Not all Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) courses are the same

Are you planning to study Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) courses this Autumn – read this!

As consumers everyone knows that not all restaurants are the same. There are different chefs, different qualities of service of venue and the menus range as well. The waiters are paid differently as well – some give a decent wage and attract the best, others pay peanuts and rely on tips and goodwill from the customers to fork out extra money for the waiters which in some cases the restaurants keep for themselves as well!

I am not in the food business but have experience of Chartered Institute of Marketing – CIM courses. One of my colleagues was undertaking a series of CIM courses and someone I mentor was also studying CIM courses.

They chose different routes
· Person A – chose Cambridge Marketing College
· Person B – chose Oxford College of Marketing

Person A – Cambridge Marketing College
There was lots of interest when they made the initial enquiry and it seemed like a good idea. There was no initial interview, just a case of pay the money and the course starts. I was paying the bill (I’m the employer) and it’s along time since I studied for my Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications, so I let the person select their own course and take it from there.

Person B – Oxford College of Marketing
This person self-funded the course. A telephone interview to check the person is at the right level! Access to Blackboard, the opportunity to submit drafts and really good books.

This is the feedback from each:

Person A – Cambridge Marketing College
Courses completed by Distance Learning with Cambridge Marketing College:
2007 CIM Professional Certificate
2008 CIM Professional Diploma

Person B – Oxford College of Marketing
Courses completed by Distance Learning with Oxford Marketing College:
2008 CIM Professional Diploma

Cambridge Marketing College – What you get
· Recommended books for the course usually 3 core books (Kotler was one of these)
· 4 Study Guides on CD (or available printed out) approximately 300 pages per study guide with a Cambridge Marketing College branded folder for each module.
· Login details for the delegate area on the Cambridge Marketing College online which lasts for the duration of your course.

Oxford Marketing College – What you get
· 4 Butterworth Heinemann texts for the 4 modules
· Access to Blackboard an online Virtual Learning Environment
· Blackboard had a raft of information on it – lecture slides, text excerpts, white papers and the like – a comprehensive suite of information.

What did I like about Cambridge Marketing College ?
Studying by distance learning and the CMC study guides provided.

What did I like about Oxford Marketing College?
I liked the approach to study and the overall willingness to help and support the learning, they seem to be student focused and therefore have your best interests at heart. The administration team provides an excellent bridge between student and teacher.

The teacher support is great, the teachers are flexible to accommodate the constraints of work/life balance in distance learning and are on hand when you need them with good information. The onus is on the student to mine for information and be proactive with their relationship to the tutor but once this is understood their is enough access.

The blackboard resource is first class – the wealth of information on there is invaluable to learning.

In addition, the 4 initial books are a big help and great to build the core learning around

What did I dislike about Cambridge Marketing College ?
1. CMC do not offer much support.
2. There is a lack of resources in the Delegates area (login required).
3. Most of the information is out of date or not relevant to the course syllabus. T
4. There were a few mp3s relating to various topics on the syllabus but these were just recordings of classes held by some tutors at the college.
5. I also personally bought and borrowed several Butterworth Heinemann books to support the programme as the materials provided didn’t give enough info.

If you did not know what to ask for it was not readily made available to you. For example, Cambridge Marketing College did not tell me that the tutors produce an assignment brief/guidelines/additional notes available as some help towards completing the CIM assignments. I only found this out from a friend in April 2008 when I was studying for the CIM (my friend was studying for the CIM Diploma with the Oxford Marketing College at the time). Students at OMC had been given additional notes and mp3s about how to complete the assignment. I had already spent the previous year studying for the CIM Professional Certificate – nothing mentioned about any assignment briefs/guidelines/additional notes to help answer them and as I did not know they were available, I was unable to ask for them!

Communication with Distance Learning Course Director was not as supportive or helpful as I had hoped. The first email sent about my CIM Diploma course said “I’m about to start the Diploma Marketing Planning assignments. Do you have an assignment brief you can send to me or any comments / tips / advice for the assignments / module?” I received the following reply “Assignment brief attached. No specific advice apart from do make certain you send me a draft for comments.” Not particularly supportive.

You can telephone tutors, although the Distance Learning Course Director was not very chatty or forthcoming with advice when I spoke to her – it’s just as good to email them!

What did I dislike about Oxford Marketing College?
Distance Learning is a lonely road sometimes and it would benefit the college if they have periodical check-ins with students to make sure that they are on schedule, motivated and up to date with the right information. This would also be applicable to the course tutor.

NB This person spoke to the tutor:
· Minimum once a month – around assignment times probably once a week.
· Other times once or twice per month

Do you have any comments to add? Are you studying? What do you think?

Bookmark and Share

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
0 Shares