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My Experiences from Online Learning Strategies and Skills Course

Online Learning Strategies and Skills is a web-based course that teaches students how to effectively and efficiently use the web to improve their learning in college. During my seven weeks study of ESEPSY 1159 – Online Learning Strategies and Skills, I have learned a lot about online tools and resources, as well as myself. This course brought me much meaningful experience that I am able to apply in my future study and life.

Using the web-enhanced tools for time management, and online learning, communicating, searching and researching are exactly what I have learned from this course. As for the communication and collaboration, Skype, IM, and chat rooms are chat tools that help students communicate through Internet. Doodle and WhenIsGood help students to select the best time when we need to have a face-to-face meeting. Wikis and Google Docs enable us to edit the draft simultaneously within a group of people. Also, there are a great amount of study tools on the web that help students become a creative learner, such as timelines, animations, mind maps, info-graphics, and narrated or annotated presentations. Moreover, flashcard in Google spreadsheet is also an useful tool for students’ studying. These study tools can save us a lot of time and make study full of fun through demonstrating relations with concepts, minimal use of text, organizing and structuring ideas with utilizing creative thinking.Podcast and online video are tools that help me fill the gaps if I miss a lecture or the class content is too difficult. These online tools are helpful for my recent study.

The tools are not the only thing that I have learned from this class, but also I have recognized that I need to improve my time management skills. Before learning the tools for web-enhanced learning strategies, I took the time-management self assessment which indicated that I was a serious procrastinator. However, have been using the time management tools, such as Google Task and Google Calendar, I think my procrastination has been alleviated and even the huge assignment seems not that difficult anymore.

The most meaningful experience that I have in this course is applying the animation tool which is an interesting and creative method for study. Because I adapted myself to the cramming method of education, I was studying hard only to exchange for a good grade. Fortunately, the new learning tools I have experienced in the class correct my attitude and method to study and teach me to be an creative learner, which make my college learning colorful and attractive. The animation tool also helps me apply the knowledge rather than merely remember it.

In the future, the online tools will be definitely applied in my life. I will use the Google Calendar to help me make schedules. Also, the Google Drive is a crucial tool to help me finish my group case and share it with my group members. Since my mobile phone contains the Dropbox app, it is much easier for me to transfer musics, pictures, and files between my phone and laptop. Moreover, the videos and podcasts cannot be neglected for my long-distance courses and I will apply them if I feel confused about the content of textbooks.

 

Improve Your Searching and Researching Skills

In every college students’ life, academic papers that are assigned by our professors are not rare. However, not everyone can write a good academic paper easily and quickly. In order to have a well-organized academic writing, students need to improve the searching and researching skills.

To enrich the paper, students often do the searching and add some information from other sources. Well, the credibility of the sources are very important. There are three essential aspects that students must pay attention on, namely, reliability, quality, and utility. The source must be reliable, which means that the contact information is available, the author is credential, and the publisher is reputable. Also, the good quality of  information includes broad generalizations, up-to-date, consistent, well written, and having citations. Moreover, utility implies the relation to the topic, appropriate audience, and enough details. The Wikipedia is a good place to do the searching for students, but do not use it as a reference.

According to Marc Prensky, search and research are totally different. Search helps us find enormous but not well-indicated information. However, research, an important step, helps us determine the quality of the information. There are three methods that search engines work. The first one is keyword search, a good example is Google.com; second, category search, students can see it on Yahoo.com; the last one is called metasearch which compiles results from many different searching engines. In order to retrieve more accurate information, students are suggested to apply Boolean logic, scholarly searches, and advanced searching. After searching, students can use bibliographic manager to keep track of the information.

 

The Strategies for Web-Enhanced Listening and Viewing

Since a great deal of information and knowledge can be acquired from the Internet nowadays, effective listening and viewing are crucial to college students. In order to get the most out of the lectures and online audio and video, students need to master note-taking approaches and strategies of  learning from podcast and video.

