July 2022 – Rick Byers

Ametros Instructor of the Month

“Adding an experiential layer to the program gives instructors the ability to measure whether or not students understood and applied the concepts they learned in the course in a simulated real-world scenario.”

Rick Byers, Professor & Curriculum Development, Conestoga College

1. Tell us about yourself and your background.

My name is Rick Byers. I am a Professor at Conestoga College. Prior to my academic career, I have held a variety of managerial positions in retail management, all the way from frontline supervisor to VP and later that led to a career in corporate training and development. But in the end, what I ended up liking was teaching.

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

I began teaching a course called management and leadership fundamentals, which included the Ametros experiential learning module on Inclusive Leadership. I always liked the idea of incorporating real-world applications into learning, which is very similar to what I did as a corporate trainer, to make learning more practical. Adding an experiential layer to the program gave me the ability to measure whether or not students understood and applied the concepts they learned in the course in a simulated real-world scenario. The simulated experiential learning becomes what we call a transferable skill that can be taken with us forever.

What I liked the most about Ametros was the simplicity of the platform. It doesn’t take you weeks to learn how to use it. In a 14-week program, we don’t have the luxury of time to experiment with complex technologies. Simplicity is a big benefit for instructors and the support team at Ametros is phenomenal guiding you every step of the way.

Affordability is another notable feature of Ametros. We started with an initial cost of $20 and then scaled down from there which was a reasonable price tag for the student. The simulation is now used by about 800 students per semester in 20 sections, and this September, that number is likely to increase to about 30 sections.

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

The feedback has been nothing but positive. The students think the simulation is fun and different from what they usually do. They also feel the simulation challenges them to think more and think differently. Not just the students, but also the professors think using a simulation is fun and a better way to teach.

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

Don’t let the simulation become the teacher, use it as a resource. Look for ways to align the concepts in the simulation with the curriculum. Make the simulation relevant to your gradebook. For example including assignments that tie the concepts learnt in the course with the simulation. The best part is Ametros is a flexible platform and they work with the instructors on solutions like creating a rubric, tying in the grades and more.

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