Business Instructor Brings Local and International Success to Keyano

Posted On Monday April 25, 2022

Story by: Kiran Malik-Khan

Before he joined Keyano, a former dean asked Gregory Krabes, “are you a sage on the stage or a guide on the side? Krabes response, “In her definition, a sage on the stage was an instructor who lectured almost exclusively, who had the philosophy that he had the knowledge to ‘give’ students, who would benefit from this. Conversely, a guide on the side was an instructor who helped students discover knowledge and steer them in ways that would help them.”

“In my opinion, the sage-on-the-stage model is efficient and recognizes the wisdom and experience of the instructor, while the guide-on-the-side model is chaotic and seems to ignore the wisdom and experience of the instructor. It took me a long time to develop my own approach to this dilemma. I think neither “side” is perfect and that a blend of both is desirable. In every course, there should be some “lecture” (knowledge transmission from instructor to learner) and some guided learning (exercises, discussions, simulations, discovery, and practice). I am a firm believer in active learning; I try to maintain a very lively and interactive classroom. To me, teaching is not only about lecturing students; it is about presenting theories, concepts, and empirical material to students in a way that they can integrate this information into their own life experiences.”

An Instructor in Keyano’s Faculty of Business since 2017, Krabes mainly teaches Management and Strategy courses. He began his teaching career in the 2000s. Educated in Canada, Quebec, UK, USA, and Poland, he has taught in Canada, China, UAE, and has been a visiting professor in Sweden and Finland. Before entering the field he was an economic diplomat stationed in Geneva. He has also been teaching for Athabasca University online since 2013.

He has been making waves at the College with his innovative teaching embracing HyFlex learning, which “allows learners to choose at any given time throughout the course to attend in person (face to face) or virtually.” When he says he believes in “active learning,” he truly does.

“One of the courses I teach, Business Strategy Game (BSG) is an online semester-long simulation, modeled to reflect the real-world character of globally competitive athletic footwear industry, structured in a way that every student runs a company in competition against other teams from around the world. Each week, the best-performing BSG companies measured on four performance variables (Overall Score, EPS, ROE, and Stock Price) are honoured for their placement. There are 5052 teams from 234 universities participating in the simulation worldwide.”

Keyano has stood out on a global scale. In fact, Keyano teams were recognized for their performance twice in the following areas:

· Return on Average Equity – 8th best worldwide

· Earnings Per Share - 11th best worldwide

· Stock Price - 14th best worldwide

“Students are enabled to apply what they have learned in business courses, and to practice making reasoned, business-like decisions aimed at improving the company’s overall performance,” Krabes explains.

Sandra Efu, Keyano’s Dean of University Studies, Career Programs, & Academic Upgrading notes Krabes is an asset to the College for multiple reasons.

“Gregory speaks Polish, Russian, and German. He has traveled internationally and closely follows global events. He also brings an international perspective to Keyano’s Business Department and to his courses and students. He teaches a variety of courses like Marketing Management, Organizational Behaviour, Public Administration, and Strategic Management.”

“As an instructor, he uses online simulations, cases, and experiments and incorporates new technologies and methods in his classes. Gregory organizes site visits and brings guest speakers to share their real-life professional perspectives and also interacts with the local business community. He understands his students’ needs and readily helps out those requiring additional assistance outside of the class,” Efu enthuses.

For Krabes, “good teachers need to be fully immersed in their topics of expertise.”

“They should be at the cutting edge of recent scholarship, to help students, see the dynamism of knowledge creation. The line between research and teaching should be as fuzzy as possible. Business Studies, be it Management or Marketing is not a collection of facts, but rather, an area of research that is still alive with emerging ideas, contradictions, new developments, and new areas of inquiry.”

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