ESLTECH 2011 Take Aways

  1. My favorite lesson from this class was the Getting Things Done video from Week 3. This video offers some excellent tips for completing assignments, work projects, or things around the house. I found a couple points in this video particularly helpful. The first is to write down ideas or to-do items so those thoughts are externalized and freeing up your thoughts. This has been helpful because it allows me to take random ideas and set them aside for a later time when I can review them. The second is the concept of evaluating whether a task can be done within two minutes or should be scheduled for a later time. I have used this mostly at home where small things that tend to pile up. If you constantly put things off they become overwhelming. But taking a minute to complete a quick task can make the bigger tasks easier.
  2. Taking an online course can be intimidating because it requires the student to stay on top of the material with the assistance of a weekly meeting with the professor. But there are a lot of positives to taking classes online, especially if you have a busy work or family schedule. I enjoy the freedom to finish assignments and “attend class” at times that fit into my schedule. Online learning is the only way I can attend Ohio State while working full time and spending time with my wife and son. There are challenges to taking classes online versus taking classes in person. With online learning, the student must be familiar with the technology and self-motivated.
  3. The lesson for Collaboration Online was also insightful and provided useful information. The “Recipe for Success of Online Group Projects” listed eight steps but I found a couple especially helpful. The first step of Informal Communication helps build relationships within the group, a task that is more difficult when not face to face. This gives group members the ability to see the others as people and not just a name on the screen. The next step I found helpful is the Breakdown Project step. This step takes the larger task and moves into small, more manageable parts that can be assigned to group members. This helps with the anxiety and confusion of trying to complete a large project.