Uncategorized

Keep alternative learning in mind

Professor Lien Tran’s new board game, Make a Move, helps young immigrants learn about the legal process in an interactive way. Meanwhile, UM students learn, for the most part, by holing up in the library and flipping through pages after pages of textbooks.

This experience reflects the style of learning typically associated with universities. After exiting the K-12 educational system, we enter a new stage of maturity. We swap composition books and colored pencils for towers of typewritten papers and weighty academic volumes.

However, the occasional deviation from typical assignments also helps transmit information without necessarily sacrificing the standards of higher education.

The incorporation of social media, for example, can help close the gap between abstract ideas and a student’s daily experience. Professors may consider accepting, for example, a series of Tumblr blog posts in lieu of an essay.

A professor can also try to expose students to current issues relevant to the subject matter. News videos and short reports provide temporary relief from the burden of reading dense scholarly material. Any sort of assignment that highlights a connection between an abstract topic and the visible day-to-day world helps that topic stick.

Of course, an institution of higher learning must hold itself to certain educational standards. Reading scholarly articles and writing analytical papers may feel burdensome at times, but these practices transmit complex information and hone distinct skills. As college students, we must rise to these challenges, not seek ways to escape them.

But we should not diminish the power of unusual or creative assignments. They are not evasions of a student’s duties; they allow students to fulfill them in compelling ways.

If you have an idea for a creative assignment, share it with your professors; they may choose to implement it in their lesson plans. Your professors have chosen to dedicate themselves to higher education, and while they may ultimately decide not to adopt the suggestion, they will most likely give due consideration to how it may advance their course goals.

While most of us will be happy to stow those science fair boards from middle school, we don’t have to consign every so-called alternative assignment to our childhood closets.

Editorials represent the majority view of  The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

October 8, 2014

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web

University of Miami students share their thoughts and impressions as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris take the helm. ...

Following Wednesday’s historic event, University of Miami experts in various fields provide their insight on the biggest challenges facing the new administration. ...

As part of the “Roadmap to Our New Century” initiative, the University of Miami advances the art of teaching and the science of learning by partnering with students, alumni, and others to offer options throughout the entire adult learning life cycle. ...

University of Miami experts weigh the merit and consequences of amending or repealing the communications law that provides a legal shield for service providers from the words, images, and videos posted by their users. ...

The United States Postal Service features Emilio Sanchez, the first Cuban American visual artist to be recognized in a new series of Forever stamps. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.