Professor in Focus: Pavel Andreev
Pavel Andreev, Professor of Data Analysis for the Telfer Executive MBA Program, identifies himself more as an educator than a teacher. His objective is to show his students the variety of ways to learn, and inspire them to explore and share the learning process with him. "Education is not the filling of a vessel, but the kindling of a flame." Pavel’s background and area of expertise is in information technology and business analytics. He is passionate about researching the impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTSs) on our lives as individuals, as teams, organizations, and communities. Being a professor allows him to share his research with others and to transform his class to the 21st century classroom with web-based and ICTs fully penetrated into the teaching and learning processes.
Pavel has been teaching for the Telfer Executive MBA for the past three years and says he enjoys teaching executives. “It’s fun to teach at the executive level because they are more mature. However, many of them do not completely understand the complexity of challenges they will face in the corporate world. Some of the executives who come to us find the program very challenging and I would argue that the program is not just about learning the curriculum materials; it’s learning about life and the challenges that come with it.”
Data Analysis can be a dry subject, however, Pavel strives to help Executive MBA candidates achieve three goals by the time they complete his class. The first of these goals is to think analytically. “Data Analysis is not just about numbers; it’s about analytical and critical thinking and we need this kind of thinking at school but more importantly in life. If you can’t think analytically, it’s like having a literacy problem. Thinking analytically teaches candidates to think in different ways.”
The second goal is to help candidates to overcome quantitative (mathematics and statistics) fear and anxiety. When candidates enter his class at the beginning of the year, ninety percent of them are terrified due to previous negative experiences - it’s very stressful for them. His goal is to diminish this stress and show how easy it can be. He does this by trying to educate his students in a personalized manner. “Since we are all different, teaching should be personalized. Often people have a negative mindset about data analysis due to past time pressures. Many people find exams stressful because there is a time limit to complete them but if you provide more time for the exam, the time pressure is gone and often these students can show just how much information they have learned.”
The last goal Pavel hopes candidates gain from his class is the understanding of how important data analysis is. It may be dry, however, it’s very important to understand the basics of data analysis. “Sometimes when you’re the CEO of a company, you need to know these concepts in order to make an informed decision. I want the candidates to participate in data collection/analysis in every class in order to help them better understand the concepts I’m sharing with them. We can talk about data collection but when they practice it, they are learning something completely different. Also through practice, mistakes are made and this helps them learn.” One of his classes is in fact centered on how to lie with statistics – the thinking is if you show how to collect data in the wrong manner, it in fact teaches how to do it correctly.
Traditional teaching where there is a hierarchy in the classroom is not something Pavel believes in. “I learn as much in the Executive MBA class as the candidates do and that’s part of the fun of being an educator.”
Published: May 12, 2016 | Category: Uncategorised