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May 09, 2014

Great teaching aids

I strongly believe that teaching is a two way process. The teacher has to enjoy what he is teaching and the taught (the students) should enjoy what he is learning. The focus is not so much on rote learning as it is about skill and building the comprehension of the subject. The student should be able to understand the 5W and 1 H of the subject. That is Why, When, What, Where, Who and How. It is about the applications of the theory in real life to make the student first a better person and later a better manager. The regular teaching practices that I use include lecturing, case study presentations, role plays, group discussion, presentations and assignments.  Some of the creative teaching practices that I have used include:

1)      Greeting card game: A game that I have found on the internet is a great game for teaching marketing basics. It can be used for one day training for students who have either started their marketing course or even those who have finished the course. Greatest when it is played by marketers with 10 years of experience.  Greeting card game is a real life simulation game where the participants have to set up the business, run it and end up with a profit or a loss. Very interactive, I have conducted this game many times. This has become hugely popular and is now conducted by many in Hyderabad, in India an even abroad.
2)   Desert survival: A simple exercise lasting 45 to 60 minutes. It is real life simulation where the participants are thrown into a jungle and have to survive on limited resources. A game on communications and negotiation, the different ending simply blows the participants off their zone of comfort.  
3)        Chinese whispers and other simulations: Similarly many simulations games have been tried out. The most popular ones include the Chinese whispers, a lesson in verbal communication, Can you tell a story, a game about verbal communications and remembrance power and a game of strategy named show of cards where a team can win only by cooperating with the others.  
4)      A to Z qualities of a manager:  A unique presentation that was developed by me. This presentation shows a series of very carefully selected Indian advertisements. Each of the advertisements details a trait that the students have to identify. The student identifying the most attributes is declared the winner. The simplicity of this exercise leaves a lasting impression. 
5)      Using English Movies:  Movies are a very good way of driving home the concepts of Management. Dog day afternoon, The Negotiator and the 12 angry men are very good for communication and negotiation skills. In pursuit of happiness is a great movie for selling, sales management, dealing with stress, overcoming obstacles and barriers. Ten Commandments is a great movie on leadership fraught with danger but the hero’s unwavering pursuit of his conviction wins the admiration of all the students.
6)        Using Hindi movies: I have used Three idiots for telling about meaning and purpose of education and used  Lagaan, Chuk De for leadership , Bawarchi for great Human resource Management and  Tare Zameen Par for overcoming obstacles and handicaps in life, and mentoring the less privileged.
7)     I have even used a Telugu movie Narasimha for example which tells the students about inspirational paternalistic leadership.
8)    I have used a commercial to bond the class and make them prepare their own movies as assignments: I have taken a commercial “Lead India”. This inspirational advertisement bonded the entire class of Business Communication. The class used to sing the advertisement together. In the same class the student groups made video movies as part of their assignments. These movies were later discussed in the class and the discussions were very lively.
9)     Used English serials like apprentice, undercover boss:  I have used popular English serials like Apprentice a serial where the participants (actually aspiring entrepreneurs) compete with each other to win a coveted job with the Donald Trump’s business empire. Another series is the Undercover Boss USA where a CEO goes undercover to find out the problems faced by his employees. A great show that makes the CEO walk the talk.  
10)    Used Indian serials like Dream jobs, assignment for classes: I have used Indian series like Dream jobs where a person from one field takes up a dream job and learns about the problems and perspectives of that new job. The second series is about an employee from a very cushy corporate who has to take up a very humble assignment for a day and pull it off. Both very good case studies of situational adaptability.
11)  Taken inputs from programmes like All about Ads, Story Board, Brand equity etc.: Indian television has many television programmes that can be used in the calls room. I have many times used “All about Ads” of NDTV Profit, “Storyboard” of CNBC India and “Brand Equity” of ET Now.  
12)     I have taken part in nearly 30 TV programmes as a management expert. I have recordings of all the episodes and these recordings are used to explain the finer points. I have uploaded some of these videos so that students anywhere in the world can download and watch it at their convenience.
13)   I have started a blog and use the blog many times in the class. I have used my blog “” to explain the concepts of marketing. I can use the blog for a reading session, can make the students take assignments from it and tell the students how the blog is set up and managed.
14)    Used Quizzes, flash cards:  I have used interactive and multimedia based quizzes and flash cards to make the topics more interesting & more appealing to the internet savvy new generation students.
15)    Divya Resorts case study: I have done something very innovative. I have developed a case about a resort called “Divya Resort”. The students had come prepared with the case and had a very long and hard hour of case discussion. At the end of the discussion one man stood up. It was the MD of the Divya Resorts, Lokesh. Seeing the MD of the company they had just discussed really charged up the students. They grilled the MD and the MD accepted that the insights of the students were very useful. 
16)    Ries report:  I have used videos of Ries report a video magazine to bring home the finer points about the basic principles of marketing.
17)   World’s ultimate factories: I have a large collection of the National Geographic series “The ultimate factories”. It is a very good series for production and operation management students. The series shows how famous products are manufactured. There is a great amount of detailing in this series.  
18)   Have a great collection of Business documentaries that are used in the class. Business documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11, the smartest guys in the room and the insider job are great documentaries to know about the 9th September 2001 attack of USA, about the Enron collapse and about the subprime lending crisis of 2008.
19)     How do they make it series: a simple but a great TV series which shows how small products like ice cream or even bubble gum are manufactured. Great for induction classes in business management.
20)     Used dramatics in personality development: Along with Dr. Bhavani I have used a dramatics team from central university, Hyderabad to teach personality development and communication through dance and drama. This initiative was greatly appreciated.  
21)   Did outbound training: Taken over 300 students for a total of six days of outbound training to a resort. The students did activities like rock climbing, trekking, river crossing and many other activities that tested the students both physically and mentally. It was a great learning experience for the students and for the faculty.
22)     Samanvay a great learning experience:  The annual cultural fest od SSIM was a great way for the students to learn about the nuances of management. They learned to plan, organize, budget, get the sponsors and execute a grand event. The success of the Samanvay coordinators in the corporate world proves the point that theory when put into practice will hone the skills of the students and make then market ready managers.
23)    Used Facebook for connectivity and for clarifying doubts: I have used Facebook to connect with the students. Students come on to the chat and ask for many clarifications. I also advise the students on net etiquette.   
24)  Did online testing: I have done online testing on many occasions. The speed of the result and immediate discussion of the questions make online testing very popular. Effective feedback can be given on the spot.  
25)    Used TV for teaching learning process: I have used live TV especially the budget presentation and YouTube to show the students how the world is rapidly changing all around them.  
26)  Used puzzles, riddles, small stories: I have used puzzles, pictures, jigsaw puzzles, scale models, collages and word games all to make the class more interactive and get the students to open up and participate in the classroom discussion.
27)  I have conducted Mystery shopping at TMC. Mystery shopping is an unique Retail Sales personnel measurement Metric Study which was jointly conducted by me, the marketing department and by the students of SSIM. This led to a very fruitful interaction with TMC staff where they could examine the correctness of their customer service strategies. The research findings were later published in a form of a research paper in a reputed academic journal.

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