Final Reflection

All good things must come to an end unfortunately. As this course comes to an end, I have definitely learned a lot about myself and became a better student. Each module was fresh, new, exciting and helpful which I believe that any student would benefit greatly from.

At the beginning of the course, I thought I was a fairly productive student. As each new module was introduced, my interest kept peaking. It is amazing how there are so many little things that we can do to improve ourselves. Personally, the most eye-opening portion of this course was the time-tracking section. When it was time to document how I spent my days, I realized how much time I was actually wasting. It was sort of frightening at first however we can always improve ourselves once we realize where the problem lies. I have since then cut out a lot of the time I spend on social media and watching television. Now I use that time to improve myself, whether it may be reading, writing, completing more assignments or studying. It has definitely made a difference this semester.

Moreover, many little skills that we believe that we are good at, we can actually get better at. How can you study more effectively? How can you research more efficiently? How do keep track of your assignments? Is there anything that you can do to be a more productive student? The answers will vary depending but for me, I learned how I can be a better note taker and become more organized with the use of technology. I discovered better research methods using search statements and utilizing other search engines besides google. I now use a calendar that will keep track and remind me when my assignments are due. These are just a few ways that I have changed the way I work now.

Not only do you improve as a student, but you improve as a person overall. Many of the skills are extremely effective in the real world. We need to learn how to manage time better and be more organized. It will make life much easier. In addition to being able to thoroughly convey an idea or topic. If we need to learn something new, we should know how to do proper research to better familiarize ourself with the subject at hand.

Throughout this course, I have learned a lot about myself and have made adjustments in order to improve my character. One thing I realized, as a student I am not using all the resources that are available to me which includes, professors, the library, TA’s, office hours and more. I am being provided all these options to be successful but I am not using them. I do not talk to a lot of fellow classmates but if I do, we can create groups to study and do better in the class. I can using my time more wisely which I am doing now and I spend every week reflecting on what I’ve done. I am happy with the progress I have made throughout this semester and this course has definitely aided me greatly.

In conclusion, students and individuals in general, should realize that this technological age has made information more accessible, easy to find, research, learn and share and explore our interests. Students in university are given many resources to help them throughout their years in college. So we must learn to use what is readily available to us. Also we need to learn to analyze our daily patterns to see if we are making the most out of our days. Procrastination is affects all of us so we must learn how to discipline ourselves to avoid it. I am grateful for all the information that has been shared throughout this course and will definitely continue to practice the skills i’ve learned here throughout my life.

Learning To Search – Module 6

The internet provides everyone with tons of resources which are free to use. Despite having pools of data provided to us, many times we still struggle to find proper or helpful answers to our questions. This module has definitely helped in the way that I conduct my research on some topic.

There are two things that that definitely stood out to me as a strategy for searching. Firstly, search statements is something knew that I learned about. It is very simple yet extremely effective.  Slide 14 talks about the using of boolean logic, for instance, words such as “and”, “or” and “not” can help to focus your findings in what you are looking for. Also, placing an asterisk at the end of a word will provide answers for the different variations of it. I found this extremely interesting.

In addition, asking the proper questions when doing research can be hard. This module revealed the major difference between regular questions and research questions. Research questions will be more effective and offer more focused results. We want the best answers possible so the only way to do that is to ask the best questions.

In conclusion, searching is also a simple skill that most students, including myself, have trouble with. Usually this causes lots of time to be wasted and produces poor outcomes. If we can learn how to research better, we will become more efficient and productive individuals as a whole.

Effective Note Taking – Module 5

Note taking is a skill that I think most students can improve on, including myself. Sometimes we think that just listening class is beneficial enough to succeed. However, note taking forces you to pay attention and listen carefully to what the professor’s lecture is about. You learn to pick out the main points, that way when it is time to take a test or exam, you don’t do a lot of unnecessary studying.

