IIMB is not only encouraging entrepreneurship in various forms, but also has infused this spirit it in its own employees’ blood. From this emerged the fascinating story of IIMBx, the fastest growing Indian start-up in MOOC’s space, solving the problem of lack of access to quality management education. Currently IIMBx has announced 24 courses, for which 2,75,000 students from 185 countries have enrolled. I’m standing in their office, everyone is busy working and it appeared to be a big hassle. I wondered what are those people up to and how it all started? Here’s what they have to say. Above is the picture of the team who aren’t afraid to dream big.
In 2014, the then Director of IIMB, Sushil Vachani had a clear vision for IIM Bangalore to get on to MOOC bandwagon even before coming back; while he was working as a professor at Boston University. Almost in less than a week into taking charge, he initiated IIMBx on August 2nd, 2014 the only management school to be part of edX from India. The first team member of IIMBx, Ms. Ramya Srinivasan, the woman of mettle joined as the product manager. She said that “I remember Sushil Vachani asking me if I was willing to take it up. I was naïve then and had absolutely no-clue of the scale but thought it would be “exciting”, so boarded on the roller coaster ride. It’s a big wave on which all of us are still riding, before one sub-project stabilizes and ends we have another one lined-up every month.”
Before IIMBx, team was trying to structure digital learning initiative for professors to improve their teaching. From taking baby steps they leaped into this incredible journey of making and shaping IIMBx. They travelled all over the world to get gain the know-hows of MOOCs. In September they had their first hire, an instructional designer and by November, they had 5 professors on board willing to be part. Before launching their first course in July 2015, like any other start-up they had their own ups and downs with projects getting stalled and few unaired courses. Since then, for team IIMBx quickly lot of things fell into place. Now with a dedicated video team and pool of research assistants has now become a factory for MOOCs. In next three years, they aim to produce 100 courses and to promote blended learning (MOOC + in-classroom learning/ assessment). It not only enriches Indian faculty quality but solves problem of access to management education in every corner of India.
A team member, Girish Gurjar, said it is more of semi-corporate culture and that IIMB is nurturing a new breed of educationists who have best of both academic and corporate worlds. Being uniquely poised and in direct collaboration with MIT, epicenter of online learning movement, the team takes pride in passing on new pedagogies, best of assessment and engaging practices into India. The possibility of massive reach… is what motivates the team. To know more about certification and courses offered, check out https://www.edx.org/school/iimbx