This material is an online course for Principles of Marketing. It includes course material (both printed and interactive), cases, review questions (and answers), additional readings, and access to plug-ins that the student may need to access the material. Students are provided with a ?marketing dictionary? to complement the readings in order to improve comprehension.
The primary objective is to understand the principle components of marketing. Specifically the major learning goals are to understand:
1. A general overview of marketing 2. The role of marketing within an organization 3. The marketing environment 4. Marketing Information Systems and marketing research 5. Buyer behavior 6. Market segmentation 7. Product 8. Services 9. Price 10. Promotion 11. Place 12. Implementation and control issues 13. Social responsibility, ethics and consumerism
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate business majors or university students interested in taking a principles of marketing course. It could also be used by graduate students needing to take an undergrduate principles class as a part of a school's MBA prerequisites (for those in an MBA program who do not have a bachelor's degree in business).
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students should have completed an introductory course in business, but no basic knowledge of marketing is assumed. Students must be familiar with web browsers and software that enables the viewing of a variety of resources.
Type of Material:
This material could be used as a part of a web-based curriculum (or in a distance learning environment) for a Principles of Marketing course. It could also be quite beneficial for students needing this material for a pre-requisite requirement in an MBA program. The questions and discussions may be used as the basis for class discussion, independent assignments and study, and team work.
Internet browser access is required to use these materials. A broadband Internet connection would be best as the portions that use animation take either too long to download or do not download at all on a dial-up connection.
Evaluation and Observation
This website has been designed as a study guide to complement an introductory marketing course. The information provided is well grounded in theory. There is no doubt that the creator of the material spent a great deal of time developing this course. The outline of topics makes sense for a marketing novice to use sequentially but the structure also provides flexibility for someone who may want to go back over a topic or skip around if desired.
Anyone intending to use this course should definitely spend time examining the review questions provided at the end of each topic area. The answers to the review questions could be considered a course in and of itself. It is clear that the author spent a great deal of time working on the questions and answers -- these would also serve as a tool for those who have taken marketing in the past and need a "refresher course."
The active links on the terminology used in the course that take the student directly to the dictionary also prove helpful.
Because this course is no longer active, some of its content is dated. For example, the books that are cited as important supplements to the course are all old editions, most from the mid-1990s. If a faculty member intends to use this material, he or she will need to provide up-to-date resources. Additionally, newer marketing content such as the impact of the Internet is not included because this was only in its infancy when the course was developed.
Another, and more serious concern, is that some of the coverage of material provided is not in sufficient depth to serve as a standalone. For example, much of the material contained in the Promotions section is only superficially covered and does not provide enough information for the student.
One concern is that the topic of the Internet relative to marketing is not addressed. The author makes no reference to the Internet at the site. Additionally,
there are no links to relevant marketing websites. Many of the links provided for information searches are outdated and cannot be found.
Finally, while the author attempted some interactivity through the use of Shockwave animation, it does not add a great deal of value to the course overall. Again, part of this stems from the time frame in which the course was developed and what was state-of-the-art technology at that time. This course could easily be updated and include more interactive activities, video and audio clips, etc. -- this would make it more viable for students and keep them more engaged in the course.
Apparently, the discussion board function is not available to users outside of Monash University. This dimension would prove very useful in either a traditional or online introductory marketing course.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The material is a good, broad overview of the principles of marketing. The interactive areas are the most effective and the ones that will probably be most remembered by a student. The material is well organized and there is a logical progression of topics, which makes the site easy for students to access and use. The dictionary of terms is especially useful
The material by itself is better used for refresher purposes than a complete course. The author of the materials incorporated mechanisms to interact with the class such as discussion groups, bulletin boards, etc. that are necessary to fully engage the student. Anyone interested in using this material could and should do this as well.
Additionally, many of the references provided are available offline, which may be difficult for the online learner.Although there appears to be a variety of information available regarding the marketing topic,
many of the links provided at the site are not current.
Additionally, most of the material is somewhat passive. This material needs more interactive activities to keep students engaged and interested in the material.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The material in the course is quite easy to use. The flow is logical and the links work as intended. I cannot imagine anyone having difficulty in using these materials. Instructions provided are clear enabling students to review the site independently.
The author should state somewhere at the beginning of the materials that a broadband connection is necessary. I accessed this material on both broadband and dial-up just to see how the content could be managed by a person working from home who does not have a high-speed internet connection. On a dial-up connection some of the interactive components took a long time to download or did not download at all (they appeared to get hung up and I could not progress any further). This could cause a student to become frustrated and lose interest. Additionally, the site is not interactive, which may create a problem in terms of engaging students.
Other Issues and Comments:
Marketing Theory and Practice Online (AKA Principles of Marketing) can serve as a useful tool for a student needing a marketing "refresher". If the course is truly intended to serve as a standalone course, it could benefit from some updates in material and additional depth as some of the topic areas are covered in too broad a manner (that being said the authors did a great job with the instructional technology available in the mid to late 1990s). It should be noted, though, that the course designer used the material in conjuntion with reference materials, as well as discussion groups and bulletin boards. These things would definitely add value to the materials. Other instructors could use this material as the foundation from which they could add additional exercises,
interaction, chat rooms, etc. to develop a good online principles experience.