How Market Research Strengthens Curriculum Design
WMUx Market Researchers Marshall Cammack and Becca Sly collaborate on a project.
Meghann Meeusan, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of English, faced a challenge. She wanted to develop a curriculum that would best prepare English graduate students to pursue a professional career in higher education. She had a hypothesis that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) were important concepts for English graduate students to understand to be successful in the workforce, but she needed some data to back her up.
Meeusan and her colleague, graduate student Nicole Mullis, had attempted to do some analysis on their own by manually looking through past job postings and reviewing the results – but the data they had access to was limited and the analysis was slow and inefficient. However, when Meeusan teamed up with the WMUx Market Research team, a clear, methodical path emerged.
WMUx's market researchers set up an initial meeting with Meeusan so they could better under the problem, set clear research objectives and establish timelines. A problem scope was determined to maintain efficiency and check-point meetings were established to refine the research along the way.
WMUx Market Research helped Meeusan navigate the data by identifying the relevant terms – job titles, academic subjects of interest, skills, keywords – and using job postings analytics to discover trends. "I was thrilled to discover that a data-collection resource of this nature existed at WMU, and the WMUx Market Research team exceeded even my enthusiastic expectations. They were incredibly supportive throughout the process, and the end result was a wealth of information that will have a huge positive impact in our graduate student community," praised Meeusan.
Meghann Meeusan, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of English
Ultimately, WMUx Market Research found an increase in the number of job postings asking for candidates to be well informed on the topics of DEI, signaling the growing importance of this competency. Meeusan's hypothesis was correct – integrating more DEI-focused topics into English graduate program curriculum would indeed help students become more competitive in the job market. Meeusan appreciated the team's extensive data analysis capabilities and was relieved that she could confidently present her colleagues with concrete, data-driven information to help inform curriculum decisions.
Understanding how to design a curriculum that focuses on the right topics to equip WMU students with the expertise they need to prepare for and excel in their careers is vitally important. WMUx Market Research takes a highly analytical approach to understanding such questions and provides instructors with the confidence to make data-informed decisions that are in the best interests of their students.
Digging into the data creates a rock-solid foundation for any endeavor. Learn how the WMUx Market Research team can help you understand the numbers to develop a deeper understanding that will guide your steps. Reach out today!