York University
Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies
School of Administrative Studies

Course Syllabus
M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.

AK/ADMS4230 3.0
Marketing Channels
I retired as of July 1, 2015 and will no longer be supporting this website
                                            -- Louise Ripley

Updated 07/01/15

Welcome to Marketing Channels. Read this syllabus carefully before registering and as you start the course, to be sure the course is what you want and that you are willing and able to meet the requirements. These pages form part of the rules you agree to by staying registered in this course.

(I have not taught this course in a while and am not likely to teach it for some time in the future)

Calendar Description Marketing Channels Integrates theory and practice of marketing distribution channels, concentrating on power and conflict and interrelationships with strategic planning. Utilizes textbook, recent journal articles, seminar participation, and cases.

Prerequisite A grade of C+ or better in Introductory Marketing

Course Director
Professor M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.
Atkinson 268C
lripley@yorku.ca (not by telephone)
Course Consultation Hours: TBA

Course Time and Location TBA
Catalogue Number xxxxxx

Organization of the Course We meet once a week for three hours for twelve weeks in a traditional classroom, but I do not do a lot of traditional lecturing. You will be taking responsibility for your learning as you read the course materials and prepare to be active in in-class discussion and small group work. Students will work in groups to complete a project involving studying the topic in a "real-life" organization; some class time is provided for group work.

The Course Kit for this course is only online, and consists of this Course Syllabus and anything linked from it. The web pages are colour coded: each course has its own coloured stripe down the left side. The Teaching Policy Pages all have a common stripe; in addition to the ground rules and information about communicating, grades, and tests, there is page of frequently asked questions in courses I teach, and a warranty page that tells you that after completing a course with me you have a life-long invitation to return, either to ask for help or to give it, or just to chat. At the top of this page are links to pages that tell you about my teaching, research, and service, some more about me, a page of important other links, and a general alphabetical index  to my website.

Important Dates and Information
Start Date xx/xx/xx   End Date xx/xx/xx
Grade Components Date xx/xx/xx6 
Last Day to Drop Without a Grade xx/xx/xx
Last Day to Enrol Without Permission of the Professor xx/xx/xx
(Read here why I do not give permission to enrol after this date or in a class that is full)
Academic Fees
   Information About Helping Finance Your University Education
Dates for Withdrawal and Return of Fees

Course Readings and Materials In 1999, the required text for this course was Strauss, Judy and Raymond Frost (1999) Marketing on The Internet: Principles of On-Line Marketing. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall 
Warning: Photocopying more than 10% of a textbook is illegal, and may involve penalties. Do not duplicate textbooks or obtain these photocopies. 

Supplementary Reading Regular reading of a good daily newspaper and some of the popular business magazines

Topics and Readings
This is a rough outline from when I taught the course in the fall of 1999
Week/Date Topic Readings 
Strauss Chapter
Introduction - Yahoo! 1
2 GVU 2
3 Relevant Knowledge 3
4 Datek 4
5 RealNetworks 5
6 PrivNet 6
7 Amazon 7
8 Group Work Week  
9 Adjacency 8
10 In-Class Test  
11 Group Presentation  
12 Group Presentations Project Due

Getting Started 
What You Will Need To Complete This Course
To be registered: unless you are registered in this section of this course, I cannot grade your work
Regular access to a Yorku.ca student (or York employee) email account: Click here to activate
   We use this for group work correspondence and it's how I contact you individually
The Webpage Learning Units prepared by the professor: access these at any time; I use no passwords
(there are none for this course at this time)
Textbook: find this at the York University Bookstore and other places
  Willingness to participate in class discussion; review the Waving Hand Exercises in each week's online materials to prepare for discussion
Time to spend in contact with group members for the Final Exam Substitute Project
Contact addresses for possible help:

Academic Integrity:  http://www.yorku.ca/academicintegrity/students/index.htm
Administrative Questions: akcde@yorku.ca or your home faculty
Awards:  http://sfs.yorku.ca/aid/index.htm
Computer Help: helpdesk@yorku.ca
Computer PC Help: http://www.helpwithpcs.com/ or http://www.pcguide.com/
Computers better than you own: York computer labs

Computers, Getting connected: Communications Policy Page
Grade Reappraisal :  http://www.yorku.ca/laps/students/reappraisal.html
Internet Basics: http://www.learnthenet.com/english/index.html
Petitions :  http://www.yorku.ca/laps/council/students/petitions.html
Professor, reaching me: lripley@yorku.ca (tell me your name and course number) 
Uploading Assignments at eServices: disted@yorku.ca or 416-736-5831
Web page use on Louise's site:
Idiot's Guide to This Web Site
Writing:  http://www.yorku.ca/laps/writ/writing_centre.html

Course Purpose/Learning Objectives In addition to basic teaching objectives that are common to all courses I teach, in this course I want you to come to understand that Channels is at the heart of all Marketing.

