I don’t think my knowledge and skills changed much from the beginning of the course to the end, so much as my familiarity or interest in it. Before this course, if you asked pointed questions about the material: about searching vs research, active listening and note-taking, I could have answered it. But it wouldn’t have meant anything to me. It wouldn’t relate to anything else. After taking this course, I understand those things are pretty useful when it comes to OSU.
I would say the most useful thing I’ve learned from 1159 would have to be from the second module: from College Info Geek, about dealing with lazy group members. It’s a situation everyone’s been caught in usually at least once from both sides. His idea of assigning roles immediately and confirming it right away is brilliant. Truly. He’s right on the nose about people feeling more invested in it. If I haven’t said a word or much less looked my group in the eyes, I’m going to care a lot less about what they think of me. I also agree with getting personal information- specifically cell ones. No one my age doesn’t care their cell phone around the majority of the time. He recommends group based communication tools but those require going out of your way and are usually easier to ignore than 15 missed calls/texts. Having those previously assigned checkpoints will also definitely help. It’s a shame I saw this video in basically my last semester.
Through the time tracking assignment, I learned I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like, I work on school significantly less than my peers and have less leisure time. I explained it away by saying it was a school heavy week but that’s what most of my weeks looked like after mid October. I usually stick to 9HR of sleep a night, but these past months it’s been more like 8 when I’m lucky. I’ve always spent less time on school than my peers because of my ability to hyperfocus, but it really brought it to light having my boyfriend gape at me because of my measly 25.5 schoolwork (on a midterm week).
Something I’ve applied from this class came from the Google tasks/calendar. It’s something I already was doing but I modified it a little. Since I’ve started doing it my grades have improved significantly and it’s minimal effort. At the beginning of the semester I make a list of all my class assignments and exam dates. All of it in chronological order together, not separated by classes. That way you have just one sheet to glance at when you need to know what needs done. For exams I put a reminder two weeks before then a week before. I schedule it in like an assignment, ‘exam review’. For big assignments I look at the description and break it into the major parts. It help for two reasons: one when I actually have to do it I’m not totally unfamiliar with it doing it at the last second, and second it’s easy to do it in chunks, it’s not a project so much as a series of related assignments. I like to do a paper version first, then month by month add in into my online calendar so I know what’s coming up.
My parting words of advice to readers would be: make sure you know what you want out of your education. For maximizing your ability to balance school and the rest of your life (work, friends, relationships, family)- learn to manage your time. Figure out what you actually do vs what you want to be doing with your time. Maintain your health, don’t sacrifice sleep for school, but don’t excuse your TV addiction by saying it’s self-care. What you get out of it depends what you put into it. You can’t get great grades without putting in a significant effort.
One thing I’ve already put into practice was mentioned in NancyWhooo’s video on slide 6, is to have some enthusiasm about your paper. Honestly just put that into practice for any and all assignments. It doesn’t even have to be enthusiasm so much as just like momentum. Once I get the ball rolling on any assignment it’s a breeze to finish. But starting is the worst thing ever. I’ve found that by actually looking things up a little beforehand makes it a lot easier to start since, “Oh I remember that.”
Nancy also had some useful buzz (transition) phrases. I also agree with her idea of just keep writing. Whenever I’m on a time constraint I have google docs open and everything from my articles pasted onto the page for reference so I don’t have to keep flipping. There is usually no order/structure to my writing, I just use everything I wanted to discuss, it’s basically a stream of consciousness about the topic. Then I move the sentences around and give the paper an actual structure. Usually there isn’t much in my intro, and nothing in the conclusion. Then I go in and change any casual or laymen terms into more formal language and add in those transition phrases I mentioned earlier. Usually at that point the body of the paper is done, or very close to it. Then I finish the body, add in whatever might be missing (another example, a counter point etc) and read it. Then I write the introduction since I know what exactly I’m giving the reader a taste of. Then I read over it once more, and see what I “learned” if it was my first read and put that in the conclusion.
One thing I was confused about was it used academic and research papers as interchangeable terms but I’ve always held them as totally different things. One thing I could really relate to was the “How not to search”, slide 8, from Confessions of a Shopaholic. Sometimes when I have to write a paper when I’m not sure the direction I want to go I have done the exact same thing. There’s definitely more effective ways to go about it but it’ll do in a pinch. The best way is to find other papers covering the same topic and see what their direction was.
The most useful thing I learned in this module was about the note taking. I’ve always taken notes about the same: listen actively, tune out occasionally, borrow notes to fill in gaps and then rewrite them and summarize them until I have a “cheat sheet” I can rewrite from memory onto the exam. So it’s like an actual study hack. The video from slide 7 “Episode 3: Taking Notes in the Classroom” reminded me of 5th grade when I learned about Cornell notes. I thought it was time consuming, useless, and annoying back then. Now I just think it’s time consuming. I can see the value the value of summarizing the lecture (especially if it’s a day or two later so you have to reread the material) and recognizing/labeling the headers quickly. One specific example of something from this module I already put into practice is outline notes. That’s the way I’ve always taken notes. It’s worked very well for me, but that might be survivorship bias or just a result of me rewriting them so many times.
