Normally, I assign marketing-oriented topics for blogging assignments. While I have always encouraged my students to write additional blog posts on their own, very few do so. I presume this is because students have plenty of other activities between school, work, clubs, and friends.
Based on a suggestion from three of my Fall 2010 MKTG 470 students (Patty Caltabiano, Nathan Chua, and Casey Davenport) I created a new assignment for my Strategic Internet Marketing course called “Blog About Anything“. Patty, Nathan, and Casey recommended that students have an opportunity to blog about anything as one of their graded assignments. They believed that JMU marketing students would take more ownership of their blog and be more interested in blogging if they could choose the own topic.
So, I gave it a shot and assigned the “Blog About Anything” activity. It turned out to be a very successful assignment in several regards. First, 94% of the students completed the assignment. I’m always happy when I see a high completion rate. Second, the grades on the completed assignment were outstanding! Almost 90% of the students earned full credit. It is worth mentioning that this assignment was due immediately after spring break when students aren’t normally in their most focused school-mode. Third, I learned quite a few VERY interesting facts by reading the blogs. For example:
- Cynthia Bremner was recently accepted to be the Marketing Manager for Craig Springs Camp and Retreat Center.
- Kaitlyn Burrows and James Ward endorse Punta Cana as a great place to go on vacation. Jessica Goldberg likes Miami and Sarah Ingram likes Prague, Czech Republic.
- Danielle Cassagnol recommends 10 Must-Try Social Media Sites for College Students by David Sprinks.
- Tim Dietz sheds light on astrotufing as a marketing tactic.
- Mackenzie Esposito has great advice for students who want to transfer to JMU.
- Interesting New Orleans facts: According to Elyce Carnali, it is considered to be bad luck for life if you pick up Mardi Gras beads from the ground. Kimberly Pate found that New Orleans is the most deadly city in the U.S. with 64 murders per 100,000 populations.
- Max Greenhood shared instructions on how to add interactive photos to WordPress sites using Cincopa.
- Megan Henry will be helping her father establish an Internet presence for his dental practice.
- Sara Hollands did community service work for the Boy Scouts of America during a JMU Alternative Spring Break trip to Big Munson Island in the Florida Keys.
- On spring break, Jessica Jones was mooned by a 75 year old man ready to party.
- Sadeq Khan thinks his new iPad 2 is amazing.
- Caitlin O’Malley found some great networking tips.
- Ellen Peterson was offered a job at GENCO ATC as the marketing manager of NoBetterDeal.com. She will manage NBD’s social media, promotions, product descriptions, and some customer relations.
- Caroline Soderstrom learned about the importance of socialization through her volunteer work at the SPCA.
- Kelley Smith reported on cancer-causing chemicals found in many cosmetic products.
- Many students, such as Jenna Stanton and Brad Childers, are gravely concerned about the tragedy in Japan.
Thanks to all of my students for sharing their insights and experiences through their recent blog posts. Below are some great resources for getting started on a “Blog About Anything” assignment: