Are your students interested in marketing?: how student Interest impacts the desirability of choice in a course

Choice, the freedom to evaluate the merits of options and select among them, is generally viewed as desirable. Choice has been linked to self-determination and empowerment in consumer contexts (Dholakia, 2006; Schwartz, 2004). The desirability of choice has been less explored in higher education contexts, probably because instructors have traditionally done most of the choosing. Within the constraints set by departmental or institutional standards and policies, instructors typically select assignments and activities, require particular textbooks or sets of readings, determine how class time will be spent, and administer their preferred types and numbers of exams, and students carry out the required work. However, the assumptions underlying such prescriptions are changing. Many educators are putting more emphasis on student engagement and self-regulated learning (Young, 2005).