A conversation among marketing faculty

On Wednesday, March 11, President Montgomery announced that WMU would move to distance education, after consulting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, other Michigan university officials and the local health department.

This is the conversation that ensued via email among professors in the Department of Marketing.

Warning: This is a long post! But it will make your heart smile to see the dedication, support and collaborative problem solving that marketing faculty engaged in on behalf of their students and each other.

Happy reading!

From: Ann Veeck
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2020 8:38 AM
To: MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Transitioning to Online Instruction

Good Morning, Marketing Colleagues!
 
First, a note to Mush: however did you know that this was the semester to temporarily vacate the chair's seat?
 
Back to my message: It will be a challenge for most of us to put our courses online—but we are most definitely up to it. Please realize that not everyone has to become an online expert instantly. Feel free to use whatever technology you feel most comfortable with that allows you to deliver your course content effectively. That could mean video conferencing during the normal class time, using Elearning tools, delivering your class via email, or a combination of technology. What is important is that we continue to
support our students in the best ways possible.
 
As seen on Satish’s email, training opportunities at the college begin today, with Marcel co-presenting (!) I will be at today's 1 p.m. session. And here is the page that WMUx has prepared to help with the transition: https://wmich.edu/elearning/instructional-continuity Note that it includes information for signing up for a one-hour seminar designed to help you bring your courses online.
 
Most importantly, we are extremely fortunate to have very helpful and talented colleagues in the marketing department, and we can serve as great resources for each other. To that end, please use this email address to share ideas, resources, etc. with colleagues.
 
Please let me know any way that I can help you. 
 
Please take care,
 
Your--UNTIL MAY 14--Chair,
 
Ann Veeck, Ph.D.
Professor and Acting Chair of Marketing
***
From: James A Eckert
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2020 8:56 AM
To: Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
I have been recording and posting voice-over PowerPoint video lectures for multiple years. If anyone wants a tutorial on that, please reach out. If you already have PowerPoint lecture materials, then you are golden. Way easier than most people think, and students do watch them. They often greatly appreciate their availability (there is a pause button available to them in that format not available in a live lecture).
 
I also do pre-assignment coaching videos and post-assignment feedback videos—students like them and find them helpful.
 
I also have competence with many components of Elearning including online quizzes, discussion forums, and using dropboxes. And just general use of it to set up modules of content and assignments in a typical course structure.
 
If there are people interested tomorrow, let me know, and I can do one-on-one or a group training.
 
I would recommend going to the sessions today as a first step.
 
James A. Eckert, Ph.D.
Robert S. Kaiser Professor of Sales
***
From: Ann Veeck
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2020 2:25 PM
To: James A Eckert; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Marcel, thank you for contributing to the excellent presentation today.
 
Jim, at least Al and I would like to take you up on your generous offer to provide training on creating voice-overs for PowerPoint, etc. Maybe others would also like to participate in a group training. Al and I are both available anytime until 1.
 
Ann Veeck, Ph.D.
***
From: Ann Veeck
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2020 1:03 PM
To: MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Much appreciation to Jim for the excellent tutorial in power Elearning, PowerPoint + audible, etc.! As a bonus, we got tons of teaching tips from an outstanding teacher! 
 
Thank you, Jim!
 
Ann Veeck, Ph.D.
***
From: Zahir A Quraeshi
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020, 11:06 PM
To: James A Eckert
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Jim,
 
That was really a great presentation. I was able to prepare my first module. Thank you very much!
 
Best,
 
Zack Quraeshi
Professor of Marketing
***
From: Scott W Cowley
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:45 AM
To: Zahir A Quraeshi
Cc: Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
A couple ideas for things I'm doing taking everything online that might give you some ideas for your own classes.
 
1. Change in mindset. I'm not really trying to make an online version of my current course. I'm keeping what makes sense to keep and taking a good hard look at which requirements I can eliminate in order to add simplicity and flexibility to what is going to be a turbulent time for students. (example: getting rid of class presentation requirements but they have to increase the clarity of the presentation deck, making exams and quizzes online, flex timing, and open notes.)
 
2. Along with the simplicity theme, I'm pre-recording videos instead of trying to hold class synchronously. Again­­—more flexibility. I'm a huge fan of Loom.com for doing this. They just made their Pro version free for educators (for life), so it's even better. This is a lightweight desktop app that works with PC and Mac that allows you to easily record a video of your desktop/PowerPoint and you can choose whether to include a little circle with you in it, which I like doing. All videos are hosted at their own URL, so you can just share that. And it comes with some features I like, like basic video trimming if needed, built-in emoji students can click to react to parts of the video, and a comment box, which I'm using by pre-populating it with a couple of discussion questions students can respond to for "participation." Again, totally free. Here's an example video I recorded over the weekend to talk to students about the transition: https://www.loom.com/share/39d6816b465541d5adfa36dd06219d34. I'm not really aiming for a particular video length. So far, lectures have been around 30-45 minutes, and I'm recording separate videos for clearly separate topics, like assignment prep. The students seem to be engaging well so far.
 
