By Holly Baranowski
Last updated: 06/19/13 10:18pm
The popular language instruction system Rosetta Stone has been found to be an inadequate substitute for in-class learning, according to a study published in the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages’ bulletin. With a growing use of online classes and software use in classrooms, the study exemplifies the fear that software might be replacing in-class teaching.
The study found Rosetta Stone is not a good option for learning a foreign language because of the “shaky theoretical foundations, mechanical inflexibility and cultural inauthencity,” according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. It concluded that it is not a replacement for trained teachers inside a classroom.
Although the company that makes Rosetta Stone claims to have no interest in replacing a teacher, it has made deals to use its product as a teaching tool in some colleges, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The author of the report, Lisa DeWaard, found the marketing claims to be misleading, including the premise that an adult can learn a language like a baby. DeWaard used herself as a test subject, finding that Rosetta Stone is not flexible enough to really learn a foreign language.
By Holly Baranowski
Last updated: 06/12/13 10:41pm
Last month, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review published a study that includes findings that could relate to the increasingly popular online class.
The study found that students who watch a lecture delivered in a clear and smooth style were about twice as likely as those who watch a “disfluent” lecture to believe that they would remember the material they had just learned, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The study found that both groups remember approximately the same amount, with the students who watch a lecture that is disfluent more accurately predicting how well they would remember what was taught.
Two experiments were conducted to come to this conclusion. In the first experiment, 42 undergraduate students in a psychology course at Iowa State were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each was told that their memory would be tested after the lecture.
One group watched the fluent video, where the speaker stood in front of the camera, maintained eye contact and used hand gestures. The other group watched the disfluent video with the same lecturer. In this case, the lecturer stood behind a desk and gave the same lecture, but instead she read notes over a podium with minimal eye contact.
After the videos were done, the students were asked how well they thought they had learned the material and how much they believed they would retain. The students who watched the fluent lecture were about twice as likely as those who watched the disfluent video to predict what they had heard and to say they would retain the information.
When analyzed though, the experiment revealed that students who viewed the fluent speaker were too confident. Both groups of students actually scored similarly.
The implication became that students may conflate how well the lecturer knows the material with how well they themselves do.
By Anya Rath
Last updated: 06/11/13 6:53pm
MSU’s incoming freshmen are starting to get their first tastes of the currently steaming hot dorm life.
MSU’s Academic Orientation Program, or AOP, began on June 10 and will run through July 22.
The program, which is a requirement for incoming freshmen, is a two-day program. Students are required to stay overnight in Case Hall.
According to AOP, “Students who do not spend the night in Case Hall and complete all day 2 orientation scheduled activities will be disenrolled from their classes.”
During the program, students will be receiving their MSU ID cards, go through math and foreign language placement testing and receive academic advising.
Students will also receive this year’s One Book, One Community selection, “Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers.
MSU Schedule Builder has been closed to other MSU students through July 22. The enrollment system may be accessed again on July 23.
By Katie Abdilla
Last updated: 06/09/13 10:37pm
While browsing online in a recent fit of outright boredom, I happened upon an article in The New York Times that caught my eye. It was a feature on the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
As I read through its praise, I couldn’t help but feel confronted with a sense of surprise and pride for my university. Following the New York Times article, media outlets across Michigan, such as MLive.com and Crain’s Detroit Business, ran articles on the museum as well.
Since its opening last November, the Broad Art Museum has pushed through boundaries both physical and artistic. Within its early months, the museum has opened its doors to more than 70,000 viewers — and for this particular viewer, the experience thus far has been a unique one in itself.
It stands among a cluster of some of the oldest buildings on campus, asking to be seen and talked about. The building is Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid’s second permanent project in the United States, making for a unique viewing experience, inside and out.
While many high-ranking galleries, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, focus largely on their historical artistic collections, the Broad Art Museum has a collection all its own of innovative contemporary pieces. Every time I walk through the doors, I am dazzled by the new-age pieces it includes. Rather than focusing on solely painting, which many museums do, other forms of expression such as film, tapestry, photography and mixed media fill the space.
To many, it is only important to consider art from those such as Andy Warhol, who became an integral part of pop culture, or historically relevant ones such as Vincent van Gogh and Charles Pollock. But by introducing viewers — many of whom happen to be students — to obscure, talented artists and works from around the world, it makes for a much larger and memorable learning experience.
By Anya Rath
Last updated: 05/28/13 6:33pm
The 2011 blockbuster book “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses” sent out the controversial message that four years of undergraduate classes do not enhance the knowledge of students.
The book stated that “more than a third of American college seniors are no better at crucial types of writing and reasoning tasks than they were in their first semester of college,” as reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
However, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that studies conducted by the Council for Aid to Education offer contradictory results.
The council found that college students’ scores on the Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA, saw a rise between freshman and senior years of college.
In “Academically Adrift,” it was found that the effect size was 0.47 over four years at colleges. This strongly contrasts with the 0.78 effect size found by the council.
Another distinction found by the council was the type of institution played a role in the effect size score. Students at baccalaureate colleges showed the highest average growth, followed by those at master’s-level colleges and universities.
Students at MSU pay approximately $12,674 per semester for in-state tuition. That amounts to more than $84,000 in tuition costs for a student’s four year education.
