Telling the Story: Business, Digital Marketing, and Ethics

Winter 2020
Spring 2020
Class Size: 37
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

music composition
Rowland, Steven
business and entrepreneurship

This interdisciplinary, two-quarter program is designed for doers and thinkers -- business students, artists, and other creative minds. It will take a hands-on approach to digital marketing along with an academic approach to marketing, ethics, and literature. It will include an introduction to video storytelling, an important marketing skill.

Digital marketing is now a key to the success of businesses, non-profits, and political campaigns. Our activities will include an online simulation game that will teach students the basics of digital marketing including website design, working with Google Ad Words, and understanding market analytics.  Storytelling is critical to working in any business.  Products, start-ups, non-profits, even successful job applicants need to tell their stories. We will read Shakespeare, August Wilson, Saidiya Hartman and other authors whose works show us how language and ideas make a story powerful. Finally, ethics is vital to any business endeavor.  There is no end to accounts of businesses that have breached ethics and must pay the price for doing so. What are ethics and how do we employ them? Students will read and discuss classic essays on ethics, consider the ethical implications of social media, and critique current business practices. The benefits, as well as the risks of ‘big data’ including personal information, will be explored and debated.

During Winter Quarter , we'll begin by reviewing the basics of marketing and digital marketing, other business basics like planning and budgeting, and examine the uses and misuses of data. We will write and produce our own stories as we learn video production with a focus on marketing. Writing, website design, and media skills workshops will provide a way for students at all levels to develop and hone their skills. Guest speakers from the profit and non-profit worlds will provide contemporary case studies of how marketing, storytelling, and ethics interconnect in real-world contexts. 

During Spring Quarter , students will take what they've learned about digital marketing over the winter and apply it to a real-world marketing effort. We will analyze various marketing campaigns and examine how digital marketing is being used in the 2020 presidential campaign. We will advance our conversations about ethics and literature. Students will work in groups and devise marketing projects, video scripts, and live presentations. 

At the completion of the program, students will have developed marketable skills in digital marketing and analytics, improved writing and media storytelling skills, studied business ethics, and learned how to manage group projects. 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

Business, Digital Marketing and Media, Public and Private Sector Management, Arts Practice or Administration, and Nonprofit Organizations.


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Winter: Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
  • Spring Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.

$30 in winter for theater tickets

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 37

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 10:00 am
Com 117 - Music Rehearsal

Located in: Olympia

May be offered again in:


2020-03-31Student fees removed in spring due to field trip cancellation
2019-11-22New program added for Winter quarter