Marketing 360: Business to Business Marketing
As a veteran in marketing, Robert Hausladen understands the role of critical thinking in sales. As part of his experience in the 2013-14 Part-time Faculty Learning Community he incorporated critical thinking skills into a new assignment in his Professional Relationship Selling class. Hausladen’s assignment asked the students to generate a concept map of each of the Fundamental & Powerful Concepts [PDF]. These concepts included:
- Strategic Prospecting
- Discovery process
- Fulfillment and sustaining
- Self Mastery
Hausladen first asked students to use the Elements of Thought to explore the fundamental and powerful concepts and developed a worksheet for each. He spaced the discussion sessions two weeks apart to allow time for class discussions of both the results of the exercise and to permit him to cover additional material related to the next concept to be analyzed. He asked teams of students to apply as many of the Elements of Thought as they could to each concept.
In his analysis of the results generated by these exercises, Hausladen found that student teams were able to generate more responses involving more Elements of Thought as the semester progressed. He saw similar results when students were asked to apply the Intellectual Standards to the same fundamental and powerful course concepts.
As he reflected on the assignment, Hausladen asked himself two questions with respect to the student outcomes he observed. Did the results have more to do with the nature of the fundamental and powerful concept under consideration than with a learning curve? Was the improvement in the students’ performance related to increasing familiarity with the assignment (rather than the actual application of critical thinking concepts)? Other faculty who may want to use or adapt Hausladen’s assignment are invited to consider these questions in relation to how they evaluate the effectiveness of the assignment design.