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Learning beyond the classroom through social media

Wednesday, November 9 2016 12:00am

Dr. Fox joined forces with other universities to teach students how to use social media in a professional setting.

Tags: Marketing

By: Magda Stepien

Dr. Alexa Fox, assistant professor of Marketing, came to Ohio University and immediately saw an opportunity to include social media in her Consumer Behavior course. She wanted her students to gain practice using Twitter in a professional setting and to expand their engagement with marketing topics beyond the classroom. This past summer, Fox was approached about forming a partnership between her course, a Consumer Behavior course at West Virginia University taught by Dr. Laurel Cook, and two courses  at Mississippi State University: a Principles of Marketing course taught by Alexandra Krallman and an International Marketing course taught by Jennifer Stevens. 

The professors are using Twitter to encourage students across universities to communicate about hot topics in marketing. It’s not only fun, but students are earning class participation points by answering weekly questions posted by  the professors. By using the hashtag #WOMf16, students are able to search for their peers’ tweets and easily interact with each other. Each university also has their own hashtag. Fox encourages College of Business faculty, staff and students to follow her class on Twitter using the hashtag #OHIO4440. 

 “Each week, we post a few questions online that relate to content we’re learning in class,” said Fox. “This is a great learning experience for students who will be entering the work force in a few short months. As the youngest employees within a company, these recent graduates will be seen as leaders in social media marketing.”

 The students are asked to tweet opinion-based responses to questions and engage with other students, while including the course hashtags and staying within the 140-character limit.

 “It is extremely exciting to see the progress students have made this semester,” said Fox. “They are increasingly interacting with students outside of Ohio University and even reach out to brands! One OHIO student mentioned Kay Jewelers in her tweet and it has had the most impressions so far of any #WOMf16 tweet.”

 The #WOMf16 hashtag is averaging nearly 75 tweets per day and 167 impressions per tweet. The potential daily impressions are more than 12.5 thousand people.

These statistics show the impact social media can have on communication. 

“Interacting with brands like Chiptole, Lululemon, Otterbox, Jimmy Johns, and Kay Jewelers are great opportunities that the students initiated to add to the #WOMf16 experience,” said Fox. 

Seeing the scope of impact this project has had across three universities demonstrates the functionality and importance of sharpening social media marketing skills in the Marketing curriculum. 

Check out a few of the most recent classroom conversations here. You can continue to following along using #WOMf16 and #OHIO4440. 

Kayjewelers 1

Kayjewelers 2


Lululemon 4