Inspiring students to adopt a healthy lifestyle, UC Irvine School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor Mahtab Jafari’s Life 101 course is evolving while its popularity increases.
During the 2020-21 academic year, the course became available across the 10 University of California campuses. Starting June 28, 2021, the Life 101 course was added to Coursera’s offerings.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with UCI’s Division of Continuing Education to accomplish this goal of adding Life 101 to Coursera,” Jafari said. “I am very excited that this course is now offered to high school and college students on a free platform.”
Long successful at UCI, the course covers various topics that teach students healthy lifestyle choices, the importance of mental and physical health and self-care. Considering that stress levels and poor lifestyle choices in college students are increasing at an alarmingly fast pace, the course serves as an effective educational tool to teach healthy lifestyle choices, promote students’ well-being and help them to recognize and manage their stress.
“I look at this course as a constant work in progress,” Jafari said. “For instance, because of the pandemic, I included more information on emotional health during this past 2020-21 academic year.”
The Life 101 course on Coursera is taught through a combination of lectures, multimedia videos, workshops and group discussions that foster active learning. The course encourages, challenges, motivates, and inspires students to make positive changes in their lifestyle and the way they interact with others and their environment.
Through the years, Jafari has received countless emails from students sharing updates on how the course led to significant changes in their lifestyle.
In June 2021, BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences student Atnal Narayan wrote this message to Jafari:
“I am reaching out to you today to share how my life has changed for the better in the past few months since taking your impactful course,” he wrote.
Narayan’s message highlighted several new habits that have produced a tremendous effect on his life, including: walking – rather than driving – to places that are within one mile or less, keeping a detailed Google Calendar to stay on track during the day in order to achieve better sleeping patterns, and practicing meditation.
“I wanted to share my progress with you as both a thank you and a reminder of the many lives of students you touch by teaching your course,” Narayan concluded. “I am sure I am not the only one who has implemented lifestyle changes since taking Life 101 and I again thank you for impacting my life in such a positive way.”
To enroll in the Life 101 course on Coursera, visit https://www.coursera.org/learn/life101.