Week 08 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

1b. Schedule and Conduct Interview

I have scheduled a call with Andreas Paul Eberhard Kloeckner to discuss the platform RELATE, and interview him on the questions for the 24th. I have sent emails to the rest of my primary leads and am still waiting to hear back from them.

1c. Developing Survey Questions

a. Which online learning environments/platforms have you used at the University, if any? (Select all that apply)


– Moodle

– Compass2g/ Illinois Compass

– PrairieLearn

– Other (Please Specify)

b. In what capacity have you used these online education platforms?

– Student

– Instructor

– Administrator

c. How do you think your educational experience would change if you were to shift your studies to completely offline without access to such platforms?

– Drastically Worse

– Little Worse

– About the same

– Little Better

– Drastically Better

d. Do you think the complete offline study experience is able to be emulated on these online study platforms?

– Yes

– No (What is it that is missing?)

e. If you are currently and Instructor, name the different technological study environments that you used as a student if any.

– Free Response box

f. Do you believe your attentiveness is improved using technological products like the i-clicker in the study environment?

– Not at all

– Not much

– It’s about the same

– It’s a little better

– By a lot

g. How do you think technology in education is affecting the quality of education being provided?

– Drastically deteriorating

– Making it a little worse

– Not affecting it in any way

– Improving it a little

– Education is better than it ever was

h. Do you think the colleges would be able to function the same during this pandemic without the aid of technology? How?

– Yes [Free Response field]

– No [Free Response field]

1d. Expand Survey Distribution Leads

Cecilia Ding – Chair ACM UIUC

Vibhav Kotriwala – Engineering Student UIUC

Reading Response

My secondary source is an excerpt from the research paper “EXAMINING TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS ON E-LEARNING ACCEPTANCE AND LEARNING TRANSFER” by Seohyun Claire Wong. The main idea and goal of the paper revolves around analyzing and to explore technological factors at the learner, instructional design, and system level and examine their effects on the e-learning acceptance and learning outcomes.(Wong). The author through this study is mainly attempting to clear the ambiguity revolving around our understanding of technological factors that are unique in e-learning such as computer anxiety, perceived ease of use, or controllability. (Wong)

The research design and data collection for the project was quite detailed. This research is a cross-sectional study using a quantitative survey to explain the effect of e-learning technological factors on technology acceptance and learning transfer. The quantitative research design was selected for this study because the purpose of the research was to examine the effects and relationships among variables (Creswell, 1994). A written survey was created to measure 14 factors and gather demographic information. All instruments measuring factors in the survey were previously validated in the existing literature. To collect the data, an electronic survey was sent to the target respondents by e-mails. A confirmation factor analysis technique was employed to cross-validate the factors. An inferential statistical analysis method, structural equation modeling, was performed for the hypotheses testing. (Wong)

Wong analyzes several key perspectives in relation to e-learning in this study, these perspectives give me several ideas for my own research study and are quite informative. The different types of topics that are covered include –

– Intention to Use & Actual Use

– Learner Satisfaction

– Perceived Usefulness

– Reliability and Functionality

– Perceived Ease of Use

These generic topic areas are important for my research study as well, as they help gauge the overall impact of e-learning environments on students, instructors and will help better answer my overall research question.

5 Takeaways –

1) research design – Design the research paper, understand the requirements and how you want to answer those requirements.

2) target population and research sample – Understand the exact target population, and ask questions pertinent to them, also analyze how their answers help answer the research questions

3) measurements – Use metrics, and clear data to prove your points.

4) data collection process – Use multiple different kinds of datasets, such as interviews, surveys, statistics, and research studies to further reinforce your findings.

5) Divide and Conquer – Divide the general question into smaller subsets and categories, and try and answer those categories separately. Together they shall answer the general question as a whole.

Week 08 – Lab + Reading Reflection

1b Scheduled Interview

Ron Lewis (Class of 2017, Finance) — former Student Body President at UIUC, #BeingBlackatIllinois movement. Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 21 at 4 pm.

