This course requires 160 working hours. It consists of the following parts:
- 6 lectures á 2 hours (12 hours)
- 6 team gatherings á 2 hours (12 hours)
- 6 tasks and task reports (36 hours)
- 5 pre-readings and reading responses (20 hours)
- Final essay (50 hours)
- Independent study time and time to think (30 hours)
The lectures are not mandatory, but class attendance will affect the final grade. However, participation in class discussions is an important part of learning in this course. And the lectures will cover topics not included in the reading material and involve exercises that can not be done outside of the class. Thus, it is strongly encouraged that the students should plan to attend every session to get as much as possible out of this course.
Team gatherings will offer you the opportunity to discuss key course themes and life choice questions in a small and intimate group setting. In previous courses many have stated that these have been the best part of the course.
In the first lecture you will be assigned to teams of ~6 people. The team gathers every week for 2 hours for a total of 6 meetings.
The default time for team gatherings is Friday 13 – 15. But if your team wants to gather at some other time, that is completely up to you. Also the location of your meetings is for you to choose.
Pre-readings and reading responses. Tasks and task reports:
Each team meeting, except the first, will have a pre-reading. Pre-readings include mainly articles (with an occasional video) relevant to the topics covered in the lecture.
Before each team meeting, there is a task to be completed. Tasks change every week and include watching a movie that the group has chosen, reading a book the group has chosen, etc.
A written reading response and task report have to be returned to MyCourses for each pre-reading and task (for a total of 5 responses/reports). To ensure high-quality discussions during the gatherings, these have to be returned before the relevant gathering.
The emphasis on the final essay will be on reflecting on your own life and drafting some goals and plans for your own future. More information will be provided later.
Given that the emphasis in the course is on your own personal reflection and growth – which is hard to quantify – the grading will emphasize active participation and returning of all tasks.
note: As we will learn during the course, psychological research shows that an
overt focus on extrinsic rewards such as grades is likely to 1) diminish your
interest in the course material, 2) undermine your enjoyment of the class and
3) impede your capacity to focus on truly learning and growing as an individual
through the course. So I ask you to focus on your personal growth, not on
trivialities such as academic grade, during this course.*
- Class attendance (6 lectures) 30 points (5 points / class)
- Reading responses (5 responses) 15 points (3 points / returned response)
- Task reports (5 reports) 15 points (3 points / returned report)
- Final essay 40 points (evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5)
TOTAL: 100 points
Minimum 4 reading responses, 4 task reports & final essay will be required to pass the course.
However, please note that in the written assignments (task reports, reading responses, and final essay) you are allowed to use English, Finnish or, Swedish. In fact, given that many tasks involve personal reflections, I would encourage you to write in your native tongue (if it is one of these three, unfortunately I have no ability to read other languages).
- Reading responses and task reports returned within 1 week after the deadline will receive 1 point instead of 3 points.
- Final essay returned within 1 week after the deadline will be evaluated on a scale from 0-20 points
- Final essay returned more than 1 week after the deadline will be evaluated on a scale from 0-10 points. No returns will be accepted 2 weeks after the deadline.
Exemptions can be granted for well-justified reasons.
* The lecturer acknowledges with gratitude that the idea for this note is copied from a very similar note by Prof. Laurie Santos’s course Psychology and the Good Life at Yale.