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Big Rocks and Other Priorities

October 5, 2009

For the deliverable for the module on Time Management (which I’d rename as Priority Management), this is what I’ll need from you:

Fall 2009 Semester at a Glance: Fill this out with every assignment, test, quiz, final, etc., that you have this semester. You can do it in Word and turn it in using GeorgiaVIEW or by hand (if and only if you write neatly) and turn it in in class. Either way, it’s due at the beginning of class . Bring a hard copy to class on Monday, October 26.

An alternate: If you already have all of your fall semester’s assignments (etc.) entered into a planner, show me what you have. You may just be able to make me a copy of what you’re already doing.

To earn all 100 points on the Time Management module, you will need to also include milestones for at least one project in each class. For example, if you have a research paper due, list your internal deadlines for when you need to finish research, write outline, complete draft, and complete final version.  Without milestones for at least one project in each class, the maximum you can earn on the this module is 85. Or if you have a test to study for, indicate when you need to finish reading certain chapters, when you plan to study, etc.

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10 Tips for Success on Assignments

October 4, 2009
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Midterm time has arrived on campus, and some freshmen (in many different classes) are unpleasantly surprised when they see their Early Alert grades. Why aren’t they earning  Satisfactory grades? In my classes, typically it’s because they simply have failed to complete and submit the required assignments.

College expectations and assignments may be different than the ones you completed in high school. Here are several tips that may help you succeed in your assignments.

  1. Read the assignment thoroughly. Ensure that you understand what the instructor is looking for as a deliverable. Not sure? Ask.
  2. Use standard English grammar and spelling. Though abbreviations and lack of capitalization or punctuation may be fine in text messages or Twitter, they are definitely not acceptable in other written assignments. Need help with grammar? Check out Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.
  3. Use spell check. Don’t rely on it exclusively, but do use it.
  4. If there’s a minimum or maximum word or page count, write enough, but not too much.
  5. Consider writing a draft of your assignment for your instructor to review prior to the deadline. (Yikes — check the second definition included in the deadline link.)
  6. Post or turn in your assignment by the deadline. Many instructors (including me) do not accept late work. (See some views on late work at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website.)
  7. Thoroughly review your course syllabus. Many instructors include a weekly schedule of discussions and assignments. Don’t be surprised if when you ask when an assignment is due, your instructor replies, “You’ll find that in the syllabus.” Check GeorgiaVIEW for due dates if they are not specified on the syllabus.
  8. When taking a quiz or test in GeorgiaVIEW, make sure you are aware what the rules are for using materials to help you take the test, that you know how many tries you have, and how the final score is calculated. (In many of my classes, the quizzes are “open-everything,” at least two tries are allowed, and highest score counts. But that’s just me.)
  9. If your instructor specifies or indicates a preference for fonts and margins, use these when writing your assignment.

Hmmm . . . that’s only nine tips. What is one addition tip you could offer to complete this top ten list? Please comment with your suggestion.

barbara_is_listening

(Adapted from a post I wrote last year for my FYE 1220 class.)

Belay On! Ropes Course Blog Post

September 27, 2009

Last week, we went to Southern Adventures at Georgia Southern’s RAC for a teambuilding activity: the low ropes challenge course.

For this week’s blog post, please address the following:

  1. What did you learn about yourself and your classmates at Southern Adventures?
  2. What did this experience have to do with our theme in FYE 1220 (Making Connections)?
  3. How might our class benefit from going back to Southern Adventures again later this semester?
  4. How will you take what you learned at Southern Adventures with you in future classes and group activities (even if you aren’t physically climbing or balancing)?

Also, follow these additional guidelines:

  • Include at least one photo
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: October 5, before class

Blog Assignment for FYE 1220 GG

September 27, 2009

Blog posts can be written informally; that is, they don’t need to sound like a term paper. However, there’s still an expectation for proper grammar, spelling and capitalization. If you have questions about how informal is “too informal,” please let me know.
Blog Post #1
Respond to my post (at my blog)
Deadline: September 3
Blog Post #2
Set up your own blog at WordPress
Create an About Me page
Deadline: September 15, before class
Blog Post #3
48 Hours of Twitter Assignment (see details)
250 words minimum
Deadline: September 17, before class
Blog Post #4
Your reaction to one of the Success Series seminars
250 words minimum
Deadline: October 1, before class
Blog Post #5
Blog review (review two or more blogs that are of interest to you)
Include hyperlinks to the blogs
Add at least one tag to the post
250 words minimum
Deadline: October 15, before class
Blog Post #6
Podcast review (listen to at least one hour of podcasts that are of interest to you)
Include hyperlinks to the show notes of the podcasts
Add at least one tag to the post
250 words minimum
Deadline: October 29, before class
Blog Post #7
Your reaction/response to the ropes course (use these guidelines)
Include at least one photo (from our Flickr photo set)
Add at least one tag to the post
250 words minimum
Deadline: November 21, by 5:00
Blog Post #8
Create Your Own Social Media Policy (details coming soon)
Add at least one tag to the post
Deadline: December 3, before class

Blog posts can be written informally; that is, they don’t need to sound like a term paper. However, there’s still an expectation for proper grammar, spelling and capitalization. If you have questions about how informal is “too informal,” please let me know.

