Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Simulated Learning technique for Business Communication

Business Communication forms the backbone of all professionals, whether they are managing the back office or the front end. Apart from external communication primarily with the external stakeholders of an organization, viz. customers, suppliers, government, society to name a few, internal communication within the organization forms the precursor for all external communications and even internal communications, held subsequently. Business meeting happens to be a routine affair for employees across industries, domains and departments. and therefore learning the nuances of planning, organizing, and conducting a meeting is an important prerequisite for all prospective professionals, more so the ones in different functions of Business Organizations. 
Business Communication being offered to the Diploma-I level students have a plethora of learning outcomes with a mix and match of theory and practical, encompassing a wide gamut of aspects pertaining to business communication, including but not limited to oral communication, written communication, formal communication, informal communication, real and virtual communication. Technology being one of the major enabler in business communication, the need to understand the basics of business meeting has increased manifold. Right from setting the agenda, formulating the meeting layout, writing the minutes, communicating with different members, donning different roles in the group viz. chairperson, secretary or even situation specific ones like Marketing Manager, Human Resource Manager or even Finance and Accounts Manager, calls for a hands on learning approach. This background motivated yours truly, along with his colleague, Mr. Munir to create a simulated assessment platform of business meeting for the students of Business Communication, whereby they actually implement the theoretical learning imbibed during the course of the classroom lecture . The students were given the opportunity to form group of 5 members each and were given a hypothetical situation pertaining to the discussion of a business plan for an Omani sweets company, by making a formal meeting agenda, plan and organize the actual meeting, in line with the learning extracted during the classroom based theoretical and practical learning. The students of section 3 and 4 tutored and monitored  by yours truly and section 1 and 3 by Mr. Munir did wonderfully well so as to conduct the actual meeting. They had not only understood the practicalities of a business meeting, but actually internalized the processes leading to the actual meeting, the discussion, finalization of the charters etc. In the process lot of cross learning related to the domains of business along with business communication took place, tangibly and intangibly. As a course tutor the learning derived were phenomenal simply because the latent abilities of the students, their creative and innovative instincts came to the fore, which otherwise lie partially dormant in a routine classroom discussion. The snaps and videos are being captured from the deliberations of section3 and section 4 respectively.

The video of two of the many groups performing the simulation can be observed from links below-

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