In this module, it discusses the importance of having motivation and keeping that motivation throughout the duration of the class. The module displayed that grades might be a big motivation while in school, but career aspirations are also a big motivator after school. During school, it is imperative that students organize a space around them that inspires studying and focus. The module explained the concept that physical space reinforces habit so when picking a place to study, make sure it is conducive to a helpful environment. Studying in your bed is not going to be helpful or productive as you spend most of your time sleeping. This reinforces the habit of falling asleep while studying. I have found that I can keep my motivation for studying in a coffee shop. I enjoy the atmosphere of the background noise as it makes me more productive. A big part of increasing motivation is the ability to say no to distractions. It is very hard for students as there is a plethora of social media accounts, the internet, and music distractions. By using an app like ColdTurkey, students can block digital distractions completely and only focus on their school work. It is essential for students to stay motivated when studying in order to succeed in not only online classes but in person classes.
In college, students are asked to research and find credible, scholarly sources for academic writing. Finding credible sources can be challenging when you don’t find the results you are looking for. It is easy to revert back to using Wikipedia to get instant answers. Wikipedia is not a reliable search engine because of the ability for anyone to edit and add anything. The module talks about the difference between searching and researching when trying to find sources. Searching includes taking regular questions and finding a right or wrong answer to them. Researching includes research questions where there is no right or wrong answer. It is more of an exploration in seeing what one can find and it is constantly changing. Researching seeks to understand the why and how we pick and site sources. When finding sources, be sure to check for three important things. The first is the reliability of the source. This means that the author or authors should have credentials (PhD, MS, Dr, etc.). Be sure to check the organization or publisher to be sure that it is going to be quality information. The second thing to check for is the quality of the source. Is the information being presented up to date and is it specific? An article might have good information but it could be out of date. Also, check if it is free of biases and that it is well written. The third thing to check for is the utility of the source. Make sure that the information is related to the topic you are researching and that it is appropriate to the audience that you are writing for. I use these three ideas when finding the credibility of sources and it helps me tremendously because I know that the information I am receiving is factual and reviewed. It is essential to understand the importance of finding good sources to back up arguments in academic writing.
This module had many helpful hints and tricks for finding the best ways to use notes to help your learning and being an active listener. The purpose of note taking is to think and sort through information in order to classify and organize it in a way that is actually meaningful to the student. An important “to-do” before you start to take notes is to shut down forms of distraction so you can focus on the content being learned. A useful tip discussed in this module is to pay attention to the volume level of the professor because they might highlight signal words and phrases when teaching. Also, they could raise their voice to emphasize the importance of the content. They might say phrases like ” We are studying this because…” indicating the importance of it. The difference between digital and paper notes was discussed. There are pros and cons to each but it is important to figure out which method works best of each individual class. A method of note taking that I’ve already practiced with is mind maps. When I am studying for a big exam, there is a lot of content that is covered and it can be overwhelming. This is an easy way for me to see the broad umbrella terms in the unit and make comparisons and distinctions between the topics. A useful idea that I can implement in the future to better my note taking skills is the Cornell method of note taking. This method splits a piece of paper into 3 distinct sections, the cue sections, note taking section, and summary section. The note taking sections should be filled in during class. The cue section and the summary section can be completed after class because they are wrapping up the content that was covered. The cue section is for questions that a student has acquired based on their notes. This method of note taking seems very helpful because students can create reviewable notes without having to go back and rewrite them. I think this method would be a good way of getting my questions answered without forgetting them after the lecture. This happens a lot and then I do not end up getting my questions answered. In order for students to learn the most when note taking, one must find the best strategy that works for them. Altering the note taking strategies for different classes might make one more successful.