3. Using synchronous platforms like Zoom or Webex for office hours. I just keep office hours at the same time as I had before and have a Webex meeting fired up, so anybody can just click the Virtual Office Hours link I posted on Elearning, and I'll be there to chat. If someone signs on, and I'm already talking to a student, I'll treat it like I would in normal circumstances—gauge how long I have left with the current student and ask the other student to come back in five minutes. I'm going to host some project group meetings this way and just used Signupgenius.com to have teams sign up for a time slot, then they'll just click into the Webex meeting.
 
4. There's a lot more room for difficulties when it comes to students knowing what we want and us being able to clarify information. I was using Elearning before this, but I've changed how I'm organizing information now—instead of having different sections for slides, assignments, etc., I just created an online repository organized by week, so students can see exactly what content I've given them to read/watch/do for that week, all in one place.
 
5. Find opportunities to reach out and check in with students. Ask them how they're doing, if they're emailing about something for class. Record a video and just talk to them for a few minutes about things that might help them. Everything from your favorite meditation app to local companies offering free Wi-Fi for students. This morning, for fun, I created a Spotify playlist for songs with titles that related to Social Distance and Working from Home. It doesn't need to be big—just small gestures that let them know you're aware of them. It goes a long way (and looking out for them will make you feel better about life too).
 
Thanks,
 
Scott Cowley
Assistant Professor of Marketing
***
From: James A Eckert
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:03 PM
To: Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi
Cc: Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Wonderful stuff, Scott. Thanks for sharing. You are a real leader here.
 
In that theme, I am also streamlining my courses, and last night I offered 20 extra credit points for the first 10 students who posted questions within our Teams group related to role-plays next week. And bam, I got 7-8 questions right away. The conversation is still going this morning.
 
I also recorded my coaching sessions for the sales call they have next week. I have office hours scheduled via WebEx for specific questions or chats. I would encourage others to think in this way too. 
 
Jim
***
From: Kelley O’Reilly
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:58 PM
To: Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi
Cc: Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Agree and am so thankful to be a part of the marketing dept. We have such great creative problem solvers who are very generous with their time and expertise. THANK YOU!
 
I just did my first role-play session with 6 students and it worked great. I recorded the session and will now send to the whole class who are asked to comment in a discussion thread I created on Elearning. Seems to be working.
 
KO
 
Kelley O'Reilly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing
***
From: Frank M Gambino
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 1:21 PM
To: Kelley A O'Reilly
Cc: James A Eckert; Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi; Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Kelley & Marketing Faculty,
 
I can’t agree more with you Kelley that we have the best faculty colleagues and staff in the marketing department.
 
While I am not on campus this semester, I am with you all in spirit, and I feel your pain and that of our students during this trying time. It is heartwarming to see so many of our colleagues reaching out and assisting others.
 
Be safe and I look forward to seeing you all once this is behind us!
 
All the Best!
Frank
Dr. Frank M. Gambino
Director, Food and Consumer Package Good Marketing
***
From: Mary E Nielsen
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:01 PM
To: Frank M Gambino; Kelley A O'Reilly
Cc: James A Eckert; Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi; Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Thank you Scott and all for passing on your tips and for your teamwork. 
 
My Teams meetings with students reached great heights this morning; it was great to pass the ball to the students on the court. I am building my Sign Up Genius bracket for final sales calls for the week of April 13. The students are eager to get the work through the hoop and put this semester in the record book.
 
I am really, really sad about NCAA basketball tournament cancellation. Can you tell?
 
Let's all keep on keeping in touch. 
 
Some sample videos for my students:
 
Hey all, As you are preparing your PPTs (PowerPoint presentations) to use in your WebEx final sales calls next week, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to see what past students had in their presentation binders for their in-person final sales calls. With the help of my dogs and my son, I filmed these quick videos (links below) reviewing 2 binders each for Stryker and for ADP.
 
I hope they are helpful. 
 
 
Mary Nielsen
Instructor of Marketing
***
From: Teresa Greenlees
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 11:17 AM
To: Mary E Nielsen; Frank M Gambino; Kelley A O'Reilly
Cc: James A Eckert; Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi; Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Greetings and salutations! 
 
(and extra credit to my Gen X colleagues who can name the movie this is from)
 
First off, thanks so very much to our colleagues who have shared their advice on how to successfully move our courses online. Very much appreciate the guidance. 
 
Before we moved to distance learning, I was planning to have my students take part in a live role-play simulation of an international negotiation. 
 
Any advice on how to do this in a virtual setting?
 
Usually, I would divide the class into two groups, assign each group a role in the negotiation and then email each group their respective briefing sheet prior to class. After setting up the exercise for the whole class, I send one group out into the hall and brief them separately on their roles. When the group in the hall returns to class, they select their negotiation partner from the opposing team and act out the role-play.
 
