New Paradigm Shift In Higher Education And Management

Looking at the 'Pandemic-effect' on institutions of higher learning, those that adapted swiftly were able to move seamlessly into the online mode of knowledge dissemination.

From the Vedic times to the present, learning has been taking place in a single mode with the physical proximity of teacher and student, a change of this ecosystem was paramount after so many millennia, this mode of dissemination of knowledge needed to innovate, well that has certainly happened with COVID - we have gone online! 

Management has gone online too, working from home has built its own employer-employee ecosystem, with its peculiarities of online monitoring and mentoring, this did not require a COVID, it was already present in Business Process Outsourcing firms, only now it will have to be universally adopted. 

Looking at the 'Pandemic-effect' on institutions of higher learning, those that adapted swiftly were able to move seamlessly into the online mode of knowledge dissemination, those that were not prepared are suspended in mid space even now, two months post lockdown, with students and faculty sitting idle. Just a laptop or a good android could have moved both student and faculty from the physical classroom to the virtual classroom swiftly. 

What is amazing is the number of reputed universities that sprouted like mushrooms offering free online courses in every field for students, and webinars training faculty for better pedagogy filled the empty spaces created by lack of physical teaching engagements. These digital ecosystems were already developing, however, the pandemic expedited the process, it is like we have all been trajected into 2025! Disruptions always bring transformation and innovation - we are witnessing this. 

Higher education today has already become very complex with STEM, skills, simulation, flipped classroom and multi-media learning, however, we now have moved to a teaching space that requires the ability to capture the student's attention in an online mode. And how does a teacher assess whether the student has assimilated what has been disseminated? Very carefully crafted lessons and assessments that can give immediate feedback on student learning after each session will have to be developed. A log of each student's learning will have to be maintained for efficient outcomes. Definitely the lecture mode cannot hold much water, educators will have to move to digital stimuli that move fast enough to hold the students' attention while at the same time being effective in achieving learning outcomes.  

High investment will have to be made in the infrastructure by institutes of higher education. No more can hundred students be put into single classrooms, social distancing will mandate smaller numbers in classrooms, how then can this development be financially viable? Is moving to complete online teaching an answer? With elimination of operating and maintenance costs of huge premises, this could really be the answer, even for the corporate world. Systems and MIS will have to be developed and established to map student and faculty activity and outputs for guarantee of success.  

There is also massive scope for digital and remote teaching for rural areas when television made its first entry in India, the national TV channels held training sessions for farmers; 'Amchi Mati Amchi Manasa' was very popular, something similar can be done, students far and wide, old or young can be reached in rural areas. This will require equally massive investment by the government and all stakeholders. Educational institutions in urban areas will probably go completely digital.  Digital living is going to be the new password of urban life.  

With new innovative methods of ERP/MIS being established, efficiency should reach much higher levels than at present or previously. When biometrics is replaced by a more efficient monitor that clocks your working hours from home more accurately and which is combined with human monitoring and checks, productivity levels and work hours will be mapped daily and improved day on day. Business Process Outsourcing firms are already implementing these SOPs very effectively leading to high productivity and efficiency. WNS is an example. These are very sustainable and welcoming paradigm shifts in education and management fields - an odyssey 2021! 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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