Distractions aside, students'
study habits, hours differ
LSA senior Kavita Datla studies in the Union. New innovations in undergraduate education are revolutionizing the way students
learn and how they study. The University is one of the leaders in the progress.
Continued from page 1C
ive together in Mary Markley residence hall, will occupy
about half the dorm.
Former participant Bryan Rubin couldn't be happier about
having joined the 21st Century Program.
"I like it mainly because you are in the same classes as the
people you are living by," Rubin said. "The more people that
can get into it, the better."
Math 115, the introductory calculus course, may seem
lenough of a challenge to incoming students.
But students who take calculus as a "Language Across the
Curriculum" course have an extra challenge as they learn how
to answer math questions in a different language - German.
Hartmut Rastalsky, who taught the one-credit German LAC
mini-course last year, said it was a valuable way for students
to improve both their calculus and German skills. The students
enrolled in the class after taking Math 115.
"They got a chance to practice their German in a challeng-
ing context," said Rastalsky, who also has taught courses in
German on the economy and on Freudian psychology.
Schoem said LAC courses provide a practical language
experience for students.
"For some students, it's not clear what practicality their lan-
guage courses bring them," Schoem said. "We are trying to
show there is application to this language study."
Germanic Languages and Literatures department chair Fred
Amrine, who also chairs the LAC committee, said the Uni-
versity serves as a leader in language study.
"It is still a new initiative,"Amrine said. "Almost nobody else
is doing it. Among large universities, we are really a pioneer."
The University program that began two years ago is still
small, with about six or seven LAC courses each semester. LAC
courses are usually a discussion section for a larger lecture.
LSA junior Debbie Zamd, who is currently taking a Latin
American history LAC course in Spanish, said the section adds
another dimension to the class.
"It gives you a different perspective when you read some-
thing in its original language. You always lose something in the
translation," Zamd said. "It is good to have a different histor-
Amrine said he expects the program to increase each semes-
ter. "It's the way of the future. We really live in a global vil-
lage," Amrine said. "We just assume everyone will learn Eng-
Aish. It is important for all of us to function in a global way."
Amrine said the ideal LAC situation would be to have stu-
dents finish a language sequence and then take LAC courses
in another discipline.
"We are trying to set up a sequence that runs through a lan-
guage program and goes on to another department," Amrine
said. "We want to set up such sequences on a regular basis."
History and business classes taught in a foreign language
are two logical sequences, Amrine said.
Improvements will continue in all language departments,
Schoem said. He said LSA has organized focus groups of about
50-70 students who will discuss ways to improve the programs.
" "We want to identify what is in place, what are the most
innovative things happening, what are students' experiences in
language courses," Schoem said. "We will be looking at the
data and making recommendations."
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAMS
About 4,500 undergraduate students participate in commu-
nity service programs each academic year.
But new initiatives in community service
learning - including an additional $3 million "Amos
allocated by the University to fund these pro-
grams - may mean more opportunities for stu-
dent participation. iea
"We have as many, or perhaps more, under-
grads and grads involved in tearning through we ar
service than almost any other university in the
country" said Barry Checkoway, director of a ion
community service and service learning.
In line with the University's position as a fron- - F
trunner in community service, Provost J. Langua
Bernard Machen plans to distribute the funds to the
University programs that support community
service activities. progr
"I will fund $3 million in an effort to fulfill
our commitment to service learning in the state"
Psychology and social work Prof. Lorraine Gutierrez, who
co-directs the Detroit Initiative in Psychology, said the fund-
ing may create programs that previously could not exist.
"It has the potential to greatly expand different ways we might
do these kinds of things," Gutierrez said. "There could be ser-
vice learning that takes place in different cities. That kind of
funding will make it easier for students to get to those locations."
Students in the Detroit project travel to neighborhoods in the
city to perform demographic and social research on various
issues. Participants then present findings to related organizations.
Machen said programs such as the Detroit psychology pro-
iect serve as examples of the University's commitment to com-
center for service and learning," Checkoway said. He did not
know when the center will open.
Faller said community service projects prepare students for
work after college. "If they can find ways that the skills have
real-world applications, they are in a better position to learn the
best way to work in the world," he said.
Political Science 300, a course on contemporary issues in
American politics, gives students the option to participate in
"Students learn about many of those topics by being
involved in some kind of community-based organization," said
political science Prof. Gregory Markus, who teaches the
course. "It supplements the abstract, theoretical stuff they hear
about in the classroom with concrete, practical experience."
Markus said the students who performed community ser-
vice did better academically. "Community service has a defi-
nite academic benefit to it."
Markus added. "Students learn more about the subject mat-
ter and it seems to motivate them more."
Faller said some LSA programs, like the Latino Studies Pro-
gram in the American culture department, require students to
participate in community service before graduating.
Although Faller said community service programs are grow-
ing, he does not expect them to be a general LSA requirement.
