Irony is the topic for today (not really) as I am sitting here, feeling anything but motivated to write this blog post which is meant to be about motivation strategies. I mean it. Litterally 0% of my brain wants to write this.
So here goes:
The seventh module “Keys to Motivation for Online Learning” discusses many methods of finding motivation within yourself. One of the most important topics in my eyes which is mentioned in the lesson is the importance of managing stress and emotional health. The lesson gives links to resources which can be used to aid in your efforts to maintain a healthy mental state in order to stay motivated. These resources are unfortunately a little more difficult to access than just some app on your phone. The resources listed are things like the OSU counseling services or wellness coaching. However, what all of your motivational issues boil down to is sleep. For example: I have slept at least ten hours a night for the past three nights in a row and I have never wanted to work less in my life. If we sleep too much, we can lose motivation, if we don’t sleep enough we will lose motivation. It is important to find a balance of how much sleep you are able to get and how much sleep you need. Ideally we should get eight hours a night, but this isn’t always possible because of work, school and for some students clubs and athletics. We must learn to schedule our time throughout the day in an effective manner that allows us students to get an appropriate amount of sleep as well as complete all of our work. If I could recommend anything to incoming or new college students it would be to get as much sleep as you can every night to ensure your motivation levels can remain high and your stress levels low.
Throughout the course of module 6: Searching and Researching one highly important key topic is the availability of information on the internet. As I’m sure everyone that might read this blog already knows, the internet has just about everything you could possibly ask for within it. However, there are some tools and tricks that many people don’t know about that can make the navigation of information online much simpler. One such tip which is mentioned in a video by HubSpot called “How to Search a Website” is the ability to search for information within a website without leaving the Google browser. To do this the user would type “Site:(website URL)” followed by your search query. This tip simplifies the searching process and creates a more efficient research process. Another such tip is the users ability to use “Boolean Logic”, the use of words such as “and” or “or” in order to produce more specific results within Google. The researcher would use “and” in order to search or articles relating to two key words in conjunction, or use “or” to search for two key words independently. The internet withholds a plethora of information, but so much information at the same time can almost feel overwhelming. However, If the user is smart and effectively navigates their browser it can prove to be an incredibly helpful tool.
Throughout Module Five: Web Enhanced Listening and Viewing Strategies one concept remains consistent, The importance of taking quality notes. In order to take good notes and retain the information given to the student within a lecture the student must take adequate notes. In order to take adequate notes the student must be actively listening to the instructor throughout the entirety of the lecture. In a video pithing the module we discovered that generally there are five different note taking systems which are found to work best. These five options consist of the mind map, outline, cornell, flow, and write on the slides methods. Each of these methods have their strengths and weaknesses however I find that one in particular stood out to me while reviewing the module. Because I am taking all of my notes on my computer I have a tendency to gravitate towards the outline method. To use this method the note taker will separate their notes into categories and subcategories. There will be larger more important subjects (indicated by a roman numeral, hyphen, or a capital letter on the margin) which are followed by details pertaining to the major subject (Indicated via indentation followed by some character which indicates it is a minor subject). I have found throughout my semester here at OSU that this method allows me to quickly jot down notes and then come back at the end of the lecture to fill in any missing information and format the notes into something much more organised. One piece of advice I have for my very few readers is to experiment with the various methods of note taking in order to find what works best for you if you haven’t already.
Throughout Module 4, “Web-Enhanced Reading and Study Strategies”, the most valuable thing I learned was the availability of online resources for study. In all the time I have spent studying and searching for help online (which I have to say is not as much as I’d care to admit) I never realised how vast of an array of free online learning resources there is on the internet. Now, I know you might be thinking, “Ok boomer, it’s 2019 and everything you could ever possibly imagine is on the internet” but really it took until this module for it to come to my attention how valuable of a resource this whole world wide web thing actually is. The module pointed out a whole spectrum of sites which would prove pivotal in my completion of this week’s assignments. One side of that spectrum looks like sites such as the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) that essentially have information on every kind of professional writing you could possibly be assigned. On the other side of the spectrum is study tools like GoConqr or Quizlet which are centered around helping the user grow their knowledge about various topics through the use of quizzes or flashcards. If I could advise the one or two people who might actually read this to do anything, It would be to take the time to do research on the study tools available to you. Pretty much everyone nowadays has access to the internet in some form and there is a whole wealth of digital resources which could help you with studying, writing, or anything else you could possibly encounter in your college career.
