It can be difficult to motivate students and maintain productivity in the classroom. Whether you're going over material to help students review for a test or helping them learn something new, there are several things you can do to encourage engagement. It's not just about what you say or how you say it - the classroom environment can affect student productivity, too. In this post, I'll discuss 4 ways to improve the classroom environment to optimize student engagement.
Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash
As we launch headfirst into a new semester, take advantage of the slow first week of classes to make a strategic plan for this term. Think about how you studied for your exams last semester - what worked, what didn't?
Today I share 3 tips to consider when revamping your study strategy.
self-care tips for the winter months
With an arctic blast dropping temps to 100-year record lows across the US, it truly feels like winter is here!
When we think about our winter health we often think of cold, flu, and mental health. Being indoors more often means we're more likely to catch a bug from our cubicle neighbor, and less time spent outdoors and/or less sun exposure can contribute to feelings of isolation and depression.
Photo by Brigitte Tohm from Pexels
College is a unique life experience - independence from family members and high school teachers comes with new responsibility over your time and self-care.
Peer pressure to socialize at the expense of your school work can lead to you falling behind, or the abrupt change in classroom style may lead you to struggle with your material. Being away from home can be lonely, and the added stress of school can make you shy away from meeting new people.
Some quick tips? Pay attention at orientation to what resources your school has available for you, from tutoring to counseling, to interest groups to help meet new friends. Tutoring can help you learn how you learn, overcoming difficulties in new coursework, while counseling can help you identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. You can also learn positive self-care coping strategies. Finally, develop your time management skills by utilizing assignment and quiz dates to stay up on your materials, blocking your time around classes to be efficient while on campus.
Read on for more tips.
Writing a literature review is daunting (hey, writing a dissertation is daunting!)
While dissertation formats vary between universities and disciplines, most (if not all) require a literature review.
In this post I'll walk you through my process in developing an organization system that helped me write my dissertation literature review. It's a long post, but I wanted it all to be in one place for you so it's not broken up into different articles.
First, I'll walk you through my back story in the dissertation literature review process, and describe my overall system of organization.
Then, I'll describe 2 methods to take you from reading articles to taking notes to organizing your notes into themes.
Lastly, I'll wrap up with thoughts on how to continue your literature review in a cohesive and transparent way.
All external links open in a new window.
Background photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash
the best way to learn something new
Last week I talked about whether online courses are the right choice for you and I've written before about how to balance work and hobbies, and even how to leverage your hobbies.
Whether you're a naturally curious individual, always eager to learn something new in your downtime, or whether you want to bring more meaning to your life by learning something new, it's never too late to start.
are online courses right for you?
Whether you're looking for a new career, want to learn a new skill for fun, or want to increase your value at work, online courses (also called online training) are one way to achieve that.
Some examples of what completing online courses could achieve for you? Not only is there a variety of courses offered online, from animal care courses distance learning to foundation healthcare courses to basic data science and programming, no matter what you're looking for, you can find it through online course websites or online schools.
Before you jump in, decide if online courses are the right choice for you.
Do you feel like something's been missing in your life? Are you tired of wasting time in the rat race? As a graduate student, it's easy to get bogged down in minutiae of your tasks, feel overwhelmed by never-ending projects, or with unrealistic deadlines. Balancing work and life is important - but what are you going to do during that "life" part?
Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay
Whether or not school was your “thing” growing up, the education we received from childhood onwards shapes who we thought we could be, who we became, and who we strive to become.
The academic discourse we experienced in school trains us to ask questions, consider multiple perspectives, and deliberate to make decisions. We learned something new every day when we were in school, and if you’re in graduate or professional school now, hopefully you still do. If you’re thinking about going back to school, seriously consider your options.
Don’t let naysayers discourage you. Additional training or a graduate degree can improve your employability. Training in a new discipline that you’re passionate about can bring joy to your job.
finding a great tutor
Are you looking for an online tutor?