"I don't see it as a general requirement, but I see it as some-
thing everyone will want to do," Faller said. "It is the college's
goal to develop a situation where every student will have a
chance to have a significant learning experience outside the
Amidst all the other advancements in undergraduate edu-
cation, the explosion of technology perhaps has had the great-
est influence on the way students learn.
"Technology will continue to become more a part of instruc-
tion in the way we communicate, learn and study together,"
By Katie Wang
Daily Staff Reporter
Time to sharpen those pencils and
crack open your books!
As summer fades into fall, signaling
the beginning of another school year,
University students slowly begin to
transform into studying mode. These
study-bugs can be found in all cracks
and corners of the University: the
Shapiro Undergraduate Library, the
Diag or a local cafe.
There are a number of libraries on
campus for students to use for research
or studying. In addition, however, most
students find a location off campus or in
another University building to work.
On average, most students estimate
they study about 20 hours each week.
LSA senior Mark Panahi said he
thinks students have to spend many
hours studying because of demanding
"I don't think students over-study.
They study because they need to,"
Panahi said he studies between 20-25
hours a week and prefers to study in
quiet areas where he can concentrate.
"I can't study at home because there
are too many distractions," he said. "I
always have to go to the library and it
creates a better environment to study."
Melanie Sheinheit, an LSA senior
who said she plans to go to medical
school, said she prefers to
study in coffee shops
rather than libraries. " $
"I like studying to £
music - it paces me,"
Sheinheit said. "Libraries dersl
make me nervous."
Robin Stephens, an
LSA academic adviser, t e
recommends students -
spend at least two hours
studying for every hour between
spent in class.
"It is important to reading
understand the difference
between reading and £
studying," Stephens said.
"Studying is when you -Robin
go back through the LSA a
material and ask your-
Falling asleep and pro-
crastination are the two
biggest obstacles LSA sophomore
Michael Braun faces when studying.
Braun said he pulled 10 all-nighters
last semester, all as a result of his pro-
Andy Baker, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, sits at a MIRLYN"
terminal in the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. Baker was part of the Interuniver-
sity Consortium for Political and Social Research this summer.
"I always want to go to the computers
and play games," Braun said.
Many students are
tempted to use computers
to check their e-mail or
play games instead of
LSA junior Aaron
Goldenberg said he only
studies seven or eight
hours a week.
"I never feel a need to
study because I take good
in notes in class," Golden-
berg said. "A lot of people
and (at the University) study
But Goldenberg con-
fessed that he pulled two
Stephens all-nighters studying for
cademic final exams.
adviser As expected, most stu-
dents increase their num-
ber of studying hours as
exams approach. Finding
a seat in any of the major libraries on
campus is as difficult as finding a park-
ing spot at the mall on the day after
While confer and e-mail are commonplace to most students,
homepages, online tutorials and video animations may be the
future of undergraduate education.
The University's science departments are well aware of
technology's influence. Chemistry Prof. Paul Rasmussen even
holds call-in office hours on television.
"It is like Donahue office hours," said Lynda Milne, direc-
tor of the Science Learning Center. "Students call their ques-
tions in. They then stay on the line and work the problem out
Rasmussen said the office hours, which are held two hours
a week on the University's television station, are busiest right
"It is an easy way for students to get access to someone who
can help them," Rasmussen said.
Introductory chemistry classes also have integrated tech-
nology, most notably in their audio-video program "Seeing
Though Chemistry," in which students can watch chemical
reaction experiments on video.
Courses in a variety of departments have created homepages
where students can get supplementary class materials, includ-
ing course notes, sample tests and extra drills. In some class-
es, students also submit their assignments on-line.
"They are in large part replacing what you would get in a
coursepack," Michael McPherson, director of information
technology in LSA, said about the homepages.
Biology Prof. Marcy Osgood, who teaches Biology 311,
said students have taken advantage of the class' homepage.
"It has old exams, special announcements like where the
exams will be, links to other biochemistry homepages around
the world," Osgood said. "It makes it a lot more
convenient for them to get things like old
McPherson added that using the web is espe-
cially practical for large classes.
"If you are teaching a large introductory ses-
f sion with a hundred students in it, it is probably
really not practical to hand out copies,"he said. "You
can put them on a web site, and have access to
,prthose materials outside of the class without
paying the cost of duplication.
ed Amrine "You can also deliver video or animations
es Across via the web, which is not possible to do in a tra-
ditional course pack."
ur riculum In the first assignment for Biology 154, stu-
m director dents participate in an "Internet scavenger
hunt," an activity designed to help students
realize the extent of information available on
"Students find a whole range of information that five years
ago, they wouldn't have had access to," Milne said. "Anything
from publications of a faculty member to a molecular-model-
The impact of technology is not been limited to science
classes - it also has invaded the foreign language curricula.
"The multitude of media will make language learning much
more effective because of the different channels of communi-
cation," said Modern Hebrew Prof. Edna Coffin.
Coffin said in some of the upper-level classes, students read
online newspapers in foreign languages, making language
study more practical.