1c Survey Questions

How would you rate your familiarity and participation with social justice-based student activism movements on campus?

Choices: Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Excellent

How do you think UIUC compares to its peer institutions in terms of social justice-based student activism?

Choices: Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Excellent

How receptive is the University (as a system) to student activism in terms of change?

Choices: Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Excellent

What do you think should be changed or implemented?

Answer: long form

Estimate the number of Black students at UIUC.

Choices of 1%, 3%, 5% (correct answer), 7%, 9%, 11%, 13%, 15%

The I-Connect Diversity and Inclusion workshop is required of all incoming freshmen and transfer students. “I-Connect Diversity & Inclusion Workshop is an experiential training designed to help incoming students embrace differences and recognize shared experiences in order to build a welcoming and engaged campus community.” How effective would you rate the workshop in providing last change?

Answers: Very ineffective, Ineffective, Neutral, Effective, Very effective

Currently, all University students are required to take both a Non-Western Cultural Studies gen-ed as well as a US Minorities gen-ed. What are your opinions on this?

Answer: long form

Have you taken a U.S. Minorities gen-ed? How useful or interesting of a class was it for you?

Answer: long form

1d Expanded Survey Distribution Leads

EWeek Newsletter

Rebecca Xun – student activist

Reading Response

What question(s) is the author looking to answer? What sorts of data/evidence (primary sources) do they use to answer those questions (i.e. how do they analyze, criticize, interpret or summarize their data)? What key figures, events, or places within or beyond the campus might they build their story around? How do you plan to use this for your project?

Throughout Catching the Spark, the authors try to answer how systemic transformation of universities can be brought about by innovations set into motion through the work of student activists and data — as illustrated the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. First, they highlight the general atmosphere and state of college campuses across the country in reference to diversity and equity before delving into the specifics of programs at the University of Illinois. The authors build their story around the Pathways to Results (PTR) Initiative, as they themselves are part of that initiative. They do this by highlighting the initial challenges and how the PTR Initiative addressed or imbued each of them into their university proceedings. I plan to use the PTR Initiative to represent a genuine interest by the University to address the concerns of student activists in moving innovations for equity to scale.

Through Housing Is An Epicenter For Change, the authors are looking to answer how University facilities and services in the form of housing can work hand-in-hand with student activism to empower Black students and other students of color. They are quick to point out how Social Justice and Leadership Education is situated in Residential Life with three full-time staff as well as other staffed groups like the Men of Impact and the Queer Housing Coalition (84). #BeingBlackatIllinois began with a single email from a sBlack student leader to university administrators as part of the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin death and subsequent tense relations at UIUC. As well, the article points out specific departments in the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations — Diversity Education and BNAACC — responding to the student activism and call to action meeting. The authors also highlight support from a Latinx student as well as a similar hashtag trending at the University of Michigan (i.e. #BBUM: Being Black at the University of Michigan). This entire article goes into showing how student activism via protests, demonstrations, and clear demands have since translated into large scale strategic work that has been institutionalized across the university.

There were a wide array of points from the Harvard survey design guidelines that could be taken, but I will particularly highlight the ones that were less-covered in my survey questions. One of them was that survey questions should be tested on an audience beforehand in order to demonstrate viability and understanding by the general public. A lot of times, the way that a question would answered in one’s head is not how it is interpreted by others so minimizing that gap is key to surveys where respondents cannot ask follow-up questions of the survey designer. From there, the survey creator should iterate and adjust the questions accordingly. Even though surveys are typically seen as simple, they can still be improved upon for clarity and achieving its purpose. As well, survey questions should provide reference frames so that participants can understand the scope of a question and what they should be evaluating since it’s generally up to interpretation. Additionally, the order of responses can influence answer choices, so for that reason, randomizing answer choices can help — depending. Context is still key as answer choices that are on a scale would make sense to be ordinal, but other question types may work in a randomized format. Finally, questions should be straightforward and non-double-barreled as participants may not agree with both statements.

