For the fall semester, The Equinox is excited to announce the continuation of the roundtable series. This time around, the roundtable will be hosted by Entertainment Editor Nancy Sanchez-Diaz. You will still see familiar faces such as Jhoana Merino, Anthony Covino and Sonal Tulsyani discuss various topics important to college students today.
In this particular roundtable, the team discusses different ways to succeed while learning remotely. They also discuss the importance of staying on top of assignments and creating valuable connections with professors.
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[Nancy] Hello, everyone.
Welcome to the first episode of the fall 2020 roundtable series. I am Nancy, the entertainment editor for the Equinox and your host and coordinator for the semester’s roundtable series.
For this special edition roundtable series, we will be guiding students to
the various facets of this new virtual norm. There’s really no telling whether we’ll be going back to campus or not so we want to help make this transition as seamless and stress-free as possible for our FDU students.
We’ve already topped off week two of online classes. So to start the roundtable series, this week we will be going into our tips for online classes.
Without further ado, I want to introduce our lovely staff writer, Sonal,
who will be sharing how to effectively study for your next online exam.
[Sonal] Good afternoon, my name is Sonal and I am a staff writer for the Equinox.
As students continue their education in a virtual environment, grades remain top priority. A few colleges e-learning companies and other organizations
have posted articles on their blog and study tips.
According to Northeastern University and Coursera, it is important to keep in mind that when deciding which study tips to follow and which study methods to use self-accountability. It is essential to forming and maintaining good habits.
One good habit is managing time wisely. Three effective ways to do that are to create a study space, create a study schedule and write assignments and deadlines on a calendar.
Rutgers University, Northeastern University, College Info Geek and Coursera all advise to minimize distractions when creating the ideal study space optimizing the workspace to better focus on assignments.
It helps in completing the assignments faster; completing assignments faster ensures that deadlines are met and that grades improve prioritizing assignments
It is also essential to accomplishing the goal of increasing grade point averages to facilitate the process of prioritizing assignments. Mark due dates on the calendar.
After deadlines are marked on a calendar, it should be easier to find blocks of free time to schedule study sessions.
Northeastern University recommends setting reminders or alerts for when due dates approach.
In addition, Rutgers University, the World University Rankings and College Info Geek all suggest forming virtual study groups to facilitate effective and efficient learning.
Group study sessions can be held virtually using Zoom or Skype and students can review notes or quiz each other.
The World University Rankings mentioned swapping study tips and discussing text and ideas during these sessions when struggling with a concept.
The formal procedure was to ask a professor during office hours
and with the new virtual education environment that has changed.
That’s why New Jersey City University, Rutgers University, College Info Geek and the World University Rankings recommend reaching out to TAs and professors by emailing them and attending virtual office hours.
Their office hours can also be found on the class syllabus which students are encouraged to look at and make the most of approaching class work with discipline and sets thoughts for studying can help immensely.
[Nancy] Thank you, Sonal. I think students can really benefit from taking self-accountability. There’s nothing more important than staying on top of your game especially for those of us with other obligations outside of school.
Now, we want to discuss how to maintain a good relationship with your professor, which can either make or break your class experience. Jhoana, would you tell us a bit more about that?
[Jhoana] Thank you, Nancy. I am Jhoana Merino, News Editor for the Equinox.
One of the biggest concerns students have with online classes is uncertainty. It’s harder to gauge exactly what your professor expects out of your class. Some professors are up front and others decide as they go depending on the pandemic’s direction regardless of the distance between you and the classroom can make you feel like you’re teaching yourself. It’s worse for a synchronous class. The connection gets lost without regularly scheduled meets, it’s very easy to forget an assignment, essay or even tests. It’s enough to even make the most organized person sweat a little bit, but here at The Equinox, we get the struggle.
During these times it is more crucial than ever to stay in contact with your professors even now it may be simpler than you think. There are many platforms you can use to contact your professor, typically your class syllabus lists his or her preferred method of communication. But if you don’t have one at hand try the email tab under Blackboard.