There are five options for note taking. If your instructor provides slides before the lecture, you can print them out and then take notes directly on the hard copy of slides. Also, you can just bring your laptop to the lecture and then take notes in the file. But what if you do not have the PPT that your instructor will use in the class, then remember to bring your notebooks and write down what your lecturer says rather than copying the slides. Moreover, when you take notes from videos or podcasts, a useful approach is to outline key points, create documents for each lecture, and copy and paste the hyperlink to the video. As there are many different templates for notes, you can choose your favorite one and take better lecture notes.

Podcast and online video are able to fill the gaps if you miss a lecture or the class content is too difficult. Podcast that is located in iTunes U or other search engines, can help students learn new things, study with engaging in other activities, and obtain another perspectives. As for the online video, the advantages are to bring in new concepts and  interesting topics, to be accessed flexibly, and to appeal to students who prefer auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learning. At present, a lot of websites provide different types of academic videos, such as academicearth.org, youtubersity.com, and khanacademy.org.

GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

 

This video is about GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which is the financial accounting standards. It mainly introduces 11 principles, namely, principle of regularity, consistency, sincerity, performance of methods, non-compensation, prudence, continuity, periodicity, full disclosure, and utmost good faith.

 

This video enhances my learning on the GAAP, because it explains every details of each principles, which is not mentioned on the textbook. And also the pictures on the video display good examples of the principles.

Tips for Online Reading and Study Strategies

If you are a college student who does not like carrying heavy books around, who feels bored or lacks enthusiasm for reading only text, or who wants to get creative with study, this is exactly the article that you are looking for, which provides tips on web-enhanced reading and study strategies.

Reading has changed since the appearance of e-books. Not like traditional reading, online reading provides students more convenience and enthusiasm. Students can read individually and non-sequentially, and enrich their reading experience by hyperlinks, images, audio, and video. Also, it is extremely important to be an efficient reader. The first step to read efficiently is to think what you want to know; then, students should know how deeply to study the materials and read actively; next, learn to study different types of materials; last but not least, make you own table of contents and use glossaries.

Studying creatively can lead to generation effect which means that students will remember something better if they are involved in its creation or can create it after study. Therefore, to be a creative learner is an efficient way to process and organize knowledge. Recently, there are a great amount of study tools on the web that help students become a creative learner, such as timelines, animations, mind maps, info-graphics, and narrated or annotated presentations. Moreover, flashcard in Google spreadsheet is also an useful tool for students’ studying. These study tools can save students a lot of time and make study full of fun through demonstrating relations with concepts, minimal use of text, organizing and structuring ideas with utilizing creative thinking.

 

 

How-tos: Communicate and Collaborate on the Web

Nowadays, with the rapid development of technology, it becomes more and more common that using computers is an essential part of students’ life. However, how to efficiently communicate and collaborate on the web is still a problem that students should not neglect.

In order to communicate efficiently on the web, netiquette is important, which is a set of standards for individuals to communicate with others. The netiquette can help students to protect their digital reputation. Some tips for better communication are: avoid all caps, add emoticons to convey tone, eliminate opportunities for misunderstanding, and do not over-analyzing.

Emails, blogs,  and discussion posts are some approaches to communicate on the Internet. For college students, it is ubiquitous to contact your instructors through emails. Therefore, remember to use official university email, resist sarcasm, provide specific information, apply the letter format, and keep in contact. As for blogs, they are similar with public online journals, where students are able to share their ideas, and read and post comments. Discussion posts are more explicit to display your classmates’ opinions and instructors’ comments.

Since the first year of college, students have been assigned several group projects. Thus, it is crucial to efficiently collaborate on academic projects. The first step is preparations, when students review project’s requirements, introduce each other, exchange contact information, identify group roles, and distribute tasks. Then, it is time to work on the projects. However, meetings are not dispensable,  as well as collaboration. By using the tools on the web, it is much easier to complete the task. Skype, IM, and chat rooms are chat tools when all team members cannot meet at the same location. Doodle and Whenisgood help the team to select the best meeting time. Wikis and Google Docs enable students to edit the draft simultaneously. Personally, I more prefer Google Doc, which contains documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

In conclusion, communicating and collaborating on the web are extremely important for college students. Therefore, it is necessary to manipulate the tools described above.