As part of a major repositioning of our New Media Marketing and Marketing programs the college launched its first offering of Advanced Internet Marketing this quarter. As some of my former tweets indicate – I am the rather proud instructor of this course having drawn advice in its construction from a collective of dynamic marketing faculty (Raj Murthy and Adriana Boveda-Lambie in particular). The course acts as a capstone for the New Media Marketing students, and as an elective for the remainder (per-requisites include Search Engine Marketing and our regular Internet Marketing courses). The key feature of the advanced course is experience. I have long been an advocate of experiential learning in the classroom – especially the use of real world pro-bono consultancy projects (under my tenure alone this represents over 200 marketing plans for local and national organizations with a market value of around $1.2 million). In this course students are exposed to no less than five projects. To mirror real world engagements where internet marketing plans of all genres (such as basic website repositioning, SEO, social media, micro sites, other online channels) are often built under short, intensive, time constraints – each plan is built within three weeks or less. Students work in areas where their former curriculum has not taken them – into the realms of Business-to-Business, Not-For-Profit, personal branding, as well as the familiar playground of Business-to-Consumer. Additional features of this course include;
- A personal review of their regular resumes versus that of an experienced based resume built from the experiences of their four years with us on our programs
- An e-portfolio charting their progress through the course and their preparation for the afterlife that is ‘graduation’
- Experience building virtual delivery systems (online presentations and demonstrations of their plans)
- A series of personal critiques that evaluate their team work and prior work of existing internet marketing plans (suitable in demonstrating self awareness)
- A network of advanced level students that are seniors, about to graduate, facing the same issues in their career paths, and experience with working with each other under a rotating team structure
- A master class set of client / consultant notes for managing the advanced internet marketing planning process across various domains (all bespoke for this course and this caliber of student I might add)
The results mid way through the quarter are extremely encouraging (at least from the instructors perspective!). I have been very pleased with the quality of output from my inaugural class, their dedication, and what they can achieve in less than ideal time constraints. A great deal can be achieved in less than three weeks it seems, especially when you have the knowledge gleaned from prior classes, even more though over the 11 weeks of the course.
We have much to be proud of at Saunders, not least the emphasis placed on innovating the curriculum. Only that way are our students near bullet proof with their experience at the point of graduation.
Dr Hair is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the E Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT.
© 2012, Dr Neil Hair. All rights reserved.