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