GBC business profs blaze new trail with app-based marketing textbooks in Canada

A female student is sitting casually on a comfy lounge bench at the Waterfront Campus and looking at her phone or texting to someone while smiling.

Two professors at George Brown College’s Centre for Business have each authored app-based interactive marketing textbooks for Canadian students. Their textbooks are the only new texts that explore marketing through a Canadian lens and the first marketing textbooks in Canada to be written specifically for digital delivery. 

Michael Shekter, MBA, wrote Marketing, a principles of marketing foundation textbook, and Dr. Jon Callegher authored Marketing Research for Marketers, which focuses on how professionals can use the tools of market research to achieve their marketing goals. Both were released on Pearson Education’s REVEL platform in September 2021.  

Improving interactivity and accessibility 

Michael Shekter

In addition to the core content, which covers all the basics of marketing and market research for Canadian marketers, Pearson’s REVEL platform allows students using these textbooks to access interactive and media-rich tools on their computer, tablet or phone. The platform also provides a variety of tools to aid students in learning and applying these concepts through interactive quizzes, simulations, and shared assignments with classmates. Shekter describes the experience as “textbook meets app.” For instructors, the platform provides complete insight and visibility into how students are interacting with the textbook and how well they’re absorbing the material. Professors can track students’ progress in reading assignments, assessments and learning tools. There is also a dashboard which gives a snapshot of both the whole class's activities, as well as those of individual students. 

“That information is incredibly helpful, particularly in a distance learning environment. These early warning features let us know if students are struggling and in what sections,” Shekter said.  

“The ability for students to connect with one another through the digital textbook has been really groundbreaking, and it's easy, fun and interactive. I think the students love it.” 

Callegher said having his textbook on REVEL makes it easier for students to quickly access and review materials together in class. He also says the digital option makes the content more accessible. 

"A big value not only to domestic students, but especially to international students who struggle with English, is that it reads to you,” Callegher said. “And it's not an AI robot. A human being reads the chapter, alternating between a male voice and a female voice. So, you can read, listen or read and listen. I love that.” 

A contribution to the college and the academic community 

Jon Callegher

Callegher said he's proud his textbook is a product of the George Brown experience, and that it provides a convenient and engaging experience for students. 

"It feels good knowing that what you're assigning has a much greater chance of being read,” Callegher said, “and I want this style of textbook in other subjects that I teach in the future. Of course, the content and its readability are important, but it's the tool (REVEL) that encourages students to pick it up and stick with it.”  

Shekter said that while his book will be used in schools across Canada, he wrote it with his own course and similar foundation principles of marketing courses in mind. 

“I think any Canadian instructor who is a passionate practitioner of their craft, and an educator will welcome and recognize the benefit of an original Canadian-written text targeting Canadian marketing students; not just a Canadian edition of a U.S.-authored text,” he said. 

“This is a contribution to George Brown and the college's long-term strategy. It's very exciting for us to contribute to that and to our academic community.”