(Student’s Eye View is a new series on the TigerLearn Blog. Within this series, you will be able to examine a student’s thoughts and opinions of technology enhanced learning tools. Check back frequently for new articles in this series.)
I never thought the Super Bowl could be educational. But, there I sat, watching Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake pitch Bai fruit water like gentlemen with the lyrics to N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye”. You can imagine my surprise when I started dissecting the 30 second commercial without even thinking. I was even more surprised that I could use those 30 seconds to create an entire marketing plan for Bai fruit water.
So why was I so interested in this commercial? In my marketing principles class, we each created an individual marketing plan for a Super Bowl 2017 commercial of our choosing. Our assignment was to deconstruct the commercial and, working backwards, reconstruct the marketing plan throughout the semester. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was so interested in the project I would find ways to bring it up no matter the context. I kept showing the commercial to my friends and family and asking for their feedback. It got to a point where they were now purchasing a drink they’d never heard of before.
What really made this interesting and engaging is that everyone in the class shared their analysis using CampusPress, a blogging platform intended for classroom use. We created blog posts, weekly, to represent the different marketing principles that we being discussed. I created multimedia blog posts by adding images, links, videos, and quotes. All it took was a click then a copy/paste and the media was embedded in the post. This was the first time I used CampusPress and I really enjoyed playing around with the different tools, as well as seeing how professional the posts looked.
For me, one of the most valuable parts of the experience was how easy it was to see what the rest of the class was working on. Each of us had the opportunity to comment on each other’s work and I found that to be really helpful. It was extremely easy to identify the posts my classmates had written because each post had its own thumbnail with a graphic to catch the eyes of viewers and immediately let me know what topic was being discussed. This is a much different experience than using the discussion board in Blackboard; which is very static and often unfriendly. Discussion boards do not necessarily encourage open communication between students because, once we have submitted our posts, we tend not to revisit them due to the way the comments are displayed. In Blackboard you see a less than exciting list of student names to represent each post but don’t have any other way to differentiate content. The layout of CampusPress showcased the work we created and allowed our different personalities to show through.
CampusPress provides an easy to navigate, user-friendly space for students to collaborate on assignments. I found that I took much more pride in posting in my marketing principles blog than I ever have in posting in a discussion board. In the blog, I was posting for more of an authentic audience, so I wanted to do my best work. All of our posts were different, making it interesting to read others’ work and make comments to help. This class allowed for asynchronous learning as we would have in-class discussions as well has having discussions on our blog. In every class there is usually one or two people that you become friends with and with whom you tend to collaborate on assignments. This class was no different, except the CampusPress space made it easier to do so. If I was struggling with an assignment I could easily search for my friend’s work, a girl named Maci, and see what she was working on. I could even look on the side of the page, click on her name and go directly to her profile. We could then have discussions through the blog or outside of class about each assignment.
I’m a very hands-on person, and to help me learn principles of anything, I need some kind of application process. Utilizing a system like CampusPress facilitated an applied learning experience allowing the principles that we learned to be directly applied to our posts and project. So, it turns out the Super Bowl can be educational and now I can’t hear N’Sync without thinking about marketing.
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