Jane Martin: Teaching Marketing: Rising to the Challenges of the Changing Classroom

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Jane Martin, senior lecturer in marketing at Chester Business School gave insights into her teaching experience over the years and discussed how student cohorts are changing significantly.

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Jane Martin: Teaching Marketing webinar slides

Jane Martin, senior lecturer in marketing at Chester Business School, discussed the content and practical applications of her textbook. With 27 years of teaching experience, she highlighted the importance of simplicity and engagement in teaching materials. She emphasised, "We wanted to keep this simple. It's the essentials of marketing." Jane stressed the need to adapt to evolving student learning preferences, incorporating short sections and interactive elements. 

She also addressed the challenge of keeping case studies current. She explained,  

"I use those [case studies] as a foundation... and then I will get the students themselves to build on that within those sessions."  

This approach encourages student engagement and ensures relevance in marketing education.  


Thoughts on student engagement 

Jane continued with a focus on strategies for enhancing student engagement in classroom settings. She began by acknowledging the challenges educators face, such as reduced engagement, shorter attention spans, and reluctance to interact, possibly stemming from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She emphasised the need to adapt teaching methods to accommodate changing student cohorts and external factors like increased work commitments and mental health concerns. She highlighted the importance of breaking down lectures into shorter segments and encouraging student participation through activities like discussions, online tools, and interactive exercises. 

Jane also advocated for incorporating real-life cases and scenarios, including those from local businesses, to make learning more relevant and engaging for students. She shared examples of using simulations, guest speakers, and field trips to deepen students' understanding and involvement in course material. 

Regarding the use of digital devices in the classroom, Jane acknowledged the challenge of students being distracted by social media or other activities. She suggested setting clear expectations for device usage during class activities and intervening when necessary to refocus students' attention. 

Jane stressed the importance of adopting a balanced approach that utilises both traditional and modern teaching methods to maximise student engagement and learning outcomes. She encouraged educators to remain flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of their students. 

"I think we've just got to accept the fact that there will always be some students that won't engage." 

Jane followed on with strategies for engaging students in preparation for classes and assessments. She emphasised the importance of being prepared for the likelihood that many students may not come prepared for sessions. She advocated for incorporating pre-session activities and short case studies to encourage student engagement. She stated,  

"I'd rather have some engagement than no engagement at all." 

Regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in education, Jane highlighted both its positive and challenging aspects. She mentioned using AI as a tool to facilitate classroom discussions on its benefits and challenges in organisational settings. 


AI in assessment 

In addressing assessment challenges posed by AI, Jane discussed adopting practical assessment methods such as simulations, guest speaker reflections, and live case studies. She stressed the importance of moving away from traditional essay questions towards practical activities that mirror real-world scenarios. She stated,  

"Employees want students who can do these practical activities." 


International students 

Concerning support for international students, Jane emphasised the importance of understanding and embracing cultural diversity in the classroom. She suggested activities like cultural sharing sessions to foster integration and mutual understanding among students from diverse backgrounds. Jane highlighted the significance of co-creating content with students and conducting midterm evaluations to gather feedback and enhance teaching strategies. 

Overall, Martin's webinar provided insights into effective teaching practices, including student engagement strategies, leveraging AI in education, practical assessment methods, and fostering a supportive learning environment for international students. 


Q&A session 

In the Q&A session of the webinar, Jane answered questions about various aspects of teaching marketing. She highlighted the importance of understanding the diverse needs of business professionals in teaching marketing concepts. Jane emphasised the value of engaging students in discussions and activities relevant to their industry experiences. 

She suggested that embracing the knowledge and perspectives of students is essential, especially when teaching in specialised fields like healthcare or government. Jane shared her approach of involving students in discussions to explore how marketing theories can be applied in their respective industries. 

Regarding the use of textbooks in teaching, Jane advised flexibility, suggesting that the duration of coverage can vary based on the course structure. She mentioned adapting content to short, intensive courses or longer semester formats, depending on the needs of the students and the institution. 

In response to questions about fostering individual contributions in group projects, Jane discussed strategies such as breaking down barriers, assigning roles, and addressing student concerns to promote collaboration and participation. 

Reflecting on the evolving nature of marketing education, Jane acknowledged the impact of technology, particularly AI, on teaching methods and industry practices. She highlighted the importance of adapting to technological advancements to prepare students for future challenges. 

Jane also shared memorable teaching moments, including overcoming doubts about her expertise early in her career and the rewarding experience of seeing students succeed and graduate. 

Summarising the session, Jane emphasised the dynamic and creative nature of marketing education, driven by technological advancements and industry trends. She highlighted the importance of engaging students, embracing their experiences, and adapting teaching methods to meet evolving needs. Jane reiterated her passion for teaching and the satisfaction derived from seeing students succeed in their careers. 


Jane Martin's textbook Essentials of Marketing is now available in print and e-Textbook format. Access your complimentary sample copy from our online store.


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