In both my roles as a Professor and Assistant Chair I am fortunate enough to be in a position where curiosity and creativity are rewarded. And to be fair, the world is changing rapidly, and if we are going to ask our students to be flexible and adapt to change, then we should be willing to do so as well. My primary research area is the application of simulations and games to teaching and training environments, and I do my best to integrate simulations and games liberally in my classes. I have created a number of games, including a card game for teachers called Teaching Bad Apples, along with two expansion packs. It has turned out to be somewhat popular and is currently being used in a number of teacher professional development settings. I also made another game, "The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer," intended for people new to the field of instructional design or learning design. Both are available at "The Game Crafter" website.
More recently, I took a deep dive into Esports, and I currently serve as the advisor to the team here at SUNY Potsdam. To help kickstart this process, I gave a TEDx presentation "Esports is Real Sports" in April 2019 (available on YouTube). Along with my teaching and research responsibilities, I also serve SUNY Potsdam Athletics as the Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Board (IAB), an academic advisor for the Men's Soccer team, and the Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA. Finally, I have an ongoing consulting relationship with the National Education Foundation, where I help to introduce STEM learning into underprivileged schools across the country.
In the end, I try to use my position here to help empower young people with opportunities to engage in profound and "wicked problems", with the ultimate message that it is OK to sometimes fall short in our efforts, as long as we reflect, learn, and move forward together.
BA, Math and Education, 1993, SUNY Potsdam
MSEd, Instructional Technology and Media Management, 1994, SUNY Potsdam
Ph.D., Instructional Systems Technology, 2000, Indiana University
Publications: Martin, F., and Betrus, A. (2019) Digital Media for Learning: Theories, Processes, & Solutions. Springer. 2019
Canning, S. and Betrus, A.(2017) The Culture of Deep Learning in eSports: An Insiders Perspective. Educational Technology, March-April, 2017.
Schneider, E., and Betrus, A. (2016) User delinquency and instructional conditions: Undesirable behavior in open virtual worlds. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, September, Volume 8, Number 3, pp. 265-278.
Turcotte, N and Betrus, A. (2016) Teaching Bad Apples: A Fun Way to Tackle Difficult Teaching Situations. TechTrends, July 2016, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 398-401.
Betrus, A. (2012) Historical Evolution of Instructional Technology in Teacher Education: A Ten-Year Update. TechTrends. Sep/Oct. Vol 56, issue 5, pp 42-45.
2022 SUNY Potsdam Presidential Award for Teaching
2021 Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell SUNY Potsdam Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award
2020 AECT Division of Distance Learning Book Award
2020 Potsdam Pride Appreciation: Improving Community. SUNY Potsdam Esports