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Here I am – late with the final entry promised to you on that last meet up. The time has not gone in vain as my thoughts from the course have been settling down somewhere in the back of my mind. So I hope you forgive the delay and have the patience to read this to the end.

As many of you, I’m a first time blogger and I’m thankful that in your entries you’ve commented on the blogging and how that has affected your learning. There is a first time for everything in our lives, and this was the first time for us to use the blog as a learning tool in the course. I definitely had the feeling that it had a potential, but I could not anticipate what a great tool it turned out to be! From the teacher perspective it was both gratifying and inspiring to be reading your entries, I especially appreciated how sometimes the entries would anticipate the subject of the lecture-to-come by raising up few questions related to the upcoming topic. This is teacher’s heaven! What more can you wish for? ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Jukka already praised the quality of your entries, which I absolutely agree with. In my opinion, although the blog-as-a-learning-tool has some downsides, the benefits outweighed them in the end. E.g. I’m aware that not everybody felt comfortable sharing their thoughts publicly, and it might have even felt awkward at times – always having to express an opinion after the lecture. But I feel that the obligation to post can in some cases be stimulating to reflect deeper on what has been presented, and at the same time have the unique opportunity for learning what all others are thinking about the same issue. It is not often that you get to read your fellow students’ minds…errrr…thoughts ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good that you took on this blogging challenge and handled it elegantly!

From your feedback we learned that the blogging assignment requires some fine-tuning in terms of number of entries, etc. Thanks for this helpful comments! I’m happy you seemed to appreciate the blogging as much as we did. And I’m happy my first-time-blogging happened within the thoughtful and friendly atmosphere of this experimental course ๐Ÿ™‚

Regarding the videos, I want to say that you surprised me – honestly! First of all, the amplitude of topics was impressive, but also the ways in which the groups have approached the assignment – choosing their own style, handling the openness of the assignment and finally performing with enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. I know it was difficult! And I know many of you have thought you don’t have sufficient skills for completing the assignment. But you did it! And as I have never created a video myself, I want to say to you – you have just exceeded your teacher (well, one of them) ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate your efforts and your we-can-do-it attitudes.

Finally, I want to share with you that sustainable consumption has been my topic of passion for a long time. I can talk and talk about it, but what you might have noticed from the lectures – it is the kind of topic where you rarely get any straightforward and simple answers. In my teaching experience, I have come across some frustrations from students: if you take a course about sustainability and about sustainable consumption, maybe you expect to simply learn what it is, and how to tell wrong from right. But you have admitted this many times in your blog entries too – that sustainability in general is not a black-and-white topic, neither is it a green-and-grey one. I think it is more important that one starts to think about these topics and reflect them upon her/his own life. Maybe you have heard this before: sustainability is not an endpoint, it is a journey.

So, I thank you for taking one leg of this journey together with me, Jukka and Frank. And I give my warm thanks to Jukka and Frank who have contributed so profoundly to marry the topics of sustainability, marketing and consumption (note the commas!). Their expertise was invaluable, as were your comments and thoughts during the lectures, in your blogs and in your heads. Thanks for the fruitful atmosphere and the willingness and openness to learn and discuss.

best wishes for your journey ๐Ÿ™‚
Angelina

 

 

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Hey all,

Hope your exam preparations are going well (and I’m sure they are, the diligent students that you all are). As Angelina and I mentioned, we’d share some of our final thoughts concerning the course here in the blog. So here I go.

First of all, I’m not sure how many of you knew, but this was the first time ever this course was held at Aalto. When planning the course over the course of the year (no pun intended), I had pretty much no idea how things were going to pan out once things kicked off. For instance, for a while we had no idea Frank was going to join our team too, and what a great things his presence turned out to be. But more importantly, I had no idea what kind of a group of students I was supposed to expect. I wasn’t too familiar with the CS program, and had mainly instructed Bachelor’s and basic level courses before. However, after the first lecture and having taken a look at the first round of blog entries, I had a pretty good picture what kind of a group of people I was dealing with: intelligent, thoughtful, and enthusiastic. If I had to somehow summarize the three things that I liked the most, I’d have to go with the lecture atmosphere, blog entries, and of course the videos.

The lectures were always a lot of fun, whether I was on the center stage or just spectating. I like a fairly relaxed, informal atmosphere where everyone is fairly comfortable, and I got the feeling that was the case most of the time. I was very, very happy with the interaction in class, which, to me, seemed to get better and better as the course went on. It makes the lectures so much better in my opinion to have as people discussing as possible. Many intelligent comments, and many funny ones too. And good practical examples of the stuff we were dealing with too. There’s not much more you can ask from a lecturer’s point of view.

The blog entries were something I was very positively surprised with. I had literally no idea how the whole blog things was going to work. I’ve never been too happy with the traditional lecture diary assignment as people tend to finish it in one evening without putting much thought to it. In a blog, there are elements of visibility and interaction and so on, which in my view are a strength, but at the same time not everyone likes those elements. Having said that, the stuff you guys wrote was really, really good. I mean, we’ve had entry topics ranging from the special theory of relativity to dealing with consumer guilt to “trustainability” to even pubs in Tallinn. At least I got the impression that time and effort were put in most of the entries there (despite the relative frequency of writing), and that many of you were reading each others’ entries too. I’ve heard many positive comments from colleagues as well concerning the content in the blog, and I’m sure we’ll be using some of the material there on our future lectures – with proper references, of course ๐Ÿ˜›

Last, the videos. Just as with the blogs, this was the first time I’ve had a video assignment on my course (the idea for the video was Frank’s), and at least in terms of the final output it worked much better than I thought it would. Really well done videos in many ways. Lots of creativity in them, and lots of content too. Though like I said at the end of the video session, if nazi’s and douches get the most votes, what does that tell of us?

So wrapping up, as is evident looking at the text above, I’m quite happy about the outcomes of this course, and looking at some of your final blog entries, it seems many of you were too. I always want people to have things to take away from the course, and that’s what we were trying to achieve here. I know I have many things to take away from this. Just as a final remark, we mentioned in the video session that if any of you are planning on doing your Master’s thesis on issues related to this course, we’ll be happy to give advice. My areas of expertise lie in corporate social responsibility (especially in the critique of voluntary CSR) and business/society issues. I’m also somewhat familiar with traditional organization theory, degrowth, and as a curiosity, a method called qualitative comparative analysis, if someone happens to come across it. Also, don’t hesitate to contact me with other sustainability issues either, I’ll likely at least know someone who knows something ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks everyone and all the best,

Jukka