Assignments I Enjoy Grading
Because Sophmom and Yat Pundit*asked about this subject via Twitter after a comment I made....
I love my job more than I can say, but I do not like grading because I do not like judgment in general, and I want everyone to do well, but they don't always. And I hate it when students don't really care that much about learning, but I accept it, just like they accept the crappy grades they earn. On the other hand, a surprising number make it a point to tell me how much they're learning and how they now pay more attention and notice things in "the real world" and find themselves explaining things to friends and loved ones. But I digress...
Every now and then I manage to come up with some kind of assignment that's a real win-win for us all. They find it fun and interesting and it's not so much about a right/wrong thing as much as it is about thinking, and learning happens anyway.
Advertising was last topic covered in my Promotions Management class and tonight my students turned in one such assignment. I call it the What Were They Thinking? exercise. (I give this one to my Advertising classes, too.)
The short description: Students were instructed to identify an ad that they didn't understand from a strategic standpoint (content, message theme, type of appeal, creative execution, and such). They were to provide a copy of the ad along with an explanation of what it is about the ad that didn’t make sense. This allows me to assess the level of the students' understanding of advertising strategy. When they don't fully understand it, they present ads that actually do make strategic sense and I get the opportunity to address the confusion. When students really do understand it, I get truly baffling ads to add to my repository of teaching materials. And we have fun reviewing and discussing them in class.
Students can turn in print or television advertising and this semester, I gave instructions on how to download YouTube videos so that I could have a copy of any good commercials before they disappear, as they often do. And this year, I got a couple of great entries into the WTF? category, the one below from one of my Austrian students, who continue to prove to be very resourceful when it comes to finding stuff like this.
Anyone want to venture a guess on this one? Seriously.
I've got more, but none top this one.
Note to David O. (You're not undercover anymore!) Next up... I have just six words for you. (Do you really believe that's possible for me?)
*Note to Yat Pundit: Oh, rats! I've had you in my blogroll for a long time, I swear, but just realized that my omission of a quotation mark in the HTML rendered you invisible. I read you through my feed reader and didn't notice until now. Sorry! (Unfortunately, this is not the first time it's happened...)