Friday, February 26, 2010

5 ways to conquer procrastination

Tired looking at the same white page? Looking and taking any out possible so you don’t have to complete an assignment that is due next Monday?
If you are a procrastinator or experience writer’s block, try these tips to help you get that assignment done and dusted.

1. Just write! It doesn’t have to have referencing, correct spelling and punctuation, just your ideas either written or typed.

2. Jump on to your University forum for inspiration from fellow students who are studying the same topic

3. Talk to your friend, sister, brother, neighbour about the topic your assignment is about. Bouncing ideas off others can sometimes help get your head around what you are going to write.

4. Give yourself a mini reward if you write 100 words. This could be check your email, grab a snack or check your phone. Give yourself a bigger reward if you write your first draft such as read a magazine or take the dog for a walk.

5. Reread your assessment information and write down the key words including words relating to the topic and words on how to write the assignment. This can help with getting a plan of attack to write your assignment.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)? And how can it help with my study?

Emotional Intelligence(EI) is about using your emotions constructively for yourself and with others. It is not about your academic intelligence it is about being aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others around you.

Studying can actually increase your EI as you are developing relationships with new people. You are using your EI when writing about your learning and when you are probably seeking help from peers or lecturers to help with your study. You will have the opportunity to increase your EI when you join study groups, join in on forum discussions and identify group dynamics. By being self-aware of your own emotions and how you react to others and vice versa you can increase positive communication and enhance your learning.

EI can help you lead a successful life. Working on your EI can decrease your stress levels and aid in dealing with challenges – which you will probably come across a few whilst studying! Studying provides the opportunity to set boundaries, make decisions and communicate.

There are many Emotional Intelligence tests on the internet available and they only take a few minutes. I highly recommend taking one as it will help you get to know YOU!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

10 ways to beat study stress

10 ways to beat study stress
1. Deep breathing
Deep breathing provides fresh oxygen to your brain allowing you to feel more calm and alert.

2. Exercise
30 minutes of exercise a day will make your body and mind feel more energised and take your mind off that next assignment that is due. It will help you burn not only calories but any frustrations.

3. Herbal tea
Have a cup of your favourite herbal tea and sit back and relax.

4. Yoga
Try out some yoga poses – yoga stretches and relaxes your body. Great for both men and women

5. Take a break
Read a chapter of a non-text book, ring a friend for a chat, walk outside and spend time with your pet. Whatever you choose make sure it is away from your computer and your study space.

6. Discuss your topic
Discuss your topic with a friend who has a good ear to listen or with a fellow student to exchange ideas. Just talking out aloud about any problems you have with a topic can help find the answers.

7. Schedule Time
Put extra time aside for any work you need to catch up on. This may mean you have to say ‘no’ to helping out a friend or Friday drinks. Remember you want to reduce your stress levels so catching up on or getting ahead with study will help do this.

8. Ask for help
If you are struggling with an assignment – email or ring your lecturer. You will find they will be happy to help you. Ensure you have specific questions to ask and let them know where you are up to in your study.

9. Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep every night? If you are tired everyday you will find it difficult to concentrate. If you have young children this may be a tough task, but do the best you can to get adequate sleep.

10. Music
Bring music back into your life. Turn on your iPod and dance around the lounge or go for a walk. If you have music downloaded on your computer – turn them on! You will be amazed how your favourite music can put you in a good mood.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

10 Tips To Kick-Start Your New Study Year

10 Tips to kick start your new study year
It is the start of the New Year and many are first year University students studying via distance for the first time. Elearning is a great way to further your education and get to exactly where you want to be. Receiving all your University material at once can be quite overwhelming. It is best to take small steps and ease yourself into your new study year. Here are ten tips to kick start your new elearning year;
1. Ease yourself into the new semester
- start with navigating your way around the university site
- read through your assignments and study topics
- work out what you will need to read first

