Turning the Corner

I have enjoyed the online learning strategies class because I’ve really picked up some good information to use both as a student and a mentor for the future.

As far as technology goes, I was very computer literate coming into the course. I’ve been using a computer for nearly two decades now, growing up in the infant stages of the internet, I’ve always been the one in my family to deal with “computer issues.” Having said that, I have learned about a decent number of online tools. One of which are online wikis. I was aware of their existence, and I’ve often used a “how-to-…” wiki, but wasn’t aware of their uses for collaborations on projects and the like.

Other online tools I see myself using are the youtube educational videos and some on Kahn Academy, they are good refreshers and offer a different viewpoint on concepts I learn in class. They are good for refreshers and for more in-depth explanations of concepts that I’m struggling with.

I’ve learned more of what I already assumed about myself in terms of learning styles, but I’ve also learned the depth of my procrastination woes. I learned how much I rely on the visual and active styles and how that effects the way I process information. I always knew I had that tendency, but it’s always good to see a test spell out how heavily I rely on visual cues.

I continue to seek out active expressions for studying. I explain a lot of material to students daily, and this is what helps me really nail down individual strategies. I also was informed about how I am more of a sequential learner, which makes sense. I find myself thinking, yes I know I have the tools to solve this problem, but where do I start?

As far as the procrastination goes, I really have to force myself into a rigid schedule and structure to prevent it. I think it’s more about desire and determination than anything else. I will try to work through some of the online tools to help me deal with this. The biggest help has been filling out a calendar.

My most meaningful experience was the library section. I believe the library.osu.edu website has really come a long way since I was taking classes here 3 years ago. I found it much more straightforward to use and found that there were more resources available online. This will undoubtedly be priceless information in future classes and dealing with the students I work with from day to day. They all have papers to write and need credible sources. Being able to help them navigate the process will be advantageous for me and them.

I also really got a lot out of the note-taking advice. I was amazed how much I was leaving out of my notes. Writing questions on the page, using different colors, and drawing circles, boxes and arrows around different steps has really made my notes easier to study with.

In the future, my notes will be clearer. They will have directions, arrows and use color when appropriate. I started using a red pen in conjunction with my black pen after that module. When I reviewed the material for the exam it was much clearer and easier to follow than previous notes.

I will continue to look online for alternate teachings of concepts I struggle with, and I will be confident when going to the library home page. I will also help students improve their studying, note-taking, and learning skills with the information I have used in this course.

Overall, this was a great experience and I feel I will be a better student as a result.


Source Awards

And the source award goes to… I’m sorry that was the first thing I thought of when I saw the word sources. For serious though; I actually picked up a lot of neat tricks from this module on sources. I remember writing a paper not too long ago, struggling to get through worldcat and finding sources through OSU libraries for a group project was frustrating at times. If only I knew then what I know now.

Using limiters for results is a great way to narrow your search. On OSU libraries searches you can limit things based on date published, type (journal, peer reviewed journal, book, magazine, newspaper, etc.) language and a whole host of other things. This can really help you narrow down your search. Probably the most useful tip I learned was that if a book was only available in text, you can actually request the library to scan in the pages you need and get it through interlibrary loan! Article Express allows you to input as much information about the source you’re looking for and even allows you to write a note to the librarian. That’s pretty useful and somewhat amazing to me.

The google scholar choices also intrigued me. It’s convenient to know that you can search OSU libraries through it, and worldcat as well. I also enjoyed the tip that by using advanced searches on google you can limit results by type of website (.gov or .edu for instance) and this time I tried solidifying some of the boolean logic search tricks as well. I have to remember that the dash can be used to omit terms, basically acting as a minus sign, instead of a hyphen.

Overall this was probably my favorite and most useful module yet. I thought I was pretty good at searching the web, until I realized that there are several tricks that I wasn’t aware of.

Online Learning Strategies

With more and more ways to learn online, traditional school can be supplemented through online lessons as well. What I really liked were some of the specific sites such as Kahn Academy, academicearth.org and utubersity.com Those sites offer an opportunity to learn for the sake of learning, or to supplement current courses. I have often searched youtube for a video on a specific topic that I’m, struggling with or as a way to see a concept from a different angle. The ability to pause videos and rewind them also helps if you don’t understand or are taking notes on the videos themselves. I’ve played parts of videos several times over to make sure I understand the concept completely.

I also found that the note-taking section helped me see a few new ways to organize my notes and thoughts. It allowed me to see how I can make them more useful and easier to study/recall. My note taking skills are pretty good at this point, but can always be improved upon. Using more shorthand would likely increase the amount of material I can squeeze on a page and help me condense the information in my head.  I have already become familiar with writing questions for myself as I take notes, but the Cornell method could really increase the quality of my notes.

Overall this Module was a good reminder of the resources available for studying and note-taking. I look forward to putting these strategies into practice.

Notes on Frames and Machines

This video is actually too complex to completely detail in one paragraph. I will, however, give a brief overview of what he’s discussing. In this video he’s describing how to calculate the loads on a frame. A frame is different from a truss due to the fact that it has forces applied on it at places other than the pins. It also has members that are NOT two-force members. By removing each piece and drawing separate free body diagrams, we can figure out the unknowns by isolating each piece and eliminating unknowns one-by-one. He will use another recently revealed technique, the method of sections, to complete the problem in the next video.

This video helps me better understand the topic because he walks me through another problem that is more complex than the examples that we have gone over in class thus far. By showing me a more complex problem, it expands my understanding and helps me prepare for other problems that may be similar. Also it reveals to me a slightly different method than I have learned thus far. It’s always good to learn things in more than one setting and from different sources, as long as the information is valid and correct.


Collaboration and Online Relationships

In the 21st century it has become increasingly important to be able to properly represent yourself online. As a student, we have to think about the audience we addressing with each trip into cyberspace. In this post, I will focus on “professional” relationships, meaning, relationships with professors, and other classmates online. This will exclude social media and friendships with classmates.

With OSU’s Carmen online class system, classes are increasingly using discussion posts, and while more students are working, office hours are harder and harder to get to. Because of these factors, it is important to learn how to appropriately communicate through email and discussions. I have found great success in emailing professors by doing a few things. One of them is including the course title and topic in the subject line. First state who you are, and what section you are in, followed by your question or concern. Always thank the instructor for their time, and leave a professional signature including your name, dot number, and email address at a minimum.

I like that there are more and more ways to collaborate online. The wikis seem like a great way for multiple people to collaborate over long distances. I have heard people use the term, but was not aware how simple they are to use. Also, I will admit that I don’t much care for Ohio State’s discussion board set-up. It seems odd to me that you can’t save anything and the spell check isn’t automatic. For this reason, I often type out my discussion in Microsoft Word, and paste it into the discussion post window. This allows me to both save my work on my computer if there are any computer malfunctions, and allows for better spelling and grammar checking. I have noticed one particular instructor who has poor grammar, and it drives me crazy!

Also, for emails to professors or posts for classmates, I have often written a draft to blow off steam and quickly deleted it. The trick is not to put their actual email address in the window. This allows me to both express how I feel and not risk an email written hastily and based on emotion that may have negative repercussions. I have already learned a lot about online etiquette and this module has offered me insight into new concepts and a good refresher on positive habits.