A variety of pedagogical approaches are used by faculty members teaching in the Post Graduate Programme in Management at IIM Tiruchirappalli . Key elements across these varied approaches are participant-centered approach to learning, learning from peers in groups, experiential and application oriented learning.
The case method of learning is one of the most used pedagogical approaches at IIM Tiruchirappalli . Almost all courses have sessions structured around case studies. The Institute encourages its faculty to follow the case method and faculty members are sent every year to participate in the Global Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning conducted annually by the Harvard Business School.
Learning through the case method entails discussion of real-life decision scenarios faced by business executives. The instructor acts as a lead discussant and facilitator. Students learn from their peers who add to discussion through their varied experiences. In addition to the concepts that are learnt through the discussion, students also learn key managerial skills such as analytical thinking, listening and persuasion through this method. On an average, a student of the Post Graduate Programme in Management undergoes 500 case studies of real managerial situations during their time at IIM Tiruchirappalli .
Learning from peers in groups:
We learn better in groups than as individuals. Most courses have a Group Evaluation Component, which may be a group submission, project, exercise etc. This enables students to learn from one another. We also learn better when we share our learning with our peers. Some faculty members have devised an innovative group exam, where students take part in quizzes in groups. We have found that such a group exam is not just an evaluative exercise to check student’s level of learning, but a learning opportunity itself to learn new things from their peers.
Learning from simulations and experiential exercises:
We learn from hands-on experiential exercises. Computer based simulation exercises emulates real business situations and gives students first-hand experience on some of the real-world scenarios related to the course. At IIM Tiruchirappalli , simulation exercises are sometimes used as part of the courses in addition to other pedagogical tools. A full length elective course entirely based on simulation of a company’s strategy formulation and execution is also being offered.
Courses on Quantitative Methods are taught with spreadsheets that improve improves student engagement as they are actively involved in the learning process. The use of spreadsheets to visualize information and to analyze different scenarios enhances conceptual understanding and will enable the students to make decisions based on data and careful analysis.
Learning from real life applications:
We learn more from practice. Most courses have submissions that require students to apply their learning on a real life company or managerial situations. Some of these submissions require our students to go out on the field and interact with companies to understand how the concepts they study in class unfold in practice. For example, in one of the courses last year, students worked on a live project under the guidance of course instructors and company professionals. Another example is students developing case videos on real life scenarios.
Guest Lectures from Practicing Professionals:
The course instructors are encouraged to invite practicing professionals from industry to deliver sessions as part of courses and share cutting edge industry knowledge and practice. Most courses have two sessions delivered by Industry Experts. This is in addition to the other opportunities students have to learn from practicing managers such as institute events, Insight Guest Lecture Series conducted by the institute, Drishtikon Series conducted by Learning Resource Centre, and events conducted by various student clubs. On an average, a student of the Post Graduate Programme in Management has an opportunity to listen to 50 such talks during their time at IIM Tiruchirappalli .
Learning from movies:
Some instructors have used movies/documentaries as part of their courses. Through vivid and easily understood depictions, movies enable students to empathize with the business and moral dilemmas faced by characters and plots. A full length elective course on morality and public policy designed entirely around movies is also being offered.