• My professor moved our classes online. Now what?

    by Kristen DiCerbo, Ph.D.

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    Colleges and universities across the country are halting study abroad programs, asking students to leave their dorms, and cancelling in-person classes, telling professors to move them online. It’s leaving thousands of students figuring out how to continue their semester remotely.

    You probably aren’t totally new to online learning, but this may be the first that it’s truly full time. Here is some helpful advice to make the transition a little easier:

    Set a schedule to manage your time

    You may find you have more flexibility now, but time management is the biggest factor affecting your success learning remotely. Figure out the amount of time you need to set aside for attending online class and studying each week. Keep a planner that plots out the times you should be online, when you’re studying and when your assignments are due. Don’t forget to schedule time to disconnect and be social (or at least as social as we all can be right now).

    Try new ways of learning

    Without sitting in class and taking notes, how do you commit things to memory? We have four study tips based on science to help:

    1. Study often. It’s like the idea of keeping something fresh in your mind by thinking of it every so often. And start this right away.
    2. But you don’t need to spend a lot of time studying. You can study in little chunks, like 15-20 minutes.
    3. Close your laptop and quiz yourself about what you were reading. Making yourself recall something, rather than re-reading it or even doing a multiple choice problem is better for learning. Think of it as strengthening the muscle that pulls the information from your memory.
    4. Connect the concepts you are studying to your real life or other things you know. If you make it meaningful it’ll stick with you longer. (Public health students are all set on this one.)

    Carve out a good study environment

    Sounds obvious, right? But, you’re probably going to be at home a lot now with other people, who also may have to study or work there too. Negotiate with your roommates, family members or pets to secure a distraction-free place to focus.

    Passive aggressive notes aren’t recommended, but a sticky note on the back of your laptop will let people know that you’re learning without interrupting you. You’re probably going to need to listen to audio, so make sure it is fairly quiet and grab your headphones. Experiment with white noise and music without words to help you block noise.

    Participation counts

    It takes more effort to socialize, collaborate and communicate in a new online environment than in your familiar classroom. The more you contribute and share ideas with others in your online class, the more likely you are to succeed.

    Be willing to speak up if problems arise

    Your professors and classmates are struggling to figure out the new normal too and speaking up will only help everyone. We’re all in this together.

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  • Using eTexts enhances the learning experience

    by Brian Weaver

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    As I stepped into my first college math class, I was terrified. My professor looked mean, the class had a 500-page textbook, and I was completely overwhelmed. On top of that, I couldn’t believe how much my book and access code were! Would every class be this expensive? Thankfully, an upperclassman quickly gave me the advice of buying the eText instead to lighten the load on my wallet and backpack. I decided I had nothing to lose, so I purchased the eText with Pearson and I haven’t looked back since.

    Highlighting advantages

    When I first opened up my online textbook, I admit I had second thoughts. I was already bad at anything technology related, so navigating through pages and topics seemed tricky. Plus, I was used to underlining and highlighting points for emphasis in my hard copy textbooks. Once I became familiar with the tools and features though, I soon found the eText simple to use to my advantage.The highlight feature became my best friend and I was able to leave notes for myself to review in the future. Having the ability to quickly mark the eText made it more valuable to me. Since I could navigate more efficiently than ever before, I could swiftly find key points that needed review.

    Searching with precision

    The search bar became my best friend. This simple feature is really a time saver. In a hard copy book I used to have to find the glossary, skim through hundreds of pages, and read until I found my topic. Within the eText, I can find any page, section, chapter, and topic in a split second. This greatly improved my study times and was huge in helping me adapt to college level courses. I would recommend the eText to any student who wants their materials organized, quick to access, and more personalized than what is possible with a hard copy textbook.

    If all this is not enough incentive, I ask: would you rather carry 5 hefty textbooks from class to class or be able to change books with the switch of a computer tab? Save your back, save your energy, and save the world by going paperless with eText!

     

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