Some ideas I could put into practice would be to consider what type of notes to take depending on the type of class. Some teachers just talk and don’t put ppts online or provide any kind of notes or support so typing is really the only option available. For teachers who do put their notes up, just writing what they cover is what’s worked best for me in the past. Actually, reviewing the online material typing it out then printing it with double spacing and large margins for me to write the teachers notes is what I believe works best then, then you can reorganize in the correct order and hand write it all out.
I found the ideas for Interacting With Your Online Readings from slide 6 very useful, I already had a few of them in play. When I review, usually right before class so I’m not walking in blind, I like to notice how the teacher joined/followed the big ideas or main teachings. It makes it a little easier when during the test and blanking about a specific subject I can go, oh yeah she taught it after XYZ when she was discussing ABC. I like quizzing myself when I’m cramming (which doesn’t always have to be last minute), but not when I’m studying. I like my studying to be solely about understanding. I’m not a huge fan of mneumonic devices, I like creating stories more. So say you need to memorize a menu: I would go and give each food item a funnier more memorable image and think up a little screenshot of how the 3 interact. So if it’s sausages and cheerios as entrees (not a menu I’d want to peruse) I’d picture a dachshund in buns on fire, and a cheer squad doing the scorpion on plates as my 2 options. It seems stupid and time wasting but it’s really helped me especially in my anatomy classes, all the muscles can seem really arbitrary and sound ridiculous (ex. mylohyoid vs stylohyoid) but making them into a scene can help. And as for drawing symbols, that’s never really helped me but I like to draw out some of my funny scenarios.
I found the video from College Geek about 5 ways to build focus and concentrate particularly interesting. My boyfriend has always studied by having youtube videos in the background. He actually can’t study without it. But he takes significantly longer than I do. When I learned about the cognitive switching penalty it explained a lot. Of course having that background distracts you. Any time you pay even a little attention to it you will lose your progress or current state in your other task and have to refresh after the moment has passed.
I’m not sure about usefulness, but the most interesting thing was the TED talk about procrastination-“Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” by Tim Urban in slide 8. Like I’ve mentioned in most of our assignments, I work 3 jobs. And lately my procrastination has kind of disappeared. I wasn’t really sure how or why but I’ve appreciated it. But thanks to Tim, I realized it’s because the Panic monster is constantly present in my life. For me, my panic monster doesn’t care about deadlines- he’s all about embarrassment. And with graduation just months away, and my family and boyfriend’s family already making plans for the day I’m petrified of it not happening so that’s why I’m suddenly so effective- it’s all the rational decision maker. It’s an incredibly effective metaphor.
As I mentioned in my post, something from the module I already put into practice is planing everything out. My life is covered in lists. But my main one is my planner. EVERYTHING goes in there from dentist appointments, to review an assignment prompt, to buying new underwear, to checking in with my best friends. My brain isn’t always on so when it’s not I gotta find a way to connect with the real world. It’s been very useful I don’t know why I’ve never been able to keep up with one before. I went through a planner every year since middle school and stopped using it around October because I was bored of it. This year it was too important. I would like to put the idea Tim mentioned about the life calendar. A lot of times I’m like just gotta get through this week and I’ll be done. I should remember to go big picture. I don’t have that many weeks to be frank.
I would tell students to just know what they’re doing with their life. If you know you’re a procrastinator, make sure your Panic Monster knows when to come out. And make sure you don’t spend your whole life in panic, enjoy the small moments too.
Take a second to look at the beautiful golden leaves or smile at that fat baby.
Module 2 covered various subjects such as netiquette, group work, and blogs.
The most useful thing I learned in this module was from slide 14, the video about lazy group members by College Info Geek. He mentioned preventative measures but poignantly realized that when it comes down to it the only good option is to bite the bullet and do their work for them. To be frank, we’ve all been in both positions. Working with a burnt-out sixth year who doesn’t care about his last credits to graduate was the opposite of fun but so was juggling a theater project work worth 10pts vs a Spanish midterm with 30% of your grade. Oh was that one just me?
Moving forward, one specific example from this module that I already put into practice (and have for the past few years) is always being formal in my emails to professors. A lot of my friends think it’s funny but there’s no possible negative outcome and it takes at most a minute to formalize my language/spell-check/double check credentials (doctorate?) to a) give the professor the respect they worked and paid for (think about your own student loans) and b)to make a good impression. I’d like to start looking into blogs more I’ve honestly never had a reason to check anyone’s out.
The best advice I have for students based on information from this module is a reiteration from College Info Geeks. The best way to deal with group projects with with preventative measures: in your first meeting assign responsibilities (including group leader who gets the smallest share of work since they have to deal with everyone else) soft due dates and get everyones phone number and personal and school emails then start a group chat reiterating that. But if that doesn’t work, then get to cranking out their share- chances are they aren’t.