A new grant of 2.4 million dollars for four years, from National Science Foundation in United States of America, to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), aims to make some of the courses in the undergraduate level, more interactive and interdisciplinary.
The courses chosen for the purpose are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses. Under the leadership of Blaire Van Valkenburgh, UCLA’s associate dean of life sciences, the NSF (National Science Foundation) aims for implementation of time-tested online techniques to live upto the true expectation of a learner.
Techniques for goal achievement
Online, with the scope of taking time to go through the discourse given repeatedly and interact with teachers in a friendly and open-minded way, and discussing open-ended questions, make better assimilation possible.
Implementation of quizzes and interactive games
Quizzes and interactive games will be worked out, to make the achievement of the goal of deeper undesrstanding possible.
This things are not new, as with the introduction of things like video conferencing and remote learning, taking learning experience to a new height, active participation of the students in solving genuine and original problems on their own has started living upto the true ideal of a learner.
As mentioned above, interactive sessions give students greater autonomy, that allows them to accept whatever truth comes at them, that they reveal. Without the pressure of remaining suboprdinate to the teachers, interactive sessions permit the student to go deep and see the truth, without any prohibition conforming to the norm, bringing the true genius out of them.
These sort of freedom in education, naturally motivates learners with true interest and curiosity about solving existential and epistemogical puzzles .. in an age of high competition.
Use of practical models
In this new initiative, practical model from biology and quanitative research of practical life, diametrically opposite to the qualitative abstraction of pure mathematics, will be incorporated in math courses along with courses in statistics.
Collaborative learning workshops by PEERS (Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences) will be complementing interdisciplinary initiatives like this, to make the abstract-minded student more practical and to make them stay in the courses.
Keeping students in line
Help of alumni
According to planning, members of alumni from UCLA, will be requested, in another project, to share their knowledge from studying in UCLA, matching their bright, successful careers, to give a career goal and practical direction to students apart from enlightenment, projecting tangible achievement that might possibly motivate continuation of the study in the university.
Measurement of progress
Case studies like these, will also be used in actual learning as well, to measure student learning.
Funding universities for increased interdisciplinary study is a consistent step towards comprehensive solution of emerging world problems, from realistic social perspective.
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