Thursday, October 13, 2011

TOS Crew: Principles of Marketing from Professor in a Box

Principles of Marketing  is the second product from Professor in a Box that we’ve had the privilege of reviewing with the TOS Crew. The first was Financial Accounting (click link to read that review).

This college-level introductory course is different from many in that there’s no textbook. All the material is presented through a series of lectures with Flash slides, supplemented with real-life examples provided through Internet links, and rounded out with quizzes and tests.

Course objectives

Principles of Marketing is a college-level introductory course in marketing. High school students preparing for the CLEP test in marketing and entrepreneurs starting their own businesses (whether young or old, parents or students, homeschoolers with a family business) will likely find this course helpful.

Here’s an explanation of the course objectives from the course itself:

I like that emphasis on relevant, real-world examples, don’t you?

Well organized

The lectures are organized in a functional manner. The speaker starts by stating course objectives, then presents the material in the lesson, and finally offers a summary or wrap-up.

You can watch the lecture slides as they unfold. One thing I appreciate about this kind of format is that if I miss something, it’s easy to scroll back and repeat something. Lecture slides are also available in PDF format, so you can print out the slides and take notes on the printout.

For each lesson, there’s a one- or two-page PDF of key concepts, very helpful in reviewing for the quiz or making sure you haven’t missed something.

The lessons are all set up along the same lines: You watch the video lecture, study the key concepts PDF, investigate the Internet links related to the lesson, and take the chapter quiz.


Three more comprehensive exams are included, spaced at intervals something like two mid-terms and a final exam. The quizzes and exams are set up to give you instant feedback; after answering a question, you submit the answer and see whether it’s correct. At the end of the test you receive your score. (Sure beats waiting for a TA (teaching assistant) to grade your test and post the results on a bulletin board a week later! You can tell it’s been awhile since I went to college — I’m sure there are more efficient ways of learning your grade these days. Principles of Marketing is one of the most efficient, though, with its instant turnaround.)
You can take a quiz or exam multiple times. If you’re interrupted in your test taking, or you want to take the test more than once, the program is sophisticated enough to resume in the middle of the test, or start a new session at your prompt.

I liked the feel of the course from the very first lesson. The lecturer is personable, easy to listen to, and she stops the lecture in the first moments to have you respond to a question, writing down your answer, and referring to it at the end of the lecture. Even though this is a “canned” slide-show, it has the flavor of  a “live” course.

Julie Pfirsch, Ph.D. is the course instructor. She does a good job of explaining the material, making it relevant to the listener. She doesn’t merely read the slides; she explains them.

Flexible scheduling

The course includes three suggested schedule options:
- Academic year: one lesson per week, taking an entire academic year (28 weeks).
- Traditional college semester format: two lessons per week for 14 weeks
- Summer school format: three lessons per week for 9 weeks

Principles of Marketing  is available from Professor in a Box for $119. At this link you can also view a sample chapter and see the list of online resources.

To read more TOS Crew opinions of Principles of Marketing, click here.

Disclaimer: TOS Crew members were provided a free copy of Principles of Marketing for our family’s personal use and review purposes. We receive no monetary compensation for offering our opinion. Opinions offered here are our own.

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