Peer Learning, Leadership And Teamwork At IIM Raipur

It’s been typical B-school day, hectic with lots of submission due at 23:59:59, already been 00:00:00 and our group decided to sit and brainstorm, of course with Lays and Cold drink, for our Business Communication presentation scheduled tomorrow morning. As usual we thought to use a digital channel for allocation of work for presentation but unfortunately our business communication professor has introduced the surprise element, the infamous elimination round, which forced all of us to go for the conventional undigitized format. Brainstorming helped us to list down various topics such as Entrepreneurship culture at IIM Raipur, Equinox 6, but we as a group narrowed it down and selected the topic Peer learning, Leadership and Teamwork at IIM Raipur.

Research shows that students find it hard to grasp and process all the information during a typical lecture. Cognitive scientists found that project-based learning and other interactive approaches such as peer learning are far more effective and help students learn better. Peer Learning, a concept out from cognitive psychology, commonly applicable in today’s mainstream educational system, helps in co-construction of knowledge stretches beyond the classroom discussions. Team work on the other hand helps in building inter-personal skills. Working in team makes people learn how to coordinate schedules, meet deadlines and most importantly offers support to each other. Effective education leadership makes difference in improving learning. The Post Graduate Programme at IIM Raipur is designed in such a way that it helps in building a responsible manager through Peer-led Team Learning (PTLT), which enhances  peer learning, leadership skills and team working ability. This teaching model offers active learning environment and opportunities to co-share knowledge as well as to take up role of peer-leaders which is appropriate for development of students at every stage of their life.

For the students at IIM Raipur, being a leader is not just about getting the task done, rather it is about bringing the best of out of everyone while collectively leading them towards the goal. This quality can be enhanced by participating in the various activities conducted by the numerous clubs and committees covering distinct fields from arts, culture, and entrepreneurship to academics. Institute also offers students a platform to test their leadership ability at global level. This is evident from the various foreign exchange programmes and international level competitions which the institute encourages the students to participate in. Apart from out of class experiences, the pedagogies including group assignment or working in live projects which enable students not only to enhance their knowledge but allows them to build their leadership skills, which enriches the life of the students post self-study hours.

Leadership and teamwork are the two extremes of a continuum. While we do not undermine the importance of a leader in the success of a team, the critical factor always remains to be the team itself, as a single unit. At IIM Raipur, teamwork has evolved to be an integrated part of the culture over the past 5 years. The students take great pride in what they achieve while working together and go to great lengths to co-ordinate with the team, at times sacrificing their individual goals. They achieve this by individually playing to their strengths and complementing each other as a team. Mostly the team work is done when students have to work on assignments or group projects. A team of 5 to 6 work together with each working in their respective areas of interest and strengths. Seeing this from a different perspective, whole of the institute works as team during important events like HR summit, GSMC, etc. The best example of this is when our director himself helped students with arranging the infrastructure during the initial years of the institute. This shows the importance of teamwork as a part of the culture and how it developed over the years at IIM Raipur.

While working in a team, one gets to see everyone at their best helping him or her to learn from their peers and add value to one’s own professional as well as personal life. The profiles of the students cater to various educational backgrounds enabling them with a wide variety of skill sets. Peer learning starts right from day one, when the students attend the orientation programme and get to know each other for the first time. This is enhanced when they work on the assignments, presentations and prepare for the exam in a group and enhance each other’s knowledge. This learning leaves a deep impact on the personality of the student and develops them into a better person by changing them from the inside out. By the end of the programme, each one of them carries a little bit of the other students in his nature and personality.

Students enter the campus with a lot of dreams, hopes and aspirations and IIM Raipur ensures that they take away more than what they can ask for or dream of. The memories of team work, of occasions where one had to lead and of the learning that one gets from his peers, transforms one into an entirely different individual by the end of their journey. All in all, we can conclude that IIM Raipur adds lot more than a professional degree to one’s life.