Everyone does not have the same dreams and aspirations when it comes to their career, and it is not uncommon to see many graduates who prefer to enter the workforce instead of going for their masters right away. After a few years of experience in their respective sector, they may consider continuing their education through some professional qualifications. While this may not be suitable for some of the courses, yet there are plenty of professional courses which support the working professionals aspiring for a higher education degree. One of the top-most courses that are preferred by working professionals worldwide is the Masters in Business Administration or MBA. Also, run in several top business schools as a Post Graduate Program in Management or PGPM, the MBA is a highly adaptable and practical program that enables the students with skills required to manage a business. A popular way to making the academics and the program structure relevant to the working professionals is the utilization of hybrid and blended education methods.
What is hybrid and blended education?
Hybrid learning is a methodology that integrates digital learning delivery and experiential learning assignments, with traditional classroom learning. This makes it a potent mix to educate the students in gaining the theoretical understanding of the principles of management, but also learn about the application of these principles in their working life. A successful hybrid education program can boost the learning of the students manyfold while providing the educators an easy and impactful way to deliver the curriculum. There are many elements of Hybrid Learning that make it the perfect fit for management education. Here are some of the best benefits of utilizing hybrid learning principles and techniques for working professionals.
Focus on Individual Learning – The academics of the business school in the traditional classroom learning leans towards group learning and lecture method which may stop the students from customizing their learning experience. This ultimately means that the student has less control over how he or she learns the subjects and puts pressure on the students to adjust their learning style to align with the teaching method preferred by the business school. This can easily be fixed through the hybrid learning methods where learning each subject matter takes several approaches and the student can choose between them to familiarize themselves with the material while learning it thoroughly. Since the working professionals come with their own experience, they can choose how they want to learn the subjects by paying attention to specific parts.
Higher quality interaction – The business school has several great faculty members and academicians who also carry years of work experience. One of the best parts of going to a prominent business school such as ICFAI Business School (IBS)is that the student gets to interact with these tenured veterans and benefit from their insights. In a traditional classroom, many students vie for the attention of the faculty members, and the chance of getting detailed feedback from them on any of your projects is slim. That is where hybrid learning shines by giving the students access to tools to interact with their faculty members. This helps the students get insights about their learning from the experienced faculty member and develop a deeper understanding of their subject.
Collaborative approach – The students can be assigned group projects in which they can work with their peers. Since collaboration is a valuable management skill, the students can develop it and it plays an important part in their academic and professional success. Hybrid learning has some great academic tools that can help the students in honing this skill. One of the great examples of using hybrid learning in developing collaboration is through the unique case study method of the ICFAI Business School (IBS), where a case study may be assigned to a group for analysis, decision making, and presentation of the results.
Reduction in absenteeism – One of the practical benefits of hybrid learning can be seen in the reduction of absenteeism and its impact on the students. In the classroom-only method of teaching, the students have to ensure that they attend each class as their comprehension of the next lesson depends upon it. There are very few chances of catching up if the student ends up missing more than three to four lectures altogether. Hybrid learning provides the student with impressive audio-visual tools which can quickly bring the student’s academic progress up to speed. This also results in less strain on the student since they can get class recordings through the LMS. All of these benefits make Hybrid Learning one of the most successful approaches to teach the students. This is especially true for management education where the competition is at an all-time high and the students need more support than usual. This is especially true for working professionals who need more flexibility in their studies and need the freedom to allocate times according to their availability. Hybrid education is gaining even more acceptance and is popular among students at top business schools such as ICFAI Business School (IBS).
Management education has been synonymous with a high-paying career in the country. The business schools have produced many students who have gone forward to serve as top executives in the greatest corporates. This is why every year many fresh graduates from different streams aspire to get through some of the biggest and best schools in the country to get educated. There are many practical benefits of acquiring a management degree from a top B School such as ICFAI Business School (IBS)for your career prospects. A management degree adds weight to the resume and communicates clearly with the recruiters regarding the positive qualities of the person. It is not only the name of the business school that makes the difference, but the many practical benefits that the student gets while undergoing the course that also makes it one of the best courses to maximize your potential. Here are some of the biggest benefits that you can get while undergoing management education at ICFAI Business School (IBS).
