An Investigation into the confidence levels of Irish Undergraduate Marketing Educators in embedding digital and social media methods in their teaching
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This purpose of this study is to ascertain whether NFQ Level 8 marketing educators in Ireland are knowledgeable in the area of digital and social media and whether they are confident in teaching and using social media and digital tools in their marketing pedagogical practice today. The aim of the research was to investigate why Irish Undergraduate Marketing educators teach Digital and social media methods to meet learning outcomes however do not incorporate the marketing theoretical underpinning of these methods. The evolution of technology over the past decade has altered personal and professional communication and the way business and specifically marketing is conducted. This researcher will use a mixed method approach to examine the hypothesis that the majority of marketing lecturers are not confident teaching or using digital technologies in the classroom. In addition, marketing educators are struggling to keep abreast of marketing industry developments. The objective is to uncover what barriers exist for marketing educators in relation to teaching social media and digital aspects in class; to establish their current level of knowledge and practice; to establish if any professional development and training has been undertaken to facilitate the teaching of social media and digital aspects; and to report the confidence levels of NFQ level 8 marketing educators in the teaching and using of social media and digital aspects. The themes emerging clearly indicate there is a pedagogical shift occurring between the teaching of the theoretical and practical aspects of marketing curriculum. One such emerging theme is the confidence of educators to use and impart know-how of the practical tools. The main outcomes from the research has determined that a substantial number of NFQ level 8 marketing educators are not confident in the teaching of social media and digital aspects in class. They have expressed a need for training and CPD initiatives to be provided by H.E. Institutions. Marketing educators have expressed clear obstacles and barriers they feel impact negatively on their ability to teach social media and digital aspects in class. These are identified and discussed in the research.