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Module 7: Keys to Motivation for Online Learning

The most useful thing that I have learned in this module are the many tips and resources designed to help students avoid distractions and focus on their schoolwork. I find it very difficult to focus and do the things I need to do sometimes when I am doing my schoolwork due to distractions. However, because of the tips given by “Ways to Grow” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=23&v=AAv0ko2pelE), I feel much more confident that I am able to implement those tips and do what I need to do to maximize my study time in the future. One example of something that I have already put into practice from this module is the use of one of the resources to help with focusing while studying, Noisli. As mentioned in another assignment, this web tool was extremely helpful as it allows the user to tailor exactly what they feel will be the best background noise for them as they study to help maximize their focus. Because of the options available, I didn’t have to settle for music or some other noise I didn’t like that much on YouTube. I would recommend for future students to implement the tips discussed in this module to help avoid distractions, and even use electronic resources such as apps to reduce cell phone use or web tools to make background noise so that they can get the most out of their studying and improve their academic performance.

Module 6 – Searching and Researching: The Foundations of Academic Writing

The most useful thing that I have learned in this module is the difference between search and research. Before this module, I would have assumed that they meant the same thing within the scope of academics. After this module, I have learned that there is indeed a very important difference. Rather than just searching for a topic, research involves the active analysis and applying of information to a thoughtful question. As Marc Prensky said “Kids need to know that while search involves just looking, research involves a whole discipline of behaviors.” (http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky-Search_vs_Research-01.pdf)

Some ideas that I could put into practice in the future is the various research methods that can be used to maximize relevant information to the questions being asked when attempting to do research for future assignments. For example, various resources may prove to be more helpful in looking for certain things as opposed to just resorting to google most of the time. Not only that, but I can also use the Boolean logic search method, specific searches, and do scholarly searches to help me find the most useful and relevant information.

I recommend for future students to understand that there is a difference between searching for topics and researching them, and when that is understood, to use various methods and tools to find the best information for their research. There is a lot of information out there, but one has to learn how to use technology accordingly to get the best benefit from it!

Module 5: Web Enhanced Listening and Viewing Strategies

The most useful thing that I have learned in this module is the techniques to use to write notes during lectures. Too often, I have either written notes that aren’t important, or just not written notes because of being so tired that I just wasn’t sure what all to write due being overwhelming. As mentioned in the “Taking Notes in Class” video by Indiana University (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc5qyMTjO3k&feature=youtu.be&t=31s), the techniques such as listening actively, summarize key points, keep up with the speed, ask later if something is missed, and structure the information in a clear, concise manner to name a few, are all useful and important tactics for me to use in future classes.

One thing that I plan to use in the future from this module is to try writing down my notes, as opposed to typing them. Since typing is so fast, it really is so easy to just type the words and not use my brain while I am typing them. It makes sense, as learned in this module, that writing down takes more time, and as such, we must use our brain to understand which points are important and relevant to our learning.

I would recommend for future students to take these note taking techniques and tips and apply them to future classes since so many students do not know how to really take notes. I would also recommend for students to try writing down notes since it may be more beneficial than simply writing down information more quickly.

Module 4: Web-Enhanced Reading and Study Strategies

The most useful thing that I have learned during this module is the process of memory in the human brain. As described by Jered Borup on his YouTube post (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=QwOBQsjClo0), the process of memorization¬† is called the “Information Processing Model”. This information was useful to me because it really helped me put into perspective how long something can take to learn something, as well as how information can be stored into your long-term memory. It was interesting to learn of the sensory memory, which is stimulated by various inputs; after this, the information is passed to the working memory. According to Jered Borup, the working memory only holds information anywhere from 5-20 seconds. This was very surprising to me and helped me understand how important it is to really review and go over things repeatedly that I am learning. In this way, as long as I am using tactics to go over things in my working memory, this information can then be encoded to the long term memory. As long as I have this information in the long-term memory, I can then retrieve it and use it for future use.

One thing that I have already put into practice this module is the use of technology in learning. I have used a few learning resources such as the purdue online writing lab website, khan academy, top hat, and youtube in the past to help with learning.

The ideas that would be most useful for me to put into practice is the tactics mentioned on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=167&v=VJbKXmujI00), to help with studying. Ideas such as working out, avoiding cramming, testing myself, take one break per hour, and getting more rest all sound like great tactics to help me with the studying process.

Module 2: Communicating and Collaborating

The most useful thing that I have learned in this module is the reminder that communicating face to face and communicating online are really very similar. As mentioned by Adam Neumann, it is easy to think of online communication and face to face communication as very different, but if we treat online communication as if it were face to face, it gives the recipient of the communication a clearer understanding of who you are, how you present yourself, and what message you wish to convey in a clear, concise, and professional manner.

One thing from this module that I have already put into practice are the suggestions made while emailing professors. I always address the professors properly, write the body in a formal manner, and sign the e-mail. I do not want to be informal with my professors and wish to give good impressions to those who are guiding me through my education.

I would recommend to future or current students in college to familiarize themselves with the necessary technology of today, and put into practice simple steps such as imagining that all communications are face to face, formal, and professional. These communications include e-mails to professors, discussion posts with peers, and sharing/collaborating with all those involved in your assignments and learning.