Business Transformation

The Sociomaterial Flip

Learning has always been a part and parcel of each one of us, at infrequent but on a regular intervals. Many don’t realize and many consider themselves learned enough. I agree to many that learning is for lifetime, even for the learned. While I was passing through my two decades of hands-on exposure to professional operations and academia, I came across the pre module guide. This enabled me to reinvent myself from referring the text books (which again was rare) during my schooling as the only resort till the teacher would ask to turn to page number x’ to be read and discussed in the class. But when I encountered this pre-content at home, and practiced the same in the consequent delivery sessions aided by a mentor, it meant an improvised integrated traditional learning.

In the next few years, yet to reach three decades (old enough wine myself) I got introduced to various innovation of dissemination as a facilitator for eg: digital representations of topics especially practical sessions, self styled library as a resource, real plays from simulation exercises and most importantly a strong colleagues’ relationship under a great administrator where we propose and exchange ideas to discuss what best can be done, respecting the academic freedom of individual facilitators, to accomplish the common goal of students learning. Needless to say, everyone grows, when the team grows and thus the organization as a whole.

SOCIOMATERIAL – We cannot blindly blame the lockdown for the advent of online education practices that are prevalent by large. The process had started and actually been practiced by many and here to stay. This is a beautiful and fruitful amalgamation of human – the students’ community being the largest stakeholders of mankind and digital technology. How good or how bad is the influence and effect, cannot be commented. The blend of the student–teacher interaction one to one and online content aid individually or in designated batches. The concept is more of the team effort of the offline learning and online learning working together.

GURUKUL, REDEFINED – We have been the blessed ones when it comes to the education in the Indian context. Talking about the traditional education system and definitely the classroom benches, chalks and especially the teacher mentors, will continue to be the role models and inspirers for our lifetime. Just the next gradual step is the online teaching methodology with its own set of challenges which every endeavor encompasses. It has its set of pros and cons. While it adapts to time management that is flexible with reminders that can ease the students’ and teachers’ learning, there can have technological and network issues and inattentive blindness.

STAKEHOLDERS – The team members comprise of the first and foremost, who initiate this process, yes the parents, the students, teachers and school management. While taking over the charge as parents in school by the teachers, the handover of the parents and follow up as the teacher back home by the parents have been a great responsibility accomplished two-way. Listening to their wards, understanding their tutoring or re-tutoring needs, exposing them to student-preneurship  learning and standing by them at all times gives them a positive progressive approach.

e-LEARNING, BE LEARNING – In the process of sharing the e-content and assignments, we graduated to the next level. We have been a part of the project based learning since schooling and this topped up with online mode of learning has added feathers to the intensity of understanding. Every student is different and uniquely talented. The intensity definitely is directly proportional to the acquisition levels of the individual students and an assurance that every student and teacher learns in the process. Take time and learn.

FLIP TO ADAPT – With the recent reform of the resorting to the online delivery, I would like to place on record that the teachers’ fraternity as a whole who may not have been hands-on but adapted the system and believe me, are at teaching best as always even when facing the gadget instead of the students in person. The facilitators have adapted to the new academic styling and have developed the take away content apt that suits the understanding of each student. Especially the new lesson plan conceptualized and planning a new time interval frame. There are various online platforms to access, and the teaching community along with the school management is constructively devising the dissemination. It has added a new angle to the content development too. The interaction is improving the communication, notes and a new relationship status – “Digitally Yours”.

AUDIENCE TO ADEPT – While talking of the student’s perception of the new learning, there can be little concerns like singular teaching aid – maximum screen space exposure can be monotonous and lack the focus on the learning interest, mental health issues which need personal counseling, tedious to record the learning continuity of subject/ notes/ assignment of individual student and may lack emotional connect. There is a possibility to result in a comparatively lesser grasping to the one-to-one classroom interface, but because of the concerted efforts of the teachers to keep it interesting with text notes, videos and power point presentations resolves the issue. With this access to the students’ learning support, the institutions are being responsible enough to ensure curriculum is future proof and taking care of the cyber safety not compromising o the learning standards in grooming the citizens of India.

When the learning facilitators are busy in this time of adaptive adoption and adventurous experimentation in providing the online enabled learning, I would like to agree with many in employing the blended learning through flipped classroom and both, self- directed and project based learning. It is always an inquisitive affair to know the unknown and do the lesser known; only to polish the skill of digital literacy. This is to develop the faculties and students’ attitudes about the quality of technology-enabled learning, proactive human behavior and facilitate the sharing of expertise to a greater target audience in different geographic locations.

Each day is a Teacher’s Day and Children’s Day


Written by Salla Vijay Kumar.

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Dr. Salla Vijay Kumar
Dr. Salla Vijay Kumar, is senior lecturer at Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Ahmedabad, widely considered to be one of the India's best hospitality and hotel management schools. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from Kadi Sarva Vishwavidyalaya (KSV), an M.Phil from Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), and a B.Sc. (H & H.A.) degree from IGNOU from Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Ahmedabad. He has 5 years of International & National industrial exposure at Holiday Inn, Ahmedabad, Baisan International, Bahrain, and Sarovar Group, Ahmedabad, and teaching at Baisan Institute of Hotel Management, Bahrain; he is serving IHM Ahmedabad since 2002.


Dr. Salla Vijay Kumar is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.