This module on Introduction to Marketing, part of a Principles of Marketing Course, focuses on helping students understand some of the fundamental concepts of marketing. It does this by providing students with a number of different definitions and examples of marketing, both academic and practitioner oriented, so that they can begin to form their own ideas about what constitutes marketing.
The major learning goal of this module is to prepare students so that they are able to develop an initial understanding of what marketing is at the beginning of a principles of marketing course. A significant component of this exploration is a variety of exercises delivered in a web based discussion format.
Target Student Population:
The target population for this material is undergraduate students at the beginning of a principles of marketing course. In some cases, the exercises and material may be appropriate for a graduate course in marketing management as well.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Type of Material:
The material consists of information about what constitutes marketing from a variety of viewpoints, both academic and practitioner, plus directions for a series of exercises that direct students to apply ideas that have been discussed.
This material would be an excellent way to get students to begin to develop an understanding of marketing at the beginning of a principles of marketing course. The material can be used both in and out of the classroom as the basis for class discussion, independent assignments and study, and team work.
Students will need a computer with web browser software. Additionally, students may need software to access articles and view videos (the additional resources link may have links to information presented in a variety of formats).
Evaluation and Observation
This module is concise in that references are made to salient points in introductory marketing theory. Exercises are applied and fun and relate well to everyday living which should make it more interesting for students.
Most importantly, the material is current and well informed by scholarship and provides learners with the opportunity to experience real world application of theory that may be abstract.
The waving hand exercises are thought provoking and interesting. It would be very helpful to instructors to see some examples of how the student discussions ensued (it can be difficult to generate energy and keep the discussion going in these online forums as an instructor).
The author provides questions to initiate the critical thinking process and have students explore their own views. Professor Ripley clearly has dedicated significant time to identifying and providing relevant material that is engaging and educational. This is an extremely well-organized course module.
Because the site is not an independent module, instructors using the material in an introductory marketing course will need to ensure that they have covered relevant concepts in order to complete the material at the site.
Again, the exercises are an important component to the site; it would be useful to see some sample of student discussion.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The material is likely to be very effective as a teaching tool. It motivates students to go beyond the usual (and rather boring) introductory material in a principles of marketing course, thus ensuring that they are interested and well prepared for the material in the rest of the course. The material is well organized and there is a logical progression of topics. The assignments are thought provoking and fun!
The waving hands exercises are very thoughtful and interesting. As this is an online course, however, I would suggest possibly adding an interactive dimension to the exercises. Instructors could require students to contemplate their classmates responses and whether they agree or disagree with their responses. Online debates would be very appropriate for some of the topics discussed in this type of introductory course.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The material is extremely easy to use, for both students and faculty. It does not appear to present any potential technical problems and is easy to access. As noted earlier, this site is very well-organized, and thus, is easily navigated. The material is presented in a logical progressive manner so that students do not need to jump from area to area at the site. Additionally although the basis for this site is the Kotler text, the author of the module has organized it by topic so that it can be adapted by any instructor regardless of text.
Comments from Author:
One half of the waving hand questions require the students to send their answer to a WebCT Discussion Forum where indeed they do have to contemplate each others' answers and decide whether or not they agree with each other. We have some fascinating discusssions out of this, especially when we talk about the difference between a want and a need!