Innovation is the name of the game at S P Jain. To prove it, the school has become the world’s first institution of higher education to be named an official partner of Gooru, a 501(c)(3) non-profit education technology startup.
The partnership is the brainchild of Prof. Alesa Lightbourne, Dean of S P Jain’s BBA program in Singapore. Last semester, 54 students in her Business Oral Communications class prepared individual lesson plans on diverse social science topics, which are being published on Gooru’s website. The lesson plans, called “collections,” are accessible by teachers and students around the world at no charge. The content represents some of the earliest social science collections offered on the site, and is the first time that a university class has contributed in this manner.
Gooru was started by a former Google executive, who envisioned harnessing the web to provide high-quality, topic-relevant learning resources to every student in the world. Gooru’s content comes from teachers and experts who share their own content by building collections of resources. These collections are vetted by educators and are later ranked by users to ensure that the highest-quality content is available to teachers and students. The organization’s mission is to make high-quality education free and accessible to the world’s 1.8 billion students by 2013.
Some of S P Jain students’ more notable publications include lessons on the Rwanda genocide, architecture of the Taj Mahal, Battle of Thermopole, Angkor Wat, British Commonwealth, Borobudur, cricket, Mumbai lunchbox delivery economics, and North Indian chikin embroidery – reflecting the diverse backgrounds of S P Jain students themselves.
“The response from students was incredible,” says Lightbourne. “Their assignment was to create an in-depth PowerPoint presentation, supported by websites, interactive activities, discussion sheets, videos and other materials. Many reported that this was the most meaningful project in their university career, because they were allowed to pursue their passions. Simultaneously, they were also motivated to achieve excellence, in order to deliver materials of publishable quality. Their efforts exceeded my highest expectations.”