The Internet is a great resource to find a variety of services, and education is no different. Whether you’re looking to hire a tutor for your child or for yourself, there are a variety of options. Personally, I had a math tutor in middle school that helped me catch up, an SAT tutor in high school, and chemistry tutors in college. A straight-A student, no one would have ever guessed – but it’s important to ask for help when you need it. Since college I’ve given back, tutoring high school students in a variety of subjects and general life skills, as well as teaching nutrition students how to study for the RD exam.
So why hire a tutor? Why not just hit the books a little harder? Tutors provide one-on-one support – the tutor can adapt their teaching style to your learning needs. Teaching in a classroom is efficient because one teacher supports many students, but is not always as effective as one-on-one help. You can take extra time to focus on certain topics that get glossed over in a lecture, and do more practice on your weak spots.
improve your employability
Whether you're looking to go back to school or acquire new skills for a promotion or job change, there are concrete steps you can take to improve your employability and value.
why i wear a backpack to work
Today I'm going to tell you why I ditched my work purse [permanently] for a work backpack.
Yes, a work backpack.
While this is a bit different than my typical professional productivity post, this choice has made a big impact on my life both in the day-to-day and for big events like conferences.
So let's get started.
3 tips to make school a priority
Whether you yourself are struggling with giving education priority in your life, or you're a parent to an uninspired student, there are many things to consider when it comes to improving and enhancing our experiences with education.
While in school, it's easy to slip into one of two bubbles - living a life other than class, treating homework and studying as a chore, or dedicating yourself to school alone. Either way, you are often living in the moment, and not thinking of the future, which isn't surprising - you have a lot on your plate!
There's several ways you can think about the future, and start planning. Preparing for life after graduation might seem daunting, but these 3 techniques will help you plan for the future without feeling overwhelmed in the present.
Moving into "real life" after you finish school can be a shock, whether its undergraduate, graduate, or professional school. Of course, it does depend on what you study. Many people get a taste of what their postgraduate life is going to be like during school, especially if their field is more hands-on than others. But the reality of finally being on your own can still be tough to take. If you feel like you're entering the adult world for the first time, without the bubble of student life to protect you, you should think about how to prepare yourself for new experiences. Being totally independent can be scary, but it's worth it - probably.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 8% of college grads have had their job offers revoked. The experts over at Bank Rate created a guide to help navigate the unpredictable job market during COVID-19 and its aftermath. The guide covers:
studying for big exams
Cumulative final exams, licensing exams, masters comprehensive exams, doctoral qualifying exams - all are BIG! And effective study strategies focus on consolidating large amounts of information into tenable concepts that can be applied to whatever question thrown at you. Instead of getting bogged down in the details, painting the big picture is where you want to start.
Materials in this photo: Arc Discbound Notebook (Letter Size, Poly Cover) | Office by Martha Stewart Discbound Dividers (5-tab, also available in 8-tab) | Planner by Blue Sky, no longer available | Printable Graph Paper
In this post, I'll walk you through some strategies that will help you make this process as painless as it could be. Be forewarned, these are not your typical lecture-quiz-exam study methods, so they'll feel foreign and uncomfortable. But practice makes perfect, and after about a week long learning curve you'll look forward to study sessions and feel efficient and knowledgeable.
Search Google for "best powerpoint templates" and you'll get a number of modern designs for sales pitch decks, portfolios, business plans, and CV/resume presentations (like these).
Not sure what a CV/resume presentation is? If you're asked to give a presentation as part of a job interview, you might start with some introduction slides. CV/resume presentations put your CV/resume into a presentation format.
Infographics have become popular in almost every field, but in more traditional areas, like science and academia, I believe there's a bit of a line to draw.
You may notice I have an infographic on my About page as well as on my LinkedIn. Personal websites and the media feature of LinkedIn are great spots for some well designed graphics. Just make sure they are informative, and look good when display-cropped on LinkedIn.
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