From teaching Business Research methods to a course on Lyrics management, Professor Dr. Divya Singhal talks about the importance of enthusiasm, energy and empathy to make the classroom experience engaging
In a frank and forthright interview, Dr. Divya Singhal, Doctoral Fellow, ICSSR Ministry of Human Resource Development and recipient of the prestigious President Guide Award, and now Associate Professor in the area of General Management at the Goa Institute of Management (GIM), says that learning takes on a whole new avatar at GIM, where the emphasis is on a holistic approach to solving problems.
How did someone with a journalism background like yours end up teaching at a management institute?
My family has always been involved in either the written word or in education; and as such, teaching and education have influenced my life greatly. Journalism was a chance career opportunity, but I’ve always thought of imparting knowledge to young minds as a most lively profession.
How long have you been at GIM and how would you describe your experience here?
This is my tenth year of working with GIM. I have learned, been guided by senior faculty and, consequently, gained in wisdom over these years. The freedom given to faculty members to experiment with new learning and teaching methods is what is so special about GIM.
Besides teaching Business Research methods, you also take an interesting course on Lyrics and Management. Please elaborate.
Lyrics and Management is a perspective building course that allows students to think on a wider plane. These days, organisations are focusing on sonic branding because the consumer is easily available on a sonic- interface. We discuss a variety of topics, such as jingles, social movements and lyrics, soft power, etc. Upon the completion of this elective course, students develop an understanding of the use of music in Advertising and Sonic Branding. They become aware of the integrated approach to music marketing in the focus areas of Advertising – TV and Radio. They can communicate effectively within business environments (musically), understand the music industry, and assess music as a soft-power and its use in the business arena. In short, the course helps them to successfully market to consumers in an ever-changing context.
GIM has always been known for using innovative and modern teaching pedagogy to make classroom learning more interesting. Please elaborate.
I will quote Professor Aswath Damodaran, who says, that to make any classroom experience more interesting, Enthusiasm, Energy and Empathy are very important. At GIM, the faculty’s main objective is to assist students in developing these qualities and internalising those values that make for effective leadership in organisations. Along with traditional teaching methods, the innovative teaching methodology includes three aspects: learning-centric pedagogy, extending learning beyond the classroom and the effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) and digital media. At GIM, we believe in creating an ambience where students contribute significantly and co-create value in the process of learning.
GIM strives to offer a holistic learning experience to students and groom them into well-rounded professionals of tomorrow. Can you throw some light on this process?
I would say that the Institute provides students with ample opportunity to grow holistically as responsible future managers/leaders. Today, it has become important to assess our management education curriculum and find ways of including social responsibility and sustainability issues into the academic curricula. GIM realised this fact in 2011 and incorporated social responsibility into their curriculum through a service-learning approach called the “GiveGoa initiative”. This initiative promotes social responsibility among the students of GIM through service to the less-privileged communities and thereby contributes to attaining the goal of a more inclusive society. At GIM, we are always exploring new ways to provide learning platforms where the promotion of responsible behaviour towards all stakeholders can be inculcated among future managers through practice, interaction and deeper reflection. This makes for well-rounded professionals of the future.
How supportive is GIM as far as letting you implement your ideas?
Flexibility and freedom to experiment is the biggest strength of a GIM faculty. Let me give you an example: the inspiration behind the Lyrics and Management course is a senior professor at our institute. He was very instrumental in motivating and guiding me in developing this course and in launching it.
What can students who are inclined towards research expect during their stint at the institute?
There is an ongoing global debate as to how useful research is in the management education context. But there is no doubt in my mind that research is very important. GIM, in its philosophy of education, details core functions which include:
- Generating knowledge through research that informs teaching and is informed by teaching
- Feeding research knowledge into teaching that can be viewed as a knowledge transfer process.
Posted on 02nd December 2015