Week 08 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Interview and Survey Design

I reached out to the two members of NOBE and will update this post after their responses. I am also awaiting a response from the Dr. Turner and Mrs. Newell.

Developing Survey Questions:

How has the constant growth of technology impacted the way students connect with each other and the world?

  • Very positive impact
  • Positive impact
  • No impact at all
  • Negative Impact
  • Very negative impact

What communication method through technology is the most efficient for students?

  • Email
  • Text
  • Snapchat
  • Mobile Call
  • Instagram
  • Other: ________

Did you experience a social change after using a certain technology to communicate?

  • Great amount of social change
  • Decent amount of social change
  • Neutral amount of social change
  • Slight amount of social change
  • Little to no amount of social change

What percentage of students are aided by technology?

  • 100%
  • 80%
  • 60%
  • 40%
  • 20%

What social media platforms do you use and why? (Select all that apply)

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • Tik-Tok
  • Linkedin
  • None of the above

How does technology affect our perception of our needs? How does it affect our way of seeing and experiencing the world? (Select all that you agree with)

  • Makes students believe that they have to rely on technology
  • Opens up opportunities for students that must overcome disabilities
  • It doesn’t affect our perception of our needs
  • Diversifies what a student wants versus what he/she needs
  • Can lead students to think that they take more for granted than they thought before

To what extent does technology redefine reality? Does it serve to solidify knowledge or relationships?

  • Certain technologies can question the purpose of life
  • Certain technologies can make or break friendships or relationships
  • Technology solidifies knowledge
  • Technology does not redefine reality
  • Technology will always continue to shape our knowledge of the world

Before COVID, you used technology on a [ ] basis:

  • Hourly
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Yearly

Survey Distribution Leads

Sebastian Dziubek / Student in Engineering / University of Illinois

Matt Perry / Student in Engineering / University of Illinois

Reading Response

The resource Students utilize technology for social good through Hack4Impact from the Daily Illini helps explore how it helps connect students with nonprofits through technology and the impacts that they make on society. The author believes that “this whole idea of social impact and technology needs to be more intertwined in the future to propel nonprofits to do even more social good,” pushing for technology to be utilized to its full potential. The impact that this organization has on social change through will help me pursue the answer to my inquiry. Additionally, they created an educational tool called MapStories “developed as a way to help the newsroom share local history and African American culture in a user-friendly way.” This is a key event that was used to build their story, which eventually allowed them to partner with other nonprofits that wanted to help change the world for good. Furthermore, Hack4Impact will develop a web application to help facilitate the matching of tutors with children in Cambodia who will help the children learn English. The author demonstrates that “the projects they develop not only allow them to learn but also give them meaningful experiences and opportunities to contribute to something beyond this campus,” proving that they make software products to make the world a better place. Another resource Students increase social media use over stay-at-home order from Daily Illini will help explore what can change when a student uses technology more than they did previously in their life. Increased use of social media can social impact many students on campus, positively, or negatively. The article displays what certain social media have done to impact a student. For example, “increased online interaction has highlighted Snapchat as a communication staple for the current students’ generation,” as opposed to mobile text messages. The author also demonstrates how a student uses a social media platform to enhance her business. She notes that “by using Instagram, I can also turn my platform into a business platform, in order to see how many views I have to review how much interest there is in my product.” Not only does the author use example from students, but also includes data on phone usage before, during, and after the pandemic. The report was released by App Annie, a global provider of mobile market data, saying that “phone usage worldwide has gone up by 20% during the COVID pandemic.” This key event was used by the author to build onto their story, as well as another data report later in the article involving a social media marketing tool that provides analytics called NapoleanCat, showing the increase of social media users from February to March, the peak of the pandemic. Overall, both sources provide strong answers to my inquiry through data, statistics, and recent events. They summarize their evidence through this data to further back up the points being made throughout the articles.

