Competent or Not?: Exploring Adaptions to the Neo-Behaviorist Paradigm in a Sport Marketing Course

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B. David Tyler
Laura E. Cruz


Educators and administrators are exploring competency-based education as an effective and efficient method to facilitate student learning. This reinforces a burgeoning neo-behaviorist movement in higher education which seeks to synthesize such behaviorist approaches with the cognitive focus of the last 20 years. The current research examines the outcomes in three years of a sport marketing class that blends cognitive-based and competency-based pedagogy. The first half of the course is primarily self-paced, with regular quizzes checking student mastery, while the second half of the course has students work in teams on marketing-related projects; a final examination assesses overall student learning. The research revealed that the blended approach resulted in complementary strategies which partially addressed the conventional criticisms of both cognitive- and competency-based pedagogical approaches. The study used paired sample t-tests to compare results on quizzes versus the final exam (N=111 students comprising 36,787 total student-responses), finding that the course's hybrid structure develops student learning in both lower-order and higher-order thinking (as per Bloom's taxonomy). In addition to this approach's pedagogical benefits, the structure may have implications for administrators and educators facing challenges in terms of student enrollment, budgets, and expectations of graduates.


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How to Cite
Tyler, B. D., & Cruz, L. E. (2016). Competent or Not?: Exploring Adaptions to the Neo-Behaviorist Paradigm in a Sport Marketing Course. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 16(3), 23–38.
Author Biographies

B. David Tyler, Western Carolina University

Assistant Professor, College of Business

Laura E. Cruz, Tennessee Tech University

Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence


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