What Online Marketers Can Learn from Online Educators

A MBA degree is a highly coveted degree for online marketing practitioners because it backs up our professional practice. However, throughout our MBA education we are hardly exposed to a field that is very relevant to our practice: online education, also known as educational technology.

The field of Educational Technology (ET) explores the potential use and impact of learning technologies in a variety of contexts, and  determines good practices of curriculum design and technology integration.

Educational technology programs such as the Master of Educational Technology at the University of British Columbia provide learning opportunities in:

  • Teaching/Instruction using Learning Technologies
  • Planning and Management of Learning Technologies
  • Design and Development of Learning Technologies

How does educational technology relate to online marketing?

Effective teaching with technology draws on

current research and best practice to show how to integrate technology into teaching.

The field of educational technology provides several decision model for selecting appropriate technologies for teaching in various education scenarios.

In simple words: online educators are always looking for best practices to optimize the online learning experience (a.k.a. online engagement).

Optimize online engagement. Now there are 3 words that ANY online marketer is always looking for.

An example of a decision model

A book that stands out in the field of educational technology is Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education by Bates and Poole (2003). From this book, one great decision model that summarizes key factors to consider when designing and analyzing the implementation of technology education in any kind of learning-teaching experience is the SECTIONS model.

The elements of the SECTIONS model are (Bates and Poole, 2003):

Students: The reality of the students, their social and economical context. Also, it is important to take into account their access to technology and speed of internet connection.

Ease to use: The educational technology needs to be easy to use both for students and teachers. The software and hardware needs to end-user oriented rather than designer oriented.

Costs: Whatever costs have to be taken into accounted to implement the educational technology. This includes, but are not limited to: a) initial investment, b) production costs, c) maintenance costs, d) training of personnel and e) updating costs.

Teaching and learning: The technology must match the key elements and ideas of the teaching-learning experience to be implemented in the course.

Interactivity: According to Bates and Poole (2003) there are two kinds of interaction, one consists of individual interactions of the individual with the course material and the second consists of social interactions between two or more individuals about the course material (p. 99). Most educational technologies need to provide both experiences so that students are able to fully develop their metacogntive abilities. Also, another important interaction to consider is the interaction between instructor and student.

Organizational Issues: The appropriate authorities (i.e. school district, school director, parents, etc) must approve the use of the technology, especially if minors are going to have access to it.

Novelty: The key to create intrinsic motivation in students. The use of the technology must cause satisfaction not pain to the student!

Speed: The technology must reflect the reality of the context of the student. The use of multimedia is awesome…only if the students have appropriate bandwidth.


Just replace student for customer and you have 8 key considerations when planning any online marketing campaign.

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “What Online Marketers Can Learn from Online Educators”

  1. People who are “old school” think that all online education consists of is “playing games” online all day and wasting time!

    However, people who are more “free-thinking” understand that people nowadays may learn a lot better online than in a “traditional” classroom setting…

    Online Marketers and Online Educators can learn a lot from each other when they get together and brainstorm different ideas and scenarios…


    Thomas Anderson

  2. i’m not a great fan of online education coz for me there must be some interaction between teacher and students.

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