Expanded Course Description Although in Introductory Marketing we teach you that the four P's are equally important (and you know too that there's much more to Marketing than just the four P's), nevertheless, if the product isn't there in the place for you to buy it, none of the other P's really matter. In this course we take a good look at the finer details involved in moving a product (good, service, idea, experience, etc.) from its producer to its final consumer. It is the intermediaries in this process on whom we focus our sights.

A NOTE ABOUT TEAMWORK Part of the curriculum of Business education is learning to work in teams; you cannot do the Final Exam Substitute Group Project alone. Take a look now at the project and be sure that you are willing and able to commit to it the time and cooperation it requires. It is a term-long project, and is not to be left until the last week.

Evaluation Summary and Description of Assignments

Effective writing is one of the most important skills you can acquire in a university course, and one that you will use in your education, your career and your life; so too is the skill of following instructions. All assignments in all courses I teach require you to write well and to submit work properly. Read carefully the full instructions on this web site on Writing Well for a Better Grade, on References, and on Format For Submitting Work Properly, and check out the  Writing Programmes. Do not assume that because you have written papers before you have mastered the art; writing is something we continually work on to improve. Note that you may be asked to make reference in tests to any assignments and final projects.
Assignment Type % of Grade Due Date Description
(click on link for further description)
Individual Work      
In-Class Test     Examples of past test questions
Group Work      
Statement of Intent 5 marks deducted if not submitted   List of active group members
Name of Product
Proposed Target Market
Group Participation   Peer Evaluation at various times
Your mark on the group assignment may be lowered if you are not pulling your weight in your group
Final Exam Substitute: Group Project     Group Project
This is a term-long assignment - do not leave it until the last week

The test is taken individually but all other work in this course is Group Work. 
The Project is a final exam substitute. Tests are only tests, not final exams. 

1999 Group Project  
Decide on a product that you can purchase either on the Internet or in a traditional retail channel (a store). Go through the steps of the purchase, right up to actually obtaining the product. Using what you have learned from the textbook and your classroom experience, critique the organization of the Internet channels versus the traditional retail store channels. Be sure to cover all aspects of channels. 

NOTE: A student's final course grade is not necessarily confined to a compilation of marks earned on individual course components. Final course grades may be adjusted to conform to Programme or Faculty grades distribution profiles. The average mark in this course is usually a low B.

If you took your required Introductory Marketing prerequisite some time ago and would like a review, click here to view the materials I use to teach Intro on the Internet 

Grading, Assignment Submission, Lateness Penalties and Missed Tests

Grading The grading scheme for the course conforms to the 9-point grading system used in undergraduate programmes at York. For a full description of York grading system see the York University Undergraduate Calendar. Students may take a limited number of courses for degree credit on an ungraded (pass/fail) basis. For full information on this option see Alternative Grading Option and scroll down to "Grading." 

Assignment Submission To be submitted in the classroom

Lateness Penalty/Missed Tests: Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time. Accordingly assignments for this course must be received on the due date specified for the assignment. With the exception of the Final Exam Substitute, you may submit any assignment up to one week late for a grade of not more than the lowest mark earned by anyone who handed it in on time. For the Final Exam Substitute, you may hand it in up to one DAY late with the same arrangement. In either case, you do not have to request the extension, just send the late paper to my personal email: lripley@yorku.ca. Due to large class sizes, I can no longer make informal arrangements for exceptions to the lateness penalty or for missing a test. If you must defer work or miss a test for any reason, and wish to obtain full credit for it, you must do it by petitioning for a Deferred Standing Agreement. The one exception to this is if you are registered with the Office for Persons with Disabilities or a York Counseling Centre, in which case, please contact me directly as early in the course as possible either in person or by email at lripley@yorku.ca.

About Your Professor
I'm your professor, Louise Ripley. Call me "Louise" or address me as "Dr. Ripley" but just don't call me "Miss" because where I grew up that's for young girls, old unmarried ladies, and schoolmarms, or "Mrs. Ripley" because that's my Mom; I'm happily married but I'm not anyone's "Mrs." The name Ripley belonged to my labour-union-organizer father and I carry it proudly. My office is 268C Atkinson. Email me; I don't answer my phone but I'm always on the email.

I am a Professor of Marketing and in Women's Studies, and in Environmental Studies, with a PhD in Management Studies (major in Marketing) from University of Toronto, an MBA in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Bachelor's degree from Shimer, one of the world's finest (and smallest) liberal arts undergraduate schools. I worked in Finance and Marketing Research in Chicago and have taught at York for over thirty years. Click here to read more about me professionally and personally. 

