Activities and experiences in the classroom.

“To be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. I am not a teacher, only a fellow student.” — Søren Kierkegaard

Inspired by the quote above (which is the anchor of my teaching philosophy), I have been learning while teaching for a decade. Ten years ago today — on Monday, June 18, 2007 — I began my career in academia when I started teaching COM 120, Effective Persuasive Writing online at what was then called Axia College (University of Phoenix‘s online junior college).

It’s hard to believe that much time has passed; it feels like just yesterday when I began my career in academia after having previously consulted and worked in marketing. Technically I started teaching on September 2, 2006 when I taught my first traffic school class, but this was my first academic course. Since that first step I have embarked on a much longer journey. I have had the opportunity to teach and learn with more than 4,500 students in over 80 classes — in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and online.

Acting as a “guide on the side” and not a “sage on the stage,” I combine learning with laughter and encourage students to pursue their individual ideas. Having taught students of various ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, I am especially sensitive to the diverse challenges with which my students might be contending.

I join with my students on a journey of generative learning. Sensitive to the unique experiences, challenges, and learning styles of adult learners, I assign projects relevant to their personal and professional perspectives. Believing education should create community, not competition, I combine learning with laughter to construct a collaborative classroom. Interdisciplinary, I welcome varied viewpoints and encourage my students to own their education.

I have been fortunate to have taught for numerous notable educational institutions including American Unviersity in the Emirates (AUE), Jumeira University, Musicians InstituteNational University, Strayer University, UCLA Extension. and UC Santa Barbara Extension. Actively involving myself in higher education, I have embraced academia as both my vocation and avocation.

I have spoken at academic conferences; written a book, a book chapter, and several scholarly papers; conducted corporate training seminars; appeared on three podcasts; and made a 1.5 second appearance in Star Trek Beyond as an extra! I was also honored with an award from AUE recognizing my program development efforts for the College of Business Administration.

 

The past 10 years have been filled with personal growth and professional development; I have improved as an individual just as I have expanded my abilities as an educator. I look forward to many more years of continuous improvement in both areas. These years have not been without their challenges and setbacks, but I remain grateful to my colleagues, friends, family, mentors, and students for the chance to help shape the lives of others, while giving my life greater meaning.

According to a quote attributed to Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Given that my personal motto is “learn continuously, live generatively,” teaching and training are a fitting profession for me: I learn something every day about myself, the people in my life, the world in which I live, and the subjects in which I am interested.

Learning isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding intrinsically. It is for that reason that, when asked why teaching is my tenure, I explain, “I embrace education as my profession because it empowers me to help shape the lives of others, while giving my own life greater meaning.”

Occasionally, however, teaching is extrinsically rewarding as well: On Thursday, February 23, 2017 it was announced that I had won the “College of Business Administration (COBA) Program Development Award” for the 2015 to 2016 school year at the American University in the Emirates (AUE).

Notably, I was personally selected to receive this award by Professor Muthanna G. Abdul Razzaq, President and CEO of the American University in the Emirates (AUE).

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Reasons for my having been chosen for this honor include:

  • Contributing my editing, writing, and organizational abilities to COBA’s accreditation efforts with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Designing “INV 300, Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” a new compulsory undergraduate course in compliance with Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) requirements.
  • Developing the syllabus for a proposed new Mobile Marketing course for our MBA program.
  • Editing a 300 page report for the reaccreditation of College of the Business Administration (COBA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA).
  • Enhancing my classes with interactive exercises, class discussions, and worksheets that challenge students to actively engage the course curriculum.
  • Launching two university level guest speaker series, “The Business of Marketing” and “Management Matters,” — and inviting other speakers to my COBA classes.
  • Managing large undergraduate classes of up to 49 students efficiently and effectively.
  • Reviewing and revising syllabi for undergraduate management and marketing courses every semester to ensure they present the most current and useful information.
  • Suggesting improvements to COBA policies and procedures, along with overall enhancements to the student experience.

I am thankful to have received such an honor and am grateful for the opportunity to have made the above contributions to AUE, COBA, and, most of all, my students.

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” — Michael Morpurgo

On Monday, February 13, 2017 I invited the world to join my MKT 200, Principles of Marketing class at American University in the Emirates via a Facebook Live broadcast.  Watching the video — which, for some reason, is unfortunately a low quality — you can get a feel for how I teach along with the way I manage my classroom and students, both engaged and disruptive.

There is even a related discussion about product design and human-computer interaction in addition to some real-world examples of my younger years playing Pong and an early version of Castle Wolfenstein with a friend!

I invite you to watch the video below (originally posted on my Facebook page):

 

Primarily this class was a review for a quiz that I gave to my students two days later, but it also offers an overview of foundational marketing concepts, including the following:

  • Core Beliefs and Values: persistent and are passed on from parents to children and are reinforced by schools, churches, businesses, and government.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: the value of the entire stream of purchases that the customer would make over a lifetime of patronage.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): the overall process of building and maintaining profitable customer relationships by delivering superior customer value and satisfaction.
  • Demands: Wants backed by buying power.
  • Exchange: the act of obtaining a desired object from someone by offering something in return.
  • Macroenvironment: consists of the larger societal forces that affect the microenvironment—demographic, economic, natural, technological, political, and cultural forces.
  • Market Offerings: some combination of products, services, information, or experiences offered to a market to satisfy a need or want.
  • Market Positioning: the arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to competing products in the minds of target consumers.
  • Market Segment: a group of consumers who respond in a similar way to a given set of marketing efforts.
  • Market Segmentation: the division of a market into distinct groups of buyers who have different needs, characteristics, or behaviors and who might require separate products or marketing mixes.
  • Market Targeting: the process of evaluating each market segment’s attractiveness and selecting one or more segments to enter.
  • Marketing Environment: includes the actors and forces outside marketing that affect marketing management’s ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers.
  • Marketing Management: The art and science of choosing target markets and building profitable relationships with them.
  • Marketing Mix: the set of tools (four Ps) the firm uses to implement its marketing strategy. This set includes product, price, promotion, and place.
  • Marketing Strategy: the marketing logic by which the company hopes to create customer value and achieve profitable customer relationships.
  • Marketing: a process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return.
  • Microenvironment: consists of the actors close to the company that affect its ability to serve its customers—the company, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customer markets, competitors, and publics.
  • Needs: States of deprivation.
  • Target Marketing: Which segments to go after.
  • Value Proposition: the set of benefits or values it promises to deliver to customers to satisfy their needs.
  • Wants: The form that needs take.