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Across China: Edutainment adds flavor to college courses in China

Author  :       Source  :    Xinhua     2019-03-05

Imagine what you would do with yogurt, cheese, braised pork, an oven, an induction cooker and an ice cream machine.

Hold on a second, you are not in a kitchen, but a pleasant-smelling classroom.

During an elective course in Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, students were wrestling with new gourmet recipes to create better tastes.

Zhang Chengxun, who never cooked before, was making yogurt with the help of his teacher and classmates. It was an experimental course on animal products processing.

"I'm learning science behind the surface," he said.

Compared with the traditional lectures with little interaction, such courses are more diverse and inspiring, said Jin Juanqin, deputy head of the dean's office, Zhejiang University.

"Our curriculum is endowed with vitality, which prepares students to be both critical and creative," she said.

Chinese universities have offered a growing number of innovative courses as the new semester began last week, including on pet training, weight loss, love, field survival, and even Internet games.

"The Glory of the King" ("Arena of Valor"), a multiplayer online battle arena game launched by China's Internet giant Tencent, attracts hundreds of millions of users both at home and abroad.

Zhang Jin, a lecturer at Shandong University in east China, decided to bring the game into class.

He gave public lectures on the history of the prototypes behind the screen and attracted a large audience.

"Some students know weabout the history, while some do not. My job is to help them tell historical figures from their avatars," he said.

With a gross enrollment ratio of 48.1 percent, China has built the largest higher education system in the world. Efforts have been made to reform the higher education system by improving teaching quality and liberal education.

In some universities, courses on real science using science fiction are gaining ground as sci-fi novels and films are in vogue.

Zhang Wei, a professor of physics at the Renmin University of China, sets up an optional course named "Star Trek 101," blowing minds with his sense of humor and unconstrained assignments.

"For students not majored in physics, it is much more important to combine their specialties with a scientific thinking and approach," he said.

Students who used to passively take notes while the lecturers were talking, have their brains lit up with real knowledge in a refreshing environment. A successful college education should be redefined as meeting the needs of different students, according to educators.

Zhang Lingya, a college freshman, said that other than making highlights and taking exams, an interesting and practical course is what keeps her interested.

Editor: Li Yujie

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