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Abstract

University students enjoy experiential marketing education that involves live cases and competition projects. While empirical studies have focused on various marketing education disciplines, few have investigated live global competition projects in the integrated marketing communications discipline. This study explored the perspectives of Edith Cowan University undergraduate and postgraduate students who participated in the first global Google Online Marketing Challenge in April-May 2008 as an optional assessment in an integrated marketing communications unit, which is part of the Advertising and Public Relations majors in the School of Communications and Arts. Participation in the Challenge was analogous to Kolb’s experiential learning theory of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and testing as students recruited clients, prepared strategies, monitored the live campaigns, reflected on results, constructed new activities, tested them, and experienced the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of the whole competition process. 13 of 17 participants returned the qualitative questionnaire. Data analysis uncovered concepts of “Reality”, “Challenge”, “Discovery”, and “Relationships” that ultimately merged into a Relationship Triangle Model for Exhilarated Adult Group Learning Experience (RTM-EAGLE). Implications for theory, practice, and research are also discussed.

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