This material is an Advertising Elasticity of Demand (AED) simulation. By changing inputs into the simulation, such as levels of advertising or price of good, the impact on the simulation outcomes (AED, revenues, costs and profits) can be observed. This site provides a thorough description of the concept advertising elasticity of demand, including the underlying theoretical underpinnings. Additionally, the site illustrates the concept by way of a simulation. Finally, interactive self-assessment questions permit self-tests to ensure understanding.
As stated on the site, the goal of the simulation is to demonstrate "how to calculate and apply the advertising elasticity of demand."
Target Student Population:
This site would be best suited for undergraduate students taking an upper-level advertising or promotions course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisites exist. Although students with basic economics and marketing skills would likely get more out of the simulation. A basic understanding of advertising concepts would be helpful.
Type of Material:
Within an online class, the simulation could be used to present the concept and the underlying theory. The simulation permits a detailed demonstration of the concept that can be used during class. Regardless of class type (online or F2F), the simulation and/or accompanying questions could be assigned as homework.
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Evaluation and Observation
Content quality is excellent. Advertising Elasticity of Demand (AED) is defined clearly and concisely. Students can access a thorough explanation of the theory underlying AED. Because the site includes information about the concept, a simulation, and self-assessment questions, it is relatively self-contained. Moreover, the materials presented could be used in a variety of ways. The simulation is easy to run. It is basically an AED spreasheet masquerading as a simulation. The 'information pack' section provides good background information regarding terminology.
Students would require some understanding of the role of AED in advertising; in other words, context relative to other advertising concepts is needed. he spreadsheet is almost too simplistic. The output of the simulation is basic calculations that could easily be done by hand. Also, while questions to accompany the simulation are presented, there are not many of them and the quality is questionable. The simulation is designed and hosted by a British company, and all inputs and outputs are in British pounds. For some students, this might be confusing.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The objective of the site is clearly stated. The concept is explained and subsequently illustrated via the simulation. The interactive self-assessment questions can be used to reinforce the concepts. When answering the self-assessment questions, students can receive hints and explanations for the correct answers. Hints are also provided for structuring answers. As such, the site is efficient for both instructors and students.
While the simulation is simple to utilize, the website does not present the necessary information in a clear manner. Information is not logically organized. Also, the supplemental material that is presented is very simplistic, and as a result, not very useful. Many instructors would need to design their own materials to use in conjunction with the simulation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is very easy to use. Pages download quickly and all links work. Links to the home page are provided on each page, making navigation simple. Links are also clearly marked. The very nature of the site, i.e., simulation, makes it interactive. The design quality is excellent. Finally, links to "help" are provided throughout the site as a means to assist students with the simulation and/or the self-assessment questions.
Because the site originates in the U.K., all calculations are in British pounds. Students from outside the U.K. will need to understand this difference when interacting with the site. The time and effort that an instructor would have to invest to utilize this simulation may be too great when compared to the payoff.
Other Issues and Comments:
The site also provides a brief discussion of how to write small-scale simulations and publish them on the Internet.