22 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2016
    1. References

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/caranewlon/2014/07/31/the-college-amenities-arms-race/#cbbda7d1f3cc In "The College Amenities Arms Race" by Cara Newlon, the article discusses the crazy expenditures that colleges have been construction which are purely for student entertainment. These constructions, ranging from movie theaters to lazy rivers, have caused increasing tuition from students which could lead to backlash from lower income students that don't value these facilities as a need and students that don't perceive the facilities to have any personal use. Having the most innovative and entertaining amenities has evolved into an unintentional competition between universities. Most notably, in 2006, colleges spent upwards of fifteen billion dollars on construction projects. Newlon also suggests that adding desirable amenities can be beneficial towards "less-selective" schools because it'll grow their number of applicants and in turn, drive down their acceptance rates. Ultimately, these college expenditures are a prioritized business and are treated as such for college planning. Whether they're necessary or not continues to be on the forefront of debate. In relation to "Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces" by Scholl and Gulwadi, this article makes me question if natural environment settings are even necessary for student populations. These green-spaces may just be another unneeded "entertainment facility" that drives up expensives for college. Personally, I do not want to pay an excessive amount for a development that isn't imperative to my studies. Perhaps, if it is evident that students' performances benefit from the facility and it exceeds the cost of the construction, then natural landscapes could be useful to student life. Now, I feel very conflicted about the development of greenery in college campuses. On one hand, I strongly believe I will utilize it and benefit from its involuntary attention. On the contrary, I am honestly not willing and able to pay for its construction.

    2. References

      http://www.forbes.com/pictures/gfhf45fim/texas-tech-university/#1729882d1b07 This is a photograph of a massive water park/leisure pool located at Texas Tech University. This appears more as a vacation resort than a college campus. If Georgia State tried to implement a structure similar to this in their campus, then I would totally be against the action because its not needed for everyday student life. I don't value a pool like I value convention learning space.

    3. open spaces for student recruitment purposes to recognizing the entire campus landscape as a learning space and advertising its educational valu

      In regards to Georgia State, I definitely do not value the entirety of campus as "learning space." I feel as though a limited amount of designated areas have that purpose. Places like the honors college lab, the commons community rooms, the library all exemplify learning spaces, though the landscape of the campus does not. I wish I felt comfortable to productively study anywhere on campus, but that is not the current situation. If in the future, Georgia State values this notion of integrated natural environments, then I will accept the entire campus as an open space for student learning. Hopefully, someone, maybe an individual like me or a grassroots movement, can make this project happen.

    4. Viewing a roof garden from the windows of a student lounge

      Basically, this serves as my sole interaction with nature at Georgia State which means I engage in incidental attention during these transactions. I didn't know this classification previously. I do wish Georgia State incorporated more intentional natural landscapes. Personally, I feel as though I would really benefit from such developments. I do recognize with the limited space that Georgia State owns however, it could be rather difficult to construct. Regardless, urban areas need more nature, which is noted immensely with GSU. I understand adding nature to cities may act counter-intuitive of the word urban, but nonetheless it would make the city more pleasing and a better environment for students.

  2. Sep 2016
    1. Empirical research using the ART framework has examined all modes of human interaction in indoor

      To further their argument, Scholl and Gulwadi display a "student-nature interactions in campus" chart which explores the different nature typologies and examines the use of attentive interactions (i.e incidental, indirect, involuntary, etc.) that are employed in each setting. This use of evidence is an incredible way to illustrate the various degrees of attention used in different settings. The format of the chart is extremely helpful to differentiate the environments that have engaging interactions which stimulate the students' learning. For visual learners, this is especially helpful. Additionally, they explain the definition of the typologies, which narrows the confusion of the varying settings. Though they have a lack of scientific research, this chart is quite informative and compelling to their argument.

    2. Research on student campus experiences related to surrounding nature in campus landscapes is a relatively newer research domain. Future research can test the premise substantiated by past literature that the natural landscape of a college can be an asset by enabling attention-restorative benefits and positively influencing learning and academic performance.

