The most useful thing that I learned in this module was using your environment as your motivator. I had never really thought about this in depth before, but I think it is very relevant in everyone’s learning style. I know, for me, that I cannot focus in an environment where people are talking or where there is any noise. If there is any type of noise when I am trying to study then I have to turn on instrumental music to block out the background noise. I found that this solution works well, but I can concentrate a lot better in complete silence. I’ve also learned that the type of environment that I study in is very important in enhancing my learning. Like mentioned in the module, it is necessary to find a quiet place to study and to eliminate outside distractions. I found that I perform best in the library when I am by myself, rather than when I go “study” with my friends. Sometimes my friends often serve as a distractor because I tend to talk to them more than I am actually studying. Another important part of this module that I found helpful was the use of apps to help eliminate distractions because I had never thought about using one before. I can also put all of these things to use in my future classes because I still have many years of college left and will always have topics to study. I’m also going to try and use an app, in the future, to help take away outside distractions and see if it helps me. Overall, I found all of the lessons in this module to be very beneficial and I am excited to put these to use.
The most useful thing I learned in this module was the difference between searching and researching. As said in the lesson, searching implies a one-word or sentence response to a question, or in other words, it is not an open-ended question. When you ask a research question there should not be a right or wrong answer, but rather the freedom to try and find the answer. Without having an open-ended question, there is not room for interpretations or arguments around your research topic. This was one of the things I struggled with most in my english class last year. Our class was centered around a research question/topic that we, ultimately, had to write a decent sized paper on. At first, the dreaded words “research paper” intimidated me and of course, like most people starting out, I “researched” a simple question that gave me a one sentence answer. I wondered why I was struggling so much more than other people in my class but then I realized I was not going about this paper in the right way. I eventually learned what I was supposed to do, but my research would’ve been a lot more efficient if I asked a research question from the start. So, learning more about research and research questions in this module will greatly help me in the future because I will know what to do when I first start a research paper next time. I enjoyed learning about this topic and all the other lessons in this module and will use them in my classes.
The most useful thing I learned in this module was the benefits to paper/writing your notes vs. typing your notes. When you type your notes you do not retain the information as well because you are mindlessly typing and not realizing what you are typing. From personal experience I find this to be very true because in the past when I’ve typed my notes I did worse on tests because it was like I was re-learning my notes, instead of reviewing/studying. But, when I write my notes by hand I feel a stronger connection to my notes and I feel that I better retain what I just learned. I also found the information about writing my notes on the iPad to be super beneficial, as well. Like mentioned in the module, when you are writing your notes on the iPad you can use the split screen tool to see your textbook, lecture slides, or research all at once. This tool is very helpful so you do not have to keep flipping pages back and forth in order to write your notes. Flipping back and forth between a paper notebook and a textbook can be frustrating because you often lose your place in the reading. Although this is can be a struggle, I do find that handwriting my notes on paper when I am in a lecture is the most beneficial strategy for my learning style because then I am processing the notes while I am writing them. Overall, I found all of the lessons in this module to be very helpful in enhancing my learning and improving my note-taking skills.
The most useful thing that I learned in this module was the importance of active reading when going through my assigned textbook readings or other assignments. Before learning about this, I’d usually skim the readings and hope that I had retained some of the information that I was “reading.” Through this module I learned that it is very important to highlight key terms and to summarize what you just read to make sure you actually understood what you read. I am really going to try and incorporate some of these new methods the next time I have an assigned reading. Something from this module that I already put into practice is eliminating the occurrence of multitasking when trying to complete assignments and when studying. I learned that it is really hard for me to listen to music and study. When I listen to music while studying I feel like it takes away from the material at hand because I end up singing along to the music or end up writing the words that I am listening to. To solve this problem I have been listening to classical music if I really want to listen to music, or I’ve just been eliminating music all together when I am trying to study. Overall, I really enjoyed learning about new ways to improve my reading skills and will use these strategies in the future.
Two of the most useful things that I learned from this module was that it is important to limit distractions and set aside certain times of the day for completing assignments. I need to be better about putting my phone in another room when I am trying to complete assignments because then I will not be tempted to check my phone. I love the saying “out of sight, out of mind” because I think that that saying is very fitting, in regards to my phone usage. As long as I do not have the temptation next to me than I will not want to go on it as much. Also, blocking off certain hours of each day will be very beneficial for improving my time management skills. I have already started implementing this into my daily life with my planner. I’ve been setting aside 30 minutes or so on a Sunday night to plan out my assignments for the upcoming week. Using this strategy has immensely helped my time management skills because now I know how much time I need to devote to each class everyday. I’ve also started devoting an hour or so in the day to “flex” time so I can complete any assignments given to me on that certain day, or ones that were not known about beforehand. This week’s module lesson was very beneficial and I know that it will greatly improve my time management skills.
One of the most useful things that I learned in this module was that no one can see or hear you behind a screen and that you should always avoid leaving words up to interpretation. As said in the module, if you use capital letters it translates as yelling, and if you use slang it makes you seem unprofessional, while also being hard to interpret. Another useful thing that I learned in that part of the module was that you should be as simple as possible, while giving context so others know what you are talking about. A third thing that I learned in this module was the importance of email etiquette. Using proper email etiquette when sending a message to professors is one of the most beneficial things to know because we are constantly in communication with our professors to schedule out of class meetings and to meet for office hours. If you do not use proper email etiquette when talking to professors then they probably won’t respond or will not take you seriously. Professors have busy lives and they probably do not want to spend it decoding emails from students. No matter what email you are sending you should still use proper etiquette out of respect and simplicity. All of the things I learned in this module can further be applied to my future because they apply to more than just college life.
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