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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Pricing Policies, Quality, Adding Value and Advertising

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Nov 09, 2009 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The module is designed to assist students in their understanding of pricing in business. Topics covered include the use of demand analysis, the types of pricing policies, how value affects pricing, and how advertising might be used to differentiate products and to charge premium prices. The module includes both a powerpoint presentation and related news articles/questions for discussion.
Learning Goals: The module’s basic purpose is to increase a student’s understanding of pricing in business. In doing so, it explores various pricing policies and how value affects the pricing decision. Specific attention is given to product differentiation and premium pricing.
Target Student Population: Ideally, the target student population consists of undergraduate principles of marketing students. Other business-oriented students may also benefit from this module.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None. The mathematical computations in the PowerPoint slide are very simple and do not even require the need for a calculator.
Type of Material: Drill & Practice
Recommended Uses: While several adaptations may exist, the recommended use is likely a self-directed homework assignment with a follow-up class discussion. The PowerPoint slides and questions provide a clear structure for students to explore pricing issues. The module is flexible, and could be used as both homework or in-class discussion. It is also easily utilized as individual or group-based work.
Technical Requirements: Internet access and ability to view PowerPoint files.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The module includes both a powerpoint and related articles/exercises, and as it is presented, has a number of uses both in and out of the classroom. It discusses a topic (pricing) that is centrally relevant to business, and also addresses how marketing can be used to highlight a firm’s pricing decision. At the time the module was written the articles were current, and while significant time has passed, the first article at least is still a good example to utilize. The PowerPoint slides are fairly clear and direct. Pricing policies and other pricing concepts are provided on each slide. Unless there is a corresponding textbook, students may encounter difficulties understanding some of the concepts since complete definitions are not provided (re: slide #7).
Concerns: It is presumed that students have a corresponding pricing chapter in their textbook. Depending on the textbook being used, definitions and concepts within the slides may not match exactly. However, it would be fairly easy for instructors to take the basic presentation provided and make adaptations to their textbook or other course materials. The entire module seems weak in design and lacking in a number of areas. The powerpoint has significant gaps, specifically in its discussion of demand analysis (not thorough in explaining all types of curves nor what can affect the curve), pricing policies (lists several, though the list is not comprehensive and may use different terminology than US texts, and discussion is limited to just premium pricing) and advertising, (limits the list of advertising uses to two things and only discusses the use of advertising as related to premium products). The second article mentioned does not have an active link, and while the exercise (task) questions are relevant, they are limited in number and could be expanded upon for greater teaching value.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The module discusses a core concept grounded in the marketing discipline, and has some practical uses in the classroom, i.e. the first activity related to premium pricing. Thought provoking questions are provided on the website in order to engage students with various pricing issues.
Concerns: The module is extremely limited in its information, as it does not completely discuss the topic nor does it adequately link the topic to others in marketing. The fundamental idea behind the module is a strong one, however it appears that the instructor would have to invest some time in revamping the module in order for it to be valuable in or out of the classroom. Some instructors may not appreciate that there is not an "answer key" associated with this website. But, the answers to the questions are not that difficult to figure out so this is not a major concern.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The simple layout and design make this a very appealing module. Students will appreciate that there are only five questions (broken into two tasks) for this module. It is very doable and not very overwhelming. The format of the module is a simple, but easily executable design, i.e. powerpoint discussion, read article, discuss article. Had the second article link been active, there is the potential of a compare/contrast discussion as well.
Concerns: The ease of use is the biggest strength. The discussion questions are a positive start, but don’t fully explore the topic. Additionally, the powerpoint terminology is similar to, but not always that used by other texts and is not comprehensive in its discussion. Students may not find that the powerpoint poses any helpful review of the topic.