      Scholl and Gulwadi acknowledge their lack of research, which is quite redeeming for the authors. Now I feel sympathetic for judging their analysis so cruelly. I suppose if they rewrite this proposal in 5-10 years, then their persuasion would exceed its current status due to this relatively new research domain. I would love to read studies that further this idea if any research on this topic accumulates in the future.

    3. This in turn can benefit performance on other tasks, delay gratification, and perhaps even regulate levels of depression and stress

      Involuntary attention leads to benefits such as performance, gratification, and potentially regulation of emotions solely due to their "inherently intriguing" and "replenishing" nature? I feel as though their claims on the advantages of involuntary attention is lacking due to their inability to draw from scientific analysis and psychological studies. It's a shame because I am truly in support of college campuses instituting natural environments into their landscape.

    4. Defining “nature” can pose a bit of problem however. Nature can be labeled as a non-human physical feature such as an individual plant or butterfly. Nature can also be delineated as a particular place within a spectrum of naturalness from urban park to a pristine wilderness

      Nature, in its actual form, is quite ambiguous. With that notion, if colleges were to implement "natural environments," this could differ from one university to the next depending on their individual interpretation of nature. One might perceive nature as the planting of multiple trees, while one might view it as incorporating a natural element within a landscape, like a park in an urban area. It'll be interesting to see if these different interpretations cause conflict if the implementation of natural environments ever becomes mandated for public universities.

    5. Student grass-root efforts

      Similarly, the Atlanta Beltline project which was proposed by Ryan Gravel was created by a grass-roots movement. Both the preservation of nature in some college campuses during the 1970's and the Beltline exhibit the immense influence that grass-roots movements can attain.

    6. The inclusion of the automobile on campus resulted in parking lots claiming large areas of natural open space

      A similar trend happened to the city of Atlanta during the 90's and the early 2000's. Atlanta widened its roads and created more parking lots designated for the increasing amounts of vehicles. These constructions ultimately resulted in less areas of natural open space, which drove out pedestrians. College planning has a mirrored reality to this. Colleges accommodated for the large student body that owned vehicles, which in turn lessened the space for nature. Unfortunately, the expansion of nature was the opportunity cost in this situation.

    7. Many university founders desired to create an ideal community that was a place apart, secluded from city distraction

      I find this comical because the authors claim that college founders frown upon city atmospheres due to their "distraction." Personally, the primary reason for me deciding to further my education at Georgia State was due to the urban environment. This was ideal for me and my educational preferences. This fallacy doesn't apply to everyone individuals' education wants and needs. To hear that colleges view the lifestyles of cities as "distractions" is completely absurd. These so-called "distractions" are actually opportunities for cultural, politically, social, economic, and personal growth. If anything, traditional college campuses can present the same distractions. The institutions still have a social scene which can detract the students from their studies. This can happen anywhere- rural or urban. Since most colleges are in rural "college towns," it parallels the negativity surrounding urban campuses.

    8. Early American colleges and universities were self-sufficient and often built in rural locations

      This notion blatantly contrasts to Georgia State University. As a campus we are evidently built in an urban location and embody the city of Atlanta, which provides a completely different dynamic than traditional rural college campuses. Can the urban aspect of Georgia State result in the integration of natural space? Does our location disallow such green-space because of its confinement? Or do we have to find unconventional manners to construct natural environments (i.e a rooftop greenery)?

    9. The concepts are – 1) direct and indirect attention and restoration, and 2) a holistic landscape

      These are the fundamental pieces of evidence that Scholl and Gulwadi will examine to support their case that natural environments help student learning. They only present two different concepts, which is quite limited. In order to successfully prove their proposal, I suppose they will have to go intensely in-depth to convey each idea.

    10. One way to examine this potential is to consider the entire campus with its buildings, roads and natural open spaces as a well-networked landscape system

      So instead of utilizing studies, the authors will incorporate the examination of college landscapes and use it to develop their argument. This mechanism is valid, but I still feel as though the inclusion of some scientific research would be immensely effective. Scholl and Gulwadi have to make sure that their reasoning strengthens their argument exponentially.

