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How Elective Course Bidding process improves utilization of Faculty resources & student learning experience?

Leading Business Schools all over the world offer 50 + elective courses for students to specialize their skills in domains like Marketing, Brand Management, Business Communication and Negotiation, Technology Entrepreneurship, Information Systems, Finance & Investing, Operations, Strategy, Analytics, etc.

These electives usually have limited seat availability and in some cases are offered by a popular faculty or Industry Leader and are in very high demand with the students across programmes and disciplines.

The demand for electives means any section of a single elective can accommodate a maximum of 5% - 10% of participants (of a yearly Programme batch) in an MBA or a Law School programme.

Students in this scenario have to make an informed choice to choose what's best for their careers and carefully balance all the available course options based on the historical demand for similar electives.

Business and Law Schools enrolments for elective courses are done using various approaches. The practice of the First Come First Serve option for course registration is still followed at Universities where multiple disciplines, students from multiple schools participate in the elective selection process. This means for registering into high-demand courses Time has to favor the students, whoever is the first in order has the chance to register for each available seat.

From our observation Students are not very satisfied with First Come First serve mode of seat allocation. But on the contrary, students who fail to obtain seats in an elective switch to electives that have seats available, and hence Universities would be able to optimize their offerings and plan according to the demand.

Course bidding is a process that allows students instead to bid for electives through an open and a closed bidding process. The bidding process provides a fair & transparent opportunity for students to bid for elective courses and win seats in a specified elective or a group of electives using pre-allocated bidding points.

Students in an open bidding process are provided with the required insights to place the required quantity of bids for a specific elective course. Thereby students would be able to allocate points to win seats in the maximum number of electives of their choice, allowing to improve the student learning experience.

Who are the Stakeholders Involved?

The key stakeholders include the Administration of the business schools / Universities and the Students.

How does a Course Bidding Process work?

Two of the most popular Programmes offered by First Generation and Second Generation Business Schools in India include the Two-year duration Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP/MBA) that have enrolments up to 600 students in a batch.

The second type of master's programmes offered includes Executive MBA programmes, Other Specialized Master programmes that allow working professionals, and students to acquire essential management skills.

Students are allocated bid currency/bid points which they can use to participate in the Course Bidding process. The Course Bidding round timings and durations are communicated and students login into the Course Bidding software portal and bid for their favorite elective courses.

We have solved two major pain points that traditionally made the elective course allocation process very inefficient. The Process took multiple weeks to complete since manually bid results have to be validated and Tens of student queries concerning the transparency in the course allocation process had to be addressed. Overall the student experience in the elective course selection was poor.

Using EDTEX Course Bidding software we reduced the time of Bidding from several weeks to a single day (to roughly 2 hours). The time duration of the bidding process can be increased as per the process need (closed bidding process can be conducted over a couple of days).

In an open course bidding scenario with reduced time frames the outcome of the bidding process is immediately known to the students and the administration. Allowing the administration to plan for class delivery.

At IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad we have implemented cross programme elective course bidding Improving the utilisation of seats in elective courses across programmes by implementing Cross-Programme bidding thus optimizing faculty resource allocation across programmes.

The open bidding process allows electives courses that have lower demand also to be taken up by students across disciplines thereby utilizing the faculty resources more efficiently and efficient course offerings in the long run. On average ~ 15% of Electives are undersubscribed in Business schools with 400 + student cohorts for an MBA programme. Undersubscribed courses are dropped from offerings. Having primary survey data on demand for elective courses allows better planning of course offerings, identifying both low and very high demand courses and course capacity planning.

EDTEX Customers & Universities

Figure 1: Allows identifies demand for Electives and segmenting High, Medium, and Low demand courses.

Enabling Cross Programme Course Bidding Process: In order to facilitate the cross programme bidding, we divided the process of course selection using into multiple stages to accommodate participants in diverse Business Programmes participate in bidding.

Scenario 1: is Implemented at IIM Bangalore. During round one of the course bidding process, allowing selection of elective courses within quotas assigned to each Programmes.

Not all courses are filled up by participants in the first bidding round. So in the round, two of course bidding process the factor of programme wise (seat quota) is eliminated allowing participants from all the programme tracks to bid for the available seats.

The complete cycle of an open LIVE course bidding process is on average completed within two hours' duration aided with real-time information processing.

EDTEX Customers & Universities

Figure 2: Tree Graph representing Minimum and Maximum credits a student can select for a Semester. The results are generated post an elective course bidding round for around 400 students.

Student Experience

The EDTEX Course Bidding Software is used ay IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore. Including New Generation business schools like IIM Kashipur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Udaipur, and private business schools like NMIMS Mumbai.

The following survey data provides insights on the

EDTEX Customers & Universities

Figure 3: Ratings On the Scale of 1 to 5; 1 being lowest – 5 being highest based on user experience bidding on the EDTEX Course Bidding Software. The total student count who provided reviews is 108 from a leading business school

Administration Experience and Value-driven from Course Bidding (perspective of PGP Office, Deans Office)

1. The course demand data obtained from the Elective course bidding process allowed better planning of courses that needed to be offered in multiple sections (matching to the demand)

2. Allowed dropping courses that have few takers

3. Improved the quality of elective course offerings as per student learning preferences

4. The final reports we generated within a matter of minutes and shared across with key administration members

Talk to us on Elective Course Bidding Automation for Premier B-Schools

Process Automation is the easiest way to optimize operations at leading B-Schools and Universities bringing in transparency, the efficiency of academic and operational processes.

EDTEX provides easy-to-implement cloud-based Course Bidding Software to higher educational Institutions to become efficient at resource allocation improving the learning experience of all the students.


Anil Vishwanadhula, CEO
MBA - IIM Ahmedabad, B Tech CSE - IIT Guwahati

Arun Korupolu, COO
MS - University of Cologne, MBA - Darmstadt University

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