Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A good teacher ..

The past two years I have been taking great interest in reading, updating my knowledge and seeing how this helps in improving the satisfaction level of the customers, who are your students. It has been a very satisfying experience.

Some learnings from the past two years, which got me involved with teaching in such great measure was the customer impact. I looked at everything from the customer perspective and it clicked.

A year back there was a report in the Times of india newspaper which spoke of the employability of MBA graduates in the country. As per the report it was barely 10% and the reason ascribed to it was the poor experience level.

Firstly in a system where jobs are in short supply, the bright ones land up with jobs abnd others are left out after graduation. Instead of wasting time it is a great utilisation of time going for a Post Graduation. With no knowledge of Industry and the outside world, these students straight out of their graduation, walk into a Post graduation class. For them this is another class where they need to take everything given by the Lecturer like the sacred word and study, mug it or whatever and reproduce during the exam ditto and score high marks.

Finally when it is time to get jobs, all these high scoring students fail to secure any. It is a period of dejection. Considering the peculiar socio-economic situation of the country, it may not be possible for all graduates to get enough work experience before they go out for a post graduation course. Gross Enrolment ratio at 18% in higher education is a great worrying factor for the government.

How do we then give the necessary experience for the students of MBA. They have an internship programme after the first year and before the second year classes start. Most of the students feel a lot more confident of their knowledge and abilities after the internship. Just imagine if the students are allowed to submit a mini-project which has some industry exposure of the concepts they have learnt during the course of the semester and if the students are made to do a presentation of this towards the end of the course, how much their interest in the subject would have increased.

In my opinion every student in a group of 2 or 3 should be made to work on industry projects for most of the important subjects during the course, to help them understand what working in the industry is like, how industry looks at job and how projects are completed with the necessary inputs so on.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MOOC basics - How to setup one ..

1. What is MOOC ?? (Massive Open Online Course)
2. How to make a MOOC ??

3. Wikipdedia gives lot of info ..

4. 10 steps to developing an online course ..

5. Google Open Online Education site


Monday, July 07, 2014

Creative destruction in the University system of education in the world..

In two decades, Creative destruction would cause University and Institutional incomes around the world to fall by 30%, 700 Universities world over would get shut down and the rest would need to reinvent themselves..
I was reading the article in Economist on how three main changes happening in the University system worldwide was changing the global education scenario. It struck me very much and I am expanding on the thoughts to give more meat to the argument and the future of higher education..

First major disruptor in higher education is the high cost of formal University type, classroom education. Baumol's disease talks of rising costs in one sector with apparently no increase in productivity due to the increase in costs ( accompanied by a proportional increase in productivity ) in another area. We are not seeing an increase in productivity in higher education area, still the costs keep on rising. As we see the cost of education rising at 1.5 percentage points over inflation in western countries, in India I am sure it is if not higher, at least keeping pace with inflation.

The poor responsibility of the teaching faculty who have a safe and secure job for life, makes many a student migrate to private Institutions where even though one pays a bit more, there is accountability on the teaching faculty to ensure an environment nourishing and intellectually enriching for the students. The migration of quality, experienced staff from government funded institutions to private institutions on promise of high pay and perks, have forced many of the best faculty to move out taking with them bright students too.  This move away from subsidised government funded higher education to private education is quite disturbing in higher education as this is bound to drive up costs of higher education in the developing countries too.

MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech etc are good examples of the same even in US, not to mention of countries like India where Manipal group, Amity, Alliance, SRM, VIT private Universities are surging ahead of government run institutions.

The only government run Institutions in India to still  have some of the old time charm are the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs),state run Engineering colleges, All India India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), JIPMER Pondicherry and state run and funded Medical colleges.

