Blogging, lecturing, workshopping and otherwise evangelizing about social marketing presents opportunities for me to focus and tailor ideas and practices of what constitutes great social marketing practice to the interests and needs of many different groups of health professionals. Over the last five months I took the step of teaching a semester long course on social marketing that allowed me to systematically collect the thoughts and reactions of the 26 students who were enrolled in the course. In contrast to the usual evaluation form that is quickly completed, if at all, by participants at a conference or workshop, or the comments left on a blog post, the students were required to keep a lesson log throughout the semester and turn them in for course credit (aka part of their grade). Thus, a feedback loop with a higher set of ‘prices’ than usually encountered in less formal settings.
The instructions at the beginning of the semester were simple: at the end of each weekly class, or during the week, write down the 3-5 major points you got out of the class. Not what notes you made about a lecture or discussion, but the highlights – something that was said, a point that somebody made during the discussion, a thought or question you had that really had an impact on you or stuck with you.
The point is to have them consolidate their thoughts and provide me with some indication of what we have been talking about that resonates with them, gets a reaction, or completely misses the mark. In that way, the lesson logs reflect the perspective of master’s level students in a MPH program (or related degree program) who have sat through, participated or engaged in classroom social marketing content for an extended period of time. I let them know ahead of time that some of their comments in the logs may be used on my blog without direct attribution. So what follows in the next several posts about “Student Voices” will be selections from their responses to the class material and discussion. For background, here is the class curriculum [GWU Social Marketing].
SO in a series of 7 installments, rather than my talking about what social marketing is (I do enough of that already), here come the lessons and stories as the students experience it.