In Module 7, one of the skills that I have been used for focus is listening to music. I have been using this strategy to keep me from distraction since high school, and it is the most effective one in comparison to other strategies. For example, study in a quiet environment is considered as one of the most effective way to prevent distraction, but for people who usually fall into daydreaming it is not effective, and for me, even worse than studying in noisy environment because I usually feel boring and sleepy in quiet environment. Instead of studying in some noisy environment as cafe to prevent myself from distraction, I tried to listen to fast and energetic pure musics during study, which significantly improved my efficiency. However, although listening to fast musics helps to finish homeworks faster, it lowers the quality of thinking and makes me too tired to continue after about 2 hours of studying. I tried to listen to some slow musics, but as in quiet environment, I was still distractible to daydreaming while listening to slow piano musics. Fortunately, I have found that listening to some natural sound is the best choice of music for me, because it both keeps me from distraction and improves my quality of thinking. The forest app recommended from this week’s lesson can be a good choice for natural sound listening and time recording at the same time.
This week’s study is about writing research paper, and the most practical reading is “Narrowing a Topic” from research questions slide in the class note. In my opinion, choosing too broad topic was one of my worst habid during research paper writting, which has been mentioned several times by my professors in previous courses. I was usually too ambitious on writing research paper, and usually trying to combine several topics to find out relationship between them, but always result in the lack of supporting evidence and the lack of detailed information in my paper. From the article, I learned that for narrowing topic, it would be helpful to define a research question as the precise target for reasearch. It would be better to search about the broad topic first, and find smaller topics from branches of broader topics until finally narrow down the topic to research scale.
The other reason that I prefered broad topics was finding resources, because resources are more and easier to find for broad topics than narrow topics. For narrow topics, I could only find about two resources on google search. After I have learned to find resources on OSU library, Google scolar and many other ways, I believe that in future research paper, my resource searching ability would be effective enough to find enough resources for narrow topics.
This week’s lesson was about my most important learning strategy in university: note taking. I have been using onenote for more than 2 years. Handwriting is the most common way of taking notes, but it is too slow for me, as an international student who takes more time to both understand class content and write down note on paper. Moreover, handwriting need to use colored pens, pencils and notebooks, which are less convenient to keep and carry to classroom than electronic devices. Typing is much faster than handwriting, and typed notes can be easily copied and stored on cloud storage. However, typing is less flexible than handwriting notes on designing spatial distribution and format of notes, and less convenient to represent diagrams or relationship links of board notes. In comparison with paper handwriting and typing notes, I found that using onenote on laptop is the best way for taking notes, because it can be used to take notes in both two ways. In addition, electronic notes can include additional information from e-textbook and internet sources, and even insert pictures and screen shots or photo of class notes. Moreover, on electronic notes, students can type in text then draw relationship on the typed text, which can save a lot of time on writing text or creating relationship on microsoft Word and mindmap software.
(Source: Excerpted from page 9 in e-Learning Companion: A Student’s Guide to Online Success)
This week’s content reminded me of many online tools that I have used, and recommended many new useful online tools for me. From class note and the attached website of CollegeInfoGeek, I found many tools that I have used, including Quizlet, Chegg Study, Wolfram Alpha, and Google drive.
Quizlet is a webstie to find defination of terms, which was introduced to me by my friend. It can include not only meanings of words, but also some related knowledge of exam topics. It saves the time for typing and organizing knowledge from course material or handwritten notes on computer, and its flashcard is also an effective way to memorizing exam contents.
Chegg Study is a website that I found by searching homework questions in Physics, which provides detailed solutions for problems. It helped me to understand homework qustions step-by-step, instead of just showing the answer, but I still prefer to solve problems by myself before using Chegg Study to find answers. However, the answers on Chegg Study are not always correct, so I would like to solve problems by myself before searching on Chegg Study. Copy and paste answers for assignments makes homework easy, but it makes exams much harder. To save grade and time on reviewing for exams, I strongly suggest to complete assignment before using Chegg Study to find easy answers.
The most useful thing I learned this module is the reason behind procrasination. I was not often a procrasinate person, but sometimes when I procrasinate, I could not figure out the reason underlying procrasination. Poor organization is the most prevalent reason, which I belived as the reason for my procrasination. However, even after I tried to place everything on calendar and set up alarms for tasks, I still had strong impulse of procrasinate when I faced difficult tasks, or proactive tasks such as exercise or reviewing vocabulary. After I read the article of How to Stop Procrasinating – Overcoming the Habit of Delaying Important Tasks(mindtools.com), I found the answer of my case in the paragraph of Step 2: Work Out WHY You’re Procrasinating: fear success. I can remember when I had an impulse of procrasinate, I was subconsciously thinking that saving time by finishing tasks early is worse than finishing tasks just before the deadline, because if I saved the time, I would try to place more additional proactive tasks to my schedule, such as exercise more and learning new language. Overall, procrasination can decrease the amount of tasks and make life easier by wasting time before the deadline of tasks. To prevent myself from procrasination, I would like to adjust my schedule based on shortest time that I can finish tasks and bring deadlines of tasks in advance.
One of the skills that I have learned this week is online discussion post. Among the 6 ways provided in the reading to write discussion, the only way that I had used was the first way, “do your homework”. I regarded discussion post as a place to explain course materials, but I had never tried to include my personal thought to discussion. As the result, I often failed to “be relevant” in the discussion group. Only few people replied to my post, and the lack of insight in my discussion shaped these replies to my post as a useless obligatory assignment for group members who assigned to reply to me.
I have learned that strong argument and unique standpoint can improve the quality of communication in discussion post. After learning this course, I tried to practice my discussion skill in another online course. To every question of the discussion topic, I included personal understanding and my question to the study material. Shortly after submission, lots of my group members replied to my post, either answered my question or shared their thought to the study material with me. By posting a active discussion, everyone of the discussion earned a better understanding of the course.
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