Icfai Online MBA: Building On A Legacy of Academic Excellence

Education is a social institution in all its glory. More particularly, for its function to serve the needs of society making it indispensable for the same society to survive and thrive. It should be not only comprehensive, sustainable, and superb, but must constantly evolve to meet the challenges of the fast-changing and unpredictable globalized world. This evolution must be systemic, consistent, and scalable. Therefore, school teachers, college professors, administrators, researchers, and policy makers are expected to innovate the theory and practice of teaching and learning, as well as all other aspects of this complex organization to ensure quality preparation of all students to life and work.

Crisis requires society to renew itself, albeit in a disruptive way. The Covid19 pandemic was a reminder of that. Education has, and is still undergoing radical transformations driven by the need to digitalize education and training processes in record time. To that effect, the education fraternity in India has demonstrated exceptional caliber to improvise with difficult times on the back of technology. Riding this wave, is the pioneer in management education and innovations operating at a pan Indian level ICFAI.

ICFAI has been a pioneer even before innovation was a buzzword in education. The institution has produced several ‘industry firsts' over the years. ICFAI pioneered private Universities in multiple states in the first decade of this century with focus on management, technology, law, education and select social sciences. It has also pioneered in distance education finance and management for over three decades.

"Icfai Has Been A Pioneer In Innovations In Finance And Management Education Since The Mid 1985"

It is a global leader in case development with worldwide customers both in the publications, business schools and corporate space. Employability competency development and placements have been the focus right from the inception of its diverse management education initiatives. To that end, ICFAI has now forayed into the fully online education segment with its Online MBA program.

The Online MBA program offered by the ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education is designed for a fundamental transformation in management stream. This benefits the busy executive just as much as the ever curious beginners who are drawn towards a zillion things that digital throws at them daily.

What are these advancements?
Insights from three fields of study relevant for education have converged with technology for the design of the fully Online MBA. Those include powerful principles of educational psychology, agile approach to learning and assessment design, and empirical evidence from global corporate learning and development initiatives.

Its application spans a gargantuan array of aspects as below:
i.The case and simulation approach designed for microlearning.
ii.Flexibility of place, time and method.
iii.Learning which is object oriented and not conventional procedural learning.
iv.Every learning object is sized from 2 minutes to 15 minutes.
v.Every learning object is centered on a management story.
vi.There are thousands of such learning objects.
vii.For every learning object there is something new to learn.
viii.Every learning object is a potential multiplier of learning not just additive.
ix.Continuous assessment is for learning and not merely of learning

Early Pioneer in Management Education
ICFAI has been a pioneer in innovations in finance and management education since the mid 1985. It has been the first mover in many areas, be it introduction of the financial analysis focus, the hub and spoke model of management education, the case study method, pioneering multiple private universities, and the emphasis on education in the North East as well.

Icfai Takes Pride In Some Of The Unique & Essential Value Propositions That Keep The Institution’s Pedagogy One-Of-A-Kind

Sharing his insights on the current scenario of the MBA program in India, Prof. R. Prasad, Director, Academic Wing, ICFAI Group says, “The MBA is one of the most popular degrees at post graduate level with India having the maximum number of students pursuing the program. Yet the outcomes on competencies and employability are far from desirable as reported by surveys. Only the best institutions are able to do justice. Their intake is however limited.” Throwing light on the Online MBA program’s importance and objective, he adds, “ICFAI’s Online MBA seeks to provide quality management education combining knowledge skills and mindsets for building competencies which lead to innovation, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, a dire need in today’s India. It seeks to leverage the work experience of the candidate and pivot them to add value in their organizations through problem identification and solution needed for innovation in a world of change”.

Exceptional Methodologies at Play
ICFAI takes pride in some of the unique &essential value propositions that keep the institution's pedagogy one-of-a-kind. Learning is simplified and amplified through the learning object design. The combination of the case method placed in a microlearning setting achieves the same. Secondly, learning outcomes are achieved through learning engagement. The engaging exercises are architected to deliver a pyramid of learning outcomes from the fundamental to creation of a real life solution creation. This is done through the large database of P2P (Practice to Precept to Practice) exercises or what is called at ICFAI- engaging exercises. The outcomes include conceptual frameworks in a contextualized setting thereby making learning and skills transferable to real life settings.

