Week 10-The State of Higher Education Today

I really like the videos I watched this week. I have watched “a vision of student today” when I was in my undergraduate school while I was in Beijing, China. The instructor was from Chicago, and he showed us this video, and I was surprised by the education in U.S., as it was so different from what I thought the higher education in U.S. was.  After watching this video again today, I was not as surprised as the first time I saw it, on the other hand, I was kinda of agree with some of their statements.

The film “Declining by Degree: Higher Education at risk” is really eye-opening to me, I am so surprised to know how difficult it could be for many American students to go through undergraduate study, some of them have to work more than 40 hours per week in order to pay for tuition. Besides feeling surprised, I also feel lucky as well as a little guilty about myself, especially after seeing those young students who work very hard to pay for their own tuition. My parents paid all the cost for my undergraduate study in Beijing, and graduate study in WU, St. Louis, and I took it for granted that it’s their responsibility to support me, while I learned that it’s not the case in American culture, I don’t have any student loan or any financial stress during my education, but now I feel I should be grateful for my parents’ support, and the opportunity to pursue PhD degree.

I also learned about the differences between private school and public school in U.S. from the film, and also from my own experiences in Washington University in St. Louis and Virginia Tech. I find that what is reflected in the film is so true. The students in private school have smaller classes, and more resources, however, the education in private school tend to be commercialized.  The students are like the customers, and universities are like selling the degrees as products, so to make profit. While in public universities, due to limited funding and resources, and huge number of students, each student have limited access to communicate with the instructor, and get advices from the advisors.  As almost all the universities in China are public universities, so the disadvantages of public universities are similar there in China.  In addition, I think it’s also true in China that the teachers are evaluated more by research than by teaching, which really need to be improved.
I think the higher education in U.S. and in China all need improvement, and it need the joint effort from the students and their parents, the instructors, and the policy makers, and I have confidence that the situation can be improved if more people are willing to make efforts to change the current situation.


GRAD5104: Discovery and Learn–Discussion about Open Access

This week is the Open Access Week, I attended the Keynote event tonight and it was eye-opening. I learned that Open Access is “a movement to provide public access to scholarship such as peer reviewed journal articles and enable its reuse through alternative licensing”. It is a process of article archiving and publishing in open access journals.

The keynote speaker, professor Brian Nosek from University of Virginia talked about improving the openness and reproducibility of research through their organization.  I think they have very high and ideal goals and missions to achieve. However, I think it will be a great way to encourage scholars to improve openness and efficiency of their research.

I also watched the video “Everything is a Remix”, and I think it’s a great video, and I learned lots of history, music and movies, and also I learned about some famous singers and movie stars in the past. However, I can’t totally agree with the term “remix”, and I don’t really agree that everything is a remix. I remember one of the famous quotes said by Issac Newton is that “if I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”, and I think that’s should be the real way of creating new knowledge or other intellectual works. We learn and summarize the knowledge and experiences from previous scholars and then we create new knowledge based on what we have known, it’s not just superficially remixing previous works. It should be original intellectual contribution. For instance, in the social science field, before we conduct research on any topic, we will do a comprehensive literature review first, so that we could build on the knowledge based on previous researchers, and I think this process must be true in other field of study as well.


Week 9: Disciplinary Codes of Conduct


I am in the field of Human Development, and major in Adult Development and Aging. As I got my Master in Social Work,  and I plan to get the license in social work, so I would like to talk about the codes of conduct in this field. I learned about  code of conduct or statements of professional ethics for social workers when I was in my first year of master’s program,  as it was a while ago, I searched the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers again from the NASW website.  The Code of Ethics was approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised in the 2008.

The core values of social work profession include: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence.  I have better understanding of these core values through my practicums and field study experiences in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in St. Louis and also while I work as a social work student in an assisted living facility for older adults with dementia. The values that I have a deeper understandings are social justice and dignity and worth of the person.

While I work with MS Society, I learned that social workers pursue social change, and challenge social injustice. Social workers are on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people, like people with Multiple Sclerosis, which is a neuron disease that affect people’s auto, language and other functions. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice and we provide  access to needed information, services, and resources for people with MS and their families.

As I am in the research field in aging, and I focus on older adults with dementia, I understand and respect the value of dignity and worth of the person. When people have dementia, they will have memory loss and they might be treated differently, but social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful way, and mindful of individual differences and diversity. Social workers advocate for person centered care instead of medical centered care, and we believe that older adults with dementia still have their dignity and we should respect their willings and help them function to the highest possibility.

GRAD5014: Week 10: Copyright Issues

This week we learned about copyright issues.  As the  The Chronicle mentioned, I have not paid enough attention to copyright issues, and I don’t think I have experienced it before. One thing the article The Chronicle raised that  I never thought about is the ownership of copyright, as I thought I didn’t own any copyrights before I read this article, but now I should really think again. As we work in the field of research, and publications are a major part of our work, we should know more about the copyright ownership, and also know our rights and how to negotiate about our rights.

I also have never  used Creative Commons before, and I think it’s a great idea and resources for everyone. I used to only rely on google and other search tools to find images and music for my work, but now I know there are more other resources available.

I feel it would be great to make my own work freely available to others,  I would like to share my work results and products with others as long as they use them for non-profit purpose. For instance, for educating students, or helping people in need, as I am in the field of gerontology and my research interest is about dementia care, I am very glad to share my knowledge and my research findings with my students, people with dementia, and their caregivers. I think”open source” options as opposed to copyrighted options are more useful and helpful both in helping others and moving human knowledge and technology forward. I think this also depends on the various research field, I think it might not be the same for people who are in the technology or engineering field, as the technology develops fast, and often the research findings are converted to profitable products.

GRAD 5014 Week 9: Authorship Issues


We learned about authorship issues this week.  The news about “Who Actually Owns That DeGeneres “Selfie”” is really interesting. I never thought about authorship of selfie photos before, as they are so common in our lives, but one thing I learned is that authorship issue is very serious and shouldn’t be ignored anytime.  The video clip of Big Bang Theory also indicated this issue.

The following are my opinions of the questions:  1) What does it mean to be an author? Who should count? I think Individuals who supply the funding shouldn’t be automatically counted as authors if they haven’t made intellectual contributions to the research, it is the same for individuals who supply the laboratory space, Individuals who supply the patients. For Individuals who analyze the samples, statistically evaluate the data, type the paper, if they have made significant contributions to the research design, findings, analysis, then they should be listed as authors. I think it might not be necessary for an author to participate in the writing of the paper or checking the manuscript, but the author should make sure that the ideas expressed in the paper match his/her ideas.

As Jason W. Osborne and Abigail Holland (2009) indicated in the research about authorship, it is only relatively recently that ethical and authorship issues has arisen, as most scientific writing was solely authored  before the mid 20th century.  Higher education has surely add complex to this issue. I am in the field of social science, and most of work follow APA style, and I learned the norms of my discipline for authorship from taking writing classes and also by working with professors in my field.  I encountered some issues of authorship before, as I discussed in my former postings, and I think I will pay more attention to this issue in the future.