The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Students battle language lab lines

The University's newly renovated digital foreign language lab faced growing pains this week as students flooded the center with their first week's assignments.

Students were forced to sign up on waitlists and wait up to 20 minutes for a vacant lab computer.

The lab was crowded because hours were cut back to accommodate student and faculty training.

"Instructors were scheduled to bring in classes as a whole for training," said David T. Gies, Spanish department professor and senate faculty chairman. "But that's understandable, you can't drive a space ship without some training."

Officials cited trying to accommodate almost 3,000 language students as another logistical problem.

"There are so many foreign language classes at the University that training students eats up the first half of the day," said Rachel Saury, director of the Arts and Sciences Center for Instructional Technology.

"Still, it would have created more of a log jam if we had hundreds of students showing up who didn't know how to use the systems," Saury said.

According to lab officials, the delays are short-term and partly the result of last-minute component installations.

"Changing over to digital technology is a big difference," Saury said. "The lab was closed all summer and just this week there were still some components that had to be installed."

"It's really bleeding edge technology and recently we've been bleeding," said Andrew Brown, coordinator of instructional technology for the department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

According to Brown, most professors were made aware of the lab's shortened hours and made accommodations in their assignments.

"I have heard of a couple instances where there were assignments that couldn't be completed, but in most cases the professor just moved back the due date," he said.

Many students said were they were impressed by the user-friendly facility.

"The lab was real easy to use," first-year College student Cella Harris said. "They explained it all to us during the introduction."


Latest Podcast

From her love of Taylor Swift to a late-night Yik Yak post, Olivia Beam describes how Swifties at U.Va. was born. In this week's episode, Olivia details the thin line Swifties at U.Va. successfully walk to share their love of Taylor Swift while also fostering an inclusive and welcoming community.