The proliferation of technology has changed the way educators teach, the way students learn, and the way teachers and students communicate. At the Indian School of Business, a lot of emphasis is being laid on leveraging technology in creative ways to enhance its educational experience.
We caught up with Jitendra Nath, CIO, Indian School of Business, to find out exactly how.
Can you give us examples of how ISB is using technology to aid learning?
For one, we have video conferencing systems in some classrooms across Hyderabad and Mohali campuses to enable combined lecture sessions. We also have an in-house application, Learning Management System (LMS), that provides a platform for out-of-classroom engagement between the faculty and students. Through LMS, students work around reading materials, classroom assessments/projects, and submissions within a deadline. Assessment of submissions and projects is carried out in the LMS and grades are awarded. A pilot of a faculty-moderated online Q/A forum has been initiated within the application. Also, we have a software integrated with the LMS system to check for plagiarism.
We are also running a pilot project using tablets in classrooms to actively engage students. This enables the faculty to post questions/quizzes during the class with a set time limit, wherein the responses are fully visible to the entire class, allowing the faculty to assess the level of understanding of the class on a particular topic.
The distance learning program of the school is highly technology driven. Classroom lecture sessions are recorded and shared through a cloud-hosted online portal for referral; tutorial sessions are conducted from an on-campus studio, where students participate remotely over a reliable Internet connection. Students don’t need to enter a classroom and are flexible to participate from anywhere in the world.
Technology has an important role to play in the seating arrangement of a classroom, particularly in our post graduate program. A unique algorithm-driven application generates students’ seating layouts, which makes the same student take a different seat for different classroom sessions, thereby democratizing their line-of-sight with the faculty.
Lastly, an online course bidding system is used to allocate elective courses to students. They live bid during pre-scheduled sessions that run into couple of hours to choose their elective in a very transparent and democratic manner.
What is your team currently working on?
Our key focus right now is to link classrooms across campuses to enable combined lecture sessions via live, interactive, near-immersive videos. Here, the focus is to introduce technology-enabled solutions into our existing classrooms, rather than building new ones around a given tech platform. We call this ‘Classroom Telepresence Project.’ A successful PoC was carried out last year and our pilot deployment in one classroom from each campus will go live within this month. This would be a one-of-a-kind solution and perhaps, a first in India.
Since mobility is the order of the day, we have launched a full-fledged mobile application, named ISB 360, for marketing our PGP program. This application will help students familiarize themselves with ISB’s proposition in a very structured manner that incorporates information and interviews of various stakeholders.
The second phase of our Mohali campus is under construction, where more capacity is being added as per our plan laid out earlier. This demands extension of the campus network, including a wireless LAN that can better enable new capacities like our IP telephony solution, which enables users to reach the other campus over 4-digit extensions.
Enhancement of the existing wireless LAN and its extension to fresh work areas at Hyderabad is another major project that is currently underway.