Assessing students' ability to apply marketing theory to practice Presentation Transcript
Assessing students’ ability to apply marketing theory to practice An assessment strategy for a Principles of Marketing module Lorna Walker Regent’s College
What I’m going to talk about
Background to the project
Assessment strategy on Principles of Marketing
Feedback from students and seminar tutors
Background to project
Module leader of Principles of Marketing at Regent’s College
Core module – c.100 UG 2 nd year business students
Highly diverse international & affluent student base
Traditional format – lecture and seminars
Emphasis on practical application in seminars i.e. write a complaint letter, look at supermarket pricing
Module was assessed 50% group CW / 50% exam – students focused on “theory dump”
Heavy reliance on Mintel, Wikipedia & lots of plagiarism
Across the programme many modules assessed via marketing plans, PEST, SWOT etc – little variety
What are we trying to assess?
Do students actually understand how marketing theories apply in “the real world”?
Could they be marketers?
Do they understand how and why companies are marketing to them?
Fall 2009 changes made to assessment strategy
Two-pronged approach to assessment
Individual marketing diary
Write four diary entries over the semester
A situation when you came into contact with marketing
Apply relevant marketing theory to analyse the situation i.e. what happened and why?
What could marketers learn from your analysis?
Changes made this semester
Students concerned by “open ended” nature of brief
Marking load on seminar tutors significant
Highly anecdotal diary entries
Reduced from 4 entries to 3
Deadline earlier in the semester
Choose one significant purchase you made
Reflect on how different elements of marketing theory apply
Positive feedback from students
Group eBay assignment
Based on Wood & Suter (2004) paper in Journal of Marketing Education (with some adaptations)
Groups chose item to market on eBay during semester
Milestones set during semester which students must meet
What make a good auction? Report
Confirmation of item, prediction of selling price (based on market research) and auction url
Screen shot of completed auction
Discuss in class – if didn’t sell then consider critique from other students & relist item
Screen shot of feedback from buyer – bonus marks for 100% positive feedback
Built in discussion in seminars and lecture
Opportunity to get feedback from peers as well as tutor
Write report discussing application of marketing theory to design of auction
Choice of item and target market segment
Market research done
Attracting buyers to the auction
Pricing strategy chosen
Buyer behaviour in auctions
Did the item sell? Why / why not?
What would you do differently if doing it again?
Characteristics of services marketing
Delivery and distribution strategy
Ethical marketing issues on eBay
Changes made this semester
Practical problems setting up eBay accounts
Overly complex marking structure
Too much monitoring required by seminar tutors
More detailed advice on setting up accounts
Warning that problems need to be flagged early
No What makes a good auction? report
Simplified marking structure
Buyer feedback bonus marks on individual basis
Feedback from students
“ the chief aim of our auction was to apply marketing theory taught in the classroom to a real life situation. Our understanding of marketing strategies gave our auction the edge”
“… setting up this auction was a very helpful experience. Going through this process helped me understand the various marketing theories that we went through in our lectures and understand the importance of following them…this opportunity made me realise how important marketing is for a successful selling process, starting from market segmentation to consumer behaviour and to service and delivery.”
“ What I highly valued from this practical exercise was the effectiveness of using marketing principles to promote goods and services.”
“ As sellers we gained a new perspective through this process, learned how to market a product and how to sustain a good relationship between buyer and seller”
“ the development of this work helped us to put into practice the knowledge we gained through the semester in the lectures and seminars of principles of marketing”
Final thoughts / next stages
Students generally in favour of new approach
Seminar tutors need more convincing
Still some logistical issues
No massive eBay problems (so far)
Could this be adapted to larger groups?
Regent’s students are very affluent – would this work with a different demographic?