VEGETABLE SOUP FOR MANAGEMENT TEACHERS

By
Harsh Purohit
Lecturer, International Business and Finance
WISDOM
Banasthali Vidyapith-304022, Rajasthan
harshpurohit@flashmail.com

Teaching is basically a service relationship. As service providers, professors face multiple challenges as a result of the unique nature of a service encounter.

Faculty evaluation by students is a regular part of MBA programme at WISDOM, Banasthali Vidyapith. Based on students' feedback for teachers (including myself) and sharing discussions with Dean, WISDOM and MBA students, I am sharing views that aim at improving the attitude of management teachers:                                                                                                                                

1. Be open to constructive criticism. Accept student input or criticism in a positive way. Never be defensive and or try to contradict students with whom you disagree. Always make them feel they have something to contribute. Have students do written, anonymous, mid semester assessments of the instructor. This shows students you are open to assessment and change.

2. Help students outside class. Sincerely state that you are here to help students and that you are willing to talk at any time. List office hours, special help sessions, and telephone numbers (even home number) in your syllabus. Welcome students to your office with a smile instead of avoiding their attention or continuing to stare at your computer screen/books etc.

3. Make students feel welcome to ask for additional help. Encourage students to call whenever they need you. Use an open-door policy during your office hours. Show nonverbal cues of welcome. Smile and say " Thank you for asking." \when students have substandard grades; ask them to meet with you to review the material.

4. Demonstrate enthusiasm. Show your love and respect for teaching from the first class to the last, using good voice tone and gestures. Demonstrate a sincere desire to prepare students for their futures. Use real-world examples and illustrations that the student can relate to.

5. Motivate students to learn. Give a motivational talk at the first class and express the importance of learning the material being presented for their careers. Share personal background and professional experience to inspire students. Explain in detail your expectations and provide challenging goals for your course. Design quizzes and participation points and use other devices for extra credit.

6. Encourage discussion and comments. Do not show verbally and nonverbally that " I know it all" or " I am superior to you." Invite questions and comments voluntarily by occasionally calling names. Always recognize the merit of comments. Never respond negatively or embarrass the student. Small group exercises with special topics tend to facilitate more discussion.

7. Demonstrate that you are " considerate" of students. Be personable and friendly Ask for students' input about your teaching methods. Be flexible in changing dates (exams and make-ups) for special reasons. Allow students to make meeting appointments outside normal office hours. Try to be a personal counselor on student problems.

8. Generate a feeling of equality among students. Treat all students equally regardless of intelligence level, gender, ethnic background, age, and so on Do not play favorites. Do not ask the same student all of the questions. Consider using student roll numbers on tests, ensuring blind grading for fairness.

9. Show respect toward the students. Recognize students who prepare well for class and try to find some value in every comment. Pause for extended periods to allow for student input. Treat students as first-class citizens. Be business-like but relaxed. Basic punctuality (beginning and ending of class) helps reflect a level of respect for students.

10. Have a positive attitude toward the class and students. This is the last commandment but the most important because all of the earlier commandments depend on it. Always exhibit a kind, caring attitude. Try to demonstrate very positive feelings toward your class and students by knowing every one of them.

Recognizing that challenges exist is an important first step toward achieving a more rewarding learning experience. The successful classroom experience can only be attained if both students and professor work together. No one party can produce an excellent service encounter in isolation. Furthermore, it is not enough that we teach students what we consider to be valuable concepts. Students will not be excited if that do not perceive something to be of value. And a lack of excitement will undoubtedly diminish the level of satisfaction they have, which starts a vicious circle of further reducing the level of interest. In our attempt to add and create value for our students, we may do well to pay some attention to the idea of value for our students, we may do well to pay some attention to the idea of value disciplines as discussed earlier. Professors, just like anyone else, of course also take into account what they perceive to be their mission in life. Picking the right value discipline requires very careful thinking and an evaluation of ones own objectives as well as strengths and weaknesses. But if the basic premise is to make the learning experience one of value for the students, then the value disciplines at least provider a helpful guide in our journeys.

A useful first step toward creating value in the classroom is to be more cognizant of what the various stakeholders want. This does not of course mean that faculty members should reduce their course offerings to the lowest common denominator or do what is popular. What we suggest is that faculty members should consider whether the training they are providing meets the needs of the worlds around us. By this we mean the students who have paid to receive this education, the future employer who will pay for the services of these graduates, society at large who will (or not) be served by these educated adults, and so on, What we as faculty members do within the confines of the classroom has significant impact on the world beyond the classroom walls. If we put on blinders and focus only teaching what we prefer to teach or what in our opinion is the right thing to do, we will have committed " marketing myopia"

(THE AUTHOR EXPRESSES HIS GRATITUDE TO MBA STUDENTS AND DEAN, WISDOM FOR THEIR SUPPORT)

Harsh Purohit
Lecturer, International Business and Finance
WISDOM
Banasthali Vidyapith-304022, Rajasthan
harshpurohit@flashmail.com

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