Interview With Dr. Y. Lakshman Kumar: Academic Transformation Through Technology

Interview With Dr Y. Lakshman Kumar: Academic Transformation Through Technology

Today, we live in a knowledge-oriented society, where technology can address the challenges of education by creating more open sources for better learning. To provide authentic learning experiences, the stakeholders should commit to effectively practising the use of technology in the institutions.

As higher education systems evolve into a new era, we aim to guide them with the experience, opinions, and advice of thought leaders as well as reflect on the issues they face. In this candid chat with the CollPoll team, Dr Y. Lakshman Kumar, Director at ISBR Business School discusses the changing landscape of higher education in India and the dynamics behind decision-making.

About Dr Y. Lakshman Kumar!

Dr Y. Lakshman Kumar is currently serving as the Director of ISBR Business School. He has over 30+ years of rich experience in Sales Management, Brand Management, Marketing, Teaching, Training, Consulting, Placements, Academics, Examinations, and Institution Building. In the past, he has held several academic leadership positions such as Dean and Director at Hyderabad Business School, Visiting Faculty at IIM Vizag, and Pro Vice-Chancellor at REVA University, among others.

As the Director at ISBR Business School, he has provided strategic leadership and vision to the institution since 2020.

Q1. How important do you think is the role of an EdTech enterprise in higher education?

EdTech is really important for any educational industry whether it is high school level or college level, or more importantly, higher education. The reason is – Pandemic has taught us various things and the most important of them all is the importance of digital transformation. Earlier, using digital platforms to get things done wasn’t so common. However, today, all the sectors across the globe have learnt how to do things online, without causing any inconvenience to the entire ecosystem. In fact, some sectors are doing tremendously well after adopting technology and have risen their performance bar as well!

Q2. How has ISBR Business School used technology to cope with the challenges thrown by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Right before the world was hit by the pandemic, in August 2019, we started ISBR Digital Academy as an experiment to deliver some valuable modules to the targeted groups including students, teachers, and industry experts, among others. This is why – when the pandemic hit in January 2020 – we could move education online without much difficulty. The initiative was very helpful for both students and faculty to smoothly adapt to the digital learning platform.

Prior to this, ISBR Business School also automated the admission process on campus, embraced several video conferencing tools – Google Meet, Zoom, etc. to allow faculties to deliver online education seamlessly, automated placements to easily manage career services, share new opportunities with students, track student applications and more as well as also digitally connected our alumni with each other and the institution.

This way, we have enabled technology to automate all the processes within the campus from admissions to alumni. Thus, making a smooth digital transformation.

Q3. How would you describe the contribution of CollPoll Digital Campus to ISBR Business School?

CollPoll has really helped ISBR in many ways till today. Earlier, we were using different ERPs in the institution. However, CollPoll has delivered ease of operations unlike anything before. Besides this, CollPoll has delivered an excellent Outcome-Based Education Dashboard that has helped the institution in easily monitoring and calculating the course outcomes, programme outcomes and program educational objectives without any manual intervention.

At the time of initiation, when the faculty upload their session plan, they simultaneously incorporate the required objectives using the CollPoll Digital Campus platform. Thus, helping the institution monitor the program’s educational objectives as an outcome-based education.

“CollPoll brings seamless integration and ease of operation at ISBR Business School,” says Dr Y. Lakshman Kumar

Q4. Digital transformation doesn’t just stop at buying software. Implementation at the ground level is crucial. Could you share some guidance for the leadership of institutions on – how to go about implementation?

Any technology can be easily implemented in an institution if there is a top-down, 360-degree commitment from the management, otherwise, all the technology interventions might fail. The management to execution level implementation of software is necessary to deliver the right support to the end users.

So, for successful implementation, you have to look at the following aspects:

  • A holistic perspective of understanding the software
  • Delivering required training 
  • Handholding and ensuring a smooth execution at all the levels

Q5. What role do you think technology can play in ensuring faculty-student collaboration & communication remains intact in every institution? 

The current generation of higher education students was not aware of online learning before the pandemic. However, after the pandemic happened and institutions moved to digital learning platforms, both students and faculty realized that it was not only the lectures they were bound to but they could do a lot more in other areas like research, publication, discussions outside the classroom etc. The faculty also ensured that the processes were happening in such a way that they could be done even on the ground level. Thus, technology makes certain that there is no disconnect between students and faculty while following the application-oriented methodology.

Q6. Which key activities has the ISBR adopted to transform the student experience?

From automating admissions to managing alumni relations, ISBR has always made student-centric decisions. The reason is – a class at ISBR has students comprising from 29 states of the country. Thus, we aligned our efforts to reach different parts of the country digitally, to ease their learning experience.

Additionally, academics are being delivered via blended learning models, exams are conducted online and placements are managed digitally handled. Furthermore, we use CollPoll’s Digital Campus platform to enhance academic efficiency by declaring results online, monitoring attendance using a single dashboard, managing the entire academic administration and more.

Even during the pandemic, at ISBR, we achieved 100 per cent placement because we facilitated the recruitment process online. Moreover, we also have a digital alumni portal to manage alumni relations and conduct mentorship sessions in the institution.

This way, we have moved all the end-to-end processes online and gone entirely digital to empower students, faculty, and other stakeholders in the long run.

Q7. What do you find most exciting about CollPoll & how do you think will it make an impact in the higher education sector in the coming years?

Firstly, the ease of use that CollPoll brings to an institution is really helpful. Secondly, the seamless incorporation of technology into processes and the team’s contribution in successfully implementing the software within the campus are amazing.

In our experience, CollPoll is very prompt in handling the requests and dealing with the issues on time. Hence, it is bound to make a great impact in the future.

Thank You Dr Y. Lakshman Kumar for such a wonderful conversation, we look forward to having you again!

Keep watching this space for more interviews of CollPoll on higher education space and emerging trends!

Digitally Transform Your Institution with CollPoll