The Centre for Learning Futures or CLeF designs and implements initiatives to support teaching and learning in the University. The Centre offers courses in academic reading and writing, and workshops in study skills. It also offers, through its Learning Initiatives, opportunities for curricular experimentation, pedagogic innovation and platforms for integrating learner-centric technological solutions in higher education.
Academic Writing Courses
CLeF offers courses that train students in evidence-based reading and writing. These courses consist of modules in academic reading and writing such as identifying arguments and their corresponding evidence, independently evaluating and assembling relevant evidence, assessing the strength and appropriateness of logical connections in an argument, and evaluating the coherence and compositional aspects of argumentative writing.
Writers' Workshop is a consultancy service planned to be offered to students and faculty to get their term-papers, theses and research papers improved in terms of presentation, brevity and readability. This service will be offered free of cost to students and teachers of Ahmedabad University. Rather than offer a complete text-editing service, the Writers' Workshop will engage with students to improve the quality of their written output.
Ethnography of Learning
This is a project to document a wide range of pedagogic experiments at Ahmedabad University and elsewhere that focus on innovative and novel forms of learning. Along with providing a description of such experiments, the project also aims to create a repository of effective pedagogic experiments that can enrich the educational experiences of both students and instructors. CLeF is planning to create an online Handbook of Learning containing digital tools to visualize and recreate the pedagogic experiments.
Learning Initiatives is the outcome of the University’s belief that learning takes root in an environment where students can appreciate the context of what they are being taught, understand critical concepts of their disciplines, and develop the ability to apply them to real world situations.
Centre for Learning Futures (CLeF) organised a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon as part of its CLEF 111 Academic Reading and Writing course for first-year undergraduate students on April 7, 2018.
CLeF invited volunteers from the Wikimedia India Chapter to offer a workshop to help students understand the basics of writing for Wikipedia. They were trained in generating wiki accounts, basics of editing articles on Wikipedia, generating information boxes, hyperlinks, and the workings of the Creative Commons Licencing procedure for uploading or using media on Wikipedia. The workshop trained them in the technicalities of wiki editing and writing. Students had to write a Wikipedia article as part of their final evaluation in the Academic Reading and Writing course.
The theory sessions helped students understand Wikipedia, its policies and guidelines, components of the wiki sandbox and other technical aspects of wiki editing. In the practical sessions, students created their own wiki user accounts and created sample articles in their sandboxes.
This is probably the single largest confluence of an education initiative with Wikipedia. As a result, about 103 groups of students will be creating 100 new articles in their Wikipedia sandboxes.
Some of the topics that students are writing articles on are unique and hitherto unrepresented on the pages of the English Wikipedia. For example: Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Jito Ahmedabad Chapter, Citizen Nagar (Pirana), Tagore Hall, Parivartan Slum, The Pink Rickshaw, Conflictorium Museum and Dharti Vikas Mandal. Going forward, CLeF intends to strengthen the collaboration with Wikipedia by partnering on Project Tiger, a massive initiative to generate content in Indian language Wikipedias.