Professor and Associate Dean Academic Detlev Zwick discusses the benefits of innovating his course MKTG 4560 Digital Marketing based on student feedback. In his new format, he works with industry partners to challenge students with real-world digital marketing problems that organizations are working on right now.
The course I decided to innovate is called “Digital Marketing”. It’s an undergrad elective course, third and fourth-year students, and the course teaches students the challenges of doing digital marketing and how digital marketing can support overall marketing efforts. The impetus for change really came from the students. They wanted to work on a real-world problem rather than maybe a research project that I would give them.
The best way to do that was to find industry partners that can present to the students actual digital marketing challenges that they’re working on right now. The product the students would have to produce then would be an absolutely unique, original, report and students noticed that what they say and what they do and what they write is relevant. Relevant to the company therefore it becomes relevant to them.
And finally, I change the structure of my lecture so instead of lecturing for 12 weeks I would have a few lectures only and the rest of my class time now I would spend meeting one-on-one with the teams. We have time now to actually go more in-depth into the company into the problem. Now in a 30-minute meeting with the team and just me we have a lot of time to develop great learning. I always liked teaching the course, but now I felt myself getting really excited about meeting the teams every week. As I get more engaged and I have more energy, as the instructor the students benefit from it, they get more engaged, and so it becomes a really high energy sort of experience. I know students really like this new class because they tell me so. They feel responsible to deliver a very good product exactly the kind of pressure in a way that you want. That’s real-world stuff. So that’s how we get to the learning outcomes of the course.