Global Edge is a website which provides a variety of resources to assess global market opportunities and to identify foreign market opportunities. It also includes a case study, glossary of terms, quiz questions for each section, a questionnaire and a list of references for further reading. The globalEDGE Market Opportunity Assessment Module is a free, online course module.
Type of Material:
Presentation with audio commentary.
The material can be used both in and out of the classroom. Material can be used as the basis for class discussion, independent assignments and study, and team work. This textbook would be especially valuable in an online course where instructors may be able to provide links to students for audio files or text readings.
Basic Internet browsing capabilities are required. The authors suggest that the module is best viewed with a 1024 x 768 window resolution and works with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 6 (or higher) or Firefox 2 (or higher). Flash is also required to view this module properly. It is stated that you must register to use the material and that this registration is free. However, I was able to access the material without registering.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The website enables individuals to learn how organizations assess market opportunities and to learn more about and explore a variety of resources available to do so. The overall learning goals focus on understanding how a firm assesses global market opportunities and how it internationalizes itself. Each goal is supported by a comprehensive presentation/module for which subgoals/learning objectives are outlined.
Target Student Population:
This material would be appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students. This text would be useful more specifically in an International or Global Marketing course, but could also be referenced for special topics, or used in other international courses (such as Economics, Finance or Management). The material is appropriate for upper level high school, undergraduate, or graduate students who are studying international business.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The material would be more valuable to those individuals who have had some basic exposure to the concept of international business. Due to the nature of this topic, students will need to be somewhat familiar with the concepts of markets, target marketing and market analysis. Students must be familiar with web browsers and software that enables the viewing of a variety of file formats. Students and instructors will also need audio software to access a number of files. Finally, individuals must register at the site (which is free) to access the resources.
Evaluation and Observation
The material is very well-organized and sufficiently detailed. An audio discussion is presented while the user views the equivalent of PowerPoint slides. Anecdotal examples, word quizzes, assessments, case studies (with discussion questions), and current news headlines are embedded in each module. Each module presents a good primer on the identified topic. This site is an excellent resource for analyzing market opportunities. The online course modules provide users with the foundation necessary to understand and conduct the analyses. The online PowerPoint presentations and audio links engage students and provide tangible examples. Clearly it is grounded in academic research. Instructors can choose to include a textbook to accompany the material they are covering relative to global market assessment, or they may rely exclusively on this site.
The value of the material is tied to the involvement level of the user. It can become a bit repetitive to watch slides and listen to the same voice. The word quizzes and assessments do not do a very good job of evaluating the terminology and presentation content. The word quizzes are similar to playing Wheel of Fortune. However, the word or phrase you are trying to guess is not a key term from the lectures. The same can be said of the assessments. While some questions are quite appropriate, many focus on a very minor/random idea. For instance, one question is: "Management should identify the ____ of research in order to better assess a potential market." Many words would accurately fill in the blank.
There are not many concerns except for the fact that technology may be an issue. Additionally, although the concept of foreign market assessment is well addressed, it is not integrated into a larger module on target marketing, so users may have difficulty understanding the concepts if they do not have some background in marketing.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site is designed to enable users to understand what is involved in foreign market assessment. Objectives are identified at the beginning of each lesson to keep students on track. The material is well organized and there is a logical progression of topics. The site is extremely easy for students to access and use.
There are quizzes at the end of each module so that students can gauge their understanding and comprehension of the material. It is embedded directly in the slide presentation so that students do not have to leave the website or load other software. As objectives are provided at the start of the lesson, it is relatively easy to demonstrate outcomes.
The core modules (minus the word quizzes and assessment tools) are very thorough. They are ready-made for use in an online or hybrid course. Similarly, if one is new to online teaching, these serve as good examples of how to design online lectures.
If one is not teaching an online or hybrid course, the value of this material declines. Perhaps, it could be used as supplemental, review lectures. The material and voice-over are a bit repetitive which might cause students to disengage.
If instructors would like to use resources available on the rest of the site, there may be a variety of assignments that could be developed to accompany this module. Although there is one case study available within the module, instructors may need to identify other cases that may be applicable.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The material is very user-friendly. Students can begin the modules, exit, and come back to exactly where they left off. Further, the material can be momentarily paused, sections can be skipped over, or sections can be viewed multiple times. The audio and visual aspects work flawlessly. The left hand side of the screen provides a full menu to assist in navigation. As noted earlier, this site is very well-organized, and thus, is easily navigated. One of the greatest advantages of this site is the fact that users will not be required to download any software or to switch to any other sites to access the quizzes, the presentations etc.
The only concern is the technology that may be required to access and view materials. Also, the site is not overly interactive, but is still engaging and appealing to students to keep their interest.
Other Issues and Comments:
The ability to print the modules would be useful. If there is a way to do this, it is not readily apparent.