Module 7 – Maintaining Motivation

Being able to be self motivated is crucial for online classes which is something I learned quickly during this past summer session. It is very easy to get distracted, especially when the weather is nice outside and your friends aren’t enrolled in summer classes. If you don’t keep up with it, it is too easy to fall behind then you are consistently playing “catch up”. This module covers areas that helps one to maintain their motivation to complete their tasks. This includes eliminating distractions, setting up in a quiet and productive environment, controlling stress levels, etc. One video in particular in the module provided useful methods to help eliminate distractions. The one method that I tried and found very beneficial was playing background music when working on my homework. This often boosts my mood and just makes it easier for me to concentrate in general. Motivation is very independent as well. Just because one thing may work for somebody, does not mean that it will necessarily work for you as well. I think of myself as a pretty self motivated person, however there are still times when I choose the easy way out and postpone my work until a later date. I often like to use study breaks as motivation. I will set alarms on my phone for specific timed intervals where I put away all my distractions and study so then I feel good about taking a break and I find it very effective.

Module 6 – Searching and Researching

This module focused on search engines and different ways to be more efficient with your searches. I enjoyed this topic because I often waste a lot of time playing around on google typing numerous things into the search bar, struggling to find what I am looking for. The module taught me how to be more efficient with my searches and also showed me how NOT to search/research. I also really enjoyed the video by Tom Nichols explaining how to use google scholar. The majority of the papers I have to write require peer reviewed scholarly sources and Google Scholar is an excellent resource to obtain those. However, I learned some tips and tricks to get better results thanks to the video such as entering vague searches about your topic. Google Scholar is something that I have used a lot so far in college and will continue to use which is why it is important to be familiar with all the things it has to offer. This module also went over citations and provided links to websites that help with creating them. Citations can be very time consuming and the different formats can get confusing at times as well. This is why these citation websites are very useful tools to have at your access.

Module 5 – Web Enhanced Listening and Viewing Strategies

This module covered one of my least favourite aspects of school; note taking. I have always hated note taking as I am a very organized and neat student so therefore I would often panic when being rushed to take notes. I also tend to attempt to write every single little detail down from lecture that the professor says, even if it is not very important. This ends up taking me too much time and I end of missing out on the information at the end. This is why I found the “Taking Notes in Class” video particularly very useful, presented by professors from the Indiana University Student Academic Center. In the video they inform viewers of various methods and tricks to help make note taking easier and more efficient. I was able to gain a lot of knowledge from this video that I believe will enhance my note taking which is why I would strongly recommend the same video to other students who struggle with note taking like myself. Proper note taking is a very important skill to have as it plays a crucial part in helping with studying later on as well as help you better understand the material during lecture.

Module 4 – Web-Enhanced Reading and Study Strategies

This module contained some very valuable strategies and lessons when it comes to learning on the web. It is a common belief that it is harder to interact while reading on the web, but this module proved that claim wrong. The most useful part of the module for me was the video clip of Professor Stephen Chew explaining how to correctly highlight for deep processing. I found this very useful because I would often find myself highlighting things just for the sake of highlighting. There was no real benefit from it even though I would pretend like there was. Thanks to Professor Chew, I now know how to properly highlight in order to actually gain something from it and enhance my understanding. I also liked the part in the module where it talked about memory and how it works. In order to be better at memorizing, you first need to understand how memory works which was pretty interesting to learn about. This allowed me to be more efficient with my study habits as oppose to wasting my time forcing myself to try and memorize things which I now know wasn’t the most effective method. The memorization techniques provided within the module are definitely something that I will put to use in the near future when I need to memorize facts or dates for a particular exam.

Module 3 – Efficiency in the Digital Age

In this weeks module we have learned all about various ways to increase productivity and maintain efficient time management skills. I have really enjoyed this module because my schedule is usually pretty busy throughout the year balancing school with athletics. In order to be a successful student-athlete, you must learn to use your time wisely or else the work load will be too much to handle. This was my first year at OSU and it definitely was a lot more work than I originally expected. I quickly learned to navigate my way through the week balancing gymnastics and school, however it is still something I can vastly improve upon. I still found myself procrastinating some of the major assignments until the last day before the deadline which is why I really found the “breaking down large tasks” strategy to be very helpful. By tackling the larger assignments little by little, it will improve the quality of my work as well as lighten my work/stress levels on Sundays. It is a strategy that I will definitely keep in mind when classes start up again. I also really enjoyed the TED Talk from Laura Vanderkam about gaining control of free time. I enjoyed the example she used with the broken water heater to bring up the point that we all are able to make time for something as long as we make it a priority. “Time will stretch to accommodate, what we choose to put into it”(Vanderkam). My advice to fellow students, and especially student athletes, is to make an effort into prioritizing the important tasks you want to get done. No matter how busy your life may seem, there is always enough room to get something done as long as you make an effort into getting it done.

Module 2 – Communicating and Collaborating

Through the course of module 2, I have been able to explore many different helpful resources to help self-reflect on my study habits. The specific resource that I enjoyed the most was the Time Management Self-Assessment. After filling out the self-reflection, it highlighted my particular strengths and weaknesses in terms of my time management skills. Being able to see the highlighted sections where I could improve my time management has already started to be beneficial. According to the self-assessment, it appeared that I often like to procrastinate which has allowed me to truly try to improve upon this. This isn’t only directed with school work, but as well with every-day tasks. I have started to wake up earlier in the morning, so I have more time to be productive throughout the day which has made a huge difference. I strongly recommend fellow students take time to fill out the same self-assessment as I think it is someone many people will be able to benefit from.

Another useful topic that was covered in module 2 was the Tips for Emailing Professors. During my first year in college, I have had to email several of my professors for various reasons, however, I have always been conflicted on how to properly write to them in a professional manner. After this module, I am now much more knowledgeable and confident when writing emails, which I believe is a very important skill to develop. As stated in this week’s module, online communication can be very tricky as one cannot identify tone or facial expressions. This makes it easy to have your message misinterpreted which is why having the proper skills in online communication is very important and this module was very helpful with this.