Constant innovation in teaching is key to getting management concepts across, says Professor Thillai Rajan A., who has won the Innovation in Pedagogy Award for 2011 given by the MTC Global.

Thillai Rajan A., associate professor, department of management studies (DoMS), IIT-Madras, makes his classroom interactive and interesting, thereby igniting and inspiring the minds of his students.

He is one of the recent recipients of ‘Innovation in Pedagogy Award for 2011' given by the Management Teachers' Consortium (MTC) Global. The award was given at the MTC Global Annual Convention held in Hyderabad on August 27.

This award was given in recognition of the innovations he was able to introduce in his course pedagogy such as multimedia-based approach, real life case studies and immersion, use of simulation games, recognition of student performance, and continuous student feedback.

An alumnus of IIM-Bangalore, Prof. Rajan says that in management education, there is ample scope for pedagogical innovations. “I periodically come up with innovative ideas in teaching. I ensure that classroom learning is interspersed with multimedia presentations. I create my own multimedia content for my class,” he says. Experts from the industry are invited and their speech, lecture or presentations are recorded and played in the classroom.

Heads of companies are invited to sit in the classroom and listen in while the students discuss solutions for business case study. “I give a lot of importance to Indian case studies. We create our own case studies based on Indian context. We analyse the Indian business scenario as case studies revolve around decision making,” he says.

When real heads of companies interact with the students, the learning process is much more exciting and such discussion proves beneficial for both the students and the companies, he says. Prof Rajan, who teaches advanced financial management, makes his students play the role of chief financial officer of a hypothetical company. “Such simulation-based approach is proving very useful. Decisions they make are effective learning experience for students of management. Such classroom experiences create excitement and total involvement,” he says.

Prof. Rajan thinks it is mandatory for his students to provide feedback. His feedback mechanism ensures that all students participate in the process during the mid-term of the course.

He meets students individually and finds out their views and experiences and rectifies problems if any. With substantial industry experience at IL & FS and Infosys, he joined the DoMS about five years ago.