YouTube and Blogs engage second year students


Elizabeth Lye, Senior Lecturer, Marketing 

Second year students are notoriously difficult to enthuse in my experience. Yet they need to find placements and produce evidence to support their applications.

I teach Customer Psychology and Culture to BA Marketing Communications and Advertising students. We discuss challenging issues: Should advertising be banned? How can drug users be persuaded to stop using banned substances?

To keep engagement high my colleague Dr Paul Johnston and I devise assessments that reflect the reality of the marketing profession. Groups produce a 5 minute YouTube video that persuades a specific audience to stop taking drugs. Formative presentations prepare material. The final video should apply theories learned in the module into practice and be persuasive.

Alongside this students write 8 individual blog posts over several weeks. These explore the theories in detail and include reflection on their own development and learning. There is a workshop about half way through to offer formative feedback.

Students love the flexibility of the blogs although some still submit one post for the final deadline! The video challenges groups and some people were worried about the technical aspects. Equipment can be loaned from the learning centre which also has editing suites so there were no problems. Everyone learned from the experience – producing it for placement interviews and securing jobs! There is creativity, project management and explicit theory covered in the blog. We do not mark for cinematography but award marks for imagination and persuasion in both video and blogs. This year I will reduce the number of blog posts and cut the time of video to three minutes to ensure realism and improve the management of the process.

For more information, watch the video below.

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