- Management is a transferable skill – Management and Leadership are skills that can be developed so that they can be utilized in a variety of situations, industries, and contexts. This makes management one of the highly desirable streams of education, that is perfectly suited to the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity)environment of the modern corporate world. Business school graduates can also easily adapt to the new business environments and perform tasks that require analytical skills without much difficulty.
- Improve Leadership potential – Prominent business schools such as ICFAI Business School (IBS)spend a considerable part of their curriculum engaged in the real-life application of the lessons. The IBS Centre for Management Research or ICMR is credited for having an extensive collection of various case studies from all streams of management. The case studies make it beneficial for the students to develop their decision-making ability which plays a big role in their later life. Business school graduates find it much easier to rise to the top of the hierarchy, due to the valuable knowledge and skills obtained in the course of their management education.
- Build your network – Building a high-quality professional network is an assured way to create continued success for yourself. There are many benefits of having a professional network and one of the best ways to do so is by honing your networking skills and not leaving it up to chance. The management students learn networking skills from the very beginning of their campus experience and through internships. This involves honing their relation-building skills and conversational skills which also have a wide application in professional life.
- Career changes made easy – If you happen to be interested in moving from one industry to another, or want to change your job role while staying in the same industry, going to a business school can help. Since you learn a considerable number of new things in the course of your management course, you can easily position yourself in any direction that you see fit. There are also some great specializations available at business schools and you can easily choose your electives or majors to reflect your interest in a particular subject. Even during your interview, you can talk about your previous job experience and improve your candidature.
- Improved Communication Skills and Executive Presence – Nobody can deny the importance of looking great, dressing well, and portraying a powerful professional image. These things are a part of our executive presence and they are almost as important in getting your dream job as your knowledge. A professional profile, a well-worded resume, and a good first impression can make a great impression on your prospective recruiters long before they have met you and you learn many of these things through B School. Being a part of a top management institution such as ICFAI Business School (IBS)grooms and conditions you to portray yourself better online and offline.
- Better industry knowledge – Gaining knowledge about an industry or field of work can often be a tough task. Although you can self-educate and do research on the internet, it is no match for learning it from qualified faculty members. You get to learn the basics as well as various prevalent ideas that make you sound knowledgeable when discussing it. This can also help you use industry-specific terms, in the interviews and including them in your resume which makes it appear relevant to the employers. This prompts them in shortlisting your profile over other candidates and boosts your chances of cracking the interview.
These are some of the best ways in which a business school education can make you appear more employable than the competition. There are many other benefits such as boosting your confidence which is more gradual and difficult to measure but is still a valuable product of having a management education. The business school experience from top institutions such as ICFAI Business School or IBS can set your career on the fast track and help you reach your true potential.
2021 is turning out to be one of the defining years in the history of the world, and unlike any of the years that have preceded it. While on one hand, the ongoing pandemic is claiming lives all over the world, yet on the other hand the stringent measures to control the virus such as international travel ban, and lockdown, have played havoc with the economy. The series of unprecedented changes started in Q1 of 2020 that have affected many industries and geographies changing the way business is carried out everywhere. Many professionals have also been affected economically due to this, and many are reconsidering their career paths and options. These are precisely the reason why getting a business school education in 2021 may be the best decision. This statement may confuse you, that if a year is generally considered adverse for the industries worldwide, how can it be a good time to get a management degree which aims for industry integration. Here are some factors that you must consider that will help you understand the reason behind such a bold claim.
- The expected rise in Demand – Several industries have faced severe challenges and there have also been big lay-offs across sectors. There has also been a dip in hiring and the promotions have also been held off at several companies due to the financial losses. This is why several professionals are not looking for a change of job just yet. The industry is however is expected to rebound once the vaccines push immunity higher and open up trade. That is why it is imperative that when the market opens you put your best foot forward and propel your career forward with a B School degree.
- Changing of work norms – While the concepts of work from home and flexible timing have been in existence for a long time, it is only during the pandemic situation that the companies adopted it en masse. This means that employers in the future are likely to be more open to hiring from remote locations with work from home profiles. This provides the B School students a bigger playground since they can apply for a job located anywhere. These avenues are available to you once you go through the management degree and in the meanwhile the changes take shape.
