Final Post

When this course first started I lacked alot of what it meant to be effective with my time. Often I would work on all of my projects last minute and that thus decreased the lack of quality in the work I turned in. Now, I make it a point to complete my work throughout the week and during times of the day that costs me the less. I do work in my free time at work and by working throughout the whole week, there is never a single day that I feel completely burned out from school work. This in turn keeps me more motivated. The most useful thing I learned in this course was how to search the web for credible sources and how to evaluate those courses accordingly. Learning where my time goes going the day by time tracking has helped me eliminate time-consuming activities that were not beneficial to my motivation. I’ve learned that I work best when I have my week planned out ahead of with tasks that are of high priority at the top of my list and low priority or time consuming tasks at the bottom.  The most meaningful thing I learned in this course was that “online relationships with your fellow students will be very similar to those that you will have in the conventional classroom” (120). This was meaningful to me because I always thought taking online courses meant that I had to do and learn everything on my own. It’s difficult enough to juggle hard and dense material without an instructor let alone any classmates to bounce ideas off of. But I learned that I need to initiate connections with my online classmates the same way I do with my classmates in regular courses. Setting up groupme messages or study groups via email are just a couple ways to get your classmates involved with one another. And in the end, you all will benefit from each other’s ideas and insights!  Therefore, in the future I will be sure to connect with those in my class as well as the professor. And overall, I plan to use the tools and information gained in this course to create a more successful online learning environment.  As my parting goodbye, I wish you all the best in your online learning and regular classroom success! I hope you’ve learned something from my blog posts these past few weeks and that you will use the advice I’ve given throughout your college careers! Make sure you all ground yourselves in your work and don’t commit only half of yourselves to your assignments. It’s important to remember, that online courses take as much, even not even more work, than do regular classes. So while they are a great advantage to those with a busy schedule, they can easily become tough if you don’t prioritize time in that schedule to get your work done. Best of luck on your journey, and you will be successful.

Module 6

It is extremely important to be aware of the sources you site in your academic papers/assignments. Not everything you find on the web is going to be reliable, or in some cases even relevant when considering the standards you are held to as an undergraduate student. Thankfully, one of the best parts about this reading were the tips given to avoid making such mistakes when looking for research resources. Remember, “you should review these tips before, during, and after you conduct any research using the internet to ensure that you have selected only the information sources that will lead to your success (68). More specifically, you should always be aware of an authors credentials and the credentials of the website who published that work as well. This may sometimes take extra time to verify and so if possible use scholarly search engines like google scholar or the OSU library database. Since these engines post peer-reviewed articles, you can be much more assured that they are written and reviewed by experts and thus more credible. Wiki is NOT YOUR FRIEND! Avoid Wikipedia and blog sites as much as possible because these are public domains that can be edited and added to by anybody, regardless of credentials. These are just some tips that will help you be more sure of the sources you cite, and ultimately I hope you found them to be beneficial.

Module 5

Excelling in college and getting good grades is more than just showing up to class. Although making it to class while the rest of your peers spend their morning recovering from the night before is a huge accomplishment, simply being present does not guarantee you are actually learning! The biggest takeaways from this module are the tips on active listening and better note taking. There are many ways to take notes, but its not a secret that some are more reliable than others. Simply recording everything you hear does not help you understand the material better. Something that is essential if you want to minimize the amount of review you have to do before a test. Therefore, my suggestion is to print out the powerpoints your teach posts online (if available) and take them to class to take notes directly on (Slide 3 from Lecture)! This way you do not feel pressured to record everything on the board, since it will be right in front of you, and you can instead focus on listening to the professor teach and recording your own mental notes along to way for future reference. This ties in the idea of active listening! When you simply record everything the teacher writes down you are not hearing the small hints they may say in between slides.

Module 5

This Ted Talk explores the phenomena of prejudice and raises the question of it can ever be a good thing. Paul Bloom suggests that prejudice cannot be inherently bad because it is natural and manifests itself in us even before we can be exposed to societal pressures. According to Bloom, we have prejudices against people who are not like us and this is normal. We tend to prefer those who are from the same country as us, like the same foods as us, and look at us. But Bloom also recognizes that prejudice can have deadly effects when subjects such as race are considered. He concludes that it is our reason that keeps our prejudice at bay in these situations.

Ultimately, I disagreed with most of what Bloom concluded. His insights seemed flawed to me in the sense that it seems that if prejudice is an inherent trait of outs, we must be inherently morally wrong. Something that I dont believe can be the case. However, this talk did help me better understand this topic because it would seem that its not that we are born with prejudice, as Bloom suggests, but that we are exposed to it through our own families and that is the way in which it manifests.

Module 4

The most important lessons to be taken away from this module are those on group collaboration! While in highschool, group projects and study groups are always easier because 1. they will typically be assigned to you and 2. you most likely grew up with your classmates. But college is a whole new world. Classes are only a semester long and at a college as big as OSU, chances are you will be surrounded by new faces each time. That is why it’s important to connect with your classmates and the instructor right away. “Begin on the first day of class […] make a good first impression” (12). From experience, I’ve learned that starting off in a class is typically how you will end in that class. Meaning, if you start off participating and communicating with your classmates, you will probably continue to do so throughout the course. It is much harder (and awkward) to build connections once you are already half way through the material. Group collaboration is more than just working on group projects. When you have an exam coming up, be that person that creates a google doc for the shared study guide! Create a groupme and set up study dates. Take initiative and your college experience will run much more smoothly.

Module 3

Communicating with fellow classmates and professors is a new skill you will have to work on developing as a college student. It is important how you approach these individuals as well as how you convey what you wish to tell them. The most important skill to work on is email etiquette. As mentioned by Watkins and Corry, first impressions are just as important online as they are in person! (pg. 120).  What this means is that you must be sure to speak to professors and fellow classmates in letter format (dear, thank you, etc). And remember, intentions can be easily misconstrued through email! Be sure to be speak directly and avoid sarcasm. (They WILL NOT interpret your humor in the same way). There are many benefits to emailing, don’t get me wrong! It’s nice to avoid the awkwardness of asking your professor a question or for a favor for the first time, but remember they are not required to reply to you if they feel disrespected! Specifically from this module,  I’ve addressed my professor in the “dear Prof. ____” format and that STILL did not work out for me. Turns out, that specific professor felt disrespected if referred to anything other than “Dr. ____”. So while it’s important to try your hardest to remain professional, also do not get discouraged if you do something wrong. Every professor is different and you live and you learn!