Module 7: Final Reflection Post

The time has finally come. The end of the semester. The last blog post. I have truly enjoyed writing these posts every week, and these past 7 weeks have flown by. As this is my last blog post, I would like to sum up and reflect on everything I have learned this semester is Online Learning Strategies and Skills.

My knowledge and skills at the beginning of the semester of online learning strategies and skills was very small. I am not going to lie, I never really thought about how I could utilize the internet and web to help me be successful and enhance my learning. Now, at the end of the semester there are so many online tools I am aware of and have begun to use to be more successful. The internet, google and the web are more than just the place you check your email and scroll through facebook. There are useful tools out there at your disposal!!

There are many useful things that I have learned throughout this course. I would say the most useful, to me personally, is the time-tracking calendar in google. I am able to schedule and track my life, and I really enjoy using it to stay organized. Another useful thing I learned was all the helpful websites for learning, studying, writing and time management like the Purdue Online Writing Lab, Quizlet, Khan Academy, Study Stack, Chegg, etc. There are a lot of great websites out there over a vast number of topics and techniques that can be useful to help you study, write or manage your time. I was pretty ignorant of most of them, but now there are multiple that I visit for help.

I have learned quite a few things about myself while taking this course. The Time Management Self Assessment at the beginning and end of the course taught me how well I managed and prioritized my time. At the beginning of the semester, I was okay at managing and staying on task and not getting distracted. After taking the assessment at the end of the course, I have become much better at goal setting, prioritizing, managing interruptions and procrastinating. So, basically I learned that I had a lot of room for improvement, and I think throughout this course I really did improve on time management, Also, after taking the Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire, I learned what type of learner I am. I am a reflective, sensing, verbal and global learner. I would have had no idea of what type of learner I was, but not I can use that information to figure out the best way to learn and obtain information in class.

I will definitely apply a lot of what I learned in this class in the future. I will 100% apply the time management and organization techniques to my everyday life. I have learned about myself that I work best when my life is very organized and planned out. So, I will definitely be using the google calendar in my future to organize my life, as well as time-tracking to make sure I am utilizing my time well, and to see areas of improvement. I will also apply the note-taking techniques I learned about to better take notes during my lectures in class. Also, after learning about the different learning styles (page 6), I will apply the study skills and strategies into how I study in the future, as a visual learner.

My parting advice to you future college students is to stay on top of things from the get go. Your college life will be so much easier if you stay organized and manage your time from the beginning of your freshman year until your graduation. Don’t fall behind in classes, take notes, ask questions, use the internet to your advantage and utilize your time! Figure out the way you learn best and what styles and techniques do and do not work for you. Set goals and follow through! Don’t procrastinate! Be the best person and student you can be! Good luck!

Module 6: Searching and Researching

This module revolved around sources. These sources could be websites or scholarly articles, and this module taught us how to review the credibility of these sources. This module also involved how to properly cite your sources. I thought this module was very applicable for a college student. For every class, I am constantly searching sources and citing sources in my papers and assignments. It is so important to know that the information you are using is credible and accurate.

The most useful thing I learned in this module was the 3 criteria to help guide you in deciding if a website is credible (page 67).  The 3 criteria to help you review a website are reliability, quality and usefulness. Reliability applies to the author and publisher of the website. It is important that the author of the site has the proper credentials to be writing on whatever the topic is. It is also important that the publisher has a good reputation. Quality applies to the information of the website. Are there proper citations? Is the website well-written and consistent? It is important that what you are reading and potentially using as a resource for your own assignments is unbiased and informative. Usefulness applies to the topic and how relatable it is. If the information is useful to you, and if there is the right amount of detail and is it easy to understand for whatever the audience is. These 3 criteria are very helpful, and definitely contribute to the researching process. It may seem a little boring, but using credible sources and getting correct information will definitely help you for your future assignments. I feel like I am constantly citing my sources and making work cited pages for assignments, and this module was a little bit of a refresher on why that is so important.