- Changing career track – Many professionals have been interested in changing their career track however the industries have been less receptive to accept professionals from other backgrounds or industries. Management education is an excellent way in which you can showcase your talent and create a great transition point for your career. This way you can join the industry of your choice and build your career further.You can also upskillyourself according to the changes that might be sweeping through the industries such as digital transformation.
- Personality development opportunity – Apart from the education, one of the biggest benefits of undergoing a Management degree at a reputed B School such as ICFAI Business School or IBS, is the opportunity to enhance your personality. 2021 happens to be the perfect time to do so since you can work on your soft skills and be ready for the opportunity once you pass out from the B School. There are plenty of activities such as debates, discussions, presentations, skits, speeches, hosting opportunities, and other platforms that the students can utilize to hone their social skills.
- Global credential and validity – If you hope to move to a different country, you can utilize your business school degree to find a suitable opportunity outside. The MBA or PGPM is one of the most well-accepted degrees that is desired by employers throughout the world. The degree is even more valuable if you get it from a premier business school such as ICFAI Business School (IBS).Getting employedat a Multi-National Company or MNC can also provide you exciting opportunity to work offshore.
- Entrepreneurship acumen – If you want in the future to start your own business, the business management courses that are optimized for that can guide you in the right direction. This way, when you start your business at a later stage you will likely have the most updated tools and knowledge. The MBA also paves the way to getting better response and confidence in your ability to run the business due to the industry-oriented nature of the course.
These reasons make investing in management education is one of the best decisions you can take for your career. The post COVID period is likely to be still volatile with some of the fundamental changes in the ways of working have taken place in the course of the pandemic. The future-focused nature of management education makes it the perfect option for the professionals looking to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. When choosing a course the professionals should pay special attention to ensure that the B School integrates learning methods that are fit for studying the market and industry closely such as the case study method used at the ICFAI Business School (IBS). This will ensure that the students develop sound insights about their fields of choice.
Management is among the field of studies that relies heavily on the active application of the concepts that have been learned during education. That is why in most of the top quality business schools, a big focus is placed on the students developing the necessary insight to implement the various management principles. To facilitate this, one of the most helpful instruction methods that have been tried and tested with a high success rate is the case study method. Many amazing results are achievable due to the case study method, but some of the most notable can be seen in the areas where the management practices need to be fully understood and implemented in a business simulated scenario. This helps the students validate the learnings and demonstrate the utility of it in the real world. One of the prominent B-School in India that emphasizes the case study method and has developed dedicated case studies to strengthen the quality of its’ management education is the ICFAI Business School also known as IBS. Let us try to grasp, how the case studies contribute to the development of the students especially in the current times when the ICFAI Business School (IBS)classes are being conducted in the virtual mode.
- Enhanced Decision Making – There are many benefits of using case studies in modern education, but one of the top ones for the students is the ability to make better decisions in their work lives. The case studies provide excellent ground for the B school students to develop a perspective in various scenarios that translates into better business acumen when they enter the corporate world. The case studies used at ICFAI Business School (IBS)are equally useful in a virtual environment to challenge the students to apply their learnings in a well-defined context.
- Collaborative Approach – One of the key factors in the success of the virtual workplace has been a collaboration between individuals and teams. Many organizations have recognized it as one of the biggest determinants of success in the modern world. The case studies develop the collaborative working approach among students, requiring them to discuss, share ideas, respect different views, delegate responsibilities, exchange information, and manage conflict, all of which are important parts of working collaboratively.
- Concept Focus – The case studies of ICFAI Business School (IBS)are especially designed to provide the students with the opportunity to validate the things that have been taught in their classroom and syllabus. ICFAI Business School (IBS)is one of the top Indian business schools which has its own case development repository created through IBS Case Development Centre or IBSCDC. The IBSCDC has been credited with compiling over 5500 case studies which are extensively used in the ICFAI Business School (IBS)curriculum. These case studies require a clear understanding of the subjects to solve and challenges the students to clarify any doubts that they may face in these subjects.
- Realistic Scenarios – The scenarios that are covered in the case studies give a realistic scenario where the theories, principles, tools and techniques can be applied. Many of the case studies are influenced by the real problems and challenges that have come up in the corporate world and therefore the credibility of the case studies is beyond doubt. The best part about these case studies is that they also let us examine the management problems in their real environment instead of a hypothetical or imaginary setting.
