2016-1 Best Instructors

Best Instructor Selection Process

A total of 136 instructors and co-instructors teaching at 112 universities in 42 countries whose students took part in the 2016-1 round of the X-Culture competition were considered for the Best Instructor Award.

About 100 of those instructors did an absolutely outstanding job: their students came in well prepared; they provided excellent support to their students throughout the project; they managed all the paperwork diligently and effectively; and they completed all their duties – from report evaluations to serving on various committees – very diligently. They all deserve a BIG THANK YOU and their universities can be proud of such having such professors. However, some groups of students did better than others and some instructors went the extra mile to help their students and make X-Culture a success. Those few deserve a special recognition.

A total of 124 variables were considered when selecting the 2016-1 Best Instructor Award recipients and each instructor was rated and ranked along each of the variables.

The most important factor was the class-average performance. Ultimately, it is all about student performance. Student ratings in terms of effort, intellectual contribution, collegiality, as well as the personal share of the work completed by the students in the total work completed by their teams all were taken into account. Thus, to a large degree this Award goes to the best class/university, rather than an individual instructor.

However, a number of additional instructor-specific factors were also considered:

Class-average student diligence as measured by students’ ability to meet deadlines and submit weekly progress reports were given a substantial weight.

Class-average report quality and plagiarism statistics were also taken into account, but weighted less because the quality of the team report and originality of the report (absence of plagiarism) was affected not only by the students of the instructor in question, but 5-7 students from other universities.

A number of indicators of the instructors’ personal performance were also considered and given a substantial weight: from the quality of preparation of the pre-project materials (e.g., student rosters, accuracy of the names and email addresses, etc.), to the quality of the report evaluations submitted by the instructors at the end of the project (reliability of the ratings, depth and quality of the feedback).

The class size and the level of study were also considered to acknowledge the fact that ensuring high level of performance in large undergraduate courses may be more challenging than in small graduate courses.

After all 136 were ranked on each of the 124 variables, it was impossible to select one best instructor. However, a small group emerged who ranked almost perfectly on the vast majority of the dimensions.

The list of 30 professors who ranked the highest overall are provided below in alphabetical order.

We deliberately do not rank them from 1 to 30 because, first, they all did an outstanding job as instructors and, second, such rankings could change substantially depending on which particular variables are given more weight.

It is important to note that there was no clear gap between the “best” and the “rest” groups. At least 50 other instructors received excellent evaluations along all dimensions, including very positive student performance reviews and exceptional diligence and helpfulness throughout the semester. But the line had to be drawn somewhere and if we had to select a smaller group of instructors whose performance was even better than that of the rest, these 30 are our 2016-1 Best Instructor Award recipients.

Professor Country University Course Level Track

Alexander Assouad

United States

Belmont U.



Ana María Velásquez V Colombia EAFIT U. UG L
Andre van Hoorn Netherlands U. of Groningen MBA E
Anshu Arora United States Savannah State U. UG L
Birgit Hagen Italy U. of Pavia UG L
Cheryl Rivers New Zealand Victoria U. of Wellington Other L
Daniel Rottig United States Florida Gulf Coast U. & Florida Atlantic U. EMBA&UG E/L
David S. Baker United States U. of Louisiana at Lafayette MBA L
Donata Vianelli Italy U. of Trieste MBA L
Elena Iarkova Russia Tyumen State U. UG L
Ernesto Tavoletti Italy U. of Macerata MBA L
Florian Täube Belgium U. libre de Bruxelles MBA E
Germano Glufke Reis Brazil Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) UG L
Hyun-Jung Lee United Kingdom London School of Economics Other E
Inga Uus Lithuania Kaunas U. of Technology MBA L
Inge Verstraete Belgium UC Leuven-Limburg UG L
Julio Cesar Botero Colombia U de LaSalle UG L
Karen Lynden United States UNC Greensboro & Rowan-Cabarrus CC UG L
Leighton Wilks Canada U. of Calgary UG E
Mario Risso Italy Niccolò Cusano U. – Rome MBA L
Norhayati Zakaria Malaysia Universiti Utara Malaysia UG L
Peter Magnusson United States U. of Alabama MBA L
Raghu Kurthakoti United States Arcadia U. School of Global Business UG L
Reccia Charles Grenada St. George’s U. UG L
Rico Baldegger Switzerland School of Management Fribourg UG L
Sandrine Henneron France NEOMA Business School Other L
Serdar Karabati Turkey Bilgi U. UG L
Sue Bruning Canada U. of Manitoba MBA E
Tiit Elenurm Estonia Estonian Business School UG L
Wlamir Xavier United States Eastern New Mexico U. UG L