Upping the Game: 5 New Ideas For Your Classroom This Fall

The new school year is coming up and you may or may not want to change some things. What’s working? What isn’t? These are always good questions to ask yourself. We’re sure you’re doing great! However, if you’re needing a little extra inspiration, need some ideas, or just curious as to what other social and digital marketing professors are up to around the nation, that’s what this post is here for. Get to know what these five professors have been up to lately and where they’re headed this new school year.

1. Video Agendas

Kathy Fredrickson, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

Fredrickson has been teaching digital marketing and digital marketing analytics for 18 years. She, like many other professors right now, had no prior online teaching experience but speaks positively on the change stating, “I love it actually. I’m embracing it.” 

Video agendas are something that Fredrickson sees as key to keeping students engaged and anxiety-free. She records a video for every agenda item, for every class, and sees the correlation between organization and more engaged students. “That’s where Stukent really helps me actually. The chapters are organized so well and any activity I have is in support of that chapter’s learning. Fredrickson uses the Digital Marketing Essentials Bundle in her courses. “It keeps everything flowing.” 

Classroom Application: Along with creating a weekly summary of upcoming due dates and assignments, create a short video presentation for the beginning of each week, explaining important information and important details. This will not only add a more personal touch in the communication with your students, but also provide them with a clearer explanation of expectations to be met.

2. In-class Incentives

Dr. Scott Cowley, Western Michigan University

Dr. Cowley has been at WMU for four years, teaching mainly digital marketing classes and an advanced digital marketing course. Prior to this year, he had no experience in teaching online. Something Dr. Cowley is practicing right now, in synchronous online teaching, is student engagement and in-class incentives. 

To aid in keeping his students engaged online, Dr. Cowley is offering more incentives like in-class quizzes. Whatever the incentive may be, it is closely tied to what he wants his students to read or learn. “If they are given good pressure, they’re going to learn more.”

Classroom Application: Incentivize students to prepare for class by initiating a 1-3 question quiz at the beginning of each class that covers topics in the lesson’s material.

3. Zoom Polls

Dr. Jeff Larson, Brigham Young University

Dr. Larson has spent the last 10 years teaching digital marketing and introductory to business analytics. His answer for teaching online prior to this year was this: “I did the thing everybody else had to do, which was switch to online toward the end of last semester, and that’s the extent of my online teaching experience thus far.” 

Keeping classes interactive and engaging, even online, is something Dr. Larson stands by. He has found that polls he created on Zoom for his students, actually saw increased interaction than in person. Dr. Larson is the co-author of the Digital Marketing Essentials textbook, in which Zoom polls are offered in every chapter.

Classroom Application: Create online polls to boost student engagement. Provided are links on how to create polls on popular virtual classroom platforms: Zoom Polls, Top Hat Polls, Blackboard Polls, Adobe Connect Polls, Cisco Webex Polls, Schoology Polls.

4. Trending Content

Lydia Chen Shah, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Since 2006, Shah has been teaching staple courses like digital marketing, interactive marketing and consumer behavior. She has taught hybrid courses in the past but has not taught fully online until this year. This coming school year, she plans to approach her classroom more as an audience than as students. She is plugging in more trending content and topics that her students will find interesting. Sometimes we can get too narrow-focused on how marketing or marketing instructors do things. We might be missing some creative and fun things to implement. Shah says,  “I want to keep things fun regardless of the delivery mode.”

As a professor, Shah recognizes that a good grade is not the most important thing in her classroom. “It’s not just skill development, it’s not just career development, it’s also character development.” One way she keeps her “ear to the ground” is subscribing to industry newsletters and being active on Twitter. She adds, “And then of course attending things like the Stukent Digital Summit and ProfCon.” 

Classroom Application: At the beginning of each class, call on a student to share something interesting they have recently heard or researched that pertains to digital marketing or, how that topic can be tied back to an aspect in digital marketing. Have a 5-10 minute class discussion on the matter. Use the free Wheel of Names tool to call on a new student each week to share the discussion topic. Instruct students to come prepared with a topic each week as they might be chosen.

5. Video Comments 

Daryl Green, Oklahoma Baptist University

Once an engineer dealing with nuclear projects, Dr. Green’s massive career shift has led him to teaching strategic marketing and introductory to marketing analytics courses for the past 15 years now. He also teaches classes in OBU’s MBA program. This coming semester, through his LMS platform, Dr. Green plans to incorporate video comments. “I teach them how to give constructive feedback. I give feedback and students give feedback peer to peer.”

Something Dr. Green has always done, and continues to do as his classes remain online, is integrating course-embedded certifications. “My students come away with knowing they have a certification that means something in the industry.” Dr. Green reflects on the “sense of urgency” he offers as a professor. “I’m always trying to pivot and get relevant information. That’s why Stukent has been very helpful to me. The material is current and the simulations make it relevant.”

Classroom Application: Leverage technology to your advantage by incorporating video comments. You and your students can create a free Flipgrid account. Flipgrid is a platform where you can create a video for assignments or discussions with easily shareable links to post the video to your LMS platform. Students can then create video responses to the instructor’s post as well as peer to peer. Flipgrid allows instructor monitoring for video comments and time limit controls for student responses.

For more tips and insight from digital marketing professors, check out Stukent’s upcoming events to stay in the know to continue bringing new ideas to your classroom.

Fall Stukent Digital Summit

Sign up for the free Fall Stukent Digital Summit taking place on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 at 8 a.m. MDT. Stukent Digital Summit is a virtual conference put on three times a year, where higher education instructors come together to gain insight from professors and other industry professionals alike. 

ProfCon 2021

Register for Stukent’s ProfCon 2021. This annual, and now virtual conference includes keynote sessions, as well as concurring breakout sessions, where attendees can choose to join any session depending on what topics they would like to hear about. ProfCon is designed for higher-education instructors who teach subjects in digital and social media marketing, advertising, public relations, and analytics.

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