- Perfect for Virtual Environment – Virtual learning which has been prevalent in the past year due to the pandemic situation has left the students and the academic experience devoid of the usual human contact that is part of a great B School experience. Activities such as a case study provide a welcome change to interact and share ideas with the faculty and their classmates. It also brings the practical application of their learning which is always an exciting opportunity to showcase your talent.
- Reinforcing the Lesson – The case studies are categorized according to the various management subjects and fields such as Business Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Human Resource Management, IT Systems, Operations, Economics, Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics. This is why the case studies can be tied to the learning outcomes of the modules of these subjects and help in cementing the lessons learned in the course of studies.
These are some of the reasons which have made the case study method a hot favorite among the students as well as the faculty members of ICFAI Business School (IBS). The case study method also provides a fair evaluation of the academic performance of the students and the real-life value of the knowledge gained at the ICFAI Business School (IBS)campus. The IBS Case Research Centre has won many acclaims and international awards which speaks volumes about the high quality of case studies that are developed here. The case studies are also frequently included in notable international textbooks, as well as being mentioned in reputed management journals. Joining ICFAI Business School (IBS)provides an excellent opportunity for the business school aspirants to experience the world-class curriculum of ICFAI Business School (IBS)enriched with the case study method.
Management is one of the disciplines that strive and flourish in making classroom learning as applicable in real-life scenarios as possible. The various management principles find their place out of textbooks and as valuable tools at the hands of the management students which in turn can be used to shape their futures. That is why, for the management students, learning their course work in an applied and practical way is of utmost importance. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many management students, as well as business schools, have been facing a challenge in facilitating the classes through virtual or online mediums. One of the business schools that have carved away out of this predicament is ICFAI Business School, also called IBS.
Counted among the most prestigious and well-acclaimed business schools of India, ICFAI Business School (IBS) stands head and shoulder above the average B-schools. The students of ICFAI Business School (IBS) can enjoy the migration to the online classes during the pandemic easy to adjust since blended online learning has been an integral part of the ICFAI Business School (IBS) campus experience. The transition is backed by the learning management system or LMS called Quicforce, which has been surveying the ICFAI Business School (IBS)since the year 2012. The Quicforce is based on one of the popular platforms called Moodle and provides the courses a blended approach towards learning with synchronous and asynchronous modes. This enables the esteemed faculty members of ICFAI Business School (IBS)to deploy their course work through an assortment of learning activities assignments, evaluations, projects, quizzes, and assessments.
Here are some of the best features of online learning that are utilized at ICFAI Business School (IBS).
- Live sessions: The experienced and well-versed faculty members of ICFAI Business School (IBS)deliver an impactful session filled with interaction, discussion, and insights about the subject.
- Learning reflections: Once the live session has been conducted, the students can access the learning reflections through a series of formative assessments. This is made possible with the help of LMS where the students’ learning journeys are preserved.
- Enabling preparedness: For the complex subjects that are covered in the course of management education at ICFAI Business School (IBS), the students can prepare well in advance for better understanding during the class. The iBooks which are the online version for the coursework of the students are available on the LMS so that they can be accessed by the students at any place and any time. The physical books are also available for the students which are sent to their registered address so that they can make notes and have a tactile experience while studying.
- Timely notifications: The students do not have to worry about missing the important updates and alerts since the mobile app of the LMS can provide notifications. It is another way for the students to take timely action and manage their academic administration remotely.
- Learning enablement tools: Various tools for increasing the interaction with the content and the retention of the course work, the micro-learning tools are utilized. An example of this can be the case videos which are created based on the unique case-based learning method as employed in the ICFAI Business School (IBS)curriculum.
- Impactful exercises: Designed for individual students as well as smaller groups, the engagement exercises simulate practical scenarios and real business challenges. This prompts the students to collaborate and apply the principles learned in their studies to find solutions to management problems.
The students are also familiarized with all aspects and functions of the LMS early in their academic session so that they can make the most of the resources made available. The study plan and schedule also help them in staying on track along with the academic session and even prompts them of certain important milestones through the gamification aspects of the LMS.
