Using Industry Mentors in a Hybrid Course

Online Course Design Pitfall #4: Expect your students to consume knowledge rather than create it; Online Course Design Pitfall #5: Ignore the ways students learn from each other:

One of the primary outcomes I want for students in my industrial marketing course is to develop an understanding of how marketing is practiced in the industry, and how that compares to the theory that is presented in class. With this hybridization process I am trying a new approach where each student will be matched with an industry “mentor” in order to learn how marketing is conducted with that specific company. Each student will conduct three interviews with their mentor over the course of the term – gathering information that is roughly parallel to what is being covered in class. Students will use this information in multiple online discussions as well as a final online presentation and a final paper. My hope is that this active engagement with someone in the real world and the sharing of the information among peer students will both facilitate learning from each other and creating their own understanding of how marketing works in the real world.

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6 Responses to Using Industry Mentors in a Hybrid Course

  1. Mariapaola Riggio says:


    This is a great idea! How will the industry mentors interact with your students in the hybrid course? Will you provide a shared online space for mentor-student interaction outside Canvas?

    In the Timber tectonics course students learn how integrated design works in the real wood construction industry: pairing a student team with industry mentors from the early design phase could be a very interesting experiment… (instead of just inviting industry members to the project reviews).

  2. Kari van Zee says:

    Matching students with an industry mentor is a great idea and perfect for a hybrid delivery. While I have not tried this, I am observing it in action with my daughter who is a first-year graduate student at UWashington in Landscape Architecture. In her studio courses she has been matched with an industry mentor, and the mentor’s feedback is what she talks about the most. I will have to think of ways to incorporate this in future courses.

    • hanseeri says:

      I regularly bring industry speakers into the classroom. There is nothing better than when someone from the real world backs up what you have been telling the students…

  3. Nick AuYeung says:

    Cool idea. Any tips for finding industry mentors?

    • hanseeri says:

      I have been at OSU for 25 years and much of that as an Extension Specialist – so that long-developed network is one major source of people that would agree to be mentors. The other is recent grads. Generally, the forest industry is super supportive of us (dept & college), but especially supportive of our students.

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