At the beginning of this course I had previously taken a few online courses which for the most part, I was winging them. Learning in an online setting can be challenging because the responsibility is really all in up to you to learn the material and be able to apply it on the assignments and tests. Now that I have a large number of strategies for learning I think that my skills have been noticeably increased not just in an online environment, but also in a normal class setting. I can apply what I have learned to both settings and learn in better ways than I could before.
One of the most interesting things that I have learned during this course was of the different tools available to me to convert information into various formats for the different types of learning. Sharing tools with other students and learning about tools I have never heard of before has been interesting and will hopefully improve my productivity. Another interesting thing that I learned was different methods for studying. By using the different tools to available to me I have been able to study more efficiently and in a shorter amount of time. One of the strategies that I have actually used and has helped me was in my math course was by converting the chapters from the book into Mind-maps I have been able to get a grasp of the material a lot easier.
The most meaningful experience that I had in this course was to create a time sheet of what I actually did during the day and compare it to how I actually planned out what I was going to do. This showed me that I was wasn’t using the amount of time I had available to me to my advantage and that if I moved around some parts of my schedule I could more efficiently do a task. By not staying up so late on the weekends using all my time to sleep in I could put that time to use working on my school work or other tasks that might interfere with my school work later. It has helped me stay focused and finish up this semester strong instead of just running out of time.
In the future, I think that I can apply a large chunk of this course to any classes I have whether it is in class or online. Sticking to a schedule is probably the most crucial thing I will use in the future for all of my courses no matter what the subject is because it is really a life skill. Study skills and information management tools and tricks are something that is now available to me. The tools available to me from online resources are very helpful and if traditional learning environment isn’t working I can always try these new methods and hopefully one will stick. For the most part I think that having some sort of strategy to get through whatever you are doing is going to be half the battle and then from there the only thing left is to actually do it instead of being indecisive or running out of time.
Searching and researching is an important step in writing a report and is often one of the first steps after choosing a topic. Being able to discern if the source and the information provided is useful and what is not is a big part of writing a report. A useful source of information will be able to pass the tests of credibility which are reliability, quality, and utility. Reliability is a good way of holding the person responsible for the article accountable for what was written and can be a good way of sorting out known organizations with habits of credibility issues. Quality is important for sources because if the article is written poorly, the validity of the article may be challenged. The author didn’t bother reviewing their article so maybe they also didn’t bother to fact check as well as they should have and maybe they are also biased picking and choosing facts. The utility is also important because a source needs to have enough detail to prove that the information is good at all. A source that is all over the place or the information is above or below the readers level might need to be skipped.
Searching and researching are two separate things which is important because searching provides all the information in quantity while researching is in quality. Searching is something that for the most part anyone can do because it is so simple. The problem is that it is also so simple to do that people don’t check the answers that they are given when doing a search. Researching is the best option for writing anything of importance, but requires a methodology to do properly. Using multiple sources that pass the credibility test is a good start because the information is most likely true. You end up getting their sources and that you can check as well. To check and make sure it is really true the next step is to compare sources and hopefully turn the information gathered into an accurate report.
The internet is a great place for learning and has resources that can connect you to traditional learning material and modern techniques for learning. Being able to absorb and sort through material is important because there is a lot of it on the internet. A good way of learning or be entertained on the go is through audio recorded media. Podcasts and audio books are something that I have used in the past and have helped me learn when I don’t have time for a screen or book to be in front of me. They do require an active listening strategy to get anything out them and if you aren’t paying attention can miss crucial details. Audio can also be tricky for listeners because every detail has to come through the audio. There are no other senses associated with the audio so listening for tone, volume, and structure is important.
The next media type which I think is probably easier for learning is video because there are multiple senses being used at the same time. By using the audio and video senses of a person you can get access to all sorts of creative ways of teaching. Using graphs, text, pictures and many other things are important for visual learners. I myself have had a great deal of success learning through video because I can pause or watch a video again if I don’t understand something. I think that it is also important that both types of media are available whenever the person wanting to learn feels like they are ready to learn. Going to a class can sometimes be at an inconvenient time where a person won’t get everything they need to learn out of the lecture. I know that for me morning classes have not always been at the best time resulting in me slacking off when taking notes or participating which is something I think a lot of people can relate to.
The video that I have chosen to watch and write about is focused on the new age of humans called the augmented age. The previous ages of humans included the hunter/gatherer, agricultural, industrial, and the information age which got us to where we are today very slowly, but over, time each age has decreased in length due to previous technological achievements. The augmented age improves on the humans natural capabilities. All previous tools have been passive requiring human intervention, but a new age of tools will be generative that take in constraints and goals to do the task by itself. By being able to learn as computers go they can retain information and solve problems that humans are having difficulty solving like climate change. By using both humans and robots in a task, you get the awareness and perception of the human and also the precision of the robot to solve design problems. Human and robot augmenting each other makes things possible that were not before.
This video is very interesting to me because I am studying computer science and is beneficial because AI helping people will be the next major tool humans will have. Computer scientists are the people who will be doing a majority of the work involved in creating these AI and it is important to get right because some of the AI’s functions could be critical. A mistake or misunderstanding could be costly. This video has supplemented my learning because I have heard and experimented with simplistic AI, but did not know the background and the current progression of AI was so advanced.
The main point that I have devised from the reading and lecture is that diversifying your learning strategies is necessary. A professor for a course now has access to whole plethora of content for teaching that may require some outside the box thinking and techniques to fully grasp. The first technique that I thought was interesting was to just seek and save. Instead of just using the instructor or book for learning, going online and searching for the topic and compiling the information together can help. One of the things that is not talked about which I think is important is that the information found online is true. Depending on the source the information, it could be outdated or modified maliciously so it is important to verify that what you are reading is also true. This can be difficult if it is something just being learned.
Collaboration and Communication is also a technique that I think has become a lot easier with the technology we have today. For the most part it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you have some sort of communications with people from around the world. I have always though that discussion boards were some of the best ways to learn because once a question is posted it can spark a conversation about the topic that usually produces more information. The good thing is that all of this is usually public and can be read or discussed by anyone. The last technique called Think and Manage is to think critically and to manage your learning. To think critically requires a person to actively try and learn the material through a couple techniques like critiquing or connecting information to make it easier. Managing time can also be difficult, but there are methods like creating a schedule and setting your focus to avoid distractions.
Something that I learned and found useful in module 3 is that there are limited clues to what a person is trying to convey when online and that miscommunication is very possible. On page 122 in “E-Learning Companion: A Student’s Guide to Online Success” says that by using acronyms and emoticons if not in a professional environment a person can help clear the ambiguity of communication online. Something that I have put into practice is using proper email etiquette. By using proper etiquette, I end up getting better responses back than I would if I had just written a message with no direction. It really ends up helping both parties and saving each other from confusion.
Something that I think I could put into practice from this module in the future possibly is using the skills from page 166 that explains the etiquette involved in real time chat. I think that would be useful for a possible online course that does lecture online instead of in person. For students, I think that the most useful communication besides in person to a professor is using proper etiquette when emailing. Getting to know the format for emailing is important because it helps streamline the process of reading and responding to emails. If an instructor gets a large amount of email and you email them something that is incoherent then they might not respond or ask for clarification instead of just answering your question.