Incorporating Technology into Real-World Learning

Running a robust social media consulting business with a diverse client base, Associate Marketing Professor Sharmin Attaran, Ph.D., recognized the knowledge gap between students’ digital media skills and businesses’ expectations. She created a new class, Digital Marketing, in which she teaches students to make data-driven decisions as they refine live campaigns.

“Social media is a powerful tool,” says Attaran, who has been teaching at Bryant since 2009. “For some entities, it’s the first touchpoint of their business.” But with platforms rapidly evolving, many businesses don’t know how to best leverage their online presence. She introduces students to the intricacies of the advertising management dashboard through the back end of Facebook.

She challenges her Digital Marketing students to use the device they are most comfortable with to create client-specific social media plans, and then to manage three different social media platforms – in real time – for each client. Students provide clients weekly analytics and, at semester’s end, present comprehensive marketing-, human behavior-, and analytics-based recommendations.

Attaran, who also advises Bryant’s Marketing Association and Bryant’s chapter of Mu Kappa Tau, the marketing honor society, pushes students to quantify and examine what works, testing concepts through rapid prototyping. “It’s high accountability. It’s live. It’s public. The whole world can see it.”

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