We spoke to Haleema and Ayesha, two students at the Lahore University of Management Sciences who learnt CORE as part of their syllabus this year, how they found the syllabus, and what would they change?
Haleema – Economics and Political Science, 1st year
CORE: What did you think of the CORE material?
Haleema: I took Introduction to Microeconomics in my first semester – the course was taught, for the first time, using the CORE textbook and it was a remarkable experience. The textbook, available online and on download, had interactive features such as step by step diagrams and video links that proved immensely helpful and made the content much more understandable and interesting. The test questions helped cement concepts and resources on the website were a constant aid.
CORE: Were there any things you thought weren’t too useful?
Haleema: There were some difficulties with the Leibniz [calculus supplements] – we already had long readings of the textbook units and understanding the Leibniz took a while. For me, understanding concepts as they were explained in the units was more suitable than the Leibniz. I think the Leibniz would be more student-friendly if you could show the entire calculation or derivation and then give us the explanation. But all in all, my CORE experience went really well and I look forward to using the project in the future.
CORE: Do you think that the CORE syllabus has prepared you well for your second year?
Haleema: I certainly think so. After studying Microeconomics from the core textbook (Units 1 to 9), I don’t have the usual ‘learned-by-heart’ information that we had back in high school but instead, I possess understanding of the concepts enough to be able to discuss them in groups and argue over them. I think that’s a skill that will really help me in the future.
Ayesha – Economics, 1st year
CORE: What did you think of the CORE syllabus being available as an ebook?
Ayesha: The experience of using an online textbook was completely different from that of the conventional hard copies. The interactive diagrams are easy to understand with the help of step-by-step instructions and pop-up definitions, which save time when looking up terms. The link to quiz questions right after the discussion of a concept is quite useful. Being able to access the ebook on various electronic devices makes it more accessible, too. However, adding notes to a hard copy textbook is a benefit which cannot be attained in the e-book unless you download the PDF. I would prefer an e-book over a hardcopy textbook after experiencing effective learning through CORE.
CORE: Was there anything you liked about the CORE syllabus in particular?
Ayesha: The economic concepts were linked to real world examples, which enhanced my understanding. For example, he real life example of farmers in Indian state of West Bengal helped me get through the concept of Pareto efficiency and division of surplus after the hypothetical example of Angela and Bruno (Unit 5).
CORE: What would make your learning experience better?
Ayesha: Answers to Discuss questions would have helped – it would help us to judge if we were taking the right approach towards answering a question.
Have you studied CORE as part of your institution, or as an independent learner? Would you like to share your thoughts on what it was like to use the curriculum – perhaps with us directly or with our community by writing a blog for us? Feel free to get in touch at contact[at]core-econ.org.