This class has taught me a lot of useful information on how to successfully manage my time and be a more efficient student.  I learned many new online tools and resources that I can utilize to help me with school. One of the module assignments had us look for and write about 5 online web tools which I found really helpful because I was stuck using the same online tools and through that module and looking at the students’ posts I was able to find better web tools than what I had been using. I also learned the many resources OSU has to offer, some of which I didn’t even know about. I also learned better ways of using search engines such as Google to gain better results. This course really showed me how bad of a procrastinator I was and how bad my time management skills were, so the tips offered throughout the modules were really helpful. I was able to take what I had learned and utilize it in my summer class, which really tested my time management skills. I was taking Chemistry 1220 and at the start of the semester m professor told me it was a like a full time  job and that this class requires us to spend at least 36 hours on labs and lecture material which itself made me incredibly nervous. One thing that made wonders of a difference was when we did the time management assignment. I knew I spent my time in a lackluster fashion but until I made that chart I didn’t really begin to realize how much time I was wasting and how inefficient of a student I was being. I would probably have to say that was the most meaningful experience in this course. I also liked how we took those quizzes that showed us how bad of a procrastinator we were, how good our time management skills were, and how we learn. These quizzes really helped me to get a better understanding of where I could improve and how to improve. I was able to implement what I had learned and it was a success. I especially thought the last quiz we took for module 7 was pretty interesting because it showed us what kind of learning style we have because not everyone learns the same and it showed me how I learn best to help me to study more efficiently and better because time is not something I have so wasting it is not an option for me. I also liked how it compared the different categories and told if you were one type how you could improve to incorporate both types of learning styles. I definitely plan on applying what I have learned next semester. I will be in my major taking 18 credit hours of rigorous engineering courses while being an undergraduate teaching assistant and rushing a fraternity so time is something I will not have a lot of. I plan on making a time schedule and planning out each of my days and utilizing the resources I have found through my own research and the research of others for my classes and use the information I have gathered about my learning style to help me to study more effectively and be a better student. Overall, this class was a really eye opening experience and it taught me a great deal and really improved my life as a student for the better.

Researching Effectively

Apart from being able to manage time and study effectively, knowing how to conduct research properly is another very important skill to have that almost all classes require. Since you are now in college, your high school style of “random searching” won’t cut it for the level of research at the post-secondary level. Many professors will test your research skills in the most common way: a research project. Conducting and writing research papers is a long and arduous process. With the usage of the right strategies and plenty of practice, however, it can be made much easier. Before any writing can be done, an analysis of the sources you are going to use must be done first. You must first analyze each source’s reliability, quality, and utility. For source reliability you must check to see if it is peer reviewed, the reputation of the publisher, the author’s credentials, and things like that. For the quality of the source you must check for source citations, the grammar of the writing, if there are any broad generalizations, and how up to date it is. For the utility of the source, you must assess how useful it will be to your research topic and if it will add to your argument. Google Scholar, university libraries, and databases are a good starting point for any research project. It is best to stay away from Wikipedia. Although it is a .org website, it is a user-editable website, which means anyone can go and make any changes whatsoever which limits the credibility of the website. With these strategies in mind, research is a very important skill that takes time to hone, but with these helpful tips it will make your first post-secondary level research project much easier and a hopeful success. Good luck!

Notetaking in College

Notetaking is a skill vital to every student who plans to pursue post-secondary education. It is just not a skill you need to possess, but it is a skill you must be good at if you hope to be successful in college. A lot of lecturers upload their notes on their webpage in either PDF or PowerPoint format, and it is a good idea to have these notes printed off prior to going to class. Lecturers will often make additions to their notes during lecture and you can type these into the notes section at the bottom of your PowerPoint slide or manually add text over your PDF file as well. Just in case you forgot to print off the PowerPoint notes you can split up your notebook into the corresponding sections and just add what the lecturer is adding manually into his PowerPoint slides during class and then print off the notes after class and attach what you wrote down to the slides or write them in again to help you better remember them. Sometimes you will get a professor who is difficult to understand or someone who you may view as not being too helpful. Instead of complaining about it, you can use the internet to find useful videos that convey information pertinent to your class. There will be some topics you will be covering that may be too difficult to understand in lecture the first time around, so these videos will be very helpful because you can rewind and rewatch them as many times as you want until you grasp the topic. For me I used a lot of online videos to help me better comprehend topics I had learned in lecture. Khan Academy is a great website which I used a lot for my calculus courses. MIT also has a lot of great helpful videos that they post on their website from their lectures. Although some of the videos may be old, they are still incredibly helpful. I used their physics lecture videos fall semester when we hit special relativity in physics 1250 and it was very helpful and it helped me to get an A in the class.

