Hiram College

Finding and adapting innovative ways to teach students has been one of Hiram College Associate Marketing Professor Aninda Shome’s goals since he began teaching. This semester, Shome took a step outside the traditional classroom format and put his students in teaching roles.

Based on classroom observations, Shome recognized that students today have their own lingo and that learning from each other can bridge that final gap needed to fully understand a concept. Students teaching each other had happened occasionally before in his classes. However, it wasn’t until students began to come and tell him how much this was working that he decided to fully implement this. Later Shome’s findings were validated when he found education theories and a real-life example from a Harvard University professor, Eric Mazur, that proved students typically understand more if they’re required to teach others.

While students do still learn concepts from lectures and textbooks, understanding them is a different story. So the textbooks are gone and the focus is on comprehensive multilevel classroom teaching in Shome’s classroom. He lectures and introduces concepts to students complete with videos. He asks his students to provide their examples to get the gears turning. For homework, students work in groups to create PowerPoint presentations about classroom-discussed concepts that relate to a brand of their choice. Allowing students to pick a brand, service or product about which they are interested motivates them to work and research to find and understand real-life examples, Shome says.

By learning how to apply concepts to their own brand choices and learning from other students who have picked different industries (Tesla versus Starbucks, for example), students gain a deeper understanding of marketing.

“Your generation is native to the world of social media. All I can do is migrate into it,” Shome tells his students. “When you teach to each other, you use words and examples that are not mine or those of my generation. There is a technology and social media focus that students grew up around and it bridges that final gap.”

Shome says he isn’t quite done yet. His next step is to place his lecture key points, examples and video links on Twitter.