These learning methodologies help ICFAI Business School (IBS)in developing and delivering a world-class management education experience to their students even when the campus is closed. The virtual environment of the classes reinforces the learning of the students while creating opportunities for the students to interact with each other and the faculty members. As management is one of the most dynamic fields of studies that change rapidly, the “beyond the classroom” experience of the students develops them to prepare for the demands of the industry. The engaging exercises and meaningful challenges prepare the students well to succeed in their careers and life ahead.
The world has changed a lot since the rise of technology, and with it, the meaning of the classroom has changed too. Although traditional classroom learning has not gone obsolete, there is a lot of focus on online and self-paced learning as well. The truly remarkable institutions have utilized the best features of classroom and online learning and amalgamate them in the form of blended or hybrid learning methods. As the name suggests the blended learning is a modular learning method where the learning or instructional design tries to strike a balance between self-paced online learning and face-to-face classroom learning. The integration of online modules in the session make the learning-rich in information and the self-paced feature helps the students go through the learning as many time as they need to ensure the proper learning is taking place. The doubts that are left in the minds of the learners can be cleared away by physical or virtual instructor-led training. Here is how the top business schools such as ICFAI Business School (IBS) have used hybrid learning to create a conducive environment for management education.
Integration with the LMS necessary
One of the major pre-requisite that is faced by business and educational organizations before shifting to the hybrid and blended is the usage of a Learning Management System or LMS to host the online modules. The LMS can further include a link to the recording of the virtual session that the student can go through even if they could not attend the classes live. The learning material created by the faculty member can also be kept on the LMS platform for the students to refer to while they are going through these sessions. The e-books can also be kept online so that the student is not reliant on the physical books while they are going through various coursework. The LMS can also use gamification aspects such as badges and progress bars to keep the learner updated along with their progress on the course and the milestones that they reach, providing a sense of achievement and motivation. ICFAI Business School (IBS)have their own LMS Quicforce which has been in service since 2012 and provides an effective way to manage the curriculum while the students are going through their management education. In addition to the above pointers, the students can also be sent notifications and important announcements through Quicforce, so that students take note of all academic and other events.
Academic benefits of Hybrid Learning
The benefits of hybrid learning extend well beyond the management of the learning and can be evident in the academic success of the students and the institution as well. Some of the key benefits of hybrid learning in academics can be as below.
- Flexible learning – Whether we believe it or not, all of us have different ways of learning. Teaching everyone, in the same way, may not meet the learning needs of everyone, but with blended and hybrid learning, the institute or school has a wider option of tools to meet all learning styles. The students can also utilize the time they want and cover the topics at their own pace.
- Better time utilization – One of the popular ways of learning in the modern hybrid learning courses is to ask the students to go through the online courses first and then proceed with the classroom interaction. This way the time of the classroom can be better utilized rather than reading text or watching learning videos.
- Collaborative learning – With the inclusion of the Learning Management System, the teacher can easily make groups, assign activities, discuss case studies, and interact freely ensuring better individualized attention. It also makes it easier for the students to connect after class and share learnings.
- Variety of formats – The learning can be reinforced better through online quizzes and other activities since they may be great for revision and retention of the students. There are also several tools such as project work and questionnaires to connect their classroom learning to real lives and industries.
Hybrid learning advantage during the Pandemic
The recent pandemic has confined many students to their homes, with no means for them to attend instructor-led classes physically. Under these circumstances, hybrid learning has come up as a huge help in ensuring that the campus interactions and other soft components can be managed through online modules. Familiarity with hybrid learning can also give the students an edge when they join their industry of choice since hybrid and blended learning is practiced in most corporates in modern times. The students can also pick up on the many necessities of developing their digital citizenship and learning essential soft skills such as email communications. The hybrid learning model also empowers the students to take ownership of their learning and ensure that they can take proactive actions to facilitate their academics better. The Quicforce LMS and the ICFAI Business School (IBS)faculty who utilize modern techniques in optimizing the learning in the classroom and beyond, go a long way in developing the business leaders of tomorrow educated through hybrid learning methods.