    11. campus natural open spaces have not been systematically examined for their potential in replenishing cognitive functioning for attentional fatigued students.

      So does this completely demolish any sort of argument that they have? Scholl and Gulwadi are basically stating that currently no pertinent studies correlate cognitive functioning with natural open spaces currently. This is a primary claim of their proposition to include natural environments into college campuses, yet they have no evidence to prove that advantageous effects exist... So now, it leads me to believe that their argument is predominately based on logic and reasoning instead of scientific studies.

    12. increased technology use within today’s multitasking society is likely to hijack a student’s attentional resource placing her/him at risk of underachieving academic learning goals and undermining success at a university

      I can agree with this claim from various personal experiences. Nowadays, with my increasing dependence on modern technology and social medias, I become consumed by this technology and primarily focus my attention on my phone, laptop, television, etc., as opposed solely focusing on my schoolwork. Though I am still able to complete my school assignments while engaging in my technologies, the multitasking could result in less attentive work, which could ultimately affect the its quality in a negative manner.

    13. Thus, university students as a group are at a higher risk of attentional fatigue.

      I would imagine the same could be concluded about working adults who have jobs that exhaust the mind. After a nine to five job filled with direct attention that requires the mind to be fully intact, a business man or engineer or etc. could have immense attentional fatigue, not just the college demographic. I know companies like Google provide green-spaces for their employees as an outlet for mental, physically, and spiritual relief. Therefore, the authors' article could also apply to an older demographic and their demanding occupations.

    14. catalysts

      The authors utilize the word "catalyst" which makes it appear that open spaces such as natural environments have this intense power to stimulate students' learning. Is this so? The authors should include studies that parallel this concept. If so, does nature improve a student's ability to produce schoolwork at a low or high degree? Is the degree even noticeable?

    15. “one fifth of a student’s time is spent in the classroom, contributing about one quarter of the total learning variance

      Therefore, according to Radloff's calculations, students have ample amount of time outside the classroom. Because of this freedom to engage in a learning environment apart from classes, students can seek environments such as green-spaces to complete school assignments. Basically, the authors use Radloff's data to stress that classroom environment is not the primary environment in which students go about learning which may go against the majority's assumption. Instead, alternative places are used more heavily for learning communities. However, It would be interesting to examine Radloff's study where he forms his conclusion that "one fifth of a student's time is spent in the classroom." I would think that this varies from student to student depending on the amount of credit hours that one is enrolled in and their dedication towards the pursuit of education.

    16. we propose that the natural landscape of a university campus is an attentional learning resource for its students.

      Here lies the thesis of Scholl and Gulwadi; the authors are in support of providing natural environment accommodations in university landscapes in order to benefit students learning. Is there a large demographic of people that oppose of this proposition? If so, what is their reasoning?

    17. In 2009, 20.4 million students were enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges and universities. By 2019, enrollments are expected to rise 9% for students under age 25, and rise 23% for students over the age of 25 (Snyder & Dillow, 2011)

      I do not understand why Scholl and Gulwadi provided factual statistics to prove their claim that the University system in America is evolving throughout the twenty-first century, yet they failed to provide satisfactory research on their primary claim about categories of attention and their cognitive effects. Since their main idea in this article references that nature presents involuntary attention which alleviates the strain of direct attention, why did n't they involve statistics to prove their statements on the psychological benefits of natural enviroments?

    18. Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces

      In "Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces" by Scholl and Gulwadi, the article discusses the implementations of natural environments in college campuses. Entire university campuses need to provide holistic learning spaces for their students. A well-designed landscape, will allow for prosperous learning, personal growth, productivity, and mental relaxation. Furthermore, Scholl and Gulwadi discusses different types of attention including direct and involuntary. These categories affect student's effectiveness when studying. The incorporation of involuntary attention provided by nature helps alleviate the stress that course work puts on direct attention. Therefore, a advantageous relationship exists between schoolwork and green-space. Ultimately, nature presents cognitive benefits that allow students with striving resources for learning and community interaction. This dynamic should be instituted in university campuses throughout.