In fact, I recommend emailing all of your professors in these first few weeks
of class just introduce yourself. Tell them about your major hobbies or
expectations of the class. I especially recommend this if you have any initial
questions of the material, but a question I like to ask with every professor that assigns essays is if they’re willing to help you if you make an appointment with them. A good majority are willing to so don’t be shy take this opportunity to let them know about anything in your life that may impede your class participation like a job or responsibility to your family that you can’t ignore.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning: watch your tone in an email. It is so easy to accidentally come off as rude if you are too quick to the point and over explaining everything can also seem condescending to the professor.
Remember, the first impression is key to establishing a good connection. Lastly, you may want to set up a zoom appointment with them. This is great if you want to form a connection from the get-go and formally introduce yourself.
I highly recommend this approach for asynchronous classes to help your professor put a face to a name. If you cannot convene during their virtual office hours always be mindful of where your professor may be zooming from. They may be from out of state, country or even continent.
Take this into consideration and be reasonable with the time frames you’ll offer.
You have so much to gain from taking the first step: academic help, connections and peace of mind. Not only this, but it looks really good on you if you’ve taken the initiative to reach out to your professors and remain engaged in your own education. So take these tips to heart fellow knights and good luck in your classes.
Back to you, Nancy.
[Nancy] Thank you Jhoana.
We can’t stress just how important enough it is to keep in touch with your professors and just as important as keeping in touch with your professors is establishing these same connections with your classmates.
A want to add onto Sonal’s point of forming study groups our Student Lifestyle Editor Kenny recently wrote a story on CircleIn which is a study app that allows students to reach out to their peers, share notes and collaborate on projects together.
The app itself is game based and has a reward system which means you can earn points and win gift cards if you haven’t checked it out. I’d say this is the perfect excuse to reach out to your peers and establish the connections that frankly we all need to make this virtual learning experience feel complete.
Of course, like Jhoana mentioned, you can also reach out to your peers via the email option under the Blackboard course info. You can hit them up you can even ask for their number and say you’re looking for a study buddy.
Last but not least I want to turn this over to Anthony, who will tell us a little bit more about how we can stay organized in a virtual learning environment.
[Anthony] Thank you Nancy. So I’m Anthony and I’m back again. So I’m going to talk about how to stay organized with us being online for the foreseeable future. So first thing, this is essential, make sure you check your email and Webcampus every day because you’re going to get tons of announcements from professors about upcoming assignments, classes, cancellations. anything.
So a good idea is to turn notifications on for the class start of the week so you don’t miss a posting. Some discussions require you to respond to your questions so it’s a great tool to have at your disposal at any time next input all, I would say all, your class times that you have and any additional work responsibilities you have into a calendar or planner and it’s your choice whether or not you like it online or in front of you.
So I myself just put on my assignments in google calendar and this helps you keep organized with assignments coming up so you don’t fall behind at all.
With books, make sure you have them if they are required for your class and make sure to stay on top of your readings for the next session. Set an alarm if you have to or remind us on your phone so you don’t forget to read because you’re gonna have to read a lot usually with all these classes online now. This goes for any assignment as well, and then last semester we obviously transitioned to online running midway after spring break, this fall it’s looking like we’re heading into a completely different learning environment for all of us.
The Equinox will understand, we’re all in the same boat here, and the top and to top it all off it’s all being done very truly like I said with these steps that I mentioned you can make sure that you’re up to date with your classes and you’re prepared for every zoom class or webcampus class, whatever your professor’s doing, or and going into your discussions and everything else that your professor is planning to do. I don’t know what all your professors are planning to do but whatever they’re doing this will help to the fullest extent.
So back to you Nancy.
[Nancy] Yes, thank you Anthony. Keeping your notifications on is definitely crucial to staying organized.
So that marks the end of our discussion. We hope that these tips and tricks can help you all better navigate through this change.
Stay tuned every other week for a new episode of a roundtable series.
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See you next time.