5 Takeaways to Integrate to Survey

  1. Test the survey with family or friends for feedback before sending it out to people that will actually participate in the finalized survey.
  2. Make sure the instructions are clear and precise for the reader.
  3. Keep the questionnaire shorter and response options concise. Also consider the order of the questions, as some responses can be impacted by other questions.
  4. Answer choices should anticipate all possibilities because respondents might have more than one answer in mind or may have a hard time deciding.
  5. Ensure that the answers to the questions help meet the objectives of the survey.

These are relevant to me because it’s important that I get clear, accurate, and honest responses to my questions. The odds that people will complete my survey will be maximized if I keep the questions short and clear and all available answers to it. Accuracy will be determined if I avoid suggesting answers from the formulation of my questions.

Week 08 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Interview and Survey Design

1b.) Schedule Interview

I scheduled the interview on the 22nd of October with Annika.

1c.) Survey Quesitions

  1. I am able to successfully balance academic work with my requirements at the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
  2. Reserve Officer Training Corps has helped me to make better use of my time.
  3. Technology has been helpful in balancing my time with ROTC and school at the University of Illinois.
  4. My experience as an ROTC student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made me a better person.
  5. I am able to maintain and create new friendships outside of the Reserve Officers Training Corps.
  6. COVID-19 has not disturbed my balance with ROTC and academics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  7. Social media platforms have developed my growth as a University of Illinois student.
  8. I have great connections with my ROTC students.

1d.) Survey Distribution Leads

  • Tyler Anderson – Primary Contact – NROTC Rifle-Pistol Team
  • Jack Marshall – President – Flying Illini Booster Club

Part 2: Reading Response

2a.) Reading Response

The three secondary sources include the “History of the United States Army School of Military Aeronautics,” “Summary of Replies to the Questions Sent to Illini in Service,” and “History of the Military Department.” In the “History of the United States Army School of Military Aeronautics,” the author is looking to answer the history behind the United States Army School of Military Aeronautics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He does this by establishing a timeline of important events in the history of the School of Military Aeronautics. “Summary of Replies to the Questions Sent to Illini in Service” tries to answer questions such as their expected return date to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and their course of study when they intend to enroll. He collects this information because the data will help the University of Illinois receive feedback from the students. The “History of the Military Department” tries to answer the questions behind the creation of the Military Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The “History of the United States Army School of Military Aeronautics” answers this question by citing and quoting professors and members of the School of Military Aeronautics. The “Summary of Replies to the Questions Sent to Illini in Service” answers this question by collecting data from the answers to the questionnaires. They collect information from military members returning to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to complete their education. “History of the Military Department” attacks this question through surveys and quotes from professors from the Military Department. The survey received over 16,000 responses from military students returning or continuing their education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “History of the United States Army School of Military Aeronautics” builds its story around the Armory. This source discusses the impact of the Armory at the University of Illinois. The next source, “Summary of Replies to the Questions Sent to Illini in Service,” builds their story around the College of Medicine and Engineering and the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. The author emphasizes the influence of the Military Department on the Colleges with the University of Illinois. The final source, “History of the Military Department,” builds their story around the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Military Department. It collects data of students that participate in Military related services in each college such as the College of Agriculture and the College of Engineering. I plan to use these three sources to establish the history of the School of Military Aeronautics and the history of the Military Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I will use the data from the “Summary of Replies to the Questions Sent to Illini in Service” to examine the lifestyle of military students at the University of Illinois.

Five Key Takeaways:

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel and create your own measurement if someone else provides you a reliable way to measure the concept.
  2. Keep the questions short and simple
  3. Define the objects of the survey before you make it
  4. Avoid vague terms that could confuse the person taking the questionnaire
  5. Create a rating scale that helps to answer attitude questions

These are relevant to me because the students in ROTC and other military-related organizations are going to be busy. Creating complex questions will discourage them from completing the questionnaire or create confusion. People do not have time to think about confusing questions. I also over think simple concepts such as the measurements of the questionnaire. Avoiding the reinvention of the wheel will save me time.