Blog Post #1

  • Respond to my post about your experiences and impressions of your first week at Georgia Southern (here at our class blog)
  • Deadline: August 31

Blog Post #2

  • Set up your own blog at WordPress
  • Create an About Me page
  • ALSO: Make sure you (name and link to your blog) appear on the FYE 1220 Blogroll. If not, contact me.
  • Deadline: September 14, before class

Blog Post #3

  • Your reaction/response to the low ropes challenge course (details)
  • Include at least one photo (visit our Facebook group for pictures)
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: October 5, before class

Blog Post #4

Blog Post #5

Blog Post #6

  • Blog review (review two or more blogs that are of interest to you)
  • Include hyperlinks to the blogs
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: November 9, before class

Blog Post #7

  • Podcast review (listen to at least one hour of podcasts that are of interest to you)
  • Include hyperlinks to the show notes of the podcasts
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: November 16, before class

Blog Post #8

One Week of Twitter

September 27, 2009

Our One Week of Twitter assignment begins on Monday, September 28, and will end at midnight on October 5. Your blog post about this experience is due before class on October 12.

Setting Up Your Twitter Account

  1. Go to Twitter. Click Get Started, and sign up. I prefer it if you use some version of your first and last name as your Twitter ID. (Avoid putting numbers in your Twitter ID, or you may appear like a spammer.)
  2. Upload a photo or avatar.
  3. Write a brief (140-character or fewer) bio. It’s good to mention that you’re a Georgia Southern student.
  4. Send a tweet saying “I’m a student in @barbaranixon’s #FYE1220 class” or something similar. Be sure to include the #FYE1220 indicator. [See this short article on why to use the # (hashtag).]

Setting Up Your Following List

  1. UPDATE: Visit http://tweepml.org/FYE1220 to find an easy way to follow everyone in the class at once.
  2. Visit the Twitter search page for #FYE1220. Most of the people you see in this search will be your classmates.
  3. Click on the name of your classmate.
  4. When the Twitter page loads, click the Follow button.
  5. Repeat this process for at least 20 people in the class (preferably everyone!), including me.
  6. Also, follow at least five of the following: Brett Pohlman, Chris Brogan, Geoff Livingston, Todd Defren, Christopher S. Penn, Jeremy Pepper, Jeremiah Owyang, Scott Monty (Ford), Twitter_TipsComCast Cares, Georgia Southern University . . . or others in the field of PR or another field of your choosing. (NOTE: It’s possible that some of these people may not follow you back. That’s fine. You will learn from them anyway.)
  7. You can have your Twitter tweets automatically update your Facebook status, if you want. (This is not required.)

Using Twitter

  1. Over the course of the next week, send at least twenty tweets (Twitter messages of 140 characters or less). Your tweets could concern something you’re doing or perhaps point others to something interesting or funny you read online. Maybe you could even pose a question that you’d like others to answer.
  2. Also, respond to at least five of your classmates’ tweets. To respond, click on the arrow after a tweet. Or you can type the @ symbol followed immediately by a username (such as @barbaranixon).

Additional Information

  1. Review my tips on how college students can use Twitter to their advantage.
  2. Review Prof. Sam Bradley’s College Student’s Guide: Twitter 101.
  3. After the week is over, add a 250-word (minimum) post to your blog about the experience and what you got out of it. Be sure to include at least one way you might find value in continuing your account in Twitter. This blog post is due before class on October 12.
  4. After this official assignment is over, please continue to visit Twitter and post/reply at least a few times a week.

Questions? Just send me a DM (direct message) or an @ (reply) in Twitter!

NOTE: Many thanks to Kaye Sweetser and Karen Russell for their ideas prompting this assignment.

How NOT to Prepare for College Advising

September 14, 2009
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seven.eighteen.twenty-o-seven by FredoAlvarez.Spring semester, I had the honor and pleasure of advising undergraduate students who are in their first or second years of college at Georgia Southern University. Though several of them came to their fifteen-minute advising appointment extremely well prepared, most did not.