Moreover, right from day one, concepts are brought out through thousands of micro and nano cases. Similarly all exercises have a context focus into which the conceptual framework fits. Both these are essential to build in transferable skills in managers. Focus is also laid on Learning Assurance. The learner journey is mapped with respect to learner profile and goals and feedback given periodically on the journey viz goals and outcomes.

The Career Development Journey becomes the most crucial out of the lot, given the students concern regarding placements and job opportunities. ICFAI ensures that the journey across the program maps the learning journey with analytics and complements it with Career Services support to enable specified semester career mapping milestones.

A Surefooted Unique Approach to Placements
The support for the career journey starts at entry through mapping the learner profile and expectations in the selection process. The students who enroll for the Online MBA program gather experience even as they learn, whether they are working executives or fresh graduates. In ICFAI’s Online MBA program, the career options are diverse and personalized unlike in a campus program where the cohorts are fairly uniform.

Shaping careers is primarily about what the institution does in the program. It is then supplemented by Career Services, which is a combination of Student Analytics which map the learning journey, Student Clubs, Career Counselling Services, Course Projects, Virtual Workplace Learning Experiences, Mentoring and Startup support.

The program is carefully designed to provide learning outcomes for multiple aspirations fresh graduates, those looking at vertical or lateral movement, those aspiring to start or grow a business. The thousands of scenarios, nano and micro cases combined with the learning methodology broaden the learner’s visibility into managerial problems at various levels and various approaches to addressing it. The faculty and industry expert interactions in a variety of settings compliment the learning outcomes.

The stages include development of a personal development plan, self-awareness, career exploration and career choice. These are part of learning assurance plan, and development of the Student Portfolio which showcases the relevant competencies developed by the student beyond the academic achievements. This dual focus through the program and career support enables building of competencies to seek personalized job openings a requirement for those with diverse experiences.

To that effect, ICFAI Online also conducts WiseViews Interactive Webinar series every Friday wherein distinguished guest speakers from all walks of life come together to share their industry insights and their journey being an entrepreneur.

Future is about Constant Innovation
As evident by now, ICFAI has been in the forefront of implementing international best practices so that global mobility of its students is facilitated. It was a pioneer in implementing the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) way back in 1995 within the MBA program itself.

This global culture continues even now with the institute’s proactive support given to students in doing Coursera courses and other Massively Open Online Course(MOOC) modules, which is the global trend for achievers.

ICFAI also realized the need to integrate virtual meeting and learning platforms for the conduct of online classes and wasted no time in utilizing platforms like YouTube, Moodle, Vimeo and its own inhouse LMS software ‘Quicforce’, to record and publish lectures for the benefit of students.

Along with this, ICFAI leveraged another inhouse application that generates reports from the LMS to help track the activities of students and faculty. The institute has adapted well to the changing times and ensured that its stakeholders are adequately trained to meet these challenges as well.

Stressing on the importance of innovation in higher education, Prof. R. Prasad says, “To innovate, organizations and individuals need to reimagine their business models and processes. This opens up tremendous opportunity for fully online management programs where people don’t need to be away from their workplace or homes. The days where one compulsorily needs to visit a campus physically to learn fully is now being challenged, particularly with the ongoing pandemic. Such education however needs to be outcome driven and suit the learner and his organization. This requires a paradigm shift in how learning is designed and delivered. Dynamic learning design and architecture is required based on learner needs. Learning products, engagements and assignments need to learner centric”. Professor has played a significant role in the designing and delivery of the innovative and learner centric fully online MBA program. Over the years he and his team has designed thousands of microlearning objects suitable for such audiences. Technology has enabled to digitize it in multiple formats suitable for learner choice.

Prof. R.Prasad, Director, Academic Wing
Professor Prasad is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. He carries strong professional skills in Business Planning, Coaching, Entrepreneurship, Lecturing, and Instructional Design. His contributions toward the Online MBA program at ICFAI have been pivotal to the success of this course.