The second change going to happen is the change in the labour market due to automation. Gone are the days when students interested in studies would come to an Institution which had besides government permission and approval,  the physical infrastructure of classrooms and labs, qualified faculty and a time table to engage classes and evaluate the students over time by means of written exams. According to an Oxford University study, 47% of occupations are now at risk of extinction due to automation. Even the teaching profession can be expected to undergo massive change in the coming two decades. Old jobs will give way to new ones and the only way one can stay ahead of this change is by by constantly updating oneself with the modern tools and sources of knowledge.

Technology is going to be the third greatest disrupting factor in the global education scenario. The new media of education is going to be over the Internet. Like MOOC ( Massive Open Online Courses) have started giving students from across geographical boundaries a cheap and effective way to assimilate knowledge and earn credits and degrees, innovation coming from across the world will see new means of getting knowledge and accumulating credits.

So we see the three major disrupting factors of 1. cost of higher education, 2. change in composition of the labour market and 3. technology, changing the landscape of education in the coming decades.

Whatever knowledge the student accumulates, accrediting it by an accrediting agency is a great challenge as often raised by the puritans in higher educations, and is what finally matters. If the accrediting agencies can be accepted by governments across the globe, then higher education will have no boundaries. The Brazilian govt now runs a govt exam for all online learners to assess their knowledge levels (giving a guarantee for a safe and secure job), irrespective of from where they have acquired the knowledge, on a single platform thus giving them a decent future at par with classroom learners. A similar approach from India and China will spur the number of people climbing on the higher education bandwagon in future to the benefit of the community, society and the world at large. From the existing Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education of 15-18 % in India and China's 30%, this would mean a great revolution in education in India and China in the coming years. Link here ..

If 16 year old Battushig Manganbayar from remote Mongolia could ace the MIT online course on Electronics and Circuits offered over the MOOC site and earn admission to MIT this year, it definitely shows the potential of MOOC in disrupting the delivery of higher education models in the future.

The link on Battushig ..

Better be prepared by indulging in this innovative experience than be left out..


Friday, July 04, 2014

Some Toyota links from my blog ..

These are all of the Toyota write-ups at my blog site.. Hope you will benefit from it.
1. - 2 great HBR papers on Toyota
2.  - 2013 visit , concepts
3. - 2011 visit, concepts
4. - Toyota first popular model
5. - toyota processes on the shopfloor
6. – top 5 selling cars of all time ..
7. - relevance of Andons
8.  - toyota’s top 5 secrets
9. - bringing humans back to the shopfloor
10. - business giants of the world
11. - colours and the Japanese culture
12. - toyota lessons on standardization
13. - Ramesh san in Alliance
14. - Toyota’s sustainability initiatives

General Electric: A hard act to follow | The Economist

It took 13 years for Jeff Immelt to come out of the shadow of Jack Welch, the CEO of a company founded by thomas alva edison in 1892 .. a good strategy study

An interesting leadership style study of two of the greatest managers of a great company. It also talks of their research thrust in the coming years ..


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Shale oil and non-conventional energy research ..

The world's oil shale beds are said to contain the equivalent of upto 9 times as much oil as all of its conventional wells.

As different from the earlier environmentally damaging horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process, the new process cooks the shale rocks in oxygen-free retorts (above ground) to separate the oil and gas (energy intensive) while Shell in a new method is experimenting with a less environmentally damaging method of electrical heating of the shale rocks underground to extract the oil. This is not only more economical, it is more environmentally friendly too. They have met with some degree of success.
Will these new technologies of extracting fossil fuels from wells and rocks stunt the development of alternate sources of energy in an energy-starved world ??


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Happy 75 th birthday CET ..

The Govt. College of Engineering, (my proud alma mater) in Trivandrum Kerala (CET) is celebrating its 75th birthday today. (second only to anna univ in south india)

With my friends I wish all the best for CET in the coming years !! Good wishes to the birthday boy from all my friends from CET !!


My classmate Parameshwaran from IAF and his passion for agriculture ..

S. Parameshwaran has been my  classmate from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum during Mechanical Engineering under-graduation. He ...

My popular posts over the last month ..