Teacher’s note, part 1

As a part of the 4M theme week, I asked a few of our professors to write about the first year of the new Marketing and Media Management program from a teacher’s point of view. Associate professor Henrik Agndal wrote the first contribution.

Can someone who has already taken several undergraduate courses in marketing really learn something new if he or she joins the Master in Marketing and Media Management (4M) Program at Stockholm School of Economics? As a teacher here (and someone who has not managed to leave school after nearly 20 years…), you would of course expect me to answer “YES” to that question. But don’t just take my word for it. Study the curriculum for the 4M Program and you will see that we take a broad approach to what constitutes marketing, teaching topics such as sourcing, supply chain management, corporate social responsibility, distribution, global business, product development, management of innovation, and so on. Of course, you will have come across many of these topics in the past, but you may not always have considered them in the context of marketing!

All topics and course modules are taught by experts in the particular area. This means that students encounter a lot of professors and are consequently exposed to a lot of different perspectives and teaching styles. The professors’ own publications also often constitute part of the literature, which means that we (professors and students) can dig more deeply into many areas than if we relied only on a particular textbook. This is also where the Master Program differentiates from a Bachelor Program: more in-depth treatment of ‘narrow’ topics, leading to an overall ‘broader’ understanding of the various roles and functions of marketing.

To support this, we have somewhat different pedagogical ambitions compared to many undergraduate courses. For example, lectures are generally interactive in character and readings as well as study questions are assigned to most sessions. This allows students and teachers to engage in an informed dialogue. I.e., students become co-creators rather than just recipients of a particular message. From the point-of-view of a teacher, this is more challenging but certainly also more rewarding than delivering a monologue-style lecture. In fact, it happens all the time that students share excellent examples and insights that are new to the teachers.

Within each course, there is also more variety in regard to teaching methods and assessment activities than at the bachelor level in most colleges and universities; in addition to traditional exams (we know that many don’t like them, but we still need a basis for grading students…), there are individual home exams, practical assignments, case studies, different types of simulations, and a lot of presentations. Students themselves are even responsible for organizing classes! Again, managing all this variety is both time-consuming and challenging for teachers, but provides for a more fruitful teaching situation that also allows teachers to develop new skills.

So, we hope to see you at the introduction to the 4M Program in August!

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About Riikka

Student in the Marketing and Media Management program at SSE. Some of the things I like are: baking cakes and drinking tea, research, working with people who love what they are doing. One of the admins for this blog.
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