Gone are the days when the learning used to be synonymous with the classroom, and when missing a day’s classes due to an exigency would put the students’ academic performance at a disadvantage. The new way of learning digitally has provided the students of various streams with remarkable tools that have made the learning flexible and free from the confines of the classroom. Today the management students who are pursuing their education from premier business schools such as ICFAI Business School (IBS) can take ownership of their learning. To enable this change, ICFAI Business School (IBS)offers the students access to on-demand learning thanks to the integration of technology in the education system. The usage of a Learning Management System or LMS is one such solution that has enabled the educational institutions to provide quality education while giving the students easy access to learning. At ICFAI Business School (IBS) the LMS is named as “Quicforce”, has some great functionality that befits the world-class education provided by the B-school. Let us take a closer look at the Quicforce and how it contributes to the academic performance of the students.
What is Quicforce LMS?
Quicforce is a Learning Management System which is based on one of the most popular LMS which is open source. It provides the students with plenty of high-quality and dynamic e-learning content that is provided by ICFAI Business School (IBS). It can easily be accessed by the students from the safety and comfort of their homes, or any other location. All they need is a computer with an active internet connection. It is a tried and tested system, having been a reliable asset to ICFAI Business School (IBS) since 2012 when it was first launched. That is why even in the face of the ongoing pandemic, it has been working seamlessly connecting the students to ICFAI Business School (IBS). The students can carry out most of their studies using the Quicforce system, including accessing the e-learning modules, coursework, and even remotely submitting assignments. On the other hand, the teachers can get a lot more flexibility in creating online, and blended learning courses for the students with flexibility in course design, multimedia content creation, student evaluations, providing feedback, and even grading the work submitted by students.
Contribution of Quicforce to academic success at ICFAI Business School
Since its launch in 2012, Quicforce has been an integral part of the ICFAI Business School (IBS)academic experience, reinforcing the learning practices of the business school’s world-class curriculum. Here are some of the key benefits that Quicforce provides to the students and teachers of ICFAI Business School (IBS):
- Classroom to Online – The most essential way that Quicforce contributes to the academics at ICFAI Business School (IBS)is that it reinforces the classroom and instructor-led learning with a variety of e-Learning material. The material is made available online, so that the students can access it anytime and anywhere, even long after the class. This minimizes the student’s dependence on the classroom notes and frees them up during the class to interact and experience the activities of the classroom.
- Captivating Content – While the traditional presentations and books only gave a few opportunities for the teachers to engage the students, the modern tools available with the LMS help the teacher make interactive content easily. With interactive quizzes, activities, and online forums, the students can showcase their learning.
- Access to eLearning – The students can access their classroom presentations, iBooks, and specialized ICFAI Business School (IBS) Case-based Learning Guides, all through the Quicforce LMS. Along with these, the students can also take part in quizzes, and other exercises to evaluate their understanding of specific chapters.
- Interactive learning – The students can engage with other learners to share best practices through the specialized forums and build their understanding of certain subjects. They can use self-assessments designed in the course to showcase their knowledge.
- Curriculum management – Through utilizing the instructional and learning design technology, the students can visualize their progress along the curriculum designed by their instructors at ICFAI Business School (IBS). This provides a clear sense of direction to the students and even helps them revise their course progress before the examinations. Messages and alerts can be sent to students through the LMS automatically, to guide the students along with the important steps in their course.
- Live Sessions – Thanks to the live sessions hosted on the LMS, the quality of education at ICFAI Business School (IBS) can be kept consistent as the faculty and the students can have two-way interaction in real-time. The students can even ask questions and clarify their doubts so that there are no gaps left in their understanding.
- Examinations Made Easy – Despite the restricted movement, social distancing, and other protocols enforced by the government, the studies and examinations are taking place seamlessly due to the LMS Quicforce. Even the examinations are easier for the students since they can attempt the examinations from the comfort of their home.
- Students and teachers constantly rely on Quicforce to continue the progression of the courses at ICFAI Business School (IBS). The younger generation has been finding it easier to find the right information related to their coursework through the app or online platform with relative ease, accelerating their learning. The teachers can automate many of their tasks and the learning administration has become easier cutting off the work involved in managing the course. This makes the Quicforce a win-win solution to many problems encountered by the students and faculty members. Access to Quicforce is provided to all the ICFAI Business School (IBS)students freely and they can log in through their id and password as shared by the ICFAI Business School (IBS). The robust technology solutions of the LMS helps ICFAI Business School (IBS) break the barrier of the classroom and provide the students access to the best Management Education in India.