I am committed to teaching and am of the view that positive results cannot be obtained without a sufficient degree of effort. I think that effective teaching is relevant, engaging, and draws students in to be active learners in the subject. My subjects are research-led, and also include experiential activities, simulations, role-plays, and active student engagement. Some of my subjects have been student-led. I encourage students to consult with me if they have difficulty in understanding materials or even if they just want to share their thoughts about a subject or offer suggestions for how to improve my courses.
A good example of my teaching commitment is my Introduction to Marketing course, taught in the fall semester, 2004, Vilnius University, to a large group of 270 students. I tried to involve students during the lectures in many different ways despite the size of the group, through the demonstration of videos, guest lecturers and various practical examples. However, in order to fully involve students and get them excited about the subject, students met in smaller seminars every other week, in which they were given a practical assignment to develop a new product and bring it to market, simulating a real-life project in the business world. During each seminar students worked in teams on a new assignment, related to different aspects of marketing (product development, market research, product modification, distribution, pricing, advertising and media strategy, etc.). During our mid-semester product presentations students became so excited about their ideas that we decided to make their ideas public.
The students formed an organizing committee, which became involved in fund-raising and sponsorship for an end of the semester festival at which they presented their ideas. Over 50 representatives of various companies, who dedicated two days to choose the best product ideas and best advertisements, attended the festival. Some of the student groups went so far as to work with television and movie producers to create professional television advertisements for their products! A website was created to display all ideas and advertising materials for the festival were also developed with the assistance of local companies.
The end result was a one-day festival with over 40 student booths, presentations of their advertisements on two large video screens, and attendance by over 200 visitors. Prizes were awarded by local and international companies for the best overall idea, best overall advertising strategy, TV, magazine, outdoor ads, and the best booth. The students who placed first overall were presented with several cash prizes as well as a week-long employment contract with pay to work on a real project at Adell Saatchi & Saatchi. The students have already completed their internship, after which the company’s client bought their strategy. Media coverage about the festival also resulted in invitations to several teams to participate in an EU funded business plan competition, in which one student team placed among the top 10 finalists out of over 100 submissions.
Student festival website (in Lithuanian)
This student festival has now been running since 2004 (see original website here), and is an annual event, attracting students from various universities throughout the entire Baltic region.