Branded Wine Marketing

Purpose: to help other instructors teaching the same course

Common Course ID: Branded Wine Marketing (WVIT 343)
CSU Instructor Open Textbook Adoption Portrait

About the Course

Branded Wine Marketing (WVIT 343)

Brief Description of course highlights:  

WVIT 343 Branded Wine Marketing: The objective of the course is to provide students with the skills to develop a marketing plan for a branded wine marketing product. Students will determine the impact of new brands, new products and varietals, government sales regulations, distribution systems, and the changing consumer on new and existing wine brands. The prerequisite course is Agricultural Economics, Macroeconomics, or Survey of Economics. It is a core course in the Wine and Viticulture major.

Student population:

The students in WVIT 343 are mostly juniors and seniors with a few sophomore students. The course is a core course for all WVIT students and is a prerequisite for several of the Wine Business concentration courses. The course is also an approved elective for several majors in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and is sometimes used by students in other majors as a free elective. An introductory Economics course is the prerequisite for WVIT 343.
Learning or student outcomes: 

  1. An understanding of the fundamental principles of wine grape growing, winemaking, and wine business, both domestically and globally, with in-depth knowledge in a chosen sub-discipline (viticulture, enology, or wine business).
  2. Development of the ability to think critically and creatively, analyze and interpret data, and make reasoned and informed decisions.
  3. Development of effective leadership skills, and strong written and oral communication skills.
  4. An understanding of legal and environmental issues, and sustainability principles, within the wine industry.
  5. A high commitment and respect for cultural diversity.
  6. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to collaborate with other wine industry professionals.
  7. Create the desire to engage in lifelong learning.

Key challenges faced and how resolved

I really did not face any challenges beyond the need to adapt to a new textbook. The OER online textbook seems to have been well-received by students.

About the Resource/Textbook 

Textbook or OER/Low cost Title: Principles of Marketing

Student access:  

The OER textbook is primarily an online textbook. Students have the option of downloading a PDF version and may order a print copy if desired. 

By chance more than plan, my adoption of OER materials came at the same time I had to adapt my class to a fully online modality in response to the pandemic. Student access to a home computer and good, reliable internet service would be a concern, but Cal Poly had to enhance their efforts to support students with computer access issues across the board. I hope that that support will remain in place even after most instruction returns to the campus classrooms. I have heard that the OER materials I have adopted meet high standards regarding computer accessibility issues, which I consider to be essential.

The OER textbook I used added videos to support many of the main points and included graphic presentations for numerous concepts, so it helps students who learn better when they can see or hear something to support their reading. It mostly focused its examples on well-known brands and companies. That has the advantage of giving examples with which students are generally familiar. On the other hand, it does not create a lot of space to highlight diversity.

Cost Savings:

The previous textbook costs about $100 new, although I do not know what options the students had for renting textbooks or obtaining used versions. The course has at least 30 students each quarter, and in the first quarter I used the OER material had 56 initially enrolled. I would estimate that it saves students at least $2,000 in the aggregate per quarter and as much as $5,000 per quarter.

OER/Low Cost Adoption

OER/Low Cost Adoption Process

Provide an explanation or what motivated you to use this textbook or OER/Low Cost option. 

Part of the purpose of WVIT 343 is to teach the principles and concepts of an introductory marketing course while focusing on the wine industry. Accordingly, I need an Intro to Marketing textbook, but I do not make full use of it. I was looking for an Intro textbook that better fit my approach to the Marketing aspect. At the same time, I wanted to use the opportunity of changing textbooks to consider OER to save money for the students and support this cause at Cal Poly.

How did you find and select the open textbook for this course? 

I reached out to the Library for help. They said that Cal Poly has a faculty member appointed as the Affordable Learning Solutions Coordinator and connected me with that person, whose help was invaluable.

What did you change as part of the OER adoption?

The primary driver of my OER adoption was a change in the textbook. However, my interest in changing the textbook was driven by a need to adjust the syllabus and change the learning and assessment activities.

Teaching and Learning Impact

The effects on teaching and learning that resulted from adopting OER is hard to determine at this point, especially given that it coincided with being required to move classes online. Students seem to like the textbook (although they generally do not have a good basis of comparison) and appreciate that they do not have to pay for it. The scores on my student course evaluations have improved since I adopted the OER material.

Student Feedback or Participation

Quotes from the Comments on My Student Course Evaluation

  • “A strength of this course is that the book is a no cost resource for us as students.”
  • “I liked that the textbook was online, because I could access it from anywhere. A big plus was that the textbook was a no-cost resource.”
  • “Having the text book online made it easier and more cost efficient.”
  • “The fact that it [the textbook] was free was very nice but coping sections and putting it into your own notes made it way
  • easier to study.”
  • “I enjoyed the textbook format and much prefer it to a physical textbook or one you have to pay for.”
  • “I loved the text book online and it was helpful with the Winery Projects and to reference during quizzes.”

Sharing Best Practices: 

I knew this going into adopting OER, but I think it is worth emphasizing. OER does not offer as many options and alternatives as regular textbooks, so (unless one gets lucky about it) it seems best for basic courses (e.g., Introduction to fill-in-the-blank) or courses like mine that need a basic textbook but also need to supplement it heavily with more specialized information and example.

The textbook I chose seemed to be good about using a combination of examples that seem timeless (Coca-Cola as a brand) and current examples that are changed to keep up to date. Other books I considered were not as strong in that regard. Either they were sparse when it came to examples or the examples did not seem current and something that today’s college students would relate to or understand.

About the Instructor

Terry M. Lease

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

I teach wine business classes in Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture Department, including Branded Wine Marketing, Wine Business Strategies, and Senior Project – Wine Business. I am inspired by Cal Poly’s “learn by doing” guiding principle and build into my classes a series of small projects that require students to apply textbook concepts to real-world situations.