Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You Be The Counselor: Keeping Track of Time

My workweek has been busy, and I realize it has been several days since I logged into Blackboard. I remember with dismay that I needed to respond to three of my classmate’s posts by midnight, or I won’t receive credit. As I scan the discussion board, I feel overwhelmed by the number of posts I see. I decide that I am grateful I’m not the professor—It’s stressful just looking at all those unread posts, without having to carefully read every single one. For now though, I just have to respond to three. I scan the posts looking for one that would be interesting to reply to.

There are a couple of students who have recently completed their posts. Since no one has commented on them yet, I decide to start there. The first two posts are very brief and a little vague. In each of them, I point out a term that is not well defined or an idea that could use a little fleshing out, and ask the writer for some clarification. That was pretty quick—only one more post response to go. 

The next post is enjoyable to read. The writer makes a thorough argument backed up with details from a research study. I decide to challenge one of his conclusions. It takes me about 30 minutes to compose my response, and I have to look a full article that he referred to in his post using NOVA’s library website in order to make sure my own information is right. Now that I’ve put in this extra work, I realize that I want to see how my fellow student responds to what I wrote. Unfortunately, it’s the last day for responses to be posted for a grade, so he will probably not check back on these forums again. I feel disappointed at that thought. Since I learned a lot while writing that post, my time certainly wasn’t wasted, but it would definitely be much more rewarding to get an enjoyable discussion for my efforts. I decide that next week, I need to figure out a way to remember to log on sooner!
Are there any tools or strategies that you find useful to help you keep track of your schedule and upcoming assignments? What ideas do you have that might be helpful to this student?

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