In this section, Dr. Sastry shares insights into the relevance of the course to the MIT community and beyond.
All Sloan Action Lab teams presented their projects and shared their experiences in a program-wide poster session. Image courtesy of MIT OpenCourseWare.
Sharing with the MIT Community
For specific tools and approaches linked with our projects, we want to continue to field-test our approaches and document them in ways that are useful to others. We are trying to build up a body of evidence about their use. There are broader issues, such as the lessons about running a course like this, and the link between context and business model, which we would like to document and share. For methods related to teaching or course mechanics, we can share and learn from our own umbrella of Action Learning programs offered at Sloan. This allows us to coordinate with others and have a staff to support our work and disseminate ideas, on the educational front as well as the logistical front.
While this course is focused on global health delivery in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, I have always asserted that there are insights and lessons for healthcare delivery elsewhere, and maybe even for other disciplines. What are the new questions about marketing or service operations that are exposed through these projects? How do we make all those links? How do we help students connect this class with other elements of the curriculum? That would make the students’ learning so much better, bolster the projects, and help my own learning. One student told me that the experience she had in my course gave her a framework into which she could fit all her other classes. It gave her an organizing set of ideas and experiences that provided a skeleton for making sense of concepts across the curriculum that otherwise may seem very disparate.
Sometimes we find that the questions we ask are unanswered in traditional materials and courses because they might be related to situations not in the norm of the Western-based or US-based cases and texts. Take logistics for instance. There might be so much more variation in transit times in rural Mozambique than when Amazon ships across the US. These warrant very different models and methods. I use this course and my students as vehicles for helping me learn about other things at MIT and within the Sloan curriculum. But I wonder, could I go further? Could I take these questions and link them to the other courses and other disciplines, and how would I do that?