Friday, June 26, 2009

personalizing the impersonal

How do you "personalize" a 150 student online course - and make it real?

According to marketing prof Roger Barry in his article, "Meeting the Challenges of Teaching Large Online Classes" in the March issue of JOLT (Journal of Online Teaching), personalizing a course is key to teaching large online classes. Reading on, I realize that to Barry, a marketing prof, "personal" does not mean the same as it does to me. What he really means is marketing personalization as a simulacrum of the real and personal. What a jolt...
In an effort to personalize a large online class, the author applies a marketing approach called direct mass marketing to communicate with students. Direct mass marketing is an approach used by marketers to send a message that is perceived as being personalized to a large market segment. So, how and why is this approach effective in an online course? Certainly the best approach to personalizing an e-mail is to send it directly to an individual. But, how can you accomplish this in a large class section with 150 students? To accomplish this, the author uses an approach he refers to as direct mass e-mailing.
Teaching meets marketing. The personal is no longer real but all about perception.

It's also about language and writing - just not about students learning how to write. Both "Study Buddy Notes" (class notes rewritten for cozy casual "I'm right here with you" effect) and direct mass mailing depend on the knowledge-marketer/teacher's wording and tone in both study notes and mass emailings.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...