Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Less than 5 students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, Shqip

Resource Description

Instruction file


Additional attachments

Linking theoretical teaching with practical experience through visiting lecturers from the business community followed by a visit to the businesses in question(Resource ID: 295)

The purpose of this teaching resource is to actively engage students in the module as well as develop the practical aspect of operations by way of comparing the theory with practical applications of various aspects of operations in the manufacturing sector. The students will be asked to play the role of the consultant (consultants) who is employed by the company to analyse one aspect of operations, in this case the company is Supply Chain and Logistics, and they will identify the way in which they can improve its operations. In particular, emphasis should be given to sustainable and environmentally friendly transport and logistics system, especially with the use of biofuels, smart travel, etc.

In general, most modules taught in the business study programmes are theoretical, with some general case studies and discussions. What students lack is the direct link of the taught theory with practical application in both manufacturing and services sector. In addition to that students, also may lose interest in the module if it is solely theoretical with the use of either theoretical application or general (well used) and in most cases international case studies. 

By introducing direct line of theory with practice, it will make the modules practical but could also increase the learning process by making the teaching more interesting and attractive.

The idea is to link the theoretical teaching with real practical experience as well as to analyse aspects of sustainable development in the organisations in question, especially with the use of renewable energy and reusable materials. This will be done by way of:

  • Introducing guest lecturers from the business community
  • A visit to the same business by the students to relate to the visiting lecturer with the practical application, a
  • Provide an in-depth analysis of the topic in question and if a potential for improvement was identified to recommend it to the interviewed business

First Action – Visiting lecturer – will be done during the course of two weeks, with the topics of  Supply and/or Value Chain Management. Representatives of two different companies will give a 30min lecture about their company as well as about the application of both aspects of operations in their respective organisation.

Second Action – Field Visit – two weeks after the lectures, the students will visit both companies and get to know the operations in these companies. The students will have the chance to ask questions that could help them understand the practical application of operations better, as well as help them with their assignment. During the field visit, the students will be given a worksheet with questions that could help them with their assignment. The worksheet should be submitted no later than one week after the field visit.

Third Action – Role play – following the field visit, the students will have the time to prepare their assignment (groups presentation) in the capacity of a consultant engaged by the company to analyse its operations and identify potential ways to improve specific aspects as assigned by the course leader.

During this assignment, students will have to analyse Supply Chain, in particular the company's transport and logistics, part of the operations and identify possible ways in which businesses can reduce their costs but at the same time have the environmental aspect in mind. Student will be encouraged to analyse elements like, use of biofuels, smart traveling by way of route changes, fleet changes, etc.

The assignment will be a group one, with no more than four students per group. Students will chose the topic themselves and the company they will analyse. The students will have to prepare a presentation, of approximately 30 minutes long. This is a group presentation, therefore, all members should present. 

A company representative will be present during the presentations by the students, in the role of the consultant. This will be an opportunity for the company to benefit from a series of analysis and recommendations and perhaps reflect on the way in which they conduct their operations.

Integration of Social Stakeholders
Two stakeholders (manufacturing companies) will be involved in this learning resource.
- Strong cross- disciplinary approach, linking engineering with management
- Opportunity that benefits both students and businesses alike
– Willingness from businesses to be a part of the teaching experience
– Students do not see the importance of the new experience
Learning Outcomes
– Analyse the company experience in particular the company's operations and see their link to sustainable development,
– Compare it with the theory which could be used by the business to potentially improve the operations of the company
Relevance for Sustainability
Thorough this, students will have a practical approach to improving and creating more economically sustainable operations in business by way of reducing their costs, which at the same time will have the environmental aspect in mind. Students will be encouraged to analyse elements like, use of biofuels, smart traveling by way of route changes, fleet changes, etc.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Preparation Efforts Description
Stakeholder Presentations (lecture at the university): – Two half hour sessions – Students will know ahead of time about the stakeholders visit to university. – Student field visit to two companies: 2 days – Student group learning: 2 week – Presentation (preparation): 2 week – The students will be given the assignment instructions along with the evaluation matrix – Stakeholders should be informed about their presentation and their participation will be confirmed Student preparation: – The students, in addition to covering the aspect of Supply Chain Management of the Operations Management module, will have to do further reading about the companies that they will visit, as well as some market research about similar types of businesses/products offered in the Kosovo market. Particular, emphasis should be given to sustainable development, especially with the use of renewable energy, use of biofuels, smart traveling by way of route changes, fleet changes, etc..
Evaluation will be done in two forms:
1. Worksheets with answers to questions obtained during the visit
2. Presentation of their findings.

1. Group completion of work sheets (5% marks) for each company visit (based on individual observation, interviews with managers and group discussion). This will involve producing and handing-in of the group worksheets one week after the field visit. These will be marked and returned to students with feedback within one-week of receiving them.

2. Group presentation will consist of a presentation (20% mark), prepared and presented by all members in the group. All group members need to be prepared for probing questions by the lecturers. These will be asked not just to test your understanding of the case topics but also to assess your ability to integrate theory and practice. Group members who, in the opinion of the lecturer, have not contributed equally to the presentation can expect to be asked additional questions.

Instructions to students for the group presentation:
• This is a GROUP presentation assessment (approximately four students per group)
• Presentations will take place on the last week of the semester.
• The length of the presentation is 30 minutes (it includes 10 minutes for questions from the lecturers).
• You must hand-in 2 copies of your slides (3 slides per page) plus separate list of any sources and academic references that you have used. Please use the Harvard Referencing system. You will also need to submit an electronic file of your presentation on a CD/USB.
• You must use PowerPoint to prepare your presentation.
• Make sure you are on time for your presentation, late comers will be penalised. Do not run over the time allocated to you as you will be penalised.
• All group members must take part in the presentation.
• Bring one copy of the presentation assessment sheet (attached) to the presentation, with the group members names clearly listed on it.
Credit/Certification Description
25% of the total mark
Sources and Links

Company website and additinal electronic (secondary data) sources

Textbooks and various case studies, including:

  • Slack, N, Chambers, S & Johnson, R 2009, Operations Management, 6th edn, Financial Times/ Prentice Hall, Harllow
  • Hill, T 2005, Operations management, 2nd edn, Palgrave, Printed in Chine.
Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
RIINVEST - Riinvest College
Riinvest College


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Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Field study
  • Case study
  • Written material
  • Simulation program
  • Simulation