Below, you will find a list of ten things NOT to do when you are being advised.

  1. Don’t show up. That’s right, several students were no shows for their appointments. (That wasn’t really a surprise, but it was disappointing.)
  2. Come in and say, “Okay, tell me what I need to take next semester.”Whatever happened to being responsible for your own learning?
  3. Make excuse after excuse why you have withdrawn from class after class — and still expect that a professor might give you an override to get into a full class. Yes, there are definitely some reasons to withdraw from classes, but when it becomes a habit, it begins to reflect poorly on your ability to manage your schedule. For every class from which you withdraw, there probably was another student who wanted to get in before the semester started, but could not because the class was full. And at Georgia Southern now, you can only withdraw from five classes total, during your entire college career.
  4. Spend more time looking for ways to avoid taking your core classes than actually taking the classes. Everyone in the university needs to take a core of similar classes. Even you. And don’t expect that your advisor will tell you “which ones are the easy ones.”
  5. Don’t look in the online college catalog to see what will be required for your major; expect your advisor to know all the details off the top of his or her head. It surprised me that several students “knew” they wanted to major in a certain subject, but did not have any idea what courses would be required for the major, or that a certain GPA was required.
  6. Don’t check out the online registration service in WINGS to see when your earliest registration date and time areFind out when your registration time is, and make your advising appointment before this time, so that you can register at the earliest possible moment. Many classes fill quickly, and the earlier you can register, the more likely you can get in.
  7. Expect your advisor to be able to counsel you on which major you should choose AND help you choose classes for next semester, all during your allotted 15 minutes. Choosing a major is an important, perhaps life-changing, decision. Make an appointment with a professor or advisor in the majors you are interested in far ahead of the advisement period.
  8. Give your advisor a blank stare when he or she asks you, “So what steps are you taking to bring up your grade point average?” As the old saying goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Many majors have minimum GPAs required for admittance to their programs; make a plan to exceed that minimum by as much as you can. Utilize the many services your university has to offer for study skills, tutoring, etc.
  9. Respond to text messages while your advisor is talking. Come on, the appointment is only 15 minutes. Couldn’t that wait? And if it couldn’t, would it be so hard to say, “Please excuse me for just a moment. There’s something urgent I need to do”?
  10. Leave your iPod earbuds in your ears so you can continue to listen to your music (and use your pencil and pen as drumsticks on the desk) while the appointment is going on. Seriously. As a 20-year career educator and parent of four, I don’t shock easily, but the rudeness of this took me aback. And it happened not once, but twice, with two different students. At least neither of them hesitated at complying when I asked them to focus on our meeting rather than their iPods.

Now, it probably sounds like I don’t ever want to advise students again. Not quite. . .

During my “dream appointment,” and I did have one of these, this is what happened:

A young woman walked up to me confidently, put out her hand to shake mine, and said, “Good morning, my name is Katey. Thanks for meeting with me today.” She and I walked back to my office, chatting about where she is from and why she chose her major. Katey sat down, reached into her backpack, and took out her planner. She turned to a page where she had marked up the core requirements sheet with classes she’d already taken and highlighted those she was considering for the next semester. Katey turned serious when she noted, “I know I need to take the second English class in the series, but I looked online, and the classes are already full.” Hmmm. This was intriguing! She had done some significant preparation for this meeting. We worked together to come up with an alternate plan that took into account what to do when Plan A wasn’t going to work. We looked ahead to required courses to her major and selected two that are prerequisites for many other courses. We briefly discussed how she could get involved on one or two campus organizations related to her major. And the whole meeting took less than ten minutes.

If only there were more Kateys! Maybe there can be if students can know what to expect of the advising appointment.

FYE 1220 :: Getting Started With WordPress

August 31, 2009

 

So, you signed up for an account at WordPress, and you added an About page. Now what’s next?

FIRST: Let me know your blog address by replying to this post with a comment, sharing your name and blog address. (For example, the address of this blog is https://facebookandbeyond.wordpress.com .)

NEXT: How do you go about learning more to create a blog that reflects your personality and style?

Fortunately, WordPress offers many FAQ screencasts to help you with the step-by-step instructions. Here are a few of the best ones to help you get started on the right foot:

And though you may have a good handle on the technical aspects of blogging, remember that the technical side is only part of the blogging equation. Corinne Weisgerber, a professor at St. Edward’s University and fellow PROpenMic member, created this presentation for her Social Media for PR class. The emphasis? How blogging can help you create your personal brand online. Take a look. It’s worth the time.

View more presentations or upload your own. (tags: commenting identity)

Photo Credit: “1/365” uploaded to Flickr by PhotoJonny