A Phenomenographic Approach for Exploring Conceptions of Learning Marketing among Undergraduate Students – Findings

According to the phenomenographic analysis, six qualitatively different conceptions of learning marketing were identified in this study. The findings are described below.
Learning marketing as ‘memorizing’ (M)
In the first category, students view learning marketing as the memorization of theories and definitions. For these students, the purpose of learning marketing is to discuss with others and extend their knowledge. For example, students responded that:
Memorization is essential when you learn marketing. (#1)
I don’t really understand marketing management in class from lectures, but I try to memorize some theories or definitions first. (#12)
Students are used to using memorization techniques to learn marketing. They memorize marketing theories or terminology is for discussing the marketing managerial issues with others. In this way, Memorization is not true learning because interpretation is ignored.
Learning marketing as ‘testing’ (T)
In this category, students conceptualize learning marketing as preparing for tests; their purpose for learning marketing is to pass the examinations.
Testing is the purpose of learning marketing. (#5)
Because the teacher’s main way of evaluating and assessing student’s achievement is written examinations, learning marketing for students mean preparing for the tests. (#13)
In this category, the students emphasize the tests when learning marketing. One student (#5) even claimed that ‘learning marketing is only for testing’.
Learning marketing as ‘gaining higher status’ (G)
In this category, students regard learning marketing as gaining higher status, such as obtaining a better marketing job, and promoting self competition after graduation. Their purpose of learning marketing is to be more socialized in a group with good communicative competence. That can help them to be more competitive and to find a good marketing job.
Learning marketing can enhance my marketing skills and marketing ability, such selling skill, how communicate with customers, how to advertise a product. (#13)
Learning marketing is very helpful for competition and job interviews. (#17)
Students in this category highly value the outcomes of learning marketing. They believe that learning marketing may enhance their marketing ability, so that they will have more opportunities to gain higher status in the job market.
Learning marketing as applying (A)
In this category, applying is conceptualized as the main feature of learning marketing. Consequently, a successful application of received knowledge constitutes the main purpose of learning marketing. For instance, students stated that:
Learning marketing needs you to apply it. Application can let you know whether you understand it or not. (#6)
When you participate in some activities, or school clubs, or get along with people, you can apply marketing knowledge. Then, you will know how well you have learned. (#24)
Learning marketing is deemed as applying knowledge to solve a variety of life associated problems. Although the interviewed students do not have real work experience, they still try to apply knowledge in the situations in which they are engaged, such as daily life and school clubs.