The BA Corner

The Official Newsletter of Business Administration Division, MUIC
Issue Jan-June 2020
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Receiving Valuable Ideas
AROUND THE CORNER:
Life Away From Face-To Face
Students And Alumni Focus Groups
NEXT STEP:
Moving Forward

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

Receiving Valuable Ideas

MUIC BA Advisory Board Meeting

The Business Administration Division (BA) of Mahidol University International College (MUIC) held its annual Advisory Board Meeting on January 21, 2020 at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel.

Asst. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, M.D., Dean of MUIC, along with College executives and faculty members of the BA Division attended the committee meeting. Dr. Kandapa Thanasuta, BA Division Chairperson, presented the Division’s strategic plan. This was followed by a presentation entitled “The Future of Learning,” by Mr. James Engel, Chief Learning Architect of the Southeast Asia Center (SEAC). Afterwards, there was a brainstorming session where the board members offered suggestions on three areas, namely, the future business education system, graduates’ competencies and skills, and university-industry collaborations.

Advice from Board members were valuable to the BA division and will be incorporated into the division’s strategic plan.

Students And Alumni Focus Groups

On March 13, 2020, the BA Division conducted focus groups to hear feedback from current students and alumni regarding curriculum revision. Both positive and constructive comments were provided for future improvement.

Several critical comments include …

“Lesson should be less theory-based and more project-based in which students can execute in real life.”

“It is important to see a holistic picture of how each subject links and how they apply in practice.”

“More digital related courses such as Data Mining, Data Visualization, Data Analytics, Omni-channel, and etc.”

“Hard skills should be balanced with soft skills.”

“Curriculum needs to adapt quickly because the lessons are obsolete very fast.”

“Buffet courses to choose according to interest would be nice.”

“Curriculum and activities should assist students in discovering themselves.”

AROUND THE CORNER: Life away from face-to face class instruction

Experiencing online instruction

Since the pandemic of COVID-19, online classes have become the cornerstone of MUIC and are now the only option that teachers have to continue teaching during periods of campus closure. The BA Division has made a complete transition to online teaching since mid-March 2020.  

To facilitate student learning and provide social care and interaction, the digital learning management systems which support instruction, learning, grading, collaboration and assessment such as Google Classroom, e-learning, etc. habe been employed. The collaborative platforms that support live-streaming communication such as Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Team have been adopted.  The supporting tools and software such as Mentimeter, Educreation, and Camtesia have also been integrated.  The class content now gears toward more self-directed learning content and as been redesigned specifically for digital devices to make the online lectures and discussion more engaging. 

Amidst this chaos, there is a new learning experience. COVID-19 has led to the unconditional adoption of digital technologies into the teaching and learning environment. Many faculty and students alike, are stepping out of their “normal” comfort zone into a “new normal” learning zone. At least the first step has been taken. The next steps are still to be explored to ensure the delivery and attainment of quality teaching and learning.

Top 5 concerns

  • Have stress of online learning; difficult to understand contents, materials, stay focusing and less motivation.
  • Difficult to have communication, interaction, Q&A, and discussion
  • Online teaching should be more interactive to keep students motivated. Most Ajarns spend less time to teach, but let students too much study by ourselves through videos/slides.
  • Unstable internet or Wi-Fi quality/Internet or Wi-Fi lacking/online application error when studying.
  • Too many assignments to work on.

Digital generation and online learning

There is no secret that university students make up the generation that has widely adopted and is most familiar with digital technologies of today.  Now that higher education learning has shifted to online platforms, how well have university students responded?

Top 5 comfort

  • Have more time
  • No need to go to the university
  • Have no need to wake up early
  • Become more convenient to study
  • Teachers’ lecture notes/slides/videos given for self-study after classes allow students to repeat watching if not understand.

Work-From-Home (WFH) internship

The COVID-19 pandemic has jump-started a “new normal” working environment – work-from-home (WFH). Many businesses in Thailand, and all around the world, have implemented the WFH initiative in order to maintain social distancing and at the same time to ensure that their operations run smoothly.

The BA Division realizes the significance of students’ external internships. Therefore, the Division has worked closely with its industry partners such as Accenture, Hitachi Consulting, UOB, and Ogilvy, to establish the feasibility of WFH models in order to ensure that internships during the ‘new normal’ of Trimester 3 (during the pandemic) will provide students with professional work experience in a safe and structured environment.

“It good to stay home and safe. However, supervisor coaching requires face-to-face to a certain extent.”

“Some experiences are missing. We cannot go out to meet our clients in person.”

Nonetheless, the number of companies that have offered WFH internship have been limited. Not all businesses offer a WFH policy. Consequently, some students have had to enroll in the practicum course, ‘Business Plan’, which is designed to prepare students with critical skills on how to jump start a business from inception to the investor pitch. Students are expected to receive practical experience as if they were to have completed an internship.

NEXT STEP: Moving Forward

It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of disseminating knowledge through online learning technology. Digitization and other new technologies continue to transform the world of education. In moving forward, the BA Division plans to make e-learning, or distance learning, a part of the ‘new normal’, after it has experienced the benefits first-hand. Post-pandemic, the future of learning at the MUIC BA Division for both undergraduate and graduate programs, will be a mixed execution between offline and online class engagement.

To prepare for the new teaching and learning experiences, the BA Division at MUIC is working with the SEAC in developing a course for instructors to know how to redesign the teaching experience. At the same time, the integration of soft skills into the curriculum by experienced instructors from the SEAC is currently under a review.

The BA Division is working closely with leading universities, e.g. Macquarie University, Australia in developing dual degree programs for students. Once course equivalencies and official documents are approved, MUIC students will have broader opportunities for exposure to the international learning environment.

SHARING THOUGHTS For comments to and suggestions for the MUIC BA Division, please direct them to…BA email address

02-7005000 ext 4471-4