I recently wrote a blog post to my university’s education blog titled “Perfectly normal teaching” (Aivan tavallista opetusta). The main point was to remind teachers of the need to value established and “normal” teaching practices, and to share them with others as well. In my eyes, there is a tendency to highlight the “new” and “innovative”, and to focus on various types of development initiatives, while established best practices are often bypassed or taken for granted. Especially in situations or organisational change, such as when departments are joined together, or new personnel are recruited, it would be important to remember to share existing practices no matter how self-evident they may feel. In short, it is important to make structures visible.
In this spirit, I want to collect here some highlights from the teaching I participated in the spring of 2017:
- On the Newsgames -course, organised jointly between our dept. and the Faculty of Information Technology, student teams worked on three different game projects, including: A game on the life stories of Finns born in 1917, illustrating the drastic way our life has changed in the 100 years of Finnish independence; a game on cybercrime, illustrating the ease of making simple attacks, and how unlikely it is to get caught; a game on the every day decisions a medical doctor has to make, illustrating the difficulty of doing medical work ethically while not being overworked in the process.
- On the Communication in Global Virtual Teams -course, student teams worked on a variety of wonderful topics, producing presentations and final reports on topics such as: Perspectives on Team Development in Virtual Setting; Social Tolerance in Global Virtual Teams; and Diversity Management in Global Virtual Teams
- On the Media and Online Cultures -course, we used a very traditional lecture format (with visitors!) to take a look at themes such as social media and participatory culture, communication in online communities, theories of technology-mediated communication, new and emerging trends in journalism, contemporary media landscape as a (contested) site for bringing about change in the world, and many others.
And of course many others as well, including MA theses on too many topics to discuss here. There is always a lot happening within the hallowed walls of the university institute! As always, it has been an honour to work with talented and motivated students and to witness the way their thinking and understanding evolves.