Quantum Mechanics

Check this video out:

This video covers the very complex topic of quantum mechanics. This video covers the beginnings of this branch of science and why it came to be, and then goes on to explain the historical contributions scientists have made to this new field. Quantum mechanics is the study of physics at the nanoscale and came to dominance in the early 1900’s. At this scale, the concepts of classical physics becomes inaccurate, so quantum mechanics was developed to help explain these conundrums. When certain gases like argon or hydrogen were heated, it was noticed that instead of giving off a continuous spectrum of light, only finite lines of light were produced, known as spectral lines. This and many other observations were made that did not go along with what was predicted by classical mechanics which called for a new theory. The main promoter of this new theory was Niels Bohr, and he came up with the idea that energy comes in packets known as quanta and that electrons in an atom reside in certain specific energy levels of an atom that lead to these lines. The video goes on to describe other contribution of other scientists like Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, Richard Feynman, and the most notable Albert Einstein. The experiments and conclusions these notable men came up with radically changed the world we live in and the video ended in saying that the beauty of this new theory was so nonsensical and unheard of that it removed the limit on imagination.

This video is incredibly creative and engaging. This is a complex topic but it has a lot of visual content to aide in your understanding of the topic. It shows pictorially a lot of the experiments these scientists carried out to help you make sense of it. It also shows what a lot of these scientists looked like and pictures of their work to make it more interesting. The narrator was engaging and there was a lot of interesting background music that kept your attention. The video was very methodical in the way it presented the information. It introduced the concepts and whose idea it was and related it to a lot of everyday phenomena you see and they used a lot of everyday materials like billiard balls and such to help explain these complex topics. Overall, this video was easy to understand because it kept the audience engaged with its movie-type format and its high visual and explanatory content.

How to Study and Read Effectively

Being able to read and study quickly and effectively is integral to being successful in college. In college there is one thing that students just seem to never have enough of and that is time. Although time management skills are important to have, knowing how to read and study effectively are also very important skills to have. When reading, online especially where there are a number of distractions on the webpage, it is important to read actively. To do this, you first must get rid of any distractions in your study environment. Then, you must determine the purpose of why you are reading what you are reading. To do this, you should scan the entire article or whatever you are reading to get an idea of what it is about. Then, while you are reading you should underline key points and phrases, and before you move on from that section make sure you can summarize and understand what the section was about before moving on. Taking notes while you are reading is a great way to make sure you are being an active reader because it helps you to better recall the material. Now that we have covered how to read effectively, the next thing to cover is how to study effectively. Our brains all have various capabilities to comprehend and remember details, but being able to study creatively increases these innate abilities. For example, infographics, narrated or annotated presentations, timelines, animations, and mind maps are great online creative study tools to utilize to help you study more effectively. The more creative and active you are involved in when creating your study tools, the better you will be able to remember that material. These tools help you to see the relationships between and among concepts to get a better picture of what was learned. These require the use of both sides of your brain, which means more brain power. Using these online study tools and tips to become an active reader, you will be able to better comprehend reading material from class in a quicker period of time and you will also be able to remember what you have learned for a longer period of time. Now, you have the tricks of the trade to study and read effectively for college. Good luck!

How to Use Technology in Academia to Communicate Effectively

With the advent of the internet, communicating with friends, classmates, co-workers etc. has become much easier. “Netiquette” is a term that has been coined for this exact reason. It refers to etiquette via online. A main form of communicating that is common amongst many people, especially students, is email. Email is a great and quick way to get in touch with your instructor when you are confused or need help. Even with these great advantages there are also some downsides like lack of a response or miscommunications that can go both ways. When writing an email to a professor it is best to open up with “Hi Professor…” and introduce yourself and then politely ask for his/her help. However, face-to-face contact is the best form of communication and going to office hours is a great way to do that and email should be an alternative if you are unable to meet with your professor in person. Many classes in college often involve group work with your fellow classmates. The odds of everyone in your group having compatible schedules is very unlikely and it makes being able to collaborate quickly and effectively much harder. The smart use of technology can easily fix this and many other issues you may come across when working in groups. Google docs and chatting via the internet like through Skype are great ways of bringing a group with incompatible schedules together. I have personally used both of these in my engineering class which is heavily group based and found it to be very successful. As a result, my teammates and I were able to get an A in the class. We had huge writing assignments based off of our labs due weekly, so we would all have to meet up to get our ideas together and delegate duties for the assignment. We kept our assignments on a Google doc that was shared among us, so we could all make changes simultaneously when not together and be able to see what our other group mates were doing and changing, and it was a great way to keep track of and check to see if everyone was doing their part. Skype or other types of online chat rooms are great ways for bringing groups together who may not all be in the same area. For instance, when some of our group members went home for the weekend, if we had something urgent that needed to be discussed face to face, we used Skype. With online chat rooms, it reduces the confusion and any miscommunications that may occur even over the phone because it brings in the visual variable where you can see each other and demonstrate what you are saying to be clearer and get your point across better. All in all, online communication is a great tool to use in college where everyone is busy and is on a set schedule. It simplifies your tasks and brings groups together to make life easier.