Week 7: Maintaining Motivation

This week we learned how to help to build and sustain the motivation. Although some students have their own way to be motivated, motivation is still necessary under the stressful college life.

So how to find the motivation first? Motivation comes from intrinsic sources related to your own growth and interests as well as extrinsic sources related to your hope. If you want a motivator, your study environment can be considered as one of them. Depending on preferences, some students like a quiet place to study, while others do not really care about this. If you find a true place for you to concentrate on study, just keep it. A comfortable study environment is a motivator. Another way to build your motivation is to eliminate distractions around you, like turn off the email and instant messaging apps. Some app or websites can also help you, like Freedom, SelfControl, and Cold Turkey.

After building your motivation, how to sustain it becomes important. The first thing you can do is to manage your stress and leave free time to yourself. Having a good night’s sleep and exercising are two easy way to manage the stress. If you want have a good sleep, you should aim for a consistent bedtime and develop a nighttime routine to help you fall asleep faster. And exercise is not only good for you to release stress but also good for improving your memory. So finding a way that fits you and just keep it!

Hope these suggestions are helpful to you!


Week 6: Searching and Researching

This week we talked about searching and researching. Some people might think that they are similar, but actually searching and researching are two totally different things and should be completed in different ways.

So how do search and research differ? Research requires a critical look at the quality of the information you are finding rather than merely finding information that fits a topic. Also research needs to ask questions. Knowing how to develop a good research question is important from searching to researching. We can also take another look at search and research. Take an example of search question. How much time did freshmen spend on their study on the weekend? For a research question, how will time invested in study influence the academic success? These are two totally different questions, so now you might have a clear idea of the difference between search and research.

When considering whether to use a source that you find online, three aspects can help you identify.

Reliability: Ask yourself the following source reliability questions: Are the credentials for the author listed(PhD, MS, Dr., etc.)? Does the information come from a reputable publisher or organization? Is the information found peer-reviewed?

Quality: After determining the source reliability, it is time to look at its quality. Some questions can help you determine. Is the information up-to-date? Is the information consistent? Does the information includes specifics and not only broad generalizations?

Utility: It is same to ask yourself some questions. Is the information related to your topic? Is the information appropriate to the audience you are writing for?

If the information can all be answered as yes, then you source is probably a good one to include in your writing!

Week 5: Web-Enhanced Listening and Viewing Stratigies

Getting a great grade is the expectation of every student. But what the prerequisite of doing well in your study? Let’s get it!

First, you should have the effective listening strategies. Effective listening involves not just the act of listening to a lecture, podcast, or video. It also involves what you before to prepare your mind and environment to take the information. More importantly, it involves what you do afterward to reflect on what you have learned and check your understanding and memory. Some tips may help you! https://open.lib.umn.edu/collegesuccess/chapter/4-3-are-you-really-listening/

  • Clear your mind of anything else and focus on what is being said.
  • Look for nonverbal signals as well as the words used. Nonverbal message come from facial expression, body positioning, and tones of voice.
  • Ask question. Don’s assume.

Second, taking notes properly help you become a better student. Some students may like typing notes, while others may like writing on paper. Both are effective if you use correct method to take notes.

  • Prepare well before you get to class. Make sure your laptop is fully charged or your notebook is in your bag.
  • Structure the outline no matter how you take notes. An outline can help you understand the relationship and ideas better.
  • Make sure mark the important words in distinctive color or shape. These are what you will see on your exam!

Hope these tips are helpful to all of you!

Week 4: Web-Enhanced Reading and Study Strategies

Have you been struggling with reading and studying after-class?

YES, I have! I always cannot focus well after class, so I have a low efficiency in reading and studying. But this week, we learned how to improve reading and studying through webs! Let’s take a look!

Today college instructors expect us to go through readings on our own first, and they will comprehend the material in class later. So understanding the reading outside class shows importance for us following the instructor in class. To have most of the reading done, developing effective strategies is the prerequisite. Here are some tips for you to read online!

  • Always highlight important information and review it in 1 day and 1 week
  • Use margin to summarize the primary ideas
  • Draw diagrams to support your understanding (It works to me the most)

After reading the material, you probably have to interpret it on your own first. So using some tools is a better choice helping in  your study. Here are some study tools we learned this week!

These resources are amazing, but it is more important to use them correctly. If you are going to have a exam, you can use Quizlet to test yourself first and to see what you need to review next. Or you can also use Memorize to enhance your memory as well as study efficiency.

Hope these resources are helpful to you!

Week 3: Efficiency in the Digital Age

Today’s high-tech brings us with convenience. At the same time, it can also be a cause of low productivity. For me, if I do not put my smartphone away while working on assignments, I will be easily distracted by it. So what can we do to reduce digital distractions? This week we learned how to use technology to manage technology. Let’s get it!

If you gain awareness of what distracts you, you will be well on your way to increase your ability to concentrate. As concentration increases, your memory, comprehension, and productivity will have a great enhancement. There are some tips for each of you!

  • To set yourself up by using a web app to block and limit websites that tend to waste your time and diminish your mood, like Freedom, SelfControl, or Cold Turkey.
  • To create a supportive environment. Different space creates different mood, so everyone needs his or her own space. With a comfortable study space, study efficiency will improved.
  • To set a timer for your focus time, and another for your break.
  • To use a brief personal browsing session as a reward for two hours of high-quality, focus work.
  • To have a manageable to-do-list each day.

You can also find tips on this site! https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/distractions.htm

Hope these tips are helpful to you!

Week 2: Communicating and Collaborating

The ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill in today’s world. Communicating in person is pretty ordinary and familiar to most of us. But do you know how to have a good and effective communication online? Let’s get it!

This week we learned how individuals engage with one another online and the etiquette of the web. When communicating with someone online,  remember that your audience cannot see your facial expression and body or hand movements, and cannot hear your tone of words. All of these mean that you should be fully aware of how your audiences interpret the context in order to avoid misunderstandings. So what can we do to avoid unnecessary troubles and have good online communication? Usually there are three tools for online communication for students: email, discussion board, and group communication.

First, email is a universal communication method today. It is important to present yourself first when you write emails to your professor.

  • Always consult the syllabus and Carmen page before asking questions!
  • Do not abbreviate when you email someone!
  • Take one second to spell check!

Second, communicating via discussion board represents your ability to share different perspectives with various classmates.

Third, group communication is important in your college life and future career.

Hope these tips are useful to you!