Thursday, October 14, 2010

Final Week

     Well, this is it! I have finished my last week. These past 8 weeks have taught me so much. I feel much more confident in myself. Thanks to my class, I have learned many great new strategies that I know will help me in the rest of my classes. It has prepared me to use many new programs that were unfamiliar to me. Because of all the resources that were given to me during this course, I am now more comfortable in using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. I can't wait to continue my education now. I'm not as nervous, because I know I by applying all that I have learned, I will succeed. So, thanks to my professor, Dr. Nichols, for supplying me with the tools I will need to go through school. I enjoyed reading the articles and have learned numerous things I was unaware of. So now, it's time to begin my next classes. I know I can do it!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week 7 Learning

     This has been a much better week for me. I was able to get an earlier start this week. I had a lot of reading to do, so I wanted to make sure I had enough time for my assignments. This week was all about PowerPoint 2007. When I first read the assignments, I was extremely nervous. Everything was foreign to me. I have never used PowerPoint. I have never went to meetings to see PowerPoint being used (that I know about). But, we were given excellent articles to read. After reading through all of these and watching demos, I felt much better.
       Some valuable tips that I learned and will use are keeping it simple, don't parrot, use key phrases, and making sure your presentation will run on any computer. We also had to create a electronic portfolio using PowerPoint. I saved this for last because I was so nervous about this assignment. After my grades last week, I really wanted to do good. As I started the portfolio, I realized it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. The directions were very specific and easy to follow. By reading all the articles on PowerPoint, I was much more prepared for this than I expected.
     I have just one more week left for my 2 classes. This will be a short week.  I will have to get on it so I get all my assignments turned in for both classes. I just need to apply all the strategies I learned over this course and I know I will be able to do it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Week 6 Learning

     This week has once again tested my time management skills. I had to make an overnight trip to Huntsville to pick my boys up from Space Camp. They go once a year for the visually impaired week. I also caught some bug where I was not feeling well for a couple of days. I finished my work but was not happy with my homework grades. I know that if I had planned my week better, I could have turned in better work. Instead, I did procrastinate and now my work reflected that. I plan to do a much better job in week 7.
     I must admit I was clueless on the whole APA Style of writing. I still feel like I need to go back and read more about this. I had to create a reference page using APA format. I also was given a paper that needed revising using APA. These 2 assignments did not turn out well for me. I know I should have given these more time. I am going to have to get better at juggling all of my responsibilities.
     I also learned about using keywords to search. This will be very valuable in researching topics. Keywords will help me narrow down my search to information relevant to what I need. So overall this week, I was disappointed in my work, but did learn lots of new things. I just need to go back and review more to make sure I understand it. I am going to work at my time management skills to ensure that I do better than I did this week.
     Here is my Keywords for Literature Search assignment:

Week 5 Learning

     I finished my fifth week of classes and this week has tested me to the limit. I had fallen behind on my schoolwork due to some unforeseen circumstances. We had to make a couple of trips to Atlanta to take my son to the eye doctor (which are always all day trips). He has been having really high eye pressure and causing severe headaches, so we had to get him in to the Dr. quickly. This caused me to not get started til later in the week and both classes had several chapters that had to be read. But I did it. I managed to get all my work done and turned in on time.
     This week we learned about a 5-Day Study Plan. I really like the idea of creating a plan. It breaks down your work into smaller chunks. This way I will be able to retain the information better. It has self-testing built in the plan. This will allow me to test my knowledge on what I am are learning. Here is my assignment on the 5-Day Study Plan:
     I also learned some great ways to prepare for exams. I was given many strategies for the different types of exams I will encounter. Some preparation strategies that I will apply will be taking notes and reciting them using the headings as cues. Another strategy will be to prepare word cards and recite them. Also, I will make self-tests and take these tests. These strategies will definitely help me succeed in taking exams.
     I created an outline of one chapter that I had read. I plan to create outlines to have a study guide for my exams. This will be a valuable tool to use for studying. So overall, this week was hectic and I didn't know if I would be able to achieve my goals for the week, but with determination I finished all my work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Halfway Through

     Well, I am halfway through my first 2 classes. I didn't think I would make it this far. I took my first midterm this week. I was so nervous but I did really well on it, so I was happy. We had some problems over the weekend with logging into our classes. But they were back up and running on Sunday. That did put some extra stress on me because Saturdays are my free day and I use them to try and finish up what I didn't get done during the week.
      I really feel that by using some of the habits that we have learned about have helped me so much. I had my list with all my assignments written down. This is so helpful to me. Plus it gives me satisfaction every time I mark an item off. It definitely keeps me motivated.
     This week we learned about setting goals. I found this really interesting. By using the 7 Characteristics of Goals, I have been able to set goals that suit me. For example, a goal I have for this class is: I will make an A in this course. I feel this goal uses all the characteristics and I know I can achieve it. I know this will help me throughout my college courses.
     We also learned about the 5-step approach to creating effective goals. I like the approach because for every obstacle I give, I have a counteractive approach to reaching my goal. This helps me to see that I can achieve my goal.

