Online Learning Reflection

There are an expansive amount of online tools and resources to help make studying and learning more interactive. There is no need to feel stressed and overwhelmed when one can access the technology of today. Whether it is something as simple as being aware of the resources offered by my university, one’s knowledge of online tools and resources can help make the college, and then professional experience much easier. Communicating and collaborating over the web proves to be an extremely beneficial skill to learn. This includes the proper netiquette to follow in emails or web chat. It also includes online resources that help foster collaboration such as Google Docs where everyone can edit a project and Trello, an online tool that allows group members or co-workers to set up projects, assign tasks, and communicate live. There are also web-enhanced studying resources such as Purdue Online Writing Lab which provides citing and research tips. Study Stack Flashcards provides a quick study aid to learn important concepts.

When it comes to listening and viewing on the web, I learned that podcasts and educational videos can be helpful supplements to professors’ lectures. I also learned that how one takes notes can be extremely beneficial to the learning process. The Cornell Notetaking Method allows one to fully engage the topic and then reflect on its application and summary. When I need more clarification on a subject, I can search YouTube for educational videos.  Finally, I found the module on searching and researching to be beneficial in how to most effectively research a topic and analyze the quality of my sources. It can be a great timesaver to learn how to search with limits and narrow down my results to ones that best reflect my topic of interest. All of these online tools and resources have proven to be necessary for the most efficient and effective way of learning in college.  Furthermore, these skills and strategies can be transferred into the professional world when needing to research, communicate, collaborate, and gain more insight into a subject.

One of the most beneficial aspects of this course has been the reflection on my studying behaviors and habits. The self-evaluation tests I took to analyze my time management and procrastination levels revealed many areas needing improvement. By first becoming aware, and then learning the necessary skills, I am able to make changes. Referring and keeping to a schedule daily helps me to prioritize my assignments and stay on task. Also, I have found it helpful to break up a large project working on it every day rather than leaving it for one day. This prevents me from feeling stressed out or overwhelmed and thus, I procrastinate less. I also learned that when I reward myself with free time after completing a scheduled task, I feel more motivation to stick to my plan.

The most meaningful experience in this course for me has been the process of self-reflection. I previously lacked the ability to prioritize and visualize my plan of action; however, I now am able to sync my calendar to my phone and stay connected with due dates and my to-do list. As I approach graduation, I will continue to use my scheduling skills along with all the other tools I learned in order to make my professional and personal life more organized and productive.  For example when there is a work project assigned, I will look to online tools to help communicate and collaborate over the web. I can also apply the skills and knowledge of searching for sources to write and conduct research in the professional sphere of my life.

Searching and Researching Tips

This week I will discuss tips to help make searching and researching more effective and efficient. As a college student, you can become overwhelmed with a task or an assignment; however, using these tips will help alleviate some of that stress. First, it is necessary to list the goals of your research. This can be based off the prompt of your paper or the questions you must address.  It is also important to understand all the tools the internet provides to help assist your research. For example Google allows you to make an advanced search where it will limit your search results by date, website type, and language. By putting a phrase in quotations it limits your search to those exact words; placing “AND” in-between two words guarantees it will produces results with both words. These tips or “Boolean logic” help eliminate useless information and sites.  In other words, you get more precise results. The following video explains “Boolean Logic”:


Now for the topic of sources. My favorite site to use in helping to understand research papers and citing sources is: . It is important to evaluate your sources by examining three categories: reliability, quality, and utility.  The E-Learning Companion explains these categories fully posing questions to help guide in your analysis of the source (pg. 67-72). If you are writing an academic paper that needs to cite scholarly and peer reviewed sources, I suggest university libraries and Google scholar. I also suggest you again refer to Purdue Owl on how to cite sources. Many articles will have an export citation link allowing you to load the information to sites such as  By applying these tips, your research will become more focused yielding reliable, high quality sources; all of which help create a research paper that will make you proud!

Web-Enhanced Listening and Viewing Strategies

Listening to lectures and taking good notes are skills that can help make your life as a college student much easier. The first tip to understand is that you need to prepare for your classes. This means reading the required selection for that lecture and reviewing any PowerPoints that might have been posted. Once you are in class, taking notes is more than a piece of paper and copying what the professor says. I suggest you look at the following link that provides tips for listening to lectures:

In order to gain the most out of the lecture, one needs to utilize tools to better organize your notes and ideas. The Cornell system and mindmaps (discussed in a previous blog post) are two interactive ways to take notes. The following link gives an example of the Cornell system of taking notes: I suggest the Cornell system because it proves to be a great studying tool for an exam including main ideas, possible questions, and a summary. The layout allows you to focus on the main points of the lecture reducing the stress to write down every word.