Week 07 – Lab + Reading Response


Since my topic primarily focuses on student activism in more recent years, I garnered several emails from different archive staff members directing me to other more recent, online sources. Some of those sources were secondary sources, but I have some of the primary sources listed here below.

This source covers the ideas proposed by students, faculty, and staff to address systemic racism within the Grainger College of Engineering, as spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement in mid 2020. The task force came together to better inform the dean with specific implementations and goals.

“Report by the Anti-Racism Task Force to Dean Rashid Bashir, Grainger College of Engineering.” The Anti-Racist Task Force of the IDEA Institute, 14 Aug 2020, Accessed 12 Oct 2020.

The University of Illinois System will be creating a system-wide Chicago-based academic center focused on racism, as well as providing grants, funding, lecture series, and education to address racism.

Clotter, Haydee. “U of I to launch academic center focused on racism.” Fox Illinois, 24 July 2020, Accessed 12 Oct 2020.

In this meeting, the Board of Trustees acknowledged that addressing systemic racism and social injustice was a priority of the University with ideas to address it including supporting faculty research in those fields as well as a series of working groups.

“Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois July 23, 2020.” The Board of Trustees, 23 July 2020, Accessed 12 Oct 2020.

In this report, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion highlights the departmental and institutional efforts to be more diverse in the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Report 2017-2018.” The Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, 15 Nov 2018, Accessed 12 Oct 2020.


Describe your background and history at the University.

While at the University, what have (or did) you observe in terms of student activism?

What issues or challenges do student activists face?

How does the University react to such demands?

How do you think UIUC compares to its peer institutions in terms of social justice-based activism?

How effective do you think those methods of activism were and why?

What do you think should be changed or implemented?

What is your view of the future in terms of meaningful change by the University?

1d Identify Interviewees & Survey Distribution Leads

Interview: Obiamaka Onwuta, former #BeingBlackatIllinois member

Ronald Bailey, professor in African American Studies

Kendall Hester, Blacks and African Americans in Computing member

Anisha Narain, student activist

Ross Wantland, director of diversity and social justice education at the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations

Dr. Yun Shi, director of International Education

Reading Response

PLATO was instrumental in distance learning applications as well as beyond as a two-communication system. Using PLATO in order to conduct research via survey distribution was very highly well-received with over 90% of survey respondents saying that they wanted to see more issues discussed on PLATO (Lamont 21). It was also outlined for usage as part of Delphi-like conferences or to develop strategies based on information from the community (Lamont 32). The Notes section of PLATO became message forums that anyone could post to, with its public, collaborative, group messaging environment that pathed the path for email later on (Dear). Communication-wise, PLATO had had emoticons since 1976, which was several years before ASCII emoticons were even developed (Dear). As well, PLATO was instrumental in pioneering education for blind students by acting as an instructor, tool for instructors, or tool to print instruction materials (Weber 20).

There a multitude of differences between PLATO and current distance-based learning platforms like Khan Academy, Coursera, and YouTube. For the former two, their value is prided on showing examples to users and letting users apply their skills to new problems. In that way, it also caters question sets and points to their user base so that they can focus their efforts on learning their weaker skills. This generally is a more recent invention I’d say due to the rise of technology and consolidated efforts into the user experience. As well, the hardware + software aspect of PLATO made it difficult to use and inaccessible for many. While arguably still inaccessible to the majority of the global population, online-based learning formats nowadays can be used by anyone with a phone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection, which now applies to vastly more people.

Week 07 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Ethical Research and Best Practices


Interview Questions:

  1. How has the constant growth of technology changed the way students connect with each other and the world?
  2. What communication method through technology is the most efficient? How so?
  3. Did you experience a social change after using a certain technology to communicate?
  4. Before COVID, did you use technology on a daily basis? If so, how often did you use it? If not, why do you decide not to?
  5. Does it replace, or does it aid human beings? How does it affect the quality of our lives?
  6. What social media platforms do you use and why?
  7. How does technology affect our perception of our needs? How does it affect our way of seeing and experiencing the world? (U of I) (Safer App)
  8. To what extent does technology redefine reality? Does it serve to solidify knowledge or relationships?