I have preached for more than twenty years about the importance of combining practice and theory in academic work. In 1994, I had taught Marketing classes for 12 years talking about the difficulties of distribution in Canada, the long distances, the rough roads, but it wasn't until I had spent 8 hours in the cab of Bernie's Peterbilt truck, driving on the two-lane Highway 104 from Antigonish, Nova Scotia to Moncton, New Brunswick that I REALLY understood what the difficulties of physical distribution were all about. It's why in every class I teach, I urge and require students to get out into the "real" world and find out how academic theories relate to practice.

This is the area where I did my original doctoral work and early studies. Here is a picture of me on "my" truck, the 22 wheel, 18,000 kg Peterbilt truck with dump trailer that my friend Bernie Landry taught me to drive in Nova Scotia in April of 1994. 
It took me an hour and a half just to learn to turn the wheel the right way when backing it up with the short trailer attached (more difficult than the longer trailer - less room for error). When I learned how to do it, when I first felt in my gut instead of just knowing in my head, how it worked, it was one of the great joys and one of the best learning experiences of my life. Through all of that, Bernie never gave up on me; he just kept saying, "come on, you can do it," and reminding me gently when I did it wrong, how to do it right. Bernie stands in my memory as one of the best teachers I've ever known.


Academic Honesty and Integrity York students are required to maintain high standards of academic integrity and are subject to the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty. By staying in this course, you agree to abide by these rules. Students should also review materials on the Academic Integrity Website.

I expect that all work submitted by individuals or groups is the work of only that individual or group, for only this course, not having been done for any other course in any way, by the current members or any one else. You are welcome to talk with anyone you like while preparing for any part of this course, but what you put together and hand in must be your own work and original to this course. Violation of these premises is grounds for prosecution under the rules of the Faculty and the University. 

Read here York's new booklet, "Beware! Says Who? Avoiding Plagiarism"

Accommodation Procedures:

Deferred Standing: I do not give permission to defer work. If you feel you must defer work, you must petition. See School Policy on Deferred Exams.
Students with Special Needs
York University is committed to making reasonable accommodations and adaptations in order to make equitable the educational experience of students with special needs and to promote their full integration into the campus community. If you require special accommodations, alert the Course Director as soon as possible. Failure to notify the course director of your needs in a timely manner may jeopardize the opportunity to arrange for academic accommodation. Visit the Counselling Centre for more information.

Ethics Review Process York students are subject to the York University Policy for the Ethics Review Process for Research Involving Human Participants. In particular, students proposing to undertake research which involves human subjects such as interviewing the director of a company or government agency or having people complete a questionnaire, are required to submit an Application for Ethical Approval of Research Involving Human Participants at least one month before you plan to begin the research. If you are in doubt as to whether this requirement applies to you, contact your Course Director immediately.

Grade Component Deadline
The course assignment structure and grading scheme (i.e. kinds and weights of assignments, essays, exams, etc.) must be announced and be available in writing to students within the first two weeks of classes. Please see Important Dates.

Graded Feedback Rule
Under normal circumstances, students should receive some graded feedback worth at least 15% per cent of the final grade for Fall, Winter or Summer term, and 30% for full-year courses in the Fall/Winter term prior to the final date for withdrawal from a course without receiving a grade, with the following exceptions:

  • graduate or upper level undergraduate courses where course work typically, or at the instructor's discretion, consists of a single piece of work and/or is based predominantly or solely on student presentations;
  • practicum courses;
  • ungraded courses;
  • courses in Faculties where the drop date occurs within the first three weeks of classes;
  • courses which run on a compressed schedule, e.g.: a course which accomplishes its academic credits of work at a rate of one credit hour per two calendar weeks or faster.

Note: Under unusual and/or unforeseeable circumstances which disrupt the academic norm, instructors are expected to provide grading schemes and academic feedback in the spirit of these regulations as soon as possible. For more information, see the Graded Feedback Rule.

For reappraisal procedures and information, see http://www.yorku.ca/laps/students/reappraisal.html

Religious Observance Days York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents. Should any of the dates specified in this syllabus for in-class test or examination, or for any scheduled lab, practicum, workshop or other assignment pose a conflict for you, contact the Course Director within the first three weeks of class. To arrange an alternative date or time for an examination scheduled in the formal examination periods (December and April/May), students must complete an Online Examination Accommodation Form or pick one up from the Student Client Services in the Student Services Centre.

Student Conduct Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy and mutual respect and to refrain from actions disruptive to such a relationship. It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour. The instructor is the best person to decide, in the first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class. Read the full Policy on Disruptive and/or Harassing Behaviour.

Twenty Percent (20%) Rule No examination or test worth more than 20% of the final grade will be given during the last two weeks of classes in a term, with the exception of classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or any time on Saturday or Sunday.

Questions? Try:
Comprehensive Index to the website
Home Page Search Engine
Teaching Policies links
Links to Other Information at the Top of this Page
email me: lripley@yorku.ca 

AK/ADMS4230 3.0 Marketing Channels
York University, Toronto
M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.