Successful students aren’t afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling with a certain course concept or you’re having trouble articulating your ideas for that big paper, you should reach out to your instructor. However, your instructor may not always have the time to give you the support you need. Fortunately, there are plenty of great academic resources available to you. Here are some of my favorites:
Today, one of my students told me she was attending a seminar on commas and semicolons because she wanted to do everything in her power to improve her academic writing. I applauded her for being proactive and taking charge of her academic experience. However, I lamented the fact that she had subscribed to one of the most misguided beliefs about writing out there – that good writing is about good grammar.
Listen, I love semicolons as much as the next gal. Probably a little more. However, a semicolon can’t make a vague and uninteresting sentence better. What can make a vague and uninteresting sentence better? A good idea.
All good pieces of writing – academic or otherwise – start with good ideas. If you want to learn to write better, you have to learn to think better. You have to improve your critical thinking skills. If you change the way you think, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your writing and (hopefully) your scores.
When I tell people that I’m a teacher, they usually say something like, “You must love summer.”
I don’t love summer. I don’t like summer.
Unlike elementary and secondary teachers and my colleagues who work in traditional brick and mortar institutions of higher learning, I teach year-round. I don’t get a break during the summer months. And working in the summer is difficult because my kids are they’re home with me. During the sweltering heat of July and August, I need to grade papers, deal with house flies, and prevent my kids from killing each other. It’s tough.
However, over the past seven years, I have learned a few things about staying productive during the hot summer months. If you’re an online student and a parent and you want to keep your GPA up and keep your kids happy during the summer, here are some of my best tips:
Students often reach out to me at the beginning of the term. They express their concerns about the course, they confess their shortcomings as students and writers, and they solicit some advice.
“What’s the one thing I can do to increase my chances of doing well?” they ask.
“Simple,” I say. “Keep the lines of communication open.”
Happy New Year!
I have a feeling that it’s going to be a fantastic year, especially if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to start your education! Online learning has changed dramatically over the past few years. More online schools have popped up, and more and more established universities and colleges are expanding their online offerings. As a prospective online student, you have a ton of options!
Next week, we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. As a person, I love the holidays – I love the cooking, the festivities, and the family fun. However, the teacher in me hates that 6-week stretch from mid-November to Christmas. Why? It’s pure chaos. Students are panicking about the end of the term exams and papers, and I’m trying to cook, clean, and grade everything without losing my mind. It’s a stressful time for all involved. That said, there are some strategies you can employ to make sure you have a productive and relaxing holiday season – or at least a more relaxing holiday season.
It’s October. The leaves are falling, the football season is heating up, and midterms are approaching. Not surprisingly, this is the time of year when some students start to fall behind. If you’re attending a traditional ground college, you usually have eight weeks to get caught up. However, if you’re taking an accelerated course at an online university, you don’t have a lot of time to make up missing work. Don’t despair!