Module 5: Web-Enhanced Listening and Viewing Strategies

This module revolved around listening and viewing strategies. These listening and viewing strategies could be during an in-person lecture, or a podcast online. The viewing strategies also could relate to watching videos to enhance how you learn and understand a topic. I thought this module specifically was very applicable to college students. We all have lectures that we have to attend, and I also have to listen to quite a few podcasts or online lectures. I thought the note taking workshop was very helpful, and informative on ways we can be active listeners and take better notes.

Something from this module that I already put into practice is filling in gaps from online lectures (module 5, slide 12). After a lecture, whether it be online or in-person, I often use khan academy or another free online source to find more information about the topic I am struggling to understand. These websites usually break the topic down in a way that is easier to understand, and help me figure out what is happening. Often, I find these sources more helpful than my actual lecture, and rely more on these to learn materials than going to class. The internet can be a wonderful thing, and whenever I am confused about a topic google is very helpful. I am grateful that there are so many external websites out there that can better teach academic topics, especially if your professor’s teaching style does not match your learning style.

Module 5: Education Videos

This video helps explain the beginnings of the Republican Party in the 1850s. It gives a background and overview of the country during this time period. Before the Republican party, the two major parties were the Whig Party and the Democrat Party. This video describes the dynamic of the country during this time, where slavery was outlawed in some states, but still popular in others. This video then explains the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and how that led to the formation of the Republican party. The country was filled with tension, and the anti-slavery members of the Whigs and Democrats formed the Republican party with Abraham Lincoln as their rising leader.

This video supplemented my understanding of American politics during the 1850s. The beginning of the video gives a good introduction of what will be explained throughout the rest of the video. The video then explains the topics in chronological order, making it easy to follow. The topics also easily flowed together, and the video gave an easy to understand background of each topic. I also enjoyed the animations used, they make the sometimes boring topics of the video more interesting. The animations also help place and visualize what is happening throughout the history of the 1850s. I really enjoyed watching the video, and will definitely watch more Ted-educational videos in the future.


Module 4: Web-Enhanced Reading & Study Strategies

This module revolved around study strategies and tips. A lot of times we overlook our personal study habits, and focus more on just learning the material in what ever way possible to pass. We focus on the information we need to know for the upcoming exam, instead of thinking about the best way for us to retain that information. I admit that I am guilty of never really thinking about what way I learn and retain information the best. Everyone has different learning styles that work for them, and this module gave great learning strategies.

The most interesting and useful thing I learned from this module was the different learning styles (page 6). The different learning style examples the book gave was visual, auditory, reading and writing, and tactile. The book then gave examples of study skills and strategies for each learning style. I think that I am definitely a visual learner. Graphs, pictures, charts and maps help me understand information the best. I never really thought about what type of learner I was, and I think that is part of the problem in my study and learning strategies. I have not always been playing to my strengths, so to speak, and putting information into charts and pictures that I can better understand. So, future me will definitely be trying to use more visual aid in my notes. My parting advice for you future college students would be to figure out what works best for you. Some people need movement to understand material, some like to listen to podcasts and lectures, and others like to be able to read it in front of them. Find out what helps you, and try to utilize that in your future studying and note taking. You will be doing yourself a big favor by figuring out what way will help you retain information the best. Good luck!

Module 3: Communicating and Collaboration

This module revolved all around communication on the web. This communication can be with your peers, friends, boss, professors, or anyone really. Today, so much of what we do involves using the web in some way, and technology is such a major part of our academic and personal lives. It is so important to know how to properly and effectively communicate.

One of the most important and useful things I learned in this specific module was how to stay organized online (page 126). Too often, I hear horror stories of students sending unedited or incorrect emails to bosses or future employers, sending emails to the wrong people or submitting the wrong file in their class dropbox. It is so important to double check everything you are sending or submitting because you once you click that send button, you can’t get that email or assignment back. It will save you a lot of stress and trouble by double and triple checking before you upload anything online. It is important to make sure you are putting your best work forward, or giving the best impression of yourself online.

My parting advice for you future students would be to obviously check everything. I would advise giving all your files very clear titles. Also, organizing files by class is also another way to prevent mistakes. If you’re sending an email, I’d also advise not putting the email address of the person you’re emailing in until you have completed, edited and checked what you have typed out. This way you can’t accidentally send a bad email, or send something to the wrong person. Stay organized so you can effectively collaborate and communicate on the web.