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NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Meaning of Life?"
Evgenia Cherkasova, Suffolk University
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=AQ-50803-13
"Philosophy of Life" Website (Web Resources)
Title: "Philosophy of Life" Website
Author: Evgenia Cherkasova
Abstract: A website devoted to an interdisciplinary course which explores the question “What is the Meaning of Life?”
The course is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions Program.
Primary URL: http://meaningoflife.cherkasova.org/
Primary URL Description: This website contains resources for the course which explores various perspectives on life-meaning in philosophical and religious texts, in art, fiction, and autobiography, and in the scholarly work of philosophers and psychologists.
The course (and website) is divided into three units:
A Life Worth Living: Humanity’s Ideals focuses on the ancient and modern visions of harmonious existence and human flourishing;
Threats to Meaning: Humanity’s Discontents discusses the disillusionments leading to the loss of meaning and purpose;
Recovery of Meaning: Crises and Hopes explores the possibilities of self-discovery and growth as a result of a major crisis.
Secondary URL: http://meaningoflife.cherkasova.org/blog/
Secondary URL Description: This blog introduces the key texts and ideas of the course, discusses individual thinkers and intellectual movements and recommends readings and multimedia sources.
An Interactive Multimedia Model for a ‘Big Questions’ Course: Innovations in Teaching and Learning (Article)
Title: An Interactive Multimedia Model for a ‘Big Questions’ Course: Innovations in Teaching and Learning
Author: Evgenia Cherkasova
Author: Nicholas Raby
Abstract: This paper presents a course design model created in response to the pedagogical challenges inherent in a ‘Big Questions’ course in the humanities. We conceptualize the model as an Open Dynamic Educational Project (ODEP), namely, a carefully designed learning environment—physical, intellectual, and digital—which comprises both a collection of growing multimedia resources and a dynamic community of learners who contribute to this collection and to the learning process as a whole. Methodologically, an ODEP aims at the ideals of “significant learning” and “deep learning” and makes use of digital technologies—in our case a website and a computer game—in order to enhance a student-oriented course design. As we discuss the role of digital aids we also touch on the new educational trend of “gameful learning”, its potentials and possible short-comings. Based on theoretical findings in conjunction with our practice of transforming a Big Questions course into an Open Dynamic Educational Project, we suggest a number of future trajectories.
Secondary URL: http://icieworld.net/main2/index.php/ijtdc
Secondary URL Description: journal website
Periodical Title: The International Journal for Talent Development and Creativity
Publisher: International Center for Innovation in Education
Vixi: A Master's Way (Game/Simulation)
Title: Vixi: A Master's Way
Author: E. Cherkasova
Author: D. Zinoviev
Vixi: A Master’s Way (“vixi” in Latin means “I have lived”) features diverse paths to
meaning represented by eight schools of thought: the Classical Greeks, the Epicureans, the Stoics, the Taoists, the Existentialists, the Pessimists, the
Humanists, and the Buddhists. The game generates various scenarios for the player to respond to. Along the way, the Great Masters from each school offer their “advice” or “warnings” in the form of direct quotations. Some doors open and others close
based on whose advice the player follows. The player’s philosophical portrait gradually emerges as his or her choices are being assessed by the Masters. The game has two modes of play: 1) you can follow your own path and see what philosophers have to say about your choices; or 2) you can become “a disciple” of one of the schools and try to “live a life” consistent with its teaching.
Primary URL: http://meaningoflife.cherkasova.org/vixi-a-masters-way/
Access Model: open
Source Available?: Yes