Hannah Ghadimi

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Hannah Ghadimi, December 4 2022

How to Learn Digital Marketing Practically Through Experiential Learning

Do you want to learn about digital marketing while being immersed in a learning experience that goes beyond the classroom? Consider taking uOttawa’s digital marketing course, ADM 4326 taught by Jonathan Simon to get hands-on experience and to find out how to learn digital marketing practically through experiential learning.

A unique component of his course is the experiential learning piece, which allows students to learn and develop skills by actually doing digital marketing themselves. By engaging students in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

When participating in experiential learning opportunities, you can gain the following:

A better understanding of course materialInsight into your own skills, interests, passions, and valuesPositive professional practices and skill setsSelf-confidence and leadership skills

Over the years, the course has been revamped by Jonathan Simon as he believes that you can only learn digital marketing by doing digital marketing. As a current student in his class, I have benefitted through the experiential learning components such as learning how to create my own website using Pagecloud.

Here are some of the main components of the course that teach students how to learn digital marketing practically through experiential learning:

Creating Your Own Website With Pagecloud

As part of the course, students can learn about the latest digital marketing strategies and tactics while executing these strategies through a semester-long digital branding project built on a website platform.

Before the course was revamped by Jonathan in 2017, students were speaking to the Telfer Career Centre about trying to gain digital marketing skills in order to be more attractive to employers who were seeking these skills.

When Professor Jonathan Simon joined the school, he originally partnered with the Career Centre which helped him get guest speakers for every class.

This helped him build a connection with Henry Brown and Philip Westfall who were alumni of Telfer and working in the marketing department at PageCloud. They agreed to give students access to the platform for life. 

Over the course of 12 semesters, approximately 700 students have benefited from the experiential learning opportunity of building their own website and learning to market their project through digital marketing. If you're wondering how to learn digital marketing practically through experiential learning, this is the class for you. 

Throughout the semester, I was able to build my own website and use it as a personal branding tool while also integrating the concepts I learned in class.

Option to Participate in Community Service Learning

As part of the course, students have the option to participate in a group project which entails creating a digital marketing strategy for a local non-profit. In collaboration with the uOttawa Community Service Learning Center (CSL), students can sign-up and take part in a “Social Engagement” digital marketing project.

In addition to helping out a local non-profit organization, all 13 students who are selected by a lottery system to partake in this project and fill out the simple survey at the end are given a check for $1,050 CAD per student for completing the project to cover their participation. 

Jonathan Simon added the Community Service Learning aspect to the course in Fall 2022 when partnering with the uOttawa Community Service Learning Center (CSL) who were just awarded funding for "social engagement projects." They were looking for courses and professors who wanted to be part of this pilot project. 

Taking part in this project can help you build your network while also engaging in community service learning through digital marketing concepts taught in class. Here are some of the main benefits of engaging in community service:

 Helps build a connection to the community Benefits your career prospectsRaises social awarenessEstablishes contacts and friendshipsHelps improve your skills

The benefits of participating in this project vary from student to student. Here’s what one of Jonathan’s current students had to say about participating in this project:

“I chose to do the group project to apply my digital marketing skills to help a local business grow. I have a background in consulting, so I took it as a way to apply my skills to recommend realistic strategies to help businesses solve their problems.” – Liz Tran, 4th year marketing student.

Lifelong Learning and Digital Marketing Skills

While this course teaches you how to learn digital marketing practically through experiential learning, students are able to take the skills they learn into the real world of digital marketing. Even after creating a website for this course, students are able to keep the website for life. This is beneficial for anyone who wants to continue building their personal brand beyond the course.

As part of the course’s projects, students can gain practical experience on the latest trends for a variety of different digital marketing topics such as data analytics, content marketing, SEO, mobile marketing, social media marketing and more.

In addition to course lectures, in partnership with the Career Centre, students will have the opportunity to learn about the latest industry techniques from guest speakers who are all digital marketing industry veterans. Past companies that have participated include PageCloud, Shopify, Adobe, seoplus+, Unilever, and others.

Students have benefitted from the experiential learning components of the course over the years and continue to see these benefits beyond completing the course. Read about individual student experiences on taking this course through RateMyProf.

If you want to know how to learn digital marketing practically through experiential learning and get hands-on experience, be sure to consider taking uOttawa’s digital marketing course, ADM 4326 taught by Jonathan Simon.

Written by

Hannah Ghadimi

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