For me, I found the most useful thing in this module to be “How to Avoid Distractions and Stay Focused While Studying”. This was very helpful and informative for me since it can often be very challenging to sit yourself down and try to review your materials. The first tip they mentioned is to use time management apps to help you stay on track on your work as well as off your phone. These apps will notify you when it senses you are using your phone when you set aside time to study, which will force you to put your phone down and finish your work. The next tip they mentioned is to set up two separate accounts on your computer; one for school work and another for socializing and free time. Anytime you are studying, you should use the account designated to your studies so you don’t receive any unwanted notification or distractions that will cause you to become unfocused. The next tip is to work in a clean and organized space so little objects can’t cause any distractions. Another useful tip they mentioned is to put your thoughts on paper, to lessen your chances of forgetting anything since it is easy for things to slip off your mind. The last tip they mention is to listen to music to eliminate any background noise. They suggest listening to soothing songs that promote deep thought and focus. 

During this week’s module, the thing I found to be most useful to me was the tips on how to properly write an academic paper successfully. For me personally, writing papers can be quite challenging as my thoughts are often hard to organize and express clearly. The outline given to us from the University of Manitoba clearly addresses how to organize your paper using the proper format. The first step to beginning a paper is to choose a topic to write about. If possible, you should pick a topic that interests you, since you will be focusing on it. After deciding on a writing topic, you should consult with your professor or instructor to make sure your topic is acceptable and you have a clear understanding of the assignments requirements. The next step is to create a schedule for yourself to follow with included deadlines. In this step you will complete the main parts of your research. While completing your research you will have to find trustworthy and informational sources about your topic. It is important to make sure the articles you pick from have strong credibility. After reviewing your sources, you will then ask yourself questions to guide your reading and note-taking. Creating guided questions will help you to stay focused on only the information needed to complete the papers prompts. After this, you will develop a strong thesis statement that follows with the research and questions you have found/created, and create a rough draft of your paper. After working on your paper for some time, you will then revise your work to make sure your points, facts, and arguments are as strong as possible.

In my personal opinion, the most useful thing I learned throughout this module is how to get the most out of studying and putting principles of learning into proper practice. This video was useful because it explained to me how to study effectively in college, and getting the most out of my time spent on studies. While studying, there is two types of processing: shallow processing and deep processing. Shallow processing is focusing on meaningless and superficial aspects. Deep processing is focusing on the meanings and implications of the material, which leads to connected thinking and learning. Good study strategies make you process information at a deep and meaningful level, focusing on comprehension. According to Dr. Stephen Chew, there are three research-based strategies to help achieve deeper processing while reading. The first strategy is question generation. After reading a chapter of material, you should create questions about the information you have just learned. Creating questions allows you compare and contrast information, analyze, and make stronger connections to the material. The second strategy is creating a concept map of the topics ideas. This allows you to link ideas and concepts together in order to create a better overall understanding. The third strategy is to practice retrieving and using the newly learned information in ways that your instructors expect you to be able to do. This means to practice the material without referring to your notes or books, and then to apply the information as expected by your teacher. These tips have helped me to improve my study habits while also making them more useful and beneficial.  

Throughout this module, there were many useful tips and tricks to help me improve with online learning and just new information in general. For me personally, I have a hard time remembering lots of information at once. It takes longer for my brain to process large amounts of material at a time. After reading the article “9 Types of Mnemonics to Improve your Memory”, I was stunned by the amount of tips that could help me to improve what I remember! One tip that I have been using and has found it to be very helpful is the chunking strategy. This strategy basically breaks down bigger things into smaller ones, so your brain can group parts of it together in order to remember all the information! Another strategy from this article that I found to be useful is the letter and word strategy. Creating acronyms and acrostics have made memorizing information so much easier because it allows your brain to memorize only one word, rather than a bunch of different words. Another video that I found to be very informative and helpful is the “Scientifically Proven Best Ways to Study”. From this, I have learned that exercising before studying is the best way to get the most out of your time spent studying. The reason for this is because having good blood flow to the brain creates a longer attention span, smoother information processing, and stronger problem solving. In the future before big exams or graded assignments, I am going to engage in some physical activity to ensure my blood flow to the brain is as strong as possible!

In my opinion, the most useful thing I learned throughout this module was the many tips we were taught to fight the urge of procrastinating. One specific tip I obtained from this module was the 10 minute rule. This method of studying and doing work allows you to break up larger assignments or tasks into 10 minute intervals. I find this to be extremely helpful because it allows you to focus on certain parts of the assignment without getting overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be completed. It also helps me to focus more and have a better understanding of the information regarding certain assignments. I also like how after each 10 minute interval, you can relax and allow your brain to digest and process the information being addressed. I have already put this trick into practice and I noticed that overall, I felt much more concentrated on my work since I was able to dedicate a certain amount of time to each particular part of the assignment. Having the breaks every 10 minutes also helped me to keep working because I was able to get up and move around for a little, and then continue on with my work so I did not feel bored or trapped while completing my work.

What is the most useful thing I learned in this module? 

What advice would I give to students (or working professionals), based on what I’ve experienced during this module?

  • For me personally, I felt that all the material taught throughout this module was very informative and useful to consider throughout my academic career. If I needed to pick one specific thing I learned that I find to be the most useful would be the tips on how to properly email your professors. Tips such as making the letter formal and signing your name at the end of the email is crucial, since us as students don’t realize how many students they teach. Another tip I learned was to proofread your letter before sending it, since it can be very easy to make mistakes and typos. These two tips can really change the way your professor views you, and projects a strong, professional impression. From what I learned, I would pass this advice on to other students and working professionals since the same circumstances apply to employees and their bosses, or people with higher positions. They have numerous people working for them and will often times do not know you by name or personally. It is also always important to come off as educated and professional, so making sure your email is clear and coherent is extremely important in both the workplace and educational environments.