My teaching experience includes undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses for a variety of audiences in the U.S., Brazil, and Germany. Their contents range from technical issues in information technology to the managerial challenges faced by IT executives in large organizations.
I am a firm believer in the transformative power of education. More than being a process for mastering skills, education is an essential element of our lifelong journey towards the realization of our potential as individuals and as members of a diverse, ever-changing global community. When infused with an unbiased, critical stance towards knowledge and the process of learning, education can be a means to achieve emancipation and self-actualization and to promote well-being.
In my view, teaching is a way of making a difference in people’s lives. My goals for my undergraduate and graduate students go beyond the mere memorization of concepts and the mastery of computer tools. I emphasize the development of higher-level competencies, such as critical and analytical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration, which are essential for effective problem-solving in different work settings and knowledge domains. I believe these competencies are key to have a successful career in any type of organization nowadays.
I believe our capacity to understand and adequately model problems depends on the development of flexible mental models through accumulated hands-on experience. Accordingly, I adopt a variety of teaching methods to shorten the distance between the classroom and the workplace. In my Business Analytics courses, students apply Statistics and optimization concepts and techniques in projects that use a variety of datasets. To perform their analyses, they learn to use software such as R and AMPL. Over the term, I introduce business dilemmas and ask students to play the role of consultants to a certain organization. In this way, they learn to prepare reports that are not only consistent from a conceptual standpoint but also written with the needs of decision-makers in mind. When I teach technical courses on IT, I create a variety of exercises and short projects to help students acquire practical skills. For example, they create databases in MS Access and connect them to MS Excel to simulate a Business Intelligence environment, and analyze network traffic with tools such as Wireshark to have a better understanding of the principles of networking and TCP/IP. Even in my graduate courses in Information Systems and Business Process Management, students go beyond the analyses of cases and news articles and develop projects and reports on specific topics based on data they collect on real organizations.
I use a variety of methods to gauge the extent to which students achieve the intended goals. Knowledge acquisition and problem-solving skills are evaluated in exams and in several quizzes and tests that are given shortly after finishing a major topic. I prefer to use open questions in which students must apply concepts to evaluate a practical situation and provide recommendations. Their reasoning must be explicit, so that I can evaluate their analytical and critical thinking skills. Group projects and case reports and presentations provide additional opportunities to assess the development of practical and higher-level competencies. Together with class discussions, they also allow me to evaluate how well students are able to communicate their views and work in a collaborative environment. To this end, I complement my own assessment with team members’ input on the contribution of each of their peers to the accomplishment of their common goals.