Featuring IIMB faculty members, this new initiative of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at IIMB is an attempt to capture how research can be integrated into teaching and the ways research and teaching complement each other.
The videos are short and crisp, and loaded with valuable input for academics who believe in the power and relevance of research for informed and impactful teaching.
Bringing Research into the Classroom
Assistant Professor, Strategy
In this video, Professor Nilam Kaushik delves into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of bringing research into the classroom. When academics transition to becoming knowledge producers from being knowledge consumers, they are in a position to understand (i) why it makes sense for research to be brought into the classroom, (ii) how they can bring research into the classroom, and (iii) what elements can be brought in the classroom for an engaging classroom experience.
Prof. Kaushik proceeds to explore the ‘why’ part of bringing research into the classroom, and she says that it provides educators the opportunity to talk about the latest research and discuss the most relevant and contemporary ideas. This compliments the existing teaching material that’s already handed out to students. In this manner, educators can introduce future managers and practitioners to the latest frontiers of research that they need to know about. Doing so presents students with an opportunity to learn how to interpret and bring evidence-based research into their decision making as future managers.
However, it is also important for educators to understand that not every kind of research may be amenable to classroom discussion. Students may not have the requisite backgrounds to appreciate empirical methods, rigorous analytical models that go behind research papers. Therefore, some careful thinking and judgement are needed in deciding what aspects of research one could bring into the classroom.
Professor speaks from her case-based writing and pedagogy experience to address the ‘how’ part of bringing research into the classroom; she suggests ways to do it. (1) Educators can bring in contemporary research that is condensed into articles in venues such as MIT Sloan Review or HBR that are palatable to students. (2) If there is a particular conundrum that cannot be easily grasped by students, the teacher can frame it as a question and present supporting evidence from research for clarification. (3) The educator may also draw from one’s own industry context or research experience. The teaching in this context does not have to be the outcome of the research, but what the educator learned when they were engaging with a particular research topic.
Prof. Kaushik further talks about how she used research in her own teaching with examples. This throws light on the elements that educators could bring in the classroom from research and how that could help engage the class.
Integrating Research into Teaching
Varun Jindal, Assistant Professor,
Finance & Accounting
IIMB Young Faculty Research Chair
In this video, Professor Varun Jindal talks about linking one’s research into their teaching. He starts by exploring the ‘why’ part, which is largely based on his personal experience in the classroom. He proceeds to say that integration of his research in his teaching has helped him as an instructor because that (i) boosted his confidence level as he taught his own findings and not someone else’s, (ii) enabled him to handle questions from students in a more confident manner, and (iii) required a much lesser time in preparation for teaching in the classroom. Additionally, Prof. Jindal thinks that discussing and teaching one’s own research repeatedly in class often makes way for a related, but new idea for future research.
After speaking about the benefits to the educator, Professor advances to discussing about the benefits to the students. Here he presents his views saying that research-informed teaching (i) increases students’ awareness on contemporary findings, which are perhaps yet to find a place in conventional textbooks, (ii) results in better learning outcomes, and (iii) provides students with an opportunity to apply the concepts learnt to solve or at least think about solving an interesting problem.
Finally, Prof. Jindal discusses the courses that are more suited for research-informed teaching. He believes that PhD courses are most suitable for this. For the non-PhD courses, he feels research-informed teaching works reasonably well there too. Professor says that it’s easier to incorporate one’s research into an elective course than a core course, since in a core course, there is wide heterogeneity in student interests, and not all students may share the same degree of curiosity for contemporary research. He ends the talk saying that graduate-level elective courses serve as a good ground to incorporate one’s research.
Interconnections between Research and Teaching
Jitamitra Desai, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Decision Sciences
Chairperson, Supply Chain Management Centre
IIMB Chair of Excellence
In this video, Professor Jitamitra Desai addresses the interconnections between research and teaching, focusing on the common tension that exists between the two, exploring if they are mutually synergistic, and discussing how an academic institution should prioritize both activities.
Touching upon the view that research and teaching are orthogonal to one another, Prof. Desai further elaborates that sometimes faculty focused on research may view teaching as a chore, whereas faculty who put in a lot of effort into their classes might wonder what is the value of a publication that will more likely than not, not advance any scientific thought. He also mentions Robbins’ contrarian theory that research and teaching are intrinsic to one another and must therefore be complementary.
When exploring whether teaching and research are mutually beneficial, Prof. Desai says research being beneficial to teaching can perhaps be easily fathomed because a faculty member engaged in research is likely to be at the forefront of their discipline and they can translate these findings into the classroom. He mentions the results of studies to support this concept.
Conversely, does teaching inform and improve research output? Prof. Desai feels it is harder to measure this effect because the metrics of measurement for teaching and research are very different, since research can be measured at both an individual as well as organizational levels whereas teaching is typically measured only at an organizational level. Prof. Desai speaks from his experience when he says that (i) to create new knowledge, one must exhibit a mastery over existing knowledge; (ii) knowing and understanding a concept is different from being able to communicate it to someone else; and that (iii) students are interested in the bigger picture rather than on the nitty gritty of a research paper. He mentions that being aware of these points makes him a critical thinker and informs his research.
On the point of academic institutions prioritizing research and teaching, Professor says that both activities are equally important. He explains this by mentioning that while some studies show that the correlation between teaching and research is nearly zero, this likely stems from the observation that the positives gained from synergies between teaching and research get negated by time lost pursuing these activities. However, it is not as simple because the intangible benefits, e.g., getting positive feedback from students motivating faculty, etc. cannot be easily measured.
Prof. Desai ends his talk by sharing his belief that as long as institutions pursue excellence in either of these (research or teaching) academic pursuits, the long-term benefits accrued would far outweigh any loss in short-term productivity.