Final Reflection

The semester has come to an end and you know what that means? WINTER BREAK! But more importantly I have gained a semester full of new knowledge. ESEPSY 1159 has been an especially useful class. I have found that it has given me resources to use in my other classes and life. It’s not often a class gives you real world knowledge.

The internet is a wonderful thing. But it can also be daunting. The things you can find and learn are endless. Knowing how to find the things your looking for is so important. Take advantage of the free online databases your school gives you. Having access to scholarly peer-reviewed articles is something to never take for granted. Google is an amazing resource as well. You can use Google as a resource to find other resources! It’s like resource inception. And don’t forget the advanced search option on Google. There’s no point in going through pages on pages of links if you can just have Google narrow them down for you.

I’ve learned a lot of useful information about online learning strategies. But I’ve also learned some things about myself. I do my best learning outside of the classroom. Since I’m a reflective learner I don’t take in everything the professor says as they say it. I need to digest what they said and think about it. I find it hard to understand concepts if they aren’t put in my terms. YouTube and Google has been so helpful to me. I have been able to clarify things I don’t understand in classes. I’ve also learned I need to keep a weekly schedule. I have several different classes and I can’t remember what or when assignments are due off of the top of my head. Having a weekly checklist has been a life saver.

Time management techniques that we learned have been the most useful to me. Who would have thought it would have taken me until my senior year to finally figure out how to manage my time properly? My GPA has been so important to me this semester. I’m in the Fisher College of Business and getting a job is very competitive. In order to ensure I do my best work, I had to manage my time properly. I had to prioritize assignments, set due dates, make a schedule, and keep myself on that schedule.

Just about everything in this class will be used in my future. Nowadays people train online at their new jobs. Learning how to successfully navigate an online course will help me not be so intimidated by online training. We also learned “netiquette.” Granted, I know how to talk to professors and fellow students in a learning environment. But I have to keep in mind how I interact on social media. Now that I’m on the job hunt, I have to present myself in a manner that is appropriate. This class reminded me how important that is.

I am truly grateful this class turned from a “GPA booster” into something that actually contributed to my life.


How to Search & Research: Tips

Module 6

Research is something we have all done in just about all of our classes. For some, this can be tough. For others, it is a simple task. Here are some tips for everyone- no matter how good or bad you are at researching.

When looking at an online resource, evaluate it using these 3 things:

  1. Source reliability:
    1. Does it contain the author’s contact info?
    2. Does the author have credibility? Sometimes the website will provide a bio about them. Or you can check to see if they’ve written many scholarly articles.
    3. Have you heard of the website before? Does it have a good reputation?
    4. For scholarly research avoid blogs and wiki’s.
    5. Check for biases. If a website is sponsored by Bernie Sanders, you can assume it will have liberal bias.
    6. Check for peer reviews. Peer reviewed articles are good.
  2. Information quality:
    1. Check for broad generalizations. These usually means the accuracy should be questioned.
    2. Make sure the articles are up to date so you are getting the most accurate info possible.
    3. Make sure the facts are consistent- especially the statistics. You don’t want an article telling you that the Earth is round and square in the same article.
    4. Bad grammar and spelling is a tell-tale sign to forget that resource.
    5. Check for citations and references. This means the author isn’t afraid to be fact checked. Pulling information from multiple resources makes for a better article.
  3. Information usefulness
    1. Does the article have the info you were looking for?
    2. Is there enough detail in the article? Maybe a page isn’t enough to answer a lengthy question.
    3. Is it written for an appropriate audience? A website made for high school students may not have everything that a website written for college students contains.

Keep this list handy while researching. I have found that a mix of web and school database resources work best for me.

Good luck researching!