I have set up MS Teams for synchronous and recorded class meetings. I am hosting my first case discussion tomorrow (wish me luck!), but am not sure how to facilitate an activity like this. 
 
Any advice would be appreciated!
 
In these anxious times, I do not want my courses to become an additional source of anxiety. So I'm focusing on the things I can do to maintain continuity and quality of instruction without overloading students with busy work. 
 
Teresa Greenlees
Instructor of Marketing
***
From: James A Eckert
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 2:39 PM
To: Marcellis M Zondag; Teresa Greenlees; Mary E Nielsen; Frank M Gambino; Kelley A O'Reilly
Cc: Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi; Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Just to share, I set up Zoom-based office hours (I did the same in WebEx for my other class) for my online selling course. These meetings are designed to be almost like a group exam review, versus a series of one-on-one meetings. This is the message I sent out/posted on Elearning.
 
I did some editing to keep the text simpler and streamlined. I added the bolding and red text.
 
MESSAGE TO STUDENTS.....................................
If you would like to meet with me and ask questions as you prepare for your final sales calls, the following dates/times are available. Simply use the Zoom calendar invite to put it on your calendar. Again not a requirement to join, just an opportunity as you prepare for the final sales call.
 
These are GROUP meetings, so recognize everyone within the meeting will hear/see what we discuss. Great opportunity to participate in a discussion about being at your best for the final sales call, NOT a time to discuss personal-level stuff. For that, please reach out to me directly via cell (269-267-0742) or email, or schedule a 1-1 in Zoom.
 
***************************************************
Professional Selling Zoom-Based Office Hours
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 07:00 - 09:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
***************************************************
Professional Selling Zoom-Based Office Hours
Thursday, March 26, 2020 10:00 AM - Noon Eastern Time (US and Canada)
***************************************************
 
James A. Eckert, Ph.D.
***
From: Marcellis M Zondag
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 5:29 PM
To: James A Eckert; Teresa Greenlees; Mary E Nielsen; Frank M Gambino; Kelley A O'Reilly
Cc: Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi; Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Good Evening All, 
 
Bob just made a great Loom video on how to track which of your students are watching a video you post, in his case posting the video as a link in Elearning.
 
Second, I received a number of attendance questions from other colleagues. It is a bit more advanced but easy enough: Both WebEx and Zoom Pro have a tool installed that measures attendee attention. What these tools do is that after every meeting you get an individual report that shows who of the attendees clicked away or minimized the meeting screen. Obviously, the report also shows who was in the meeting.
 
Note that I did not find this functionality in Teams yet; what I do there, is have attendees answer a simple question, so I can see who was there in the saved chat (for synchronous) or comment stream (for recordings).
 
These are links that show you how to turn these features on in WebEx and Zoom. 
 
 
Finally, at this time, Loom allows you to track which registered loom users have watched a video and how they watched it, i.e. regular speed, sliding through it, etc. Other viewers show up as anonymous. 
 
Marcel M. Zondag, J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing
***
From: Russell Zwanka
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2020 11:09 AM
To: Marcellis M Zondag; James A Eckert; Teresa Greenlees; Mary E Nielsen; Frank M Gambino; Kelley A O'Reilly
Cc: Scott W Cowley; Zahir A Quraeshi; Ann Veeck; MKTG Staff Mailing List
Subject: Transitioning to Online Instruction
 
Hi there! As we have all probably had a Sunday morning of eggs, bath tissue, and asynchronous filming, I wanted to share this video below.
 
To set the stage, I am trying to make sure the content is delivered, while also seeing the students like my own kids: a little scared, a little upside down, used to taking life in segments, and wanting to see we (parents and faculty) have a sense of humor. It allows them to loosen up, and then maybe they can learn something.
 
I have purposely tried to make my videos more "conversational," kind of like we're in class, and steered away from worrying too much about making them "perfect." I've been doing things like acting like I'm calling on them in my videos, and then finally calling the name of the ones that always had their hands up in class. The student feedback of keeping things upbeat, funny and informative in the videos and communication is one of deep appreciation. I've taken the approach that I want them to hear about 6 to 8 minutes per clip, then the next topic will be another video, so they are always moving.
 
 
The reference to DRASSTIR in the video is the CM process of Definition, Role, Assessment, Scorecard, Strategies, Tactics, Implementation, and Review/Revise.
Thanks!
 
Dr. Russell J. Zwanka
Associate Professor, Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing
Western Michigan University
***
From: Ann Veeck
Date: Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 14:54
To: Russell Zwanka; Marcellis M Zondag; Jim Eckert; Teresa Greenlees; Mary E Nielsen; Frank Gambino; Kelley A O’Reilly
Cc: Scott W Cowley; Zahir Quraeshi; Everybody
Subject: Re: Transitioning to Online Instruction

 

Thanks, Russell! We look forward to your joining our faculty in person in the fall!

Ann Veeck, Ph.D.