The Institute of Business Management (IoBM) adapted to the virtual classroom mechanism during the Covid-19 pandemic. The faculty members quickly adopted the virtual mode of teaching that helped IoBM transition from physical classroom learning to online learning. Such a technological success could not have been made possible without the guidance of IoBM’s President, Mr. Talib Karim; Executive Director, Ms. Sabina Mohsin; Dean, Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, along with the dedicated personnel of Admissions, Academics, IT, Media, Marketing and Communications, and Finance working in cohesion.
IoBM moved a step ahead by utilizing the online medium to host the Orientation for Fall semester 2020. However, on Saturday, January 09, 2021, IoBM held its second virtual orientation for the Spring Semester 2021. Again, this required utmost dedication from all departments under the leadership of IoBM Management.
By accessing the link: orientation.iobm.edu.pk, students admitted to the Spring semester 2021 watched the orientation session. The session was also viewed by IoBM’s Management, Deans, HoDs, and faculty. This orientation session was hosted by Dr. Mehvish Saleem, HoD, Department of Communication and Languages, IoBM.
During his speech, Mr. Talib Karim, President IoBM said, “It is indeed a great pleasure to welcome our new batch of Spring semester 2021 students to IoBM.” He said that all students were admitted after a competitive admissions process. Mr. Talib Karim said that the new students of Spring semester 2021 have joined IoBM at challenging times. Because of Covid-19, IoBM suspended physical classes in March 2020. However, most of the faculty members were already using the Learning Management System (LMS). They shared the mechanism of conducting classes on LMS among their colleagues. President IoBM shared that without a gap of a single day IoBM switched from conducting classes physical to hold them virtually. Mr. Talib Karim congratulated the faculty members and management staff who were able to adapt to this new challenge. He said that at IoBM during 2020 the Spring semester and the Summer semester were held online. By Summer semester 2020, IoBM inducted students for Fall 2020, this process was also completed online.
The President further said that in Fall 2020 IoBM was allowed to open the campus. We adapted the Hybrid teaching method. It was decided that 20 to 25% of the students were requested to visit IoBM to take physical classes. The rest of the students were asked to take online sessions. Therefore, the faculty members conducted physical classes on campus with most of the students attending the session online. During these days, IoBM also held 35 to 40% exams on campus. These were quantitative-based exams. However, when the situation detonated because of Covid-19 in December 2020, it was not difficult for IoBM to revert to the online teaching method. Mr. President said that if the situation does not improve by the time the Spring semester 2021 begins, then online learning will continue until IoBM can begin physical classes. When sharing about LMS, Mr. Talib Karim said that Moodle is an effective tool for online learning. Each student will be assigned an ID and they will be able to adapt to the platform.
Mr. Talib Karim advised the students to always love Pakistan as it has given us a lot. It has a plethora of natural resources: desert, mountains, oceans, rivers, open land. Respect what Allah has given us, take care of it, and contribute positively. He said, “your parents have sacrificed a lot for you to be here. You could not have been here without their support.” He also advised the new students to respect their teachers. “Teachers are an important component of our life as you learn from them.”
Earlier, Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Dean CBM, during his Welcome Address, said that students should come to IoBM to learn more about their areas of study and see themselves as students of higher learning. He mentioned creativity, collaboration, and communication as the skills for professional growth that the students must learn and follow. He said that a plethora of mediums are being used to conduct communication in digital media. Each student must be equipped with the mastery of expressing thoughts and opinions through such means. He also advised students to create a strong collaboration with their IoBM classmates, seniors, and juniors. These contacts will help students experience and facilitate professional growth.
The orientation session for Spring semester 2021 was streamed live across Pakistan and the world through a dedicated server. Support staff from IT and Media remained on standby to avert any technical glitch that they may encounter. During the orientation session, IoBM students and alumni also shared their experiences. They enlightened the new students on how IoBM and the academic journey they will go through will make them overcome their weaknesses and develop their strengths.