May 2022 – Dr. Glen Farrelly

Ametros Instructor of the Month

“An interactive experiential learning experience like Ametros makes the learning process more effective and provides hands-on learning to the students.”

Dr. Glen Farrelly, Assistant Professor, Business Communication, Athabasca University

1. Tell us about yourself and your background.

My name is Dr. Glen Farrelly. After a career in digital media production and management, I am now an Assistant Professor of Business Communication at Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business. Prior to my current position, I worked for 3 years at Ryerson University and Wilfrid Laurier University teaching courses on digital media, social media, Internet studies, design and professional communications. 

2. Tell us about the course you taught and the Ametros experience you used?

I have been using the Ametros experiential learning platform for two of my courses – ADMN 233 (Writing in Organizations) and COMM 243 (Interpersonal Communication). Both the courses I teach are entirely online and student-paced, which makes it challenging to deliver the course in an engaging way. We don’t have the advantage of in-person labs or exercises. So having an interactive, experiential learning approach in the course makes the learning process more effective and helps us in providing hands-on learning to our students.

3. Did you receive any feedback from your students that you are able to share with us?

Overwhelmingly, I would say over 80 to 90%, approximately, are either positive or very positive. Students love the interactive and experiential approach to learning. They not only enjoyed the experience, but they actually found it to be a very valuable way to learn. There are a lot of courses that give students all the essential information, but if they don’t get the opportunity to put their learnings into practice, they will quickly forget it. With Ametros, students can learn just-in-time and immediately apply what they’ve learned in the context of simulated, real-world scenarios. Students really appreciate the benefit of solving scenarios in a risk-free environment that present realistic challenges based on course concepts. The flexibility of participating in the experience anytime, anywhere has also been really appreciated by mature and working students.

4. What teaching tips would you share with other instructors?

If you are new to this AI space, take the time to understand the basic concepts in AI, how it works, the benefits it can offer, and how it can be integrated into your existing course work. Prepare your students for the experience. I spend time helping students on what to expect when it comes to AI because often students expect AI to be something like what they’ve seen from Hollywood movies. I prepare study materials for them to set their expectations – like what is the best way to interact with the AI to get the most out of it. 

Another tip would be to watch what’s happening by monitoring what the students are doing with the experience and step in to talk to a student who needs more direction. This way, students can get the best of both worlds of AI and human involvement. You can find more tips on using an AI experience in my article in University Affairs.

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