Marketing Department Program Objectives,
Assurance of Learning and Learning Outcomes

In January 2014 the Marketing Department developed an assessment grid for program learning outcomes embedded in required courses.

This grid will help specify the knowledge and skills of our graduates

See below
Embedded Learning Outcomes 2014

Embedded other Skills 2014

A primary learning outcome for marketing majors is the ability to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. According to the American Marketing Association a marketing plan is a document composed of an analysis of the current marketing situation, opportunities and threats analysis, marketing objectives, marketing strategy, action programs, and projected or pro-forma income (and other financial) statements.
Jeanne Donovan gives a portion of a presentation of what she and her teammates developed to help the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield build their social networking profile. WestConn's marketing class this semester worked in teams to help six nonprofit agencies in the region in a similar manner. Photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. Photo: Carol Kaliff / The News-Times

The rubric used to measure that outcome in the program's capstone course, MKT 490, is listed below. 

Students' comprehensive marketing plans are evaluated by external marketing professionals.  In the most recent evaluation in 2012, the overall performance score was 82% where below 60% is not inadequate and 100% is perfect.  Performance for each criterion is listed after the criterion.

Specific Content Evaluation
1.    Situational analysis (overall analysis of internal and external factors) 84%
2.    SWOT analysis (justification of organization�s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) 85%
3.    Marketing goals (relevancy to mission?, realistic?, measurable?) 81%
4.    Marketing strategies (targets, positioning, distribution, pricing, promotion, product development, etc.) 82%
5.    Marketing objectives (realistic?, clear?, measurable?) 81%
6.    Use of marketing data (e.g., forecasts, competitive data, customer trends, etc.) 85%
7.    Financials (realistic?, complete?) 78%
8.    Implementation detail (is it complete or is additional information needed?) 82%
9.    Mechanisms for monitoring and controlling the plan 79%
Overall Content Evaluation
1.    Understanding of company needs 88%
2.    Integration of company needs into plan�s goals and recommendations 84%
3.    Actionability of plan's goals and recommendations 83%
4.    Consideration of Global/international factors 79%
5.    Consideration of ethics/corporate social responsibility 84%
Overall Report Evaluation
1.    Professional presentation; salesmanship 86%
2.    Justification of plan; rationale 85%
3.    Practicality; usability; sensibility 83%
4.    Thoroughness; clarity 83%


Past and Ongoing Assessment Instruments
The Marketing Department has utilized a number of assessment instruments during the past 10 years.  These include both direct and indirect assessment methods.
�         Capstone course assessment of marketing plan reports by external evaluators
�         Internship supervisors� evaluations of student interns using a Department-developed instrument
�         Feedback from Department Advisory Board and Alumni on industry trends and entry-level skill and knowledge requirements for marketing graduates
The objectives and findings for these measures have been documented in previous Departmental reports.  In general, these instruments indicate that our students have been performing well on key learning objectives (e.g., elements of marketing plan development).
 These measurements have resulting in several curriculum improvements including:
�         Increasing the emphasis on quantitative and research methods in three required courses in the curriculum; Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research and Marketing Management
�          Adding Sales Management as a requirement for the general marketing track
�         Increasing the emphasis on writing skills with the development of the Managerial Writing course requirement for all marketing majors
Additionally, the Department has been monitoring the Quality of Instruction student ratings of all Marketing faculty.  The Department median (two top boxes) has exceeded 90% on this Quality measure for several years.