Interviewees and Survey Distribution Leads:

  1. Daniel Turner – Director – Division of General Studies
  2. Melissa Newel – Director – Undergraduate Affairs/School of Information Sciences
  3. Mirko Janjanin – RSO Leader for National Organization of Business and Engineering
  4. Malik Siddique – RSO Leader for National Organization of Business and Engineering

Reading Response:

PLATO was able to make a big impact on creating a new type of mass communications system in and outside of educational applications. To begin with, this system “consists of a keyset which the student uses to ‘talk’ to the computer and a display screen which the computer uses to ‘talk’ to the student” (Weber). By allowing the system to communicate with a student who is blind, it could potentially change and reshape how many other students with a similar disability can still learn properly. Additionally, “there are over 3,000 authors who generate new lesson material” on the University of Illinois PLATO system (Bitzer). These authors cover many lesson materials involving key subjects such as mathematics and English, and certain courses in the CBE (Computer Based Education for the Handicapped) have been developed to directly or indirectly aid the handicapped. Additionally, to develop tactile speech recognition, PLATO’s auditory disk was used to verbalize words and phrases which were then converted into touch patterns through a sensory aid. The students “learned that ‘new language’ of time-varying vibration patterns” and was then checked by PLATO for feedback and responses (Bitzer). The flexibility of its hardware and adaptability of its software opened new approaches in this area. Another application to PLATO is for teaching people who are blind. This can be made possible because “the computer reads the written text normally displayed on the computer terminal by speaking through a voice synthesizing unit,” making it possible for a blind user to interact with a computer in an efficient way (Bitzer). Lastly, since the PLATO system had a number of extra keys with different functions to control the computer compared to a normal one, a design to enhance PLATO was a seven key device called a Perkins Brailler. It was evident that “with this device, there was no question as to the ability of most students to operate it with ease” (Weber). In designing an educational system, a major portion of the work naturally had to come from the social sciences.

Even though PLATO may not be as efficient as a teacher, “computerized teaching machines should be looked at as tools to alleviate the shortage of teachers for the blind” (Weber). Many online platforms offer education such as Khan Academy, but won’t be much help to a blind student who cannot see the screen display. The major difference between PLATO and other online frameworks is accessibility because students are very limited to options on the PLATO system. Another difference is that since there were many bugs about the system, a student from the hardware-software group who could control the computer through a standard keyset, would watch over the blind student to ensure that the errors could be corrected.

Week 07 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Drafting Interview Questions

a. Have you ever used any online learning environments/platforms? If so then which ones and in what capacity? (eg. Student, Educator, Administrator, etc.)

b. How do you think your educational experience would change if you were to shift your studies to completely offline without access to such platforms?

c. What are some offline study experiences that you think cannot be replicated in online study platforms?

d. Are you currently a student, if not what year were you one, and what kind of technology did you use at that time to aid in studies at the University?

e. Do you think your attention is better grasped if the class uses interaction technology such as the i-Clicker, etc , why? or do you prefer some other kind of classroom experience.

f. Have you ever faced difficulties studying because the course had technology components, if so what were the issues you faced?

g. What kinds of changes do you imagine in educational technology in the near future?

h. Do you think the COVID pandemic study experience would have been different had there not been educational technologies like Moodle present? How?

i. Do you think technology can completely replace the need for human teaching, do you think it is the right path to move forward in?

For people who are in position to answer questions about specific platforms there will be 2-3 more questions about the platforms.

