COVID impact: ISB 2.0 well poised to redefine the contours of management education in India

New Delhi: Indian School of Business (ISB), in light of the unprecedented COVID crisis, is working closely with all its stakeholders in redesigning its educational programs which in turn will foster resilience, agility and social transformation, highlighted Professor Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB. Online & hybrid learning models will soon be the order of the day and performance driven approach would be the new narrative, he underlined. Dean Srivastava was speaking at a recent leadership address that was conducted by ISB for the incoming class of Post Graduate Programme(PGP). The session was focused on interacting live with the students about their queries as well as also letting them know about the various initiatives that the school has taken to ensure that the learning curve keeps elevating for ISB students. ISB has been conducting leadership sessions of the incoming class with its senior CEO level alumni and board members. In addition to this school is doing sessions with faculty, student management team, careers team etc. with the students.

Building on this growing imperative, team ISB after series of discussions and brainstorming sessions designed a new hybrid learning format that addresses the current challenges, balances the new learning process and augments new global insights and perspectives.

Professor Milind Sohoni, Deputy Dean, ISB, said that the new program delivery model is a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Professor Sohoni informed that the recently inducted, PGP class of 2020-21, have already started their learning journey through initiatives such as “Operation Jumpstart” and “ISB Perspectives,” which include webinars, online lectures and panel discussions by ISB faculty Board members, alums, and other eminent leaders from industry and academia. The new program calendar additionally includes several other unique initiatives. In particular, he introduced the 10–week long Digital Headstart Module (DHM) that will be starting from June 15, 2020.

The unique DHM will feature the 4 foundational/core academic courses; additional leadership development modules; learning events; alumni interactions and other co-curricular activities. He mentioned that this year ISB is embarking on a unique initiative to enhance practice-based learning for students. This initiative this year is called “JumpStartIndia@ISB” wherein students will work on faculty-lead projects to generate solutions to the most pressing challenges before the country on its road to recovery. The goal of these projects is to identify smart solutions that minimize the trade-offs in the short-run and create a pathway to robust economic recovery in the medium term.

He mentioned that, once the lock-downs discontinue and things are closer to normal, offline classes would begin on both ISB campuses in the first week of September 2020. He added that the PGP 2020-21 calendar would be 52 weeks long and would be interspersed with several other features including career preparation week; career advancement services, and experiential learning programs.

He also said that the new program is scheduled to begin on May 31, 2020, with the Orientation week and Leadership Development Program (LEAD) running over the first two weeks leading up to the DHM.

In summary, he said that, rather than simply choosing to pushback the program schedule and wait for students to show up on our campuses to begin classes, ISB chose to restructure its programs delivery model to include online and blended learning, increasing the program duration, and adding several new program features to enhance the value proposition for the incoming students.

Dr. Philip Charles Zerrillo, Deputy Dean, ISB informed that, Study Treks is another new initiative of ISB. Study Treks would facilitate meaningful experiential learning, peer-to-peer learning, he said. Study Treks would be complemented with ISB perspectives Module, where students will interact (online & offline) with ISB Board members, guest faculty, alumni on various aspects related to business management, he added. ISB will follow and implement all the health guidelines and physical distancing norms as mandated by the Government, underlined Dr. Philip.