How B-Schools are exploring experiential learning opportunities across programmes

Experiential learning exposes students to the challenges business leaders face every day.  

In Rethinking the M.B.A.: Business Education at a Crossroads, Harvard Business School professors Srikant M. Datar, David A. Garvin and Patrick G. Cullen make it clear that an MBA programme must focus more on “Being” and “Doing” but without less of “Knowing.”

“Knowing”, here, refers to theoretical knowledge. Every Indian B-School gives theoretical inputs and insights to its students. Only a few impart the “Doing” aspect — which refers to skills like how to conduct a performance review, or conduct a negotiation — or the “Being”, which is related to aspects of professional identity and responsibility like empathy, cultural readiness, ability to adjust, and work in teams.

The “Being and Doing” aspects are actually experiential learning. This exposes students to the challenges business leaders face every day and, therefore, needs to be part of management education. Here are a few ways in which Experiential Learning can be incorporated into the curriculum at B-Schools.

Role play and discussion: While role play is in use, the opportunity to have discussions with corporate leaders is less used. Together, the two allow students to learn and get ready to face the corporate world.

Teams and challenges: In this learning approach, students are placed in teams comprising peers from diverse and international backgrounds. Not only does this approach help develop emotional intelligence and think effectively about utilising the team’s resources, but it also opens their minds to the cultural aspects involved. Such activities make students focus on accomplishing a given task within the stipulated time and helps fine-tune their ‘doing’ skills.

Real-time corporate competitions: Several corporations offer MBA students a chance to solve real-time problems. Participation in such events will help them develop competencies required to solve issues in the corporate world.

Robust student council: This body is responsible and accountable for all activities on campus. Students, led by coordinators, form an executive council and various teams to oversee activities. The work of planning, setting goals, using budgeted resources efficiently all help create a great learning platform to learn by doing.

Pitch a real plan: Making a business plan, pitching to investors, and getting funding from an angel investor or venture capitalist is another way to implement experiential learning.

The writer is Director, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune, and Dean, Faculty of Management, Symbiosis International (Deemed University).

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 9:06:07 PM |

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