     We went over time management and touched up on how to prevent procrastination. We had an assignment to complete a time management inventory. This broke down what I did in one day. It was very interesting to see where I spent my time. I found this to be helpful so that I can make sure that I am getting in the time I need for my schoolwork. I prevent procrastination by completing my list of everything I need to get done and try to get started early in the week. It might not always happen because things do come up, but overall I feel good about accomplishing what I need to get done. Here is a sample of my time management.
     Now I have 4 weeks finished and 4 more to go. I'm feeling pretty good about my work. I could not have been as successful in my classes without all that I have learned so far. I know these will valuable tools not online in my online learning but in life as well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 3 Learning

     So, I have 3 weeks of school finished and I'm finally started to get in a routine. It has been difficult at times trying to work everything in but, so far, I've managed. My kids are finally understanding that when I go to do my schoolwork, they cannot disturb me. They like to ask me what I'm doing and letting me show them what's going on that week. It makes me feel good that they care to ask because they are why I'm doing this.
     It has been 15 years since I was in school so this week has been very beneficial to me. I read about different ways to take notes. Once again, I did not realize there were so many ways that I could take notes. The 5 methods are Cornell, Outline, Mapping, Charting, and Sentence. We focused more on the Cornell Method which focuses on the 5 R's. These are record, reduce, recite, reflect, and review. With this method you record as many facts and ideas as you can on the right side and on the left you will make cue words or questions for each fact/idea. I think by using this method I will improve my note taking skills.Here is an outline that I completed.
     We also learned this week about a reading/studying system called S-RUN-R. Once again I was clueless on this method. But after reading and doing an assignment on it, I was feeling a little more confident about using this system. S-RUN-R stands for survey, read, underline, note taking, and review. By paging through the chapter before reading it will help you have an idea of what is going to be discussed in the chapter. By reading each section at a time, it breaks it down in smaller chunks. So you can underline and take notes of each section. Then you can review your notes. By following these steps you will be using alot of repetition which will help you retain the information. I know this system will become a valuable tool for me.
     We also touched on homework strategies. I have implemented these strategies into my learning. I have set a desk up in my bedroom which allows me to go somewhere quiet to do my schoolwork. I also concentrate on one thing at a time. After working for awhile, I will take breaks so that I that I can come back refreshed. This help to refocus my concentration fully back on my work.
     Overall this week, I have touched up on some skills and learned lots of new skills. I know these methods are going to help me succeed in my online learning. I am looking forward to another week of learning!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 2 Learning

     Well, I have finished my 2nd week of classes and I am feeling more relaxed in my classes. I have learned some very interesting things this week. I realized this week how important the strategies we learned the first week are. My time this week was stretched to the limit. Between working extra hours to having to take my son out of town to the doctor, I realized that I must plan my time better than I did this week.
      This week I was introduced to Microsoft Word. I must admit that I have never used this program before, but after watching the tutorials and reading instructions on how to use it, I feel much better about using Microsoft Word. I completed my first assignment using this program. There are many things I need to learn to use this program. I hope with time I will be completely comfortable using it.
     I know that I will have to write papers while I am in college, but I was not aware that there are different writing styles, APA and MLA style. So, I am very nervous and excited about learning these 2 styles. It has been many years since I have written a paper, so reading about the writing process has refreshed my memory on the steps you need to take. I think the 2 steps that will be important for me will be making the outline and researching. The outline will be important because it is where it all begins. It helps you to structure the whole paper. Researching is where I will get all the information I need to fill in my outline to make my final report. By following the steps I have learned this week, I feel confident that I can write a correct paper.

     We also followed up on plagiarism this week. I learned that there are 4 different kinds of plagiarism: direct, self, mosaic, and accidental. There are ways that I can avoid plagiarism all together. I plan to take good notes and make sure I know where I get specific information from. Also, by not procrastinating and getting an early start will help. Another is to make sure I cite everything correctly. So whether or not plagiarism is intentional or unintentional, there are ways to help avoid plagiarizing anything.
     So now I am starting a new week of learning and am excited to see what I will learn this week.