Web Enhanced Strategies

Module 5

Taking Notes:

  • Print out your notes before class
    • Read them over so you have an idea of what to look for
    • Don’t write what is already printed. Try to listen for things your professor is saying that is not on the notes.
  • OR don’t print them out and write them in a notebook/ on your laptop
    • I try to “save the trees” and I find that having books of powerpoints in my notebook is annoying
    • Find an effective strategy for you ( )
    • Don’t try to write down everything the professor is saying
    • Write down key words
    • Use different colors to write
    • Highlight things you find important
  • Go back over your notes after class
    • I know this might seem annoying but sometimes you get so caught up in the note taking that you really aren’t absorbing the information
    • Use this time to highlight or write comments

Find a podcast or video pertaining to the topic you learned

  • This is what I do if I can’t really catch on to what the professor is saying
  • There is someone out there who will be able to clarify things for you
  • Follow the note taking strategies from above to take notes from the podcast or video
  • Download podcasts to your phone. You can listen to it while you are eating dinner, walking to class, driving, working out, etc.

The Crisis of Credit

Module 5

I know this may seem a little boring. But to me it’s very exciting! I’m a finance major and I have learned so much about the recent recession. However, really figuring out why it happened is very complicated. I love these types of videos where there is someone speaking over illustrations. It really gets the point across. This video can help anyone (finance major or not) understand what exactly happened:

In summary:

Due to the Dot-com bust and the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001 the Federal Reserve Bank had lowered the interest rate to 1%. Then banks could access cheap credit and entered the housing market. The housing market includes homeowners, mortgage brokers and lenders. Using leverage, they started buying mortgages and creating Collateral Debt Obligations. CDOs are comprised of three kinds of mortgages assessed by rating agencies. The differently rated parts of a CDO are then sold to investors (who preferred the best rated and least risky ones).

All of this was working out great for everyone. But, eventually there were no more qualified homeowners to sell to. So what did they do? Risky sub-prime mortgages were then introduced to the market and CDOs, consisting of sub-prime mortgages, were carelessly sold to everyone. Of course, homeowners really couldn’t afford their homes and they defaulted and housing prices plummeted. Investment bankers were not able to sell or to pay back their credit anymore and the whole financial system came to a halt. In the end all parties involved went bankrupt and the homeowner’s investments became worthless.

How to Maintain Positive Relationships Online

Module 3

To some, the title of this post might seem odd or meaningless. Why would maintaining a relationship even matter online? I know I’m guilty of just floating by and doing what I’m assigned and leaving it at that. It’s important to understand that sometimes the only version of you that people know is when they read what you’ve said online. How do you make a good impression online? Well, you’re in luck! I have some tips:

  1. Try to convey your tone properly
    1. Sometimes if I’m reading something, I just assume the tone. Has your friend ever texted you and you think they’re being rude but they really aren’t? How could they have communicated better?
    2. Try incorporating emoticons (sparingly) or a “ha ha” or “lol”
  2. Spell check!
    1. We all make mistakes. But sometimes a spelling error can really hurt a grade or opportunity- imagine having a word wrong on a resume
    2. Don’t only count on spell check, make sure you reread. Spell check will tell you the spelling errors but sometimes doesn’t pick up on the wrong use of words
    1. Did it seem like I was yelling at you?
  4. Stay organized
    1. Keep a list of important emails somewhere. That way you don’t have to sift through the syllabus or old emails…or even worse….guess an email

This may all seem like common sense but all of these tips are something to keep in mind when encountering people online.

How can the web help me outside of class?

Module 4

We live in a digital world and I’m sure you have at least one class completely online. All of my classes are half online. So how do we take advantage of all of the information that is right at our finger tips? First off, clarify your purpose and focus. Do you need to manage your time better? Do you need to find a way to study better? Do you need to read more in depth on what you’re learning in a class? Once you’ve figured that out, figure out what best suits you. Maybe using online sources doesn’t help you much. My brother can only read print, therefore studying online probably wouldn’t be use to him. Perhaps finding a website where he can print what he needs would be more helpful. Once you’ve figured out what your source and what you need as a student- stick to it! The [online] world is your oyster!

Here’s an example:

I’m taking 7 classes- which means 7 syllabi….which means 7 calendars. It was impossible for me to keep track of all of my due dates. I had to go online and go to each class individually and look up the syllabus to see what was due. I needed somewhere that had all of my due dates in ones place. I found this app called WunderList- you can make different categories and add things to the list along with due dates. I have a folder for each class and I put everything that was due. There is a tab that says “week” that combines everything and tells me what is due that week. This app saved my life! There’s even a website too

Moral of the story: find what you need, seek it out, utilize that tool!