Now let’s say you did not understand a concept a professor addresses in her lecture. Podcasts and educational videos serve as helpful online tools to supplement lectures. Educational videos can be found at Podcasts can be located using search engines or through iTunes. Both provide visual and audio supplements to your lectures that can help erase confusion on an academic topic. The best part of the both these tools is one can access them 24 hours a day from any device!



Educational Video: Women and Alcohol

The above video depicts seven women who suffer from alcoholism. It explores the lives of these women and how alcohol has impacted their health and well-being. All seven women discuss their reasons for drinking including wanting to fit in, wanting to be liked, and simply citing “loved how it made me feel”. The women also discuss how their drinking started as social, moved to problem drinking, and resulted in addiction. Some of the women suffered from health problems such as hepatitis and ulcers, while the other women faced consequences such as blackouts and arrests. Overall, the video brings a positive message that with proper treatment, a woman can recover, remain sober, and regain her self-worth.


This video helps me to better understand the topic concerning women and addiction. Listening to lectures and reading scholarly articles provides a wealth of information; however, this video supplements my lectures. I am able to better understand the emotional perspective of a woman alcoholic seeing her in this video compared to solely reading about it. The video also provided me with new information concerning how women are affected by alcoholism differently than men.

Web-Enhanced Reading and Study Tools

Reading online can be an extremely different experience than having a book in front of you. A couple advantages of online reading are the visuals and hyperlinks that hard-copy books cannot provide.  There are some great tips and tools I want to share to make reading online easier and more beneficial. First you must be knowledgeable of what you are expected to gain from the reading. This helps you pull out the important information as you read. For example are their certain class themes that will be illustrated by the article? As you read, it is important to write down key points, highlight, or create an outline. This ensures that you have an understanding of the reading as well as retain it.  The E-Learning Companion (2014) provides a checklist of tips before you read, while you are reading, and after you read (p.188-190). Sometimes when a student sees graphs and pictures, it is easy to skip over that part thinking it is not as important. I suggest you do not do this. It is important to spend time reviewing graphs and charts because they provide essential visual information that a professor may expect you to know.  The following link lists some great tips to help improve your intelligent reading skills online.

Next, let’s explore the extensive online study tools provided by the web. These tools allow you to organize all your class material to make studying less overwhelming. I suggest as a college student that you take advantage of any tools that make studying easier. For example for your history classes, there is a timeline study tool provided by allowing you to organize all those dates. I suggest mind maps to help you organize all the main ideas of writing  a research paper or as you read an online article. It allows you to create bubbles, then draw arrows off those bubbles color coding them and organizing them as you wish. The most helpful tool when writing a research paper is providing APA, MLA, and Chicago formatting for in-text and bibliography citation. By using mind maps and timetoast you are engaging your brain on the topic being studied helping you to retain the information. I strongly suggest exploring and utilizing all these online tools to help you be the most successful in college.

Tips for Communicating and Collaborating on the Web

There are many excellent tools that help make it easier to communicate with professors and classmates regarding projects and class topics. Let’s say that you are taking an online course and a group project is assigned. This can seem daunting at first on how to communicate and collaborate with all group members. First it is important to remember that emails should remain professional as you are not text messaging so include a subject line, describe attachments, conclude with a signature, and perhaps most importantly, don’t overanalyze.  The E-Learning Companion (2014) points out that there are no non-verbal cues so one must remember to clarify with a peer before assuming (p.175-176).

Now one might question what to write in your initial email to your group members. I suggest looking to the E-Learning Companion which offers ideas of how to introduce yourself, provide contact information, and identify group roles (p.180).  The next obstacle to overcome as an online group is how to best collaborate in creating the project. Google docs facilitates group projects allowing group members to post a PowerPoint, excel sheet, or word document so that all members can access and contribute. This saves time and headaches when trying to collaborate via the web.  Here is a video that thoroughly explains how to use Google docs.

One of the best ways to establish online relationships with your professor, classmates, and group members is through blog posts. Blog posts are a way for people to participate in meaningful discussions over the web. The E-Learning Companion mentions how “peer feedback is likely the most helpful yet underutilized tool available to students” (p.131). I suggest you read your classmates’ posts and provide insightful responses. This establishes peer relationships as well as a helpful online learning community. When writing blog posts, remember to remain professional to ensure credibility and positivity. This is called netiquette. The following article explains blogs and their importance.


Good luck in applying your communication and collaborating tips for the web!