Dr. Daviender Narang, Director, Jaipuria Institute of Management

A thorough management professional, Prof. (Dr.) Daviender Narang is working as a Professor and Director at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad. He has a rich experience of 22 years in the field of academics and management, especially in the best business and management institutes of India and abroad. He has experience of establishing successful management business schools. He has worked on a World Bank-supported project on capacity-building in Ethiopia for two years. He holds two post-graduate degrees in Business Economics and Finance & Control. He has a Ph.D in Economics and his contribution to research focuses on banking efficiency in India. His areas of expertise are security analysis, corporate finance, banking, research methodology and mutual funds. He is also associated with business firms as a corporate trainer on various financial modules. A fine academic and administrator, he is known as an institution builder, an acclaimed teacher, a prolific speaker, an avid researcher, a consultant, and a trainer.

 

Is hybrid learning the future of management education across the world? This question is a matter of debate at education forums. Conventional face-to-face education has witnessed traction after the onset of the pandemic. The paradigm has shifted, transitioning the face of education and creating a new environment of learning.

The year of the pandemic, 2020, has witnessed the evolution of online education at a magnitude that was never seen before. In this trying time of uncertainty over the opening of schools and colleges, hybrid education has become the new normal. In order to get a better insight of this topic, let us try and understand what exactly is Hybrid Learning?

Hybrid Learning is a judicious combination of online education and the traditional face-to-face learning. Not only does hybrid education come across as a relevant mode of learning during the Covid times, it also caters to the problem of students not having access to education because of schools and educational institutions being located in remote and far-flung corners of the country.

Take the example of Sonam Wangchuk’s SECMOL Alternative School, which provides education to the remote students of Ladakh where traditional schools are scarce in number. The SECMOL Alternative School Campus near Leh admits students who have failed in exams. With an innovative and hybrid education model created for students, the school has helped the learners who were considered as failures, achieve success. Today, its students include successful film makers, TV actors, scientists, teachers etc.

The above example highlights the wonders that hybrid education can do. The scope of evolvement that hybrid system has endowed upon management education is huge. Gone are the days when the students were confined to the four walls of an institution. Now, the level and magnitude of the exposure is extremely high, thanks to the hybrid learning models. Sitting in a remote town in India, you get the hand-holding from the world-class leaders who are now becoming mentors to the students who have the potential to become an asset to the corporates.

Due to the model of hybrid education, an element of digital efficacy has been introduced in learning ecosystems. Practical implications of the theoretical delivery can now be seen, not just in the pedagogy but also in the curriculum. Today, the curriculum has been designed keeping in view the latest digital interventions to make sure that students are tech savvy.

Other than this, hybrid learning overrides the limitations of the face-to-face learning environment, which include the rigidity of the system and teaching methodologies. Management students who require the knowledge of subjects like Economics, Accountancy, Business Studies combined with exposure and learning from various international management gurus like Michael Porter (Harvard Business School), Peter Senge (MIT), who cannot be physically be present in each and every management institute of the country, can now attend their live sessions miles away via online learning.

An important element of management education is guest lectures from the industry. Guest lectures have now become essential for the students desiring access to world-class library, online research papers, case studies along with the guidance of the faculty members of global colleges and universities. All this has been made possible through hybrid learning.

A jump in India’s Global Innovation Index (GII) to 46th place among 132 economies shows that students in India have understood that innovation is the future. In order to access knowledge and being neck-to-neck with students across the world, we need to change our ways of consuming and utilizing knowledge. In today’s world, knowledge needs to have a practical backup in place.

The benefits of hybrid learning are many. They range from access to education to providing flexibility to the students to choose what they want to learn and from whom. A similar trend exists for management students who want the basics along with worldwide exposure.

There is no doubt that classroom learning is still considered one of the best ways of reaching out to students and making sure that they understand the concepts. This, combined with lectures from world-class gurus, entrepreneurs is what this new concept of hybrid education for managerial students is all about. This is how the management education is evolving.

The trying times of the pandemic have made people envision education beyond the four walls of learning where students can access education at the comfort and safety of their homes without compromising on the quality of learning.

With the downfall in the number of Covid cases, colleges have opted for the hybrid learning pattern while taking all the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the virus on campus. The pandemic has indeed played a disruptive role in the education landscape. It has forced us to evolve innovative strategies to handle ever altering situation. The evolving effect is further compounded because of the National Education Policy 2020, which will have far reaching impact on the education sector – both in K-12 segment and higher education.

The term management education itself pertains to finding ways and managing crisis during the unfavorable situations. The hybrid education model fits perfectly in this context. Online learning along with classroom learning is the way forward to groom aspiring learners into confident business leaders.

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