Below are the resources mentioned in todays post:
Throughout the presentation that was lesson three “Efficiency in The Digital Age” I discovered a plethora of helpful resources and links to services that I have since put into use. In the almost 20 years that I’ve been alive only one thing has remained constant; I cannot manage time to save my life. Now this might seem like something that I should have learned back in say middle school or highschool maybe, but rest assured, I did not. Ever since the early days back in elementary school I’ve stumbled through my classes only to receive passing grades due to my impeccable and counterproductive ability to do a whole week’s worth of work in one day. So here I am completing my fifth assignment of the day, all of which have been due tonight at midnight. With this little bit of backstory in mind, I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I saw that this module would be focused on solutions to the exact same problem that I have faced my entire life.
Something which I have found to be extremely valuable throughout the course of this module is the possibility to use technology as a way to promote a healthier study environment rather than as a distraction. I’ve regularly found myself falling victim to the almighty ruler and head honcho of all distractions: the Iphone. However In module Three I found a link to an application called forest. The premise of this app is that technology doesn’t need to be a distraction. This app functions almost as a game, where the goal is to grow a forest by planting seeds which can only be grown into trees by remaining focused. You plant a seed every time you set a timer at the beginning of a study session, remain within the forest app and your tree will grow. But if you leave the app to scroll through twitter or waste time messing with any other apps your tree will die. I found this to be extremely helpful because for some odd reason I really, really want to see this forest grow. I can’t explain why, but something about this application gives me a walloping desire to make this forest as thick, vast and impressive as I can.
Something which was mentioned in the presentation that I have yet to put into practice (but will be sure to start soon) is the use of a calendar. I’d like to start this by saying that I have always had access to a calendar. I have always either had a paper calendar on my wall or a calendar on my phone or computer. However, I physically cannot remember the last time that I added an event to my calendar. I never use them (and I mean never). On top of this I also routinely find myself forgetting about important events or deadlines (crazy coincidence right?). Now anyone with basic skills of deduction could realize that if I actually used the calendars I have I might end this cycle of forgetting deadlines and then cramming assignments due the day of . However I have yet to begin actually using a calendar. So this is me, William Coyne McMurry, verbally (or as verbal as a blog post can get) dedicating myself to using a calendar for once in my life.
To whomever might be reading this (hopefully at least a couple students and not just my instructor who is grading this blog post, Hi Ms Phillips!) if I could give you any advice on time management at all it would be:
1. Find a way, by whatever means necessary to create a positive and distraction free study environment. Whether is be through an app like I chose to do, or if that means just going to a local coffee shop to get work done. Find your productive space and only do work there.
2. Don’t just have a calendar, keep your calendar up to date. It will keep you from being late to that important presentation or forgetting that two-thousand word essay that’s due tomorrow.
P.S. Below is a link to the website given in the module about productivity apps and tools:
In this second module of ESEPSY the overarching topic is the use of communication and collaboration in order to be a successful online student. Though there are many useful bits of information provided throughout the lesson, the information which I found to be the most vital was that which pertained to assigning specific roles within a group project. This is something I’ve never really put into practice nor even considered to be a possibility. Although, looking at previous negative experiences in group work, it really makes perfect sense how useful this concept of specific roles could be. In the video on slide 15 of the lesson “Five Tips For Dealing With Lazy Group Members” by College Info Geek they discuss the importance of getting the group together at the start of the project and provoking a verbal commitment from each member on what tasks they will complete. This brings a sort of clarity to each group member about what needs to be done, as well as creating a sense of responsibility within each member now that they have committed themselves to a task. These roles might consist of positions like; project manager, editor, researcher, or really anything which holds a large enough importance to require all of one persons attention.
The lesson also provides links to many powerful online collaboration tools which could prove to be essential in the success of a groups work. The provided tool which I personally find to be the most useful is the google drive platform. Google drive is something I have used for the past few years in almost all of my group projects. For those who aren’t familiar, Google Drive is basically the entire microsoft suite condensed into one website which is free to use and most importantly provides an excellent work space for collaborators. All documents on google drive are stored in the cloud. This means that all stored documents can be viewed and edited by multiple people at the same time which allows the many members of a group to work on the same project at their own pace and on their own time. There are many other online collaboration resources available, however I find Google Drive to be the most useful and accessible.
I hope you all have found this post to be at least a little bit helpful, and I hope you have a great week!
P.S. The video referenced in this post can be found at the link below!