This by far the far the worst and most useless course I have ever attended. The course consists of two parts, lectures and a business game.
If you have at some point studied for the entrance exam to Aalto business school, you can skip the lectures as concepts such as the 7Ps or marketing or differences between services and products (whoa, did you know that services are intangible?) are propably already familiar to you.
Ok so the lectures were bad, but the worst part of the course is the so called business game. The practical arrangements and rules set up by the game masters are so afwul that playing this game is like pulling out teeth. The game is supposed to be about negotiating contracts with other companies. In reality you have two sliders that you can move to the right or the left, and you negotiate with other companies about how they move their sliders, but there is no way to enforce that they actually move their sliders as agreed. Apparently no one told the tech school guys about SLAs. You can for example promise to to put your quality slider to the max and then put to minimum instead, instantly ruining the game for the 3 other companies that were involved in a contract with you.
To add insult to injury, we were expected to prepare a report of our activities during the game, but the game was unexpectedly closed 2 days before the deadline for the report and all information related to the game became invisible, making it impossible to produce a quality report unless you somehow foresaw this event and copied all relevant information to your private notes before it was taken offline. Of course 50% of the course grade is based on the report.
This course was produced in collaboration with the technical, arts and business schools. I will take care to avoid any such courses in the future, as this course was a complete waste of time. I’ll take the 6 credits though.
I agree about everything with the previous commenter Regmonkey. Avoid this course, if you can.
The course consisted of two parts – game (3 ects) and lectures (3 ects).
Lectures were quite basic stuff about services though there were some interesting topics (but only a few) and if you’ve ever attended any of the business school’s own courses concerning marketing or services, the lectures will not bring anything new to you. Rather easy but rather useless as well.
The other part of the course, the game, was a pain. A game could be a nice way of learning but this definitely did not offer anything nice and rather small amount of learning. The amount of work and frustration exceeded the benefit multiple times and this was mainly due the inflexibility of the game platform and strict limitations in what one player could do. Even though the game is now over I get mad about thinking about it. Avoid.
I’ll agree to Regmonkeys previous post – avoid this course if you can.
I have to agree with previous posts – avoid this course if you can.
I don’t write about the game since everything I would have written is already said in previous posts. Game instructions and rules were really confusing and changed all the time. Paper trail (the report that was 50% of the grade) instructions came out really late and deadline changed. We were also told to do individual assessment (mandatory) about the game but instructions were nowhere to be found and we didn’t know where to return it. Some of the students asked about it from the organizers in the mycourses’ forum but nobody answered.
I think the biggest problem of the course are poorly arranged course practicalities (especially when it comes to the game).
This course is really a waste of time. I took it during the fall 2016, and unfortunately all of the previous comments still apply for this course. The business game has not gotten any better, and it still lacks crucial guidelines and standards.
Playing of the game is frustrating and does not add any real learning value for the course. It seems that the professor is so keen on the game, that cannot understand the pitfalls of it. In general, the game is a nice idea and if it would be improved it could be an interesting learning opportunity. However, seems like they development of the game is not priority for the staff of this course. I really hope, this is removed from the ISM ”3/4”-mandatory course listings next year. Im sure there would plenty of more beneficial courses available.
I didn’t attend the lectures, as I have taken similar classes considering services before. But I heard they don’t really add any value either.
Game part was not well executed in 2016. There was not enough teaching resources to tackle issues (e.g. messages were not answered in the forums) and the game instructions were not clear. For example, ask instructions to how to execute contracts with your partners because the game was destroyed for many teams due to wrong number put to wrong place (even though the contract was specified in the comment box below). Also, take screenshots of results before game closes – it helps in writing the report.
Grading of the game report was tough – average was not much higher than 3 (there was less than 10 students with grade 5 out of ~90 students)
I was happy with lectures and course material (excluding the game).
Exam was different (in a good way) compared to previous years. Below find some notes about the exam:
Exam had 7 essays about creating digitilized student restaurant concept (you had to write 6 essays 20 points each but maximum points were 100 for the exam). There was almost no benefit in reading slides or articles since the exam was about applying course themes to real-world (only definitions of words used in essay topics were critical to know).
Essays were related to following topics: 1. touchpoints, 2. process 3. how to manage demand fluctuations, 4. business canvas, 5. how to digitalize restaurant experience, 6. pricing / revenue streams 7. problems/benefits for mgmt. Grading of the exam was not as strict as it was with the game report.
PLEASE don’t take this course. It is by far the worst piece of teaching I have ever had the displeasure of taking part in. I have no idea what the learning outcome of that painful ”game” was. I would rather be sick than touch that game again. However, it was comical to see people raging over in the course forums about how the course staff should resign due to them not doing their jobs.
The lectures portion of the courses offered NOTHING new. Literally entrance exam books -level of ”did you know services cannot be stored,” ”how many haircuts could we store in this lecture hall” types of randomness.
I don’t understand why anyone wishes to keep something like that as a part of any course. It undermines everything Aalto wishes to be. I sincerely hope this course gets scrapped.
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