Development of a New Assessment Measurement
The Department continues to refine an additional assessment instrument.  This instrument is an objective, multiple-choice test that requires students to apply marketing knowledge.  A set of short marketing cases is followed by questions that are intended to measure performance on the key learning goals of the four required marketing courses.  The Department also reviewed the marketing learning goals of two standardized business curriculum tests, ETS and Technological Fluency Institute.  For example, the ETS learning goals include the following knowledge and application areas:
A. Identifying attractive markets
      1. Strategic marketing planning
      2. Scanning marketing environment
      3. Marketing research and information technology tools
      4. Consumer and organizational buyer behavior
B. Marketing institutions
      1. The marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion)
      2. Segmenting consumer and organizational markets
      3. Marketing services
      4. Marketing for not-for-profit organizations
      5. Marketing of social causes
C. International marketing
Measurements of performance in the areas above were incorporated into the more extensive list of the learning objectives of the four required courses in the Marketing curriculum.
Student performance has been measured at milestones in the Marketing curriculum using a pre/post methodology. The findings from using this instrument will point to strengths and weaknesses of student performance on the key learning criteria and consequently help us to focus on specific areas for curriculum or pedagogical improvement. Testing and refinement of the instrument is ongoing since the pilot test was conducted in the Spring 2009 semester.
A brief summary of the pilot test and results
Pre-Test � conducted in our Principles of Marketing course. This is a sophomore-level course with multiple sections offered to marketing and other business majors.  The pilot instrument was administered in class to two sections nine weeks into the semester.
Post-Test � conducted in our Marketing Management. This is a second-semester, senior-level capstone course for our marketing majors. Students were tested 10 weeks into the semester.
The results of the pilot study indicated that the Ancell Marketing program provides significant educational value in key marketing content areas compared to a baseline of students in week 9 of a Principles of Marketing course. The composite mean performance score of the post-test group was 58.8, compared to a mean in the pre-test group of 37.8 (t Stat = 7.40; P < 0.001).  The students in the capstone course performed better on 47 of 54 items compared to the students in the Principles of Marketing course (Sign Test; z Stat =5.31; P<.001).
Status of Assessment Project 2010-2011
The Department continues to collect data each semester in MKT 490.  In Spring 2011, another analysis was performed specifically focusing on concepts in the Marketing curriculum.  On the following concepts, MKT 490 student performance was at least 60% and the MKT 490 student performance on the each concept was greater than the MKT 301 student performance

�         Attribute Evaluation In Consumer Decision-Making
�         Awareness As Advertising Objective
�         Brand Personality
�         Communication Objectives
�         Corporate Plan Basis For Marketing Planning
�         Cultural / Lifestyle Segmentation
�         Cultural Issues In Marketing Research
�         Email Implementation Tactics
�         Ethics In Marketing Research
�         Family Lifestyle Segmentation
�         IMC (General Concept)
�         IMC Campaign Goals
�         IMC Evaluation And Control
�         Implementation In Marketing Planning
�         Internal Marketing
�         Multi-Attribute Model In Consumer Decision-Making
�         Opinion Leadership/Innovator Influence In Consumer Behavior
�         Peer Influence In Consumer Behavior
�         Product Positioning
�         Psychographics / AIO Segmentation
�         Role Of Primary And Secondary Data In Marketing Research
�         Sampling In Marketing Research
�         Segmentation Criteria
�         Situation Analysis
�         Societal Marketing Concept
�         Stages In Marketing Research Process
�         SWOT Analysis


Feedback from the Marketing Advisory Board

The Marketing Department has maintained a productive Advisory Board of industry professionals for more than 15 years.  Input from this Board has been used to provide perspectives on trends in the industry and skills graduates need for marketing careers. 

At the October 2013 Advisory Board Meeting we received input on the following emerging trends.

  • External members reaffirmed the importance of writing, spreadsheet and analytical skills for our students. 

    • The increased use of social media requires good writing skills.

    • Students need to be proficient (beyond the basics) in Excel since marketing is using more metrics, especially web metrics, for decision-making.

    • Members reaffirmed the importance of the statistics in marketing decision-making.  For structured data, students need to understand predictive and inferential statistical methods. 

      • Preparing students for the understanding “Big Data” and analysis of unstructured data remains a challenge.  A good foundation in the understanding of the analysis of structured data is necessary.   

      • Marketing is assuming a more direct role in the use and acquisition of technology in organizations.  Consequently, students should have a better foundation in the use of appropriate technology.

        • Subsequent to the meeting, J. Katinger and J. Soares agreed to develop an outline of web applications, especially Java script, and methods that would be valuable for our students.  The Department will then determine the feasibility of integrating the material into the curriculum and how it might be integrated.

  • There was some discussion on the challenge to instructors to cover traditional marketing content in courses (e.g., non-digital marketing communication channels) given the rapid advances in digital marketing.   

  • The Board also discussed the importance of intellectual curiosity as a trait of good employees.  The goal, if possible, is to nurture and/or develop this characteristic in students.



At the Spring 2011 Advisory Board Meeting we received input on the following emerging trends.
�         Mobile marketing
�         Marketing analytics (web analytics, forecast modeling, customer profiling, etc.)
�         Search engine marketing
�         Sustainable development and the role of marketing
�         Integration of marketing channels with QR coding
�         Survey development and implementation
The Advisory Board also reinforced the need for students to develop the following skills:
�         Critical thinking
�         Creative thinking
�         Communication
�         Team /Leadership


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