IST professor receives Schreyer research grant

By Kim Nguyen

Communications Intern, College of IST

College IST assistant professor Jim Jansen recently received a research grant from Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College for his course covering online marketing and advertising.

Building on a current class that Jansen teaches, "IST 402: Emerging Issues in Technology," the course features materials from the technology, marketing and advertising fields.

"It’s a keyword advertising course where student teams engage in a real client, using real money and employ a real marketing platform, and manage a real campaign for 3 weeks," Jansen said.

Course enrollment has been more than expected, with students from five different colleges and thirteen different majors. More than 50 percent of the students in the course are female — something that Jansen said is surprising and unheard of for a technology-based course.

Even though the course is listed as an IST course, Jansen believes that students outside of the IST major such as business and communications majors are benefiting from the course as well.

"It introduces these students to some complex technology that is embedded in online marketing and advertising," Jansen said. "Additionally, the technology students are introduced first hand to the aspects of marketing and advertising."

Focusing on the concept of keyword advertising, the course is mostly hands-on. Students are divided into teams and must recruit a client. They are then given a defined budget that is provided by Google and with the use of advertising technology (Google AdWords), students apply what they’ve learned by managing a real campaign and competing in the Google Online Marketing Challenge.

Last year, a team of five students from the class placed among the top teams in the challenge with their online marketing campaign they created and executed for a local business, HappyValley.com. More than 1,620 teams representing 47 countries competed in the 2008 challenge.

Jansen said he hopes to gain information and feedback from current students who are in the course in order to make the course even more appealing to this wide range of students. He is also working with Jamie Murphy from the University of Western Australia on the course redesign. Murphy heads the academic portion of the Google Online Marketing Challenge, adding an international flavor to the course.

He also hopes to cross-list the course in other colleges so other students in other majors can take the course as part of their degree requirement, as well as adding an international perspective within the content of the course.
 

Last Updated March 19, 2009