In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, it is no surprise that educators are seeking to harness the power of social media to engage and educate their students. One professor at Chapman University in California has found an innovative way to do just that, by offering to cancel a final exam if a student can create a viral TikTok video that receives at least one million views.
Matthew Prince, a Taco Bell PR executive and marketing lecturer at the university, challenged his 80 students to create a viral video as part of his course. The challenge was met with enthusiasm, and within a matter of days, Sylvie Bastardo, a 20-year-old sophomore, had succeeded in creating a video that received over 4.9 million views on TikTok, far exceeding the original goal of one million views.
The professor was delighted by the success of the challenge and promptly canceled the final exam. Speaking to The New York Times, Prince explained that his aim was to demonstrate the power of influence and influencer marketing on social media and to show that virality and influence are democratized on platforms such as TikTok.
The use of social media in the classroom has long been a topic of debate, with some arguing that it is a pointless distraction that detracts from genuine learning. However, the success of Prince’s challenge shows that social media can be a powerful tool for education when used correctly. By creating a real-world challenge that required students to use their creativity and marketing skills, Prince was able to demonstrate the value of these skills in a tangible way.
Moreover, the challenge provided an opportunity for students to learn about the power of influence and how it can be leveraged in marketing. This is a valuable lesson for any student of marketing, as the ability to create content that resonates with audiences and drives engagement is a highly sought-after skill in the digital age.
Overall, the TikTok challenge set by Matthew Prince is an excellent example of the innovative ways in which educators can use social media to engage and educate their students. It is a reminder that, when used correctly, social media can be a powerful tool for learning, and that students should never be underestimated when it comes to their ability to create compelling content and drive engagement on these platforms.