Your final grade in this course will be based on both individual and group work. The grading policy is as follows:
- Class participation 15%
- Home work assignments: 20%
- Mid-term exam: 35%
- Group project: 30%
A. Class Participation
Learning in this class will be related to your willingness to expose your insights and viewpoints to the critical judgment of your classmates. Thus, each one of you is expected to contribute to class discussions. Consistent on-time class attendance is necessary but not sufficient to earn a good class participation grade. You should be prepared for class by reading the assigned materials.
Much of a marketing manager’s time is devoted to attending meetings and discussions and making analysis, recommendations and action plans. The classroom provides you with a costless opportunity of sharpening your skills in this area and learning to “think on your feet”. I urge you to avail of this opportunity. Keep in mind, however, that you should focus on quality and not on quantity.
Each class session in this course will be mixed with lectures, mini-cases, major case discussions, and/or SPSS demonstrations. The case method is not always an efficient learning vehicle, but it is one of the most effective means of sharpening your decision-making abilities, requiring you to be an active participant in resolving a marketing problem. Further, the case method provides a vehicle by which to apply the theories and concepts discussed in a class or in the reading materials. Finally, the discussion forum provides an opportunity to argue your position and to learn from others by listening to their comments and criticisms. To maximize the quality of case discussions, for the major cases, some students may be assigned in advance to lead the discussions.
Criteria for evaluating effective class participation include:
1. Is the participant prepared? Do comments show evidence of analysis of the case? Do comments add to our understanding of the situation? Does the participant go beyond simple repetition of case facts without analysis and conclusions? Do comments show an understanding of theories, concepts presented in class lectures or reading materials?
2. Is the participant a good listener? Are the points made relevant to the discussion? Are they linked to the comments of others? Is the participant willing to interact with other class members?
3. Is the participant an effective communicator? Are concepts presented in a concise and convincing fashion?
In order to obtain a grade for class participation you must attend the class sessions. If you cannot attend a class session, you need to submit an official proof immediately after you return to class so that your participation grade will not be penalized.
B. Homework assignments
Throughout the semester, you will be given four hands-on exercises. I encourage you to finish the problem sets all by yourself, though you can discuss them with your group members and classmates. However, each student must hand on his/her own answer sheet. I prefer the answers to be typed. Importantly, you CANNOT simply photocopy others’ answer sheet and hand it in. Please use your own language to interpret the results.
C. Midterm exam
The midterm is a close-book and close-notes exam. To prepare for the midterm, you must understand everything in the lecture notes. You do not have to memorize the entire notes; however, you may need to memorize some important concepts in the lecture notes. After each lecture, I will prepare questions with answers for you. These questions will not be graded; but they will help you to prepare for the mid-term exam.
D. Group Project
The best way of learning research is by doing. This is a continuing project through the entire semester, with exercises in every stage of a marketing research process. The project will give you an opportunity to design and conduct a fully-fledged piece of marketing research in an area of your own choice. Specifically, your group will need to identify a marketing research problem, choose a research design, collect data, analyze the data, write up a research report, and present your research to your class. Since the research project will involve a considerable amount of time and effort, it is vitally important that you work on a project that you find interesting. Examples of some possible types of projects are:
1. Develop a marketing plan for a new product idea.
2. Assess demand potential for a new product.
3. Determine the cause of declining sales, profits, etc.
4. Assess customer satisfaction with a product/service.
5. Conduct a product positioning or re-positioning study
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of a TV commercial
These are of course only some of the possibilities. The important thing while choosing a project is that the problem should be relevant to marketing and that the problem will require a field research strategy (i.e., requires data collection using questionnaires). It is also important that you choose a problem that is of interest to you.
Throughout the project I will serve as an advisor and would be available to answers questions. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that your project is completed in a timely manner.
You must anticipate potential problems and PLAN AHEAD. Your grade on this project will depend on your group’s grade and your contribution factor, which is determined by your group’s peer evaluation of your performance. If your group members evaluate you as contributing 80% to the group grade, you will only be able to get 80% of your group’s grade. I hope this will help to mitigate the “free rider” problem in the group work.
Group size: You are free to form your own groups of 4~6 persons per group, but each student is required to join one group, as team work is really important in your future career. Those do not have a particular preference will be randomly assigned to a group. We will finalize the groups on the second class.
Late assignment: Late assignments will receive partial credits (75% of the original grade maximum) before solutions are released. No credits will be given to assignments handed in after the solutions are released except in special cases (e.g., medical or family emergencies).
Re-evaluation: In case you are not satisfied with your scores on a particular segment of the evaluation (exam, assignment or the group write-up), you will need to submit a request to be reevaluated within two weeks after receiving your scores. You will need to attach a sheet of paper to your assignment or exam with your name, student I.D. No. and a short note explaining why you feel you deserve more points. Explanations should be precise and specific and should pertain to the content of the assignment or exam only.
Please note that a reevaluation request for a particular segment of the course will entail a complete reevaluation of the entire exam or assignment. Thus, your score on that segment may go up, stay the same or move down depending on the new evaluation. I will return your reevaluation requests with the necessary changes within two weeks of receiving your requests.