Identify Interviewees and Survey Distribution Leads

J. Stephen Downie – Assistant Dean for Research at the i-School UIUC

Andreas Paul Eberhard Kloeckner – Assistant Professor at CS@Illinois (Founder of RELATE)

Gabrielle Allen – Associate Dean for Research at DELTA UIUC

Kristen Allen –  Illinois Distributed Museum Coordinator

Reading Response

Applications or design features of PLATO –

a. offering coursework (elementary through university) to UIUC students, local schools, prison inmates, and other universities

b.  The system included a number of features useful for pedagogy, including text overlaying graphics, contextual assessment of free-text answers, depending on the inclusion of keywords, and feedback designed to respond to alternative answers.

c. On a pro grammar instructional system for blind students. The students soon recognized the potential of the PLATO system for this type of study. The hardware used in the conventional PLATO system consists of a keyset which the student uses to “talk” to the computer and a display screen which the computer uses to “talk” to the student.

d. In PLATO IV Plasma Display Screens. The display was a 512×512 bitmap, with both character and vector plotting done by hardwired logic. It included fast vector line drawing capability.

e. An experiment was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of using toe teaching computer as a medium for involving people in community planning. The research described was conducted using the Platodsyotem at the Computerbased Education Research Laboratory at UIUC.

Differences between PLATO and Modern Educational Technology Services –

a. Mobility – PLATO was a combination of Hardware and Software, it was a big machine that could not be carried everywhere. On the other hand with the advent of smartphones, tablets and laptops, education technology is much more mobile and can be undertaken at convenience anywhere.

b. Accessibility – There were a limited number of devices available and were not accessible to students all the time. On the other hand with personal tech devices and availability of software on all those devices, using tech is much more simpler.

c. Information Scale – Since PLATO was the first of its kind collaborative platform and came at a time when the internet also did not exist, there was limited information available on it, only the amount that was created and stored by the PLATO community. But with the internet, the information reach is much more wide and vast.

Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Project Development

Primary Sources –

In order to find out about the history of tech in education I need to find out the roots of how technology environments came in to being this picture sheds some light upon PLATO. The first primary source in my opinion will be this article and picture of PLATO from the 1960s. This article talks about PLATO, I feel this is important in exhibiting the roots of online and technology aided education at the University. Since PLATO was a monumental discovery for the whole world, it is a bigger sense of pride for the University.


This picture talks about how several courses at the University are dependent on Technology for instructional purposes. The article introduces RELATE, a study platform that was created by a Professor at the University to help classes take place more seamlessly. This picture helps answer the question in terms of the need for technology platforms and the article further elaborates on how platforms like RELATE are changing the way studies take place at the University.


Secondary Sources –

In order to answer my question of how technology is aiding education, we need to show how the technology environments have evolved over time. This article from 2013 talks about the introduction of Compass2g at the University. It also sheds some light upon the new features that the platform possesses. This article will be useful in showing the evolution of such digital platforms.


In order to answer the question about the impact and different methods of technology that are used in education we can use this research study by Prof. Wong. This study examines the factors of technology that impact the learner, educators and administration. How these platforms are aiding or affecting education and what kind of a growth we are seeing in online education.


Once we are done scraping through the above resources, I believe reading more into studies and articles where students and educators talk about how their lives have changed with the advent of such technology would be an interesting source to help answer the questions. I also believe we should research more into the impact of online environments like these in time of the COVID pandemic because online education in Today’s era is more important than it ever was. I believe this would be a very crucial part in our study too. I would also like to look into the impact of devices like the I-Clicker in education and how it has helped in attendance and class attention grabbing statistics.

Drafting Interview and Survey Questions

a. Have you ever used any online learning environments/platforms? If so then which ones and in what capacity? (eg. Student, Educator, Administrator, etc.)

b. How do you think your educational experience would change if you were to shift your studies to completely offline without access to such platforms?

c. What are some offline study experiences that you think cannot be replicated in online study platforms?

d. Are you currently a student, if not what year were you one, and what kind of technology did you use at that time to aid in studies at the University?

e. Do you think your attention is better grasped if the class uses interaction technology such as the i-Clicker, etc , why? or do you prefer some other kind of classroom experience.

