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A Conversation with Dr. Tamara Stenn at Landmark College

Visit Tamara’s profile here to learn more about the courses she teaches.

Hi Tamara! What's the elevator pitch for the client work you're doing in your classroom, from the perspective of your clients, as well as the students in your class?

The 14 students are in 4 teams and are paired with real clients: 

  • Perfect Seed – Building new markets for a new co-op start up which distributes rare varieties of hand grown, fair trade, organic Royal Quinoa from Bolivia.
  • Somerset Patriots – Opening a new customer market of college students for a New Jersey baseball team
  • Shark Food – An on-campus food delivery service.
  • Smuggle Buddies – Custom made teddy bears with a concealed storage cavity for storing personal items and documents.

All are currently getting certified in E-mail marketing and are creating a full marketing strategy, building E-mail lists and tracking their customers’ journeys from awareness through to decision.  Afterwards they will break to work on their own areas of interest – mostly web design and additional social media marketing.

What are some of the assumptions that you had to blow out of the water when you made your first foray into applied learning? What was the hardest part to overcome?

My assumption that learning is easily applied from video concepts to real situations was completely off. Their conceptualizing of the process actually needed to be chunked out into smaller steps with feedback and support.  

Students also needed time to apply each small part of what was being described to their own projects. Jargon needed to be recognized and explained with a greater context developed around it (For example, the marketing funnel and the buyer’s journey needed to be explored with examples).  It’s not enough to just state the steps – they need to be understood and experienced with examples, a common language and strategies and repetition. 

What are some of the items that your students have been able to show after having been in your class? Any success stories?

We are still working on this. We just started with Hubspot Academy 2 weeks ago, starting with market research.  3 class projects are start-ups and 2 are from student entrepreneurs who are in this class.

It can be really difficult to measure the success of experiential learning and assess (or grade).  What metrics do you use to determine the success of a student?

Engagement, team processes, self and team assessments, evidence of work being completed via regular worksheets, and applied learning through marketing messaging and strategy

Are there any new developments in experiential learning that you are excited about? 

Having real-time feedback through analytics and e-mail tracking on the effectiveness of messages and actions.