Students don't like to answer discussion questions from a text! I spend a lot of time trying to come up with fun assignments that reinforce the concepts taught in the classroom and in reading assignments. Something that I have discovered through feedback is that students like assignments that focus on their own experiences. Collages can be a great way to engage students in the topic by relating it to what has been experienced in their own lives.
A few years ago while teaching Retailing, I had a sudden inspiration for an assignment. I had each student select one of his/her favorite retailers and create a collage about his/her experiences over time. This assignment could be adapted for a digital marketing class, a principles of marketing class, etc.
1) Select one of your favorite retailers.
2) Take an 8 x 11 inch piece of card stock and paste the retailer logo in the middle
3) Find 6-8 images (personal photos, digital images,etc.) that represent your
a) memories with the retailer
b) attitudes toward the retailer
c) anything else that you think applies to your relationship with the retailer
4) Number each image and then on a separate sheet of paper, provide 2-3 sentences explaining what this represents
5) Bring the collage to class and be prepared to present to the class your collage
This ended up being a favorite assignment for students. I assigned it each semester and I even had students tell me that they had heard about the assignment from friends who loved it. One student was extremely creative and he attached a dead snake skin to his collage about Bass Pro Shop because it represented memories of hunting trips with his extended family. It freaked me out a little to grade the assignment but I appreciated his enthusiasm.
Some of the most popular retailers have been:
As a teaching tool, this was a great assignment. Within each class, each student's collage was unique; however, common themes emerged such as:
1) Drivers of Retailer Loyalty
2) The importance of the service scape
4) The retail experience
5) Loyalty to store brands
The class discussion for this assignment as always been one of the most interesting of the semester. When one student would present, others would get excited when it was a retailer that they liked as well. Students would share memories and discuss likes and dislikes of the retail experience.
Please feel free to use the assignment in your own class if you are looking for a fun and engaging assignment. This can be easily altered to fit other topics.
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