Week 09 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Week 09 – Lab + Reading Reflection


“And like I said, there were times where, you know, I was really close to the people that were protesting and doing all these things, and, you know, really getting in the face of administration, and I wanted to be that person so bad. I think I’ve always wanted to be that person. But I think I had to recognize within my journey that as I said, to the analogy, you need people in different positions for it to really work. And that was just my role. So sometimes it sucked, because I couldn’t be on the front lines. But I understood that my position was just as important in the journey to try to get what we want on campus.”

“You know, and it’s weird kind of seeing the different dynamics where a lot of people hear what I did my freshman sophomore year, and it’s like, Wow, that’s amazing. But if you’re a person of color, you’re Black, like you understand like, yes, that’s when it starts. No, that’s what it starts with freshmen and sophomore year, so then you can compete with the people that don’t have to think about it until junior and senior year because their experiences are a lot different than ours. So for me when it meant to get mentored, and what it means to mentor people is that understanding how our identity kind of goes into the professional process, organizational process, and just understanding it starts really early.”

“But if you think about it, like there are protests every year, right, people are mad at something every year. So you got to think about what separates this protest from all the other protests? … So imagine if they were responsive to every protest every year, like, how much money it would cost them? … Like this movement started before started before I even got on campus… So it’s like, you have to really realize how long the movement was right? And how this was not going away anytime soon… So I think, above else, above all else, that’s the reason why I’m in work is because we have people year after year, putting people on to the next step, putting people on to the next.”

a. Provide an example(s) of possible critiques;

There were critiques of living and learning being “divorced from each other … and that the mission of the  University was not being logically extended to the residence hall environment.” From there, I can glean that education at UIUC was not seen as intimate or particularly enlightening. Students did not feel connected to each other as part of a community nor did they find their coursework specifically meaningful. They did not feel as though their education connected to each other nor real life itself.

b. Identify at least 1 challenge the program faced from its inception and discuss why this was so;

A large challenge program was that it was born out of ambiguity and lacked structure. For that reason, its educational philosophy’s goals “were never made clear enough to serve as evaluative guidelines.” From there, it was hard to describe if it was effective or not, and this also came to a head between 1974 and 1980 as there was a lot of conflict due to its unique situation in the gap between the normal institutional process and the development of educational philosophy.

c. Consider: How does the evolution of Unit One/Allen Hall make visible the vulnerabilities of innovation? Where else have we seen vulnerability in innovation this semester?

Unit One/Allen Hall makes clear that innovation is not clear nor easy. There is inevitable pushback and an evolution in offerings, while the primary mission to connect and educate students in an interdisciplinary community remains. For years, the program was under scrutiny for its efficacy and value, and it was later deemed to be successful after increased funding and reform. At the same time, these processes can be slow. We have vulnerability in innovation this semester through the creation of the cultural houses on Nevada Street. They came after a lot of student activism regarding a lack of cultural safe spaces, but even in more recent years, there was a push for a new BNAACC house. There were definitely times, too, that there was uncertainty in funding and viability of supporting and increasing the number of Black students and professors.

Part 2

What is articulated in this proposal is that past efforts have been lacking and falling short. There are pressures to perform and achieve at a high level, but students are feeling disconnected from their work and education. There is a grand push for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as acknowledgement that that may include the shifting of funding. The pressures an undergraduate education may be beginning to feel is that it is not as “useful” or worth the money and time as it used to be. Thus, there is a consolidated effort into improving the undergraduate educational experience.

Week 09 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab Reflection

Transcribe Interview:

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

“I’ve seen many students in public with their friends, and they are all usually on their phones, rather than speaking to each other. Whereas before the advances of technology, people would normally speak to each other without the use of their phones or social media. Technology has changed students for the better and for the worse” (2:01)

What communication method through technology is the most effective?

“Some time of video chatting, for example zoom, because if students are collaboratively working on a project, they can see what the other students are doing at a certain time, whereas through text or phone call, you can’t see the other person. So through video call, you can understand how the other person is feeling. You can see their emotions, hand signals, etc, and can better understand what another student is trying to communicate.”(2:45-3:30)

Did you ever experience a social change after using a certain technology or social media platform to communicate?

“Using certain social media platforms, I’ve tended to realize that students became more impacted about what other people say about them. People tend to either have negative comments about others when sitting behind a screen because they know nothing will happen to them, whereas in person, people don’t want to negatively comment on someone else’s appearance, and will keep to themselves” (4:15-4:45).

How does technology affect the perception of our needs?

“Technology alters our perception of what we truly need. For instance, on Instagram, you could see a very famous person living a certain lifestyle, and you may feel like you need that, or seeing good looking people and feel that you need to be that certain way” (10:15-10:30).

Reading Response

Part 1:

An example of a possible critique was the student fee that was implemented for funding. “Beginning in 1975, students began paying a modest fee of $15/semester. This fee gradually increased to $45/semester in 1980.” The administration represented this issue to the students who protested the program’s being terminated for fiscal reasons.

A challenge that the program faced from its inception was centered around social and political issues such as race relations, international politics, ideologies of the left and the right, and feminism. The issues raised by these discourses frequently caused students a great deal of discomfort, a logical outcome when freshmen/sophomores’ values are challenged. 

