DHA Suffa University (DSU) always strives to provide an optimal learning & knowledge sharing experience for students. This is achieved by many ways including providing industry exposure coupled with the classroom learning. By maximizing industry engagement for students, they can not only enjoy a better learning experience but at the same time they get an opportunity to acquire industry adeptness as well. This way the students gain industry-relevant knowledge along with theoretical classroom learning. Such experiences make their adaptability in their relevant industry easier and at the same time, the employer also gets an industry-ready employee.
In this regard during Fall2021 a course titled “Social Media Marketing” was offered to the students of the Computer Science (CS) department. For this course the CS department at DSU collaborated with a digital agency, “Digital Eggheads” (DE). This collaboration was purely for academic purposes to help students in their learning by sharing industry best practices with them.
Under this collaboration two senior members Mr. Safeer E Hussain, Co-Founder & Director Operations, DE and Zainab Abdul Rehman, Head of Strategy, DE engaged throughout the semester and helped in:
- Reviewing the course content and suggested changes/updates.
- Conducted sessions on social media strategy and related topics. Through these sessions the students were guided about industry best practices for developing a social media strategy for an organization. This led the students on the right path for carrying out their semester course projects related to developing a social media strategy for an organization.
- Further DE helped in the evaluation of the projects as well. The objective of such evaluation was not only to assign marks but the expert and candid feedback on the projects from the DE representatives helped the students understand their highlighting points and shortcomings as well.
The semester teaching was carried out by applying “Project based – learning by doing” methodology. Students were divided into teams and each team was asked to find an organization that had zero or very little presence on social media but at the same time had a strong need to grow their social media marketing. The teams had to apply the classroom learning to develop social media marketing strategy for their selected organization and also implement the strategy. The teams served as Social Media Consultants for their selected organizations. This was a guided project where constant guidance and monitoring was provided by the faculty at DSU, Ms. Eram Abbasi along with Mr. Safeer and Ms. Zainab from DE.
This teaching methodology with industry engagement provided the students a fun learning experience as they enjoyed implementing the theory concepts into practical work. They experienced rich learning situations which included enjoying success and coping with failures, communicating with clients and satisfying their requirements, working in teams, team building and dealing with team conflicts, handling customer queries and satisfying their needs, and many more. They even experienced situations which they never thought of while going through the classroom learning until they experienced it themselves.
One of the team members presented her experience as; “Overall it was a nice exposure of working with the corporate sector. With all other learning one important lesson that we learned from this project was that we should not trust verbal conversation. It is really necessary to document each and every verbal commitments to avoid conflict ahead”
While sharing his experience another student says “The project gave us exposure as to how a social media strategy is developed in real world. Many lessons learned, like; how important is the customer persona in strategy development. The success or failure of a good strategy very much depends on identifying the right customer persona. Another important lesson we experienced was that one should be confident when being creative. One should think out of the box, be creative and step ahead. Nothing will then stop you”
A student shared his experience this way. “The Social Media Marketing course was very informative and fun to study. Thanks to the trainers/faculty for teaching us this course in a very friendly environment. The project work really boosted our confidence. The course helped us to develop confidence to step forward and present your ideas in front of externals”
Another experience shared was; “It was a great learning experience, the course, the project and the corporate experience. It helped us understand how things actually work in the corporate world. Gave us experience on how to make our thought process clear. We actually felt improvement in ourselves”
Hence, the semester ended with a rich learning and knowledge sharing experience for the students. Thanks to “Digital Eggheads” for providing such memorable learning experience for the CS students DSU.