Dr. Brophey believes that students attend university to explore new avenues and develop their strengths as individuals. The classroom offers a challenging environment for exploration and development due to the variety of learning styles, abilities and experiences that students bring to the class. Dr. Brophey continuously monitors student interest levels to ensure that the teaching approach being used captures and holds the student’s attention and energy. A particular tool he has found to be quite effective in engaging students is the occasional telling of ‘war stories’ principally from his background as a technology-based entrepreneur and from his consulting experiences that can be shared.
His class plans use a variety of delivery approaches within each class session and a variety of methods throughout the course. The methods he uses include case studies, technology-assisted lectures, technology-assisted examinations, conventional lectures, guest speakers from industry and broad use of simulations. As a result, Dr. Brophey fills a variety of classroom roles including facilitator, observer, lecturer, storyteller, technologist and administrator. In most classes, the focus is on a real-world problem (e.g. a business case, exploiting new business trends, etc.,) that requires students to critically think about the underlying relationships embodied in the theoretical material that they have been assigned in preparation for dealing with the problem. Answering student queries with leading questions challenges students to apply their acquired knowledge to solve the problem. In this way, the student’s level of understanding is broadened and learning more often occurs at the deeper levels of application, synthesis, analysis and evaluation. At the same time, both the students and Dr. Brophey need to have some fun as they learn together and this interactive approach supports a positive learning experience.
During his tenure at Nipissing, Dr. Brophey has taught a broad variety of courses as the school was growing. With greater numbers of faculty as the school has grown, he has specialized in teaching final year Strategy and Policy courses and Management of Innovation and Technology. The two consecutively taught strategy courses are respectively oriented towards selecting and implementing the appropriate strategy, while the TMGT course focuses on management aspects of both innovation and technology within organizations.