03 Jun 2020 19:50 IST

Quick course corrections make light of early glitches

Learning how to make the best of the online medium has helped preserve essence of class experience

The virtual inauguration was, for many of the EPGP 2021 batch at IIMB, a beacon of certainty in tremendously uncertain times. It meant our journey had begun, and that there was light at the end of what had seemed an infinitely long tunnel. Online learning has had mixed reviews in the past, but as part of what will forever be known as the Covid-19 batch, I feel that we are experiencing online learning’s Eureka moment.

There were teething issues in both adopting and adapting to the new medium, but course corrections were nearly instant. For example, class participation on Zoom posed a unique problem; with everyone trying to speak at the same time, early interactions were little more than robotic gibberish. Very quickly, both professors and students embraced Zoom’s hand raise feature and breakout rooms (that break students into smaller Zoom calls of 8-10 randomised participants). This has helped preserve much of the essence of the class experience despite the lack of physical proximity.

Productivity tools

Traversing the stresses of a full-time course, while in lockdown and not being able to share the experience with your classmates truly, has not been easy. An active WhatsApp group, multiple knowledge sharing sessions and productivity tools such as Slack have brought us closer together and ensured that we have at least got to know each other virtually.

In truth, the Institute, faculty, and programme coordinators have continued to be proactive, empathetic, and cognisant of how stressful the situation has been, and truly outstanding in their support. I am still positive we will get to campus soon but, one month into the course, I am very grateful I chose to be at IIM-B.

(The author spent the last five years as an Insights Consultant with Brandscapes Worldwide, consulting with the strategy and marketing teams of the world’s leading soft drink manufacturer. Born in Chennai, he is an avid foodie, loves to travel and is a fan of British comedy and the Chennai Super Kings.)