During this module, there were many useful tips for active reading and learning with technology. When teachers assign a big reading assignment, it is hard for students to understand or remember the entire thing. I liked learning about the SQ3R method for reading because I struggle to keep my focus when reading. The SQ3R method is a strategy for textbook reading and long articles. The S means skim to get an idea about the topic of the reading. Q means questions and it is making and answering questions through reading. The 3 r’s mean read, recite, review. These steps are a good way of highlighting the important aspects of the reading and making sure that you understand and remember the point of the reading. I plan on trying this method for when I have to read long chapters in textbooks. A reading strategy that I already implement in this module is highlighting. In high school, I would do mindless highlighting because I saw everyone else doing it and I thought it was the cool thing to do. In reality, I never read over what I highlighted so it was useless. Now when I highlight, I highlight for deep processing and learning the material. I highlight the connections between topics and key distinctions of them. This has worked better in comprehending and memorizing the material. In the future I plan on practicing how to memorize course material. I have been trying to figure out the best way to do it but it changes with ever class. I am going to try and use mnemonics because once I remember the acronym, then a lot more knowledge will come to mind. I am not super creative at making these so I am going to try and work on it. I also plan on practicing working on only one assignment. Often times I have so much to do so I will be doing two things at once and my attention is not fully devoted to that. I like to multitask because I feel productive but it is not a good idea when it comes to school work. Some tips to practice this are turning off all electronic devices even if it is listening to music because the focus could be on the music and not the school work. In order to effectively study and read, one must test out and find the strategies that work best for them. Once they are found, they can continuously practice them to improve their reading and studying strategies.
In this module, it was very helpful to learn about tips and tricks to combat procrastination and increase time management skills. One of the most useful things that I learned in this module is to break down bigger tasks into smaller ones. Whether that be over a few weeks or as little as 10 minute increments. The 10 minute rule is a method of increasing productivity and completing tasks in a manageable way. If a big assignment is coming up, it is important to start it early enough in order to have sufficient time to complete it. By planning out a specific time each day to work on it, it leads to less stress and making the task manageable. An idea that was explained in the module that I already put into practice is creating a supportive study environment. Earlier in the year, I studied at many locations to see which one was my favorite and where I was most productive. I figured out that I like the coffee shop/cafe atmosphere because of the calm environment and the background noise. I know that I can get work done when there is a soft noise in the background. I notice that when I am in a completely quiet place that my mind wonders and I do not focus because it is so quiet. It is important to figure out the study environment that works best and to eliminate distractions. In the future, I can put some tips from this module into practice when I am studying. I liked the idea of reducing digital distractions by putting my phone in another room to reduce the urge to look at it. I know for me that it is really tempting to look at my phone if it is right next to me or if I have the ringer on. I also want to make a plan where I study for a certain amount of time and them give myself a break for a certain amount of time. By putting a time limit on how long my breaks are, I can make sure that I am on task to complete my assignments. I tend to take very long breaks and by the time I get back to studying, I have an excuse to not study because of other commitments. In order to increase productivity in school tasks, it is critical to limit outside distractions and create the best possible environment to facilitate studying. By testing out different methods for reducing distractions, one can figure out the best study routine in order to succeed.
In this module, communication and collaboration online was a big focus. When communicating online, it is important to decide what is appropriate to post. The internet is used and accessed by many and can be permanent in regards to what is being posted. The module talks about a term called “netiquette”. Netiquette is defined as etiquette for the internet. Similarly to etiquette, netiquette is the acceptable way of communicating online. It is important to consider your online presence because your digital footprint follows you and could shape your reputation. This etiquette includes all social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. An important aspect of netiquette is to avoid public arguments. This was talked about in the lecture on 4 as Julie Spira (CEO of Social Media and More)
explained netiquette and what to avoid when posting online. Controversial and argument posts might not reflect your best self and you might not want to see those posts later. I already implement netiquette in anything that I post online whether that be on private social media accounts or for school reasons. I always remind myself that if I see this post 10 years form now, am I gonna be proud of it and glad its on the internet or am I going to regret it. By putting my mind in that mindset, I can make good decisions about my online presence. I also keep in mind that when communicating online in the form of written posts, the audience or reader cannot hear the tone of voice that I am using. When posting online, I need to work on my tone in writing to make sure I am portraying the right tone. Online etiquette is an important aspect of communicating and collaborating.
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