October 27, 2007
Themes of SI
So mid-semester all my courses requested feedback from the students. For one course my professor gathered the feedback and read it (yes ALL of it) back to the class. I think he felt it would be helpful for us to see what our peers liked or disliked about the class and any other comments they provided. He also evaluated, with our help, whether we should implement any of the suggestions given. Wow talk about inclusion in the learning environment!
Finally, he discussed his interpretation of the feedback and sought our interpretation...in case he misunderstood.
Note: all official feedback was anonymous.
This was actually the first time I've had a professor share the feedback of a class AND the first time I, as a student, was giving the opportunity to change aspects of the course while it was in full swing. Sure, they may ask for suggestions and incorporate them next semester but acting immediately on it was new to me. (I also experienced this in another SI class!)
I'm including this as a blog entry because key themes were expressed here that reveal characteristics of SI.
Lets begin with the feedback and the response...
Exercises and assignments you give us in class aren't relevant.
The prof apologized for not being more explicit to the benefits and implications of assignments. [Encouraging to see the professor acknowledge a shortcoming and indicate the desire to correct it in the future]
Although assignments may seem abstract they are carefully planned and designed to provide a challenge with the goal of honing a specific skill, develop creative thought processes etc.
We need more instruction.
Limited instruction is intentional. Again encourages creativity and personalization in the end product. It allows the student to take an active role in structuring their education. The course isn't about following rules but imagining an innovative yet relevant solution.
In your career, employers admire creative thinkers, risk takers,leaders etc.
[I would argue some of this depends on your employer but he was referencing a highly respected company and leader in web development that explicitly stated this as a desired attribute!]
Even though these comments came from a course centered on design, I have seen these ideas surface in my other courses.
SI Themes I've observed:
- SI does NOT tell you what to think but HOW to think.
- SI seeks to prepare you for real work and pays attention to what employers are asking of (future) employees.
- SI's foster ingenuity.
- SI's instructors value the opinion of their students AND act on it.
These themes are important to me and represent what I value in an education and why SI has been a good fit for me. If these themes also resonate with you...you might consider the School of Information as your academic home too. ;)
So I am doing this completely backwards! I wrote first about football and didn't even introduce myself...wow!!
So to begin, my name is Krystle Williams. I am originally from Portland, Oregon...the good ol' Northwest...rain central - you want it? We go it.
I graduated with a Bachelors degree from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Science in 2004. After that I worked for three years as an analyst at a federal agency in Portland doing long-term resource planning for hydro power production.
When I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to get back to school in some capacity but I wasn't totally sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I started my analyst job in the meantime.
About a year or so I started researching other careers and then educational opportunities.
Needless to say I found Michigan and the field of Human Computer Interaction. This is my first year hear at SI and I am truly loving the education. Its challenging, thought provoking (you are pushed to think outside the box) and I enjoy discovering the various backgrounds that my peers come from and even where they see themselves headed. Who woulda thought an anthropologist would be getting a Master's in HCI?!
In addition to HCI, I'm interested in Community Informatics. There is a lot of work within this field at SI and other places. We are giving the opportunity to learn about it through the Community Information Corps Seminar that is held almost weekly. I think I'll hold the details about that for another entry but it is worth looking into especially since you can apply this field to any area you have interest in!
Well there is my intro. Want to know more? Email me!
October 07, 2007
Saturday was my second Michigan football game. We played Eastern Michigan University. They are a smaller Division II school in the neighboring town of Ypsilanti. I am a big football fan but didn't purchase season tickets which was a big mistake. At the time they went on sale, I wasn't sure it was the right move for me. Why? Well first, season tickets are 200 big ones. I thought this was grossly over priced given that my undergraduate alma mater, University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), sold student tickets for $20. Second, I didn't know many people coming into the program and certainly didn't know who would be purchasing tickets. I'd also heard that there is assigned seating and I didn't want to sit alone at every game. Again, Pitt had open student seating; you could sit anywhere and the earlier you arrived the closer you were to the field! So I had my reasons for not buying a ticket and was I wrong!
So this year, all the big games for UM are played at home. That includes Ohio State...our arch rival. Currently one student ticket, face value - $23, are going for $300 and the price will continue to rise as the game date approaches. The mere $200 fee upfront would have been an investment as I am sure I could have sold the Ohio ticket for double...at least. In addition, NO ONE sites in their assigned seat. So if I had friends in another row of the SI section, I could have just wandered on over and had a spot with no hassle! So word to the wise. If you like football buy the season tickets! Even if you don't know people when you buy them you'll meet them by the time the games start and you'll meet more at the game, after the game, in class, on Face Book etc. Get the picture?! If it happens that you can't attend every game, there will be more ticketless fans, like myself, who missed their chance at a season pass and will cheerfully buy it from ya ;) Go blue!
- You must learn the fight song and the plethora of cheers =]
- Be prepared to stand the entire game
- Leave all big bags and purses at home!