Teaching Marketing with KWL

The KWL strategy served as an effective way to teach marketing by highlighting the key marketing terms and modeling the importance of integrating the 4Ps. While many students find marketing to be a fun and interesting class, they often struggle with the variety of terms and how to apply them. The course is also challenging as students must think and apply at a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

One of my professional teaching goals over the last several years has been to employ creative ways to lecture that decreases the amount of time I am talking, that makes the concepts “sticky” as well as repeatedly model the connections of terms. Integration of concepts is imperative in a marketing course. Today’s marketers are required to be strategic in a multidimensional way that mixes the 4Ps along with the continuously growing and changing marketing options available.

During the first few weeks of the semester in Branding Bootcamp when students learn the basic language of marketing and tease out examples and applications, the class is introduced to the general definition of each “P”. Thereafter, the semester is broken up into each of the 4Ps. I start each new section with KWL to make connections to what we KNOW about the construct and what we WANT to know. This process serves as a review of the previous concepts and the “P” that will be studied. The process also provides me with a good list of concepts that the students do not understand from their reading. I use a flip chart sheet to make the two lists and I leave it in the room as we complete that section. At the end of the section, we discuss what we have LEARNED as a review for the test.

Students have found this strategy to be very helpful in integrating the concepts. Leaving the paper in the class is a small but important step as students are constantly glancing at the list of concepts that are usually confusing to most of them (what). I continue to develop and test ideas to increase my teaching effectiveness and student learning. I look forward to sharing more of my strategies. I would love to read your feedback and hear your ideas.

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