The evolution of Unit One/Allen Hall make visible the academic vulnerabilities of innovation. An example of this was when the feature characteristics of courses such as Community Internships, Women’s Studies, Interpersonal and Black/White Relations were reorganized. They were small class size, seminar format, flexible structure, innovative approaches to subject matter and presentation and student participation in design and content.

Part 2:

Peltason notes the importance of reform at the University of Illinois. His goal is to be a leading institution in Illinois in providing instruction for freshmen and sophomores of the highest quality level. He also articulates that “there is a need for coordinated curriculum development, experimentation, evaluation, and research in undergraduate education. Furthermore, Peltason is emphasizing how departments may restructure their curriculum, causing a domino affect to other departments without them even knowing it. This may bring pressures on the allocation of a student’s time during a semester, and all innovation and experiementation with courses should be evaluated systematically.

Week 09 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

1b. Transcribe Interview

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

“I am a student rn, so have used quite a few.. Moodle, compass, prairieLearn, and all. The same as you.”

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?

It would not be the same to be honest, especially during COVID. I cannot imagine us being able to study without these platforms. Having these platforms makes it possible to communicate with the instructors and other students remotely. I don’t think discussions, and other kinds of activities could take place without them.

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

I can’t seem to think of any to be honest, the proctoring maybe. The proctoring and doubt clearing on online platforms are no where as good as real life.

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?

yeah I am currently a student.

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.

I think it is. I am much more focused in the class if there are i clicker activities. I need to get the scores you see. Because of that motivation I seem to be more concentrated in the content being taught.

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

Well there are always technical difficulties. Net issues and stuff. But if you mean problems in studying because of technology. I don’t think there was. I would say though, that technology kind of makes the whole study process a little impersonal.

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

I totally feel, augmented reality and virtual reality are going to be big in the future of education, for labs and stuff I think. I also feel AI will replace the easy math classes, or the simpler classes I feel.

Reading Response

Part 1

a. There were major criticisms over recent evaluation studies and actively overseeing the academic program’s maintenance and development. 

b. One of the greatest challenges are the long-term instructional participation by faculty and the acknowledgement by student-residents that taking academic chances and exploring new territory are educationally rewarding experiences.

c. There were vulnerabilities in terms of funding and also leadership where the idea of the leaders did not match in sync which caused issues to which direction the hall was headed. We also saw vulnerabilities in DRES where funding was an issue.

Part 2

American universities, certainly including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , are being challenged to maintain and improve the quality of undergraduate education. The challenge has a long history, but our response remains inadequate. This challenge has been trying to be met and now because because the author feels that the UIUC is not the best institution in providing instruction for underclassmen with a high faulty education system. He feels the system has lacked historically and wants to improve the educational experience for the underclassmen.

The issues underclassmen face are for which the solutions could be –

Create a structure within the university complex capable of attracting and organizing the expertise that already exists among the faculty for dealing with undergraduate instructional needs.

Define the needs as they exist on this campus to focus the activities and channel the energies of those who become engaged in coping with our undergraduate instructional problems.

Week 09 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab Reflection

1b.) Transcribe Interview

  1. “Yeah, I was contacted through Facebook and an ROTC booth was at my high school. Um, once I said that I was slightly interested in the program I got many emails from like the ROTC program from like the University of Illinois and their office.”
  2. “Okay, yeah, we train three days a week in the morning for an hour from 6 to 7am.”
  3. “I think it’s just kind of like a learning curve when you’re a freshman and you’re just like, it’s kind of a lot more responsibility than what you’re used to in high school, like within our fighting alumni battalion, our cadets, we kind of take leadership roles like squad leader, team leader, first sergeant, platoon sergeant, and all the way up to like battalion commander. And so as you progress in the program and progress, like in school, you’re getting more responsibility leadership responsibility in ROTC so it’s kind of part of the training where you just have to learn how to manage your time wisely.”

Part 2: Reading Response

a.) Example: An example of a critique was the absence of administration supervision of the students that were apart of the organization.

b.) One of the challenges Unit One faced during its lifetime was its funding. It was eliminated from the Illinois budget three times in 1978, 1979, and 1980. This happened because it was argued that it never reached the excellence it promised when implemented. Funding is important for sustaining a organization’s life.

c.) The evolution of Unit One/Allen Hall makes visible is the financial vulnerabilities that are present with the innovations. My first lab reflection discusses the financial vulnerabilities that are present. Sidewalks, streets, and other pathways need to be fixed or remodeled. The problem with this demand is the lack of funding that will fulfill the demand.

Peltason notes that “now is the time” because the author feels that the University of Illinois is the not the leading institution in providing instruction for underclassmen with a high faulty education system. He wants to help the students that are struggling at the University of Illinois. Academic advising, according to this document, is inadequate for the underclassmen. This puts a pressure on the underclassmen because the requirements needed for their major could be more confusing to the underclassmen. Another problem is the evaluation system that provides the students with the credited hours. Courses providing different methods and hours credits confusion and inefficiency. This creates more pressure for the student because there is a mix of confusion and stress when applying and taking courses at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.