New Paradigms of Teaching for New Generation Learners By Prof Ramola Kumar, Dean, The Delhi School of Communication


Today, when the question of higher studies arises, the sole purpose is that students aspire to build their credentials and enhance employment value. It is critical here to appreciate the difference between a job and a career. Analysing the situation today, teaching alternatives open to students are:

a) brick and mortar (old technology)
b) tech-oriented (new technology)
c) human-oriented (human touch)

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Looking at this scenario, I would think that the ideal situation would be a combination of all the three options.

Consider the new GenX students today. They are tech-savy, using various tools. Awareness levels are high but because attention spans are low, they are easily distracted. Interests are scattered which indicate lack of depth. Sometimes they appear even confused and need a lot of counseling. Plus the art of asking questions has almost been forgotten.

Additionally, the new GenX students are high on ideation which makes them experimental and entrepreneurial. In this age of ‘instant’ coffee and fast food, it often happens that ideas may be great, but they are not carried forward effectively and eventually fail.

If you consider teaching methodology, there is a clear difference between the old and the new. The old method (by ‘rote’) depends on lectures, seminars, debates, films, theatre, workshops and the advantages are clear. As students go through the grind of learning, teacher conviction is high and so are inspiration levels. Personalised connectivity is high, highlighting high energy levels and the students also improved communication skills through this process.

The new method that has evolved, exposes students to webinars, Skype interactions, video conferencing, online courses and more. The advantages point to – gaining speedy information (anytime-anywhere), going beyond geographical borders. But the disadvantages are that it can be subject to technical flip-flops, there is poor people interaction affecting Group Dynamics. Mainly, the ‘touch’ factor – ie the human factor, is missing.

Therefore, I would say that the desired technology should be a combination of the two: the old and the new. And I would call this – the ‘high tech’ method vs the ‘high touch’ method. In this way it would ensure that the mass of information accessed can develop thinking capability and lead to a learning process that can help them deal with all kinds of people and through this, create Critical Group Dynamics. (CGD). What is important is the need to hold attention for specified time spans, which is possible through interactive teaching – ie role play, workshops, theatre, drama and games.

So, the road ahead should point to the teacher’s role as a ‘guru-friend-mentor’. In this role, the teacher can also be inspirational and direct young talent in the right direction. Students should be nudged to ‘think ahead’, by providing greater challenges for them to overcome.

Author is Prof. Ramola Kumar, Dean,
The Delhi School of Communication

Prof. Ramola Kumar

An academician for over 25 years now. An MBA from Ottawa University, Prof. Kumar headed the IMT, Delhi for over 7 years & thereafter worked with The Times School of Marketing (TSM). In 1995 she co-founded the prestigious The Delhi School of Communication (DSC) where she is currently Dean, DSC.

Prof. Kumar specialises in teaching Marketing, Strategy & Branding to senior executives and students. She has conducted numerous workshops on Communication Management, Time & Stress Management to name a few.

She has also written several articles & has even appeared twice on Doordarshan’s popular ‘Evening Live Show’ since May 2011, counseling individuals on Time & Stress Management.

A proficient poet she has authored more than 6 books, including a crossword in Marketing and Communication. A guru to many of her students, she loves spending time with them as also painting and singing in her free time.

  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Business Games
  • Communication Skills
  • Crisis Management
  • Personality Development & Grooming
  • Public Speaking
  • Business Communication
  • Times and Stress Management
  • Presentation Skills

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