Reading Response

Three strategies that Foster and the team at BCL used to develop cybernetic practices were –

a. Heuristics – In the spring of 1968, a group of students from a variety of majors approached von Foerster and Brün with a proposal for a course on heuristics—a broadly focused, interdisciplinary survey of how problems are identified and solved, whether by artificial or living systems, by individuals or groups. This helped students be more involved in research in the classroom. (Hutchinson)

b.  Publication of Das GedächtnisThe same year that von Foerster published Das Gedächtnis, MIT mathematician and Macy Conference participant Norbert Wiener published Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, on the science of communication and control. This gave cybernetics the exposure in the education community that it needed. (Anderson)

c. Proposal to National Science Foundation – Von Foerster made a final, ambitious attempt to keep BCL alive by submitting a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled, “Cognitive Technology: A Citizen–Society Problem Solving Interface.” The proposal drew on campuswide expertise in cognitive theory, educational psychology, linguistics, computer networks, programming, and multimedia. (Hutchinson) This proposal tried to raise enough grants for the BCL to keep it up and running.

Questions –

a. What makes you say Cybernetics is the most important tool to cure the problems of a troubled today?

b. Do you still think Cybernetics is as impactful in the present as it previously was, is there anything you feel needs evolving?

c. Do you think Heuristics is a necessary field that all students should learn? What are your thoughts on learning research in the current world with the advent of advance searching tools of the present?

d. What kind of other research took place at the BCL? Do you think there is still a void that needs to be filled by reviving BCL? What and Why?

Week 07 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Ethical Research and Best Practices

1b.) Archives

This first source will help me in my research because it provides me with the relationship between the United States military and the University of Illinois. The source also establishes the history of the United States Army school.

The second source goes through the different replies given by 16,500 former University of Illinois students that were a part of the armed forces. The questionnaire focuses on the students’ plans after their return from the war and their recommendations.

The final source discusses the history of the military department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The source also talks about the history of the ROTC and other branches of the military that are at the University of Illinois.

1c.) Interview Questions

  1. What is a day like as an ROTC student balancing other responsibilities such as school?
  2. Why did you decide to join the ROTC?
  3. Were you contacted by recruiters in high school? If so who?
  4. What are your future plans after the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
  5. Are you a part of any military-related organizations or RSOs? If so, which one?
  6. Do you struggle in school or relationships because of your commitment as an ROTC student?
  7. How often do you go to the Armory? Any classes in the building?
  8. Do you have any scholarships because of your commitment to ROTC?

1d.) Identify Interviewees & Survey Distribution Leads

  1. Ezequiel Barraza – Treasurer – Army ROTC Cadet Council
  2. Peter Villanova – Public Relations Director – Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps
  3. Jacob Smith – Primary Contact – The National Society of Pershing Rifles
  4. Kavya Vedurmudi – Secretary – Arnold Air Society

Part 2: Reading Response

One of the five different applications was the design of PLATO IV. PLATO IV was able to run thousands of terminals that were located away from the central computer and had a transmission rate of 1,200 bits/second (Bitzer 555). This gave students more access to information miles away from the central computer. Another application the PLATO system had was its interactive mode. A quick response time of 1/10 of a second is due to the storing of data in the extended core memory of the system (Bitzer 555). This makes the processes efficient and faster. The third design involves its ability to communicate with students that have disabilities. The PLATO system would ask the handicapped student questions and accurately determine if their answers are correct (Weber 17). The fourth design helped blind students use the PLATO system. The PLATO system had a software that changed the video output to an audio output by converting audio analog words into bits (Weber 18). For the final design, the abacus was incorporated into the PLATO System. The student would be given a problem, if they got it correct, they would move on to a more advanced question, if not, they will get a more simplified version (Weber 20). This provided the blind students with strategies that used the basic four arithmetic operations.

One of the biggest differences between the PLATO system and modern online platforms such as Khan Academy and Youtube is accessibility. The PLATO system required a computer that used the system and had a limit distance from the main computer. Online platforms have the promises of accessing the information from any place in the world as long as there is a good internet connection. Another difference between the online platforms and the PLATO system are their libraries of information. Khan Academy has numerous lectures ranging from math to history.