Long before Zoom became prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiffany Bayley had been looking at ways to incorporate technology in the classroom.
While previously teaching at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, and now at Ivey where she is an assistant professor of Management Science, Bayley has used videos or game elements to help make challenging topics fun and engaging. Additionally, her research has evaluated the impact of blended learning strategies.
Now in a new teaching-scholar role at Ivey, which began this summer, Bayley looks forward to further exploring ways to innovate in the classroom in hope of amplifying students’ learning.
Diversifying teaching methods
“I really see the opportunity to do more of this, especially in the Ivey classroom where students are so engaged in their learning. The goal is to develop different activities, simulations, and ways to teach so that you can reach all of the students,” she said. “I recognize that I’m not going to reach every student in every class, but, hopefully, if we can continue to diversify how we approach the topics, we’ll get everybody excited.”
Her efforts to reach her students appear to be working. Bayley was awarded the 2021-2022 David G. Burgoyne Teaching Award for outstanding impact as an HBA1 instructor at the recent HBA2 Welcome Back event.
“I know the students had a challenging year balancing the pandemic and then being back in person so I absolutely feel very honoured to receive the award from the students and I’m glad that I was able to have an impact,” said Bayley. “Having seen the previous recipients of the award, I’m humbled to be in the presence of so many of those instructors and colleagues of mine.”
Bayley also received the MSc Business Analytics Teaching Excellence Award at the MScs’ convocation ceremony in June. Since the MSc classes were fully remote, Bayley said she tried to make sure the classes were easy to navigate and offered the students different ways to contribute, while still keeping the flow of virtual classes as similar as possible to the traditional class experience.
Creative activities enhance students’ learning
Since she teaches analytics, which can be complex and technically difficult, Bayley recently added an exercise at the end of her classes that is similar to a story-building game. She asks a student to summarize the discussion in one sentence and then each student adds another sentence to build onto that until they have a comprehensive package. She then asks the class to assess where they might have skipped over some details and to improve the wording until they are satisfied with the summary.
Bayley said the exercise helps to ensure the students understand the class material while also teaching them to communicate concisely. She also finds it personally motivating to see how much the students are learning.
“It’s extremely rewarding as an instructor to see the energy in the classroom and that students are engaged in learning,” she said.
Inspiring role models
Bayley attributes her success to being able to learn from her colleagues at Ivey as well as other role models, such as her parents, who were both post-secondary educators, and her PhD advisor, Jim Bookbinder. She recalls his enthusiasm for invigorating classroom discussions with students, and his passion as a researcher and educator inspires her.
When she had an opportunity to teach while a PhD student, Bayley experienced that passion herself.
“As soon as I had an opportunity to teach, I just got hooked on it,” she said.
I really enjoy helping students to learn things that maybe are difficult and to see that as we work together, they overcome these struggles.”
– Tiffany Bayley