I just got my student reviews back from this last semester (see below), and so I thought it would be good to give you a follow-up report on the Web Analytics class (ISys 590R) I was asked to teach. I talked about my unique approach to teaching this semester in a previous blog entry.
In this entry, I wanted to report on how that strategy paid off, and what I would do differently next time.
In the class we:
- covered some of the basics in eBusiness, SEO, online marketing, and the role and value of web analytics in it all,
- dissected web analytics implementation methods and discussed the strengths and weaknesses in each,
- participated in hands-on consulting experiences and data analysis using Site Catalyst (through the Omniture Web Analytics Competition) and Google Analytics (through required personal blogs, and in our case study),
- received exposure and personalized feedback to the experts who are on the cutting-edge of the field (through reading and commenting on expert blogs, guest speakers, participation in the Omniture Summit, and participation in the OWAC competition).
My two goals for the class were:
- create a sharing atmosphere where each person considered themselves a learner and a teacher (through in and out of class hands-on, immediately applicable projects and assignments),
- get students thinking like experts through as much association with as many as possible.
As a result of this class:
- many in the class have received job offers (several with Omniture, and several others with companies they have worked with during the semester as a result of their new skills)
- several in the class who have their own e-businesses have seen an increase in their profitability (some with really cool stories I could tell you)
- overall relationship with some of the major experts in the field has been strengthened
- during the OWAC competition 4 of my students placed in the top 3 teams, wining over $6,000
- several students said it was one of their favorite classes at BYU
- on the last day of class, the students gave a standing ovation (of course they were already standing because they were leaving, and maybe just clapping because they were glad it was over! 😉
Here are some examples of constructive comments that the students in my class last semester made on the anonymous university class evaluation form (they liked the course and the teaching style, but wished for a bit more structure):
Clint is a great professor. He is engaging, inspiring, and just overall, a nice guy. He did a great job of bringing experts in the field into the classroom. He was extremely respectful! Thanks Clint!
Clint is a great teacher. I like his teaching style. We’ve already talked about this, but I think the class needs a little more structure.
This is was one of my favorite classes taken at BYU and the teacher was one of my top 3 favorite teachers I’ve had in my 6 years at BYU.
First Clint was the best prof. that I have ever had in any collage class to date and Clint has left a high standard for any teacher to follow. He made himself very available out of class and maintained great communication out of class via email, and in class. He bent over backwards to get industry leaders in the field to come in and speak with us. WOW Clint is a fantastic teacher and is very open to feedback, almost more welcoming to negative feedback than positive. This great teacher was also aided by the fact that this is a great course which BYU is lucky to have. It will soon be a class at all university’s with any business school of any reputation. I am an electrical engineering major and was happy to come to jump the fence to come to this class. I would love to take Web analytics part 2. I took this class for the subject not because it at all helps me toward by ee degree or strategy minor. That is how important it was to me. I don’t regret it one bit. Two thumbs way up, for the instructor and the class.
This is the best class I have ever taken at BYU. It really helped prepare me for my career. I loved the Web Analytics competition. The professor did a great job making class interesting and keeping everyone involved. I learned a ton.
Maybe it’s the nature of the class but it seems like there was no way to see if a students schedule would be conducive to this class. I understand that during the competition we were busy but then it seemed like after we were done the class was scatter brained. Not the teacher just the class. It seems like assignments were assigned when the teacher felt like they came up, in the sense that as we were talking about different things suddenly he would say, oh great, an assignment! Then we were required to do it. It would have been nice to have a little more structure.
I did love the class though. I felt like I learned a lot and I loved having the guest lecturers. Thanks.
Good class . . . could have used a bit more structure to it, but excellent instructor!
I really like the professor, but I think the class was a little too loosely structured. I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to worry about my grade and I could focus on learning. However, there wasn’t much of a syllabus/course schedule that helped me know what was going on. He did send emails, which helped, but they were only for the next class period or two.
They are much better comments than the first time I got student ratings (about 3 years ago) – so it is nice to see some improvement 🙂 ). As you can see, however, the loose structure of the Web 2.0 approach still left students feeling a little lost. So, in consideration of ways to improve –
- I think there can be a little more structure and guidance, without encroaching on the overall teaching approach (e.g. give a little more details of upcoming events and assignments, request specific things to be blogged about instead of leaving it so much up to students, require in the first couple weeks for students to post a comment or question on an expert blog, etc).
- The other thing that I think would help is to start the consulting experience we do in the class before the OWAC competition, allowing data to be collected during that time, and then analyzing it and giving data-driven recommendations after they have their experience in the competition. This might also give the class a feel of a little more consistency throughout the semester.
It was very fun to teach ISys 590R this semester. I thought it was both personally and professionally rewarding. I hope those students keep in touch – if they keep learning at the same pace it will not be very long before they are the recognized experts in the field.
I also have some more exciting ideas for how to improve even more the tie with experts through the Web 2.0 tools – but perhaps you will have to wait until next semester to find out what those are… 🙂