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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Product Life Cycle

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.3 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 22, 2007 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This module is a quiz on the Product Life Cycle, which requires students to
answer questions about the various stages of the life cycle and then visually
match a list of products with the various stages of the PLC. This would be
useful for an Introductory Business class or a Principles of Marketing class
(the latter would require some additional materials) as an in-class concept
check exercise or stand-alone module.
Learning Goals: Site goal: To provide a learning activity that tests student understanding of
the PLC concept.

User goal: To demonstrate successful learning by completing the exercise.
Students are presented with a quiz on the stages of the Product Life Cycle. They
then must indicate graphically where each phase falls, and place products that
are in the appropriate PLC stage.
Target Student Population: Typically freshman class in associate or baccalaureate degree programs in an
intro to business class. If supplemented with additional materials, it might be
useful for a Principles of Marketing course. It could also be used by anyone
that wants to refresh their knowledge of the product life cycle.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Users need to know how to drag and drop icons with a mouse. Additionaly, the
user needs to have a basic understanding of the Product Life Cycle.
Type of Material: Drill, practice, or quiz.
Recommended Uses: This module would probably work best as an individual in-class exercise after a
lecture to reinforce PLC concepts. It may also work well as an individual
assignment or quiz, n which case evidence of successful completion of the module
would be required.
Technical Requirements: Internet browser and Flash plug-in.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The exercise is simple, easy to understand, complete, and presented in animated
form. It serves the purpose of providing a basic introduction to the PLC
concept and reinforces prior learning about the PLC.
Concerns: Simplicity, lack of dynamism, and limited overview of the concept are some
concerns. First, the exercise does not distinguish between product classes and
product variants (e.g., radios as a product class might be on the decline but
satellite radio, a product variant is in the introductory stage today). Second,
the product list would need to be regularly updated to ensure relevance (e.g.,
digital TVs are likely to enter the growth stage soon). The exercise has
limited scope since it does not require an understanding of the advantages and
disadvantages of the PLC (as would be necessary in a Principles class).
Finally, the quiz does not link to a source to provide definitions of the stages
of the PLC.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.3 stars
Strengths: The initial quiz requiring students to sequentially list the stages of the PLC
reinforces the order of stages of the PLC. The exercise serves well to
reinforce a discussion on the PLC.
Concerns: The author does not provide learning objectives. Instructors would need to
provide a small write-up or a set of verbal instructions stating the objectives
of the exercise. Note that correctly matching the products with PLC stages does
not guarantee an understanding of the concept. Multiple choice questions
regarding prescriptive strategies for the four Ps for correctly matched products
might help improve learning.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The strength of the module is its visual appeal and user-friendliness. When you
type in the wrong answer it will tell you the correct answer. It will give two
tries if one of the answers is not one of the stages in the product life cycle
and one try if the answer is one of the stages in the product life cycle.
Concerns: