HCBE Faculty Articles

Congruence between Course Modality and Professor Communication: A Study of Pedagogical Impact using Sales Techniques


Yuliya Yurova0000-0003-4524-3471

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education



Publication Date

Fall 2018


Purpose of the Study: Given the similarities between influencing others when teaching and when selling, this work explores student perceptions of selling techniques used by professors. This work investigates faculty instructional methods informed by the prospecting and follow-up sales process’s steps to positively affect student perceptions, and to attract and retain students in online and traditional formats. Selling efforts are developed, described, and examined to see how prospecting and follow-up can be used to increase course learning, retention, and subsequent course enrollment.

Method/Design and Sample: The study used a 2 (Professor Communication Type: Face-to-face vs. Virtual) by 2 (Selling Stage: Prospecting vs. Follow-up) within subjects experimental design with a third between subjects factor measuring Student Modality Type (Online vs. Ground). Student modality refers to the students’ preference for online or in-person classes. 274 completed surveys were collected from online and traditional business school students from two large U.S. universities in the southeast.

Results: The results suggest that applying steps of the sales process in the classroom positively impacts student perceptions relating to instructor responsiveness, pedagogical affect, and likelihood to enroll. These findings endure across course formats, before or during a class, and virtually or in-person. Importantly, we find if faculty match their communication methods (Face to face vs. Virtual) to the course modality type (Ground vs. Online) there is higher pedagogical affect from the sales techniques utilized.

Value to Marketing Educators: This work proposes a starting point for faculty engagement within the higher education marketing effort by utilizing personal selling techniques to appeal to online and traditional ground students. Examples of how educators can use sales techniques in the classroom are shared. The findings guide administrators in applying marketing concepts to higher education as a solution for enrollment and retention issues without micromanaging teaching methods, and also provide guidance for engaging student learning, using prospecting and follow-up techniques.





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