My Perspective on Teaching :
The classroom needs to have a fun, dynamic atmosphere to capture and retain the interest of the students. I consider the classroom
environment to be a “playground” of intellectual/mental stimuli where teacher and students raise thought-provoking questions and issues.
The classroom atmosphere is mainly the sole responsibility of the instructor to create an environment where my students are encouraged
and comfortable in voicing their ideas, opinions and not be hesitant or tentative about disagreeing with either myself or other students.
Divergent points of view can have “common ground” and we all learn something from the views and ideas polar opposites. If students
“just sit there”, not actively engaged in the learning process, then the problem is with the manner in which I have managed and maintained
the classroom – not with the students.
This engagement is much more than simply being entertaining; but first and foremost it is based on experiential learning as the main goal in
the classroom. I want people to think outside of their normal boundaries and paradigms they have created or been “held” within. I feel it
is my responsibility to convey my passion and excitement about the material in the class, about academia, about life outside the classroom,
and to make the material relevant to past and present experiences. I believe in teaching information systems that students “learn by doing”.
Information systems is a very applied subject matter. My classes are filled with “hands-on projects” where students act as consultants/workers
in building systems using advanced features of widely used software programs. These are features that typically less than 20% of the normal users
are aware of, much less use, in their utilization of the product on a day to day basis. I want my students to not only understand the theory from
lecture and textbooks but be able to apply that theoretical understanding into applied action in building systems that organizations can use to
gain a competitive advantage. I want people to walk way with a technical “skill set” in addition to the theory. This technical skill set is only
gained by having challenging projects that stretch your learning to limits you have not yet been pushed too. Through struggle and frustration
comes triumph and learning.
To facilitate discussion I try to present myself more in the role of a “devils advocate”, mentor, and thought-provoker through a host
of “alter-ego characters” that present themselves in the classroom to encourage conflict and to shift students “creature of habit” paradigms.
I purposely work hard to remove some of the student-instructor communication distance and make myself available to students to
chat about class, job opportunities and issues both academic related and non-academic related.
I enjoy with a passion the “ART” of teaching, the students themselves, and the dynamic rewards that come with seeing both the
students and myself grow and learn during a semester.
Teaching Ratings Over 11 years at Boston University
IS 323 (Fall 2001 - Fall 2011): Average Instructor Rating: 4.44
IS 479 (Summer 2004 - Summer 2011) : Average Instructor Rating: 4.61
SM 101 (Summer 2008 - Summer 2011) : Average Instructor Rating: 4.60
Jeffrey W. Allen, Ph.D.
School of Management