By Tyler Beck
Last updated: 05/28/13 4:40pm
One of the casualties of the renovations at the Union was the UCue Billiards room, and everything in it.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s necessary,” said Union Operations Manager Doug Murdoch. “We’re trying to update the Union.”
UCue has a long history at MSU, hosting competitions and events for many years, even as far back as when one of MSU’s most prominent alumni was still in school.
“Even President Simon used to play here,” Murdoch said.
The tables and cues and even the cue racks went to the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center, however only one of the cue racks is currently available — everything else has been sold.
Students used to be able to play for $5 per set of billiards balls, so a single student or a group could play. However, ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, recently passed a bill advocating for free use of UCue Billiards for students. The bill was ruled dead with the closing of UCue.
Murdoch said the billiards room was closed because it just wasn’t financially sustainable.
While it wasn’t the most popular hangout, many students did spend time sharpening their pool skills at UCue over the years.
By Katie Abdilla
Last updated: 05/01/13 5:21pm
In light of commencement ceremonies across the country right around the corner, Kiplinger.com has released its list of best cities to live in as a graduate.
The website based its list on the quantity of well-paying jobs, along with affordable living costs and a lively social scene. They factored in low unemployment rates, and researched high concentrations of young adults age 20 and above through the Census Bureau.
This year, a total of 10 cities made the cut, with Salt Lake City falling into the number one spot because of its below-average living cost and above-average pay. The city also boasts exciting entertainment events such as the Sundance Film Festival in nearby Park City, Utah.
Seattle took the 10th spot, with nearly 15 percent of its population dominated by twenty-somethings.
However, its cost of living ranged about 23 percent more than the national average, possibly explaining its rank at the bottom of the list.
Washington, D.C. also cracked the list, taking the eighth spot. Although the cost of living is nearly 30 percent higher than the national average, the median salary for college graduates ranks around $46,000 per year.
Surprisingly, Anchorage, Alaska made the list at number five with one of the highest salaries to college grads on the list at $47,600 a year.
Several other cities hail in the western half of the nation, such as Phoenix, San Diego, Houston and Dallas. But much to the dismay of many Spartans, Ann Arbor ranks just below Salt Lake City at number two. The site acknowledges Ann Arbor’s extensive nightlife, college feel and availability of high-paying jobs as responsible.
By Samantha Radecki
Last updated: 04/21/13 10:30pm
With the help of their mothers, MSU squirrels are fit for campus survival.
According to a press release, a recent study led by researchers from MSU and the University of Guelph in Canada showed how female squirrels can improve their babies’ survival odds by increasing how fast the offspring will develop.
The researchers discovered that squirrel mothers use social cues to prepare their young for the world outside beyond the nest and confirmed that red squirrel mothers will experience increased production levels of stress hormones during pregnancy. This allows the offspring to grow larger and gives them a greater survival chance.
“Natural selection favors faster-growing offspring, and female red squirrels react accordingly to increase their pups’ chances of survival,” said Ben Dantzer, who was formerly associated with MSU’s Department of Zoology. “Surprisingly, squirrels could produce these faster growing offspring even though they didn’t have access to additional food resources.”
Dantzer now is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
The researchers derived part of their study from the 22-year-long Kluane Red Squirrel Project, which studies North American red squirrels in the Yukon Territory in Canada.
The National Science Foundation partly funded the research.
By Samantha Radecki
Last updated: 04/07/13 8:07pm
As India has been rocked with some recent incidents of the sexual assault of young women, it has been reported that some Indian college students decided to create something to try to avert it and protect themselves.
According to Fox News, the team of students has created some “shocking” lingerie, which will literally shock an attacker if they are trying to sexually assault the woman wearing it.
“A person trying to molest a girl will get the shock of his life the moment pressure sensors get activated,” co-developer and SRM University student Manisha Mohan said in the report.
The students said the bra can send out a 3,800 kV shock wave and can notify police with a location. The inside of the bra has polymer lining, to protect the woman from being shocked.
Sexual assault is a problem not uncommon at MSU.
According to the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, one in five college-aged women and one in 20 college-aged men will be sexually assaulted during their time on campus.
In February, the office hosted a sexual assault symposium on campus to educate individuals on how to protect themselves and others from sexual assault at MSU.
“It’s not, ‘What I can do to protect myself?’ (It’s), ‘What can we do to protect each other?” psychology professor Rebecca Campbell said at the event.
By Samantha Radecki
Last updated: 03/28/13 9:36pm
The discovery of a two-headed bull shark tops the list as one of MSU’s most recent discoveries.
According to a press release, assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife Michael Wagner confirmed the first discovery of dicephalia in a bull shark, or bull shark with two heads rather than being two conjoined twin sharks.
“This is certainly one of those interesting and rarely detected phenomena,” Wagner said in the release. “It’s good that we have this documented as part of the world’s natural history, but we’d certainly have to find many more before we could draw any conclusions about what caused this.”
The shark was originally found in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2011. Wagner made his conclusion with other scientists at the Florida Keys Community College in Key West, Fla. The shark since has been transported to MSU.
He said this is a rather odd case because most animals with deformities die shortly after they are born.
“You’ll see many more cases of two-headed lizards and snakes,” he said. “That’s because those organisms are often bred in captivity, and the breeders are more likely to observe the anomalies.”