2. Organise Yourself
-De-clutter your study space
-Refill your black and colour ink cartridges
-schedule study times
- have plenty of printer paper and pens on hand

3. Order Your Textbooks
- you will need them by the first day of the teaching period.
-order second hand textbooks to reduce costs

4. Prepare your diary
-schedule in important events ie: weddings, birthdays
-write in your assignment due dates
-write in the exam period

5. Introduce yourself to your fellow students
- most of your communication will be online so introduce yourself on the online forum
- include your name, year of study, location and something interesting about yourself
-join online study groups if available

6. Eat well
- eat plenty of fruit and vegetables everyday
-get adequate sleep every night
- you need to have an alert mind

7. Exercise everyday
- even if you only have time for 15 minutes!
- try yoga and stretching
- vary your routine so you don’t get bored
- alert body = alert mind

8. Get into good habits now
- stick to your study schedule
- check your University email regularly
- log on to University forums daily
- use your diary

9. Write down your goals
- have long term and short term goals
- write down what you need to accomplish each study session ie: read article xyz
- reward yourself regularly

10. Remind Yourself
- the overwhelming feeling will go away
- take one day at a time, take one week at a time
- tick of the study schedule as you go
- the more you use online tools , the easier they will become to use

No longer do you have to think ‘where do I start?’ – you have already started. You have taken the first steps to further your education – well done!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's your learning style?

Welcome to the new University year! Many are students starting their first year of their degree others are continuing students. Whichever you are - are you prepared? By now you will have enrolled in your units, received your textbooks or just waiting on the final couple to arrive in the post and begun looking through unit information to see what assignments you will have to do over the semester.

Do you know your learning style?

A popular theory into learning styles is Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. Professor Gardner suggests that there are eight kinds of intelligences. These are Logical, Visual, Kinaesthetic, Musical, Naturalist, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal and Verbal. Think about which category you most likely would fall in to by reading the attributes of each intelligence below. You will find that you will have strengths in most areas, however you will most likely be more prominent in one or two of the intelligences.

Logical people are usually good at:
-computer games
-problem solving
-can compute number in your head
-patterns and sequences
-conducting experiments
You learning style will most likely include doing all your work using the computer and using diagrams to structure your assignments.

Visual people are usually good at:
-see clear images when you close your eyes
-like to use a camera or video camera
- puzzles and other visual games
-creating web page and powerpoint presentations
-using colour and shape
Your learning style will most likely include designing mind maps and online lectures with video.

Kinaesthetic people are usually good at:
-engaging in sport or physical activity
-making things with their hands
-thinking of ideas during physical activity
-using body gestures
-role playing
Your learning style will most likely include constructing models and using pen and paper or the keyboard.

Musical people are usually good at:
-holding a tune
-knowing if a musical note is off-key
-listening to music regularly
-playing an instrument
-remembering jingles
Your learning style will most likely include listening to music whilst you study and using music to remember unit content.

Naturalistic people are usually good at:
-backpacking, hiking or walking in nature
-volunteering for nature related groups
-looking after animals
-finding and researching local and global environmental concerns
-collecting natural objects
Your learning style will most likely include a serene study space including as alternative study setting close to nature.

Interpersonal people are usually good at:
-intuiting other’s feelings
-person-to-person communication
-group sports
-getting involved in social activities
-being surrounded by people
Your learning style will most likely include using forums, chat rooms and wikis as the main mode of studying.

people are usually good at:
-meditating on their own
-keeping a journal or diary
-creating their own schedule for completing work
-setting short term and long term goals
-carrying out an independent project
Your learning style will most likely include a blog and an well-organised diary system.

Verbal people are usually good at:
-reading books regularly
-listening to the radio or to spoken words
-word games like Scrabble and Boggle
-leading an oral discussion or debate
-giving an oral presentation
Your learning style will most likely include using forums to lead a discussion of interest and word processors to type notes.

So, what's your learning style?

This has been excerpted from Jilly Stansfields book 'eDegree' due to be released in December 2010.