On slide 9 of the lecture, it talks about technology for effective note taking. I use an app called Notability which is similar to OneNote. It helps me organize my notes for different classes, store back ups and share notes to friends as well. Having some form of technology also where I can keep slides or presentation because I can keep everything in one place.

Something interesting from the workshop mentioned learning to read the professor’s body language. This could be extremely vital when taking notes because it is impossible to write down everything the professor says. This could assist you in picking out the important points of a lecture and do less writing as well.

In conclusion, many students, including myself at times, do not realize how beneficial taking good notes could be. If you just listen to lectures in class, there is a high probability that you may forget certain parts very quickly. Sometimes I am surprised when I look back on the notes because certain stuff weren’t in the slides and I would not have remembered. Good notes definitely can help individuals to become good students and just more productive individuals overall.

Educational Videos – Module 5

Algorithms and Data Structures are some fundamental parts of Computer Science. It is fun to see how we can represent values in new ways, with data structures, that can help us solve problems within this field. In addition to that, algorithms are the set of rules we utilize to perform these calculations and come up with solutions.

This video gives a quick explanation on max heap and how heap sorting works. Essentially after this sorting algorithms is completed, the values will be in order from least to greatest. What I find interesting about it is that the data is ordered ordered in a specific way so that when you start to remove the values if done correctly.

This concept was taught along with a few other sorting algorithms. I found it fascinating that there are multiple techniques that work to accomplish the same goal. As a result, I decided to do some of my own research on what makes each one different. Despite these methods accomplishing the same purpose, certain implementations are more efficient than others. In addition, they differ in the amount of space they use in memory, time to execute and cost of implementation.

Although not everyone majors in Computer Science, we always perform some sort of algorithms in our day to day lives. For instance, putting together a puzzle, locating someone’s name or number in a directory or finding the quickest path to get to your destination. Computer Science works to put these ideas into code that a computer are execute.

Study Effectively – Module 4

Sometimes, I don’t think we as students realize how many resources there are offered for free that can help us to succeed. For instance, schools offer office hours, writing centers, tutoring services and other means however most of us do not use them. In this module I’ve discovered multiple websites and programs that can help me become a more productive student.

One thing from this module that really caught my attention were MindMaps. This tool is so simple yet extremely effective. It is perfect when trying to organize ideas and see how they may interconnect with one another. This is very helpful when trying to lay out thoughts about topics, presentations, paper or any other projects. According to slide 18, effective study tools can demonstrate relations between concepts, and being able to have a visualization using mind maps of how things will relate with one another is truly helpful.

Many students only study by reading their textbooks and notes. Although this is one means of reviewing, sometimes it is simply not very productive. For some, it is boring and feels like a chore. I would tell students to discover a fun and interactive way to study. Mind maps are one of the many options available. Trying to teach and explain concepts to another person could also be an exciting way. We should try not see studying as a chore but as a fun activity.

 

Module 3 – Communication is Key

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Many conflicts arise due to a lack of proper communication. Normally we tend to believe that we always express ourselves and our ideas in a way so that everyone is able to understand. However, that is not always the case. This topic in this module really stood out to me because it is something that is important in our day to day tasks. Communication is such a simple yet very effective skill that not everyone is good at. Sometimes we forget to mention something, tend to be lazy or refuse to respond when others try to reach out to us which causes many conflicts within a group. As a result, it makes resolving problems and finding possible solutions becomes unnecessarily difficult.

Recently in my French class, we were given a group project to write a script for a roleplay scene we will be acting out eventually. From slide 25, it talks about using Google Docs which can help groups collaborate together on files. Each member will be able to access, upload, edit and share the files. We have begun using this and now we have become much more productive.

The main advice I would offer to students is to find ways to collaborate with one another when you have to work in groups. The most successful groups are those that communicate any problems that arise or any mistakes they may have made. You and everyone else will benefit. Also, don’t be afraid to share your ideas or even help someone who is struggling. Communication will always be the difference between a successful group and a mediocre one.