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This August, our US team attended the Summer American Marketing Association in Boston. It was a great opportunity to speak to current StratX Simulations users, meet new professors and listen to their most memorable #classroomstories.
From the panel discussion we hosted with esteemed Markstrat users to the video interviews we collected from around the conference, here’s a few of our favourite classroom stories from the conference:
The panel then discussed the biggest challenges they face in class, challenges varied from student preparation to being able to show the relevance of the theory taught in class to the business world. A professor in the audience asked the panel: “how do your students deal with the uncertainty of the results of the Markstrat simulation you use because there is no clear-cut answer.” Tyson Ang from Texas A&M University – Central Texas replied:
“Students come to me and tell me “what’s the production number, tell me what’s the right price…..” so I tell them OK, think of Apple, they just reached 1 trillion a couple of weeks ago, but they still can’t predict their production accurately… there’s a lot of uncertainty in the business world and I think that’s what the simulation does, it teaches you there’s no right or wrong answer.
“Marketing is half science, half arts, so that’s the good thing about the simulations, there’s no such thing as a 100% right answer. It’s all about progress, making judgements, based on the knowledge that you have.”
When asked, how do you avoid personality clashes in teams, Mark Breedveld from University of the Fraser Valley said:
“One course I do, you can do a management style test and I do that so students know the style of the other people on their team, whether it’s an analytical style or say a leadership style. But that’s one thing that works well.”
Alan Malter from the University of Illinois takes a different approach, instead of avoiding personality clashes he sees it as an opportunity for students to learn:
“That’s part of the learning, I tell them when you get in a job… you can be assigned in a team to work on something and you can’t say “oh I don’t like that person, I’ll go somewhere else.” You have to make the best of it and so this is a good opportunity to learn that.”
The panel also shared ideas on how they get their students to interact in class. Tyson Ang said:
“I’m teaching a digital marketing class, I always start with the news – flash news – to get them to talk among each other, an icebreaker.”
While Alan Malter finds using Markstrat is the best teaching tool for encouraging interaction:
“When I run Markstrat, I reveal the results in class… and there’s such anticipation because they’ve worked really hard on their strategy decisions, so they’re dying to see how it comes out. There are very few things I’ve had in my teaching career where I’ve literally had students waiting on the edge of their seats to see what comes next.”
And now for something a little more light-hearted, here three brave professors share their funniest teaching stories: