focusing majorly on working on real-time projects with industry professionals to give students firsthand experience of the real-world scenarios. Several institutions have introduced business simulation gaming as an important criterion with a weightage of 20 per cent in the upcoming PGDM admission.
Sanjiv Marwah, director of JK Business School, Gurugram, said that Covid has certainly shone a glaring spotlight on just how important education is. Almost overnight, premium management institutes have adopted online learning to ensure the students’ learning curve does not get disrupted.
"We are all learning about our new world, in real-time, and learning never stops," he said. Sanjiv said that time has come to incorporate blended learning to help seamlessly transition into the new phase.
"Previously, online learning was appended to the main programme, now it has become a preferred mode of learning and teaching in the overall course curriculum. In the future, our curriculum will focus on blended learning as it broadens the horizon and develops skill sets, and offers more variety so that students have more control over how they choose to structure their personal learning experience," he said.
He said that colleges are now taking a streamlined approach with their Triedge philosophy i.e. Tech-Savvy curriculum, strong industry connect and learning beyond academics. "The curriculum will be laid on outcome-based approach and problem based learning to harness the higher-order thinking skills' (HOTS)."
Until now, the selection criterion of the PGDM course was based on general aptitude tests, but the advancement in technology is allowing students to get into the shoes of business professionals and analyse their analytical skills, thinking, and problem-solving approach across various functional areas of business processes.
"We are incorporating all the necessary changes to the curriculum to impart skill sets required to succeed in the post-COVID era," he said.
Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions, Ghaziabad, said that the focus is on the all-round development of the students in the post-Covid era.
"During this pandemic, the health-related aspects got priority and its due weightage in the curriculum. We have got socio-emotional learning, physical fitness and mental well-being as part of the curriculum across the institutions in the group. Courses from crisis management, technology, sustainability and innovation have got prominence in the curriculum," Shishir said.
Consequences of pandemic
Bharat Goyal, founder and director of Bhartiyam International School, Rudrapur, said that the pandemic has induced the business schools to amend their curriculum to include lessons and consequences of the pandemic.
"Several top institutions have introduced research around Coronavirus/lockdown implications in GDP growth. Also, fiscal policies are being analysed. Now, for instance, at IIM-B, there have been many online courses that were launched during the pandemic and they educated the students on several healthcare senior leadership programmes. There were lessons around leading innovation in the digital economy as well as using data to make decisions,” Goyal said.
RL Raina, VC of JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur, said that the pandemic has encouraged business schools to establish a multi-disciplinary approach and technology-based courses to ensure uninterrupted learning for students.
"Management schools are focusing on courses like intelligent machines, tech week, and others to make the students aware of the challenges and scope of the way ahead," he said, adding that the overall objective is to help the students in such a manner that they develop problem-solving critical thinking.