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How to Find Blogs Using Google February 10, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in social media, success.
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For your blogging assignment for the week of February 15, you’ll find two or more blogs that are interesting to you and write a bit about what you found there. Your review is due no later than February 19.

As a reminder, here’s the description of what you’ll need to include in your post:

  • 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: February 19

Watch this short video I created for you to learn just how easy it is to find a blog by using Google.

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How to prepare for the next semester February 9, 2010

Posted by Drapeto in success.
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I put together a short video navigating around Georgia Southern’s website showing where to go and what to do to effectively prepare for advisement, registration, and the next semester. Hope it helps.

Early Alert Grades Available February 5, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in Assignment, success.
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FYE 1220 NET Class Members:

I’ve just posted your Early Alert grades in WINGS (for only the Freshmen in the class). Here’s a short key to what the grades mean:

S = Satisfactory ::  You’re keeping up with everything. You’ve created your blog and sent me the address. You commented on my blog during Week One and Three as required. You attended at least two of the live sessions we did in WIMBA Live Classroom (and/or accessed the archives for the class). Great! Keep up the good work.

UG = Unsatisfactory Grade :: No Blog (and if I do not get your blog address before Tuesday at midnight, it will be impossible for you to pass this class)

UP = Unsatisfactory Attendance :: You have not shown up (or accessed the archives) for two or more of our class sessions

UP = Unsatisfactory Participation :: You did not comment on any of the blog posts that you should have during Week Three. (You would have found out about needing to do this through attending the Wimba session and via e-mail from me).

You might also see a combination of letters, such as UGP. That means to combine what UG means with UP.

Is it possible to recover from an Unsatisfactory? YES, it is. There is still a majority of the semester to go.

Is it possible for me to change your Early Alert Grade? No. Your Early Alert Grade will not impact your GPA.

We WILL meet during Week Five for about 30 minutes, starting at 5:00pm, in our Wimba Live Classroom. We’ll discuss your Academic Planning Assignment in more detail during that time. Please have a draft of this assignment completed and available in front of you during our class discussion. (To get to the Academic Planning Assignment, go to GeorgiaVIEW for FYE 1220, then choose Modules. You’ll find it — along with the quiz that is due by the end of next week — in the “Your Academic Future” module.)

See you on Tuesday!

Advisement Made Easy! February 5, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in advising, success.
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by Haley J. Higgs

When it is time for you to sign up for advisement you will receive an e-mail. If you have declared a major then the e-mail will come from that college’s advising center. If you haven’t, the e-mail will come from First Year Experience. Once you get it, follow the instructions. The e-mail will tell you where to go to sign up to meet with an advisor. Sign up fast or you may not get the time slot you want. Remember there are 18,000 students doing the same thing you are!

When you go meet your advisor remember to do these four things:

  1. Know the classes you are currently taking or have taken in your college career
  2. Have an idea of the classes you need/want to take (course catalogues are on the GSU website)
  3. Have a backup plan if the classes you want are unavailable
  4. Take your Academic Planning Assignment document (that that you are creating for this class, due next week) with you

If you have any more questions, check out the Georgia Southern Academic Advising Centers website.

Ten Ways NOT to Prepare for College Advising February 4, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in advising, success.
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[Reposted from my Listening Matters blog, March 2008]

For about a dozen hours during the last two weeks, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of advising undergraduate students who are in their first or second years of college. 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.
  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 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 from your college to see when your earliest registration date and time are. Find 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.

For another “what NOT to do,” see How to Fail a Class Without Really Trying.

10 Tips To Succeeding At Southern (Cont.) January 31, 2010

Posted by Drapeto in success.
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Professor Nixon brings up some great suggestions that even I wish  I took advantage of… Impeccable list!

A few more I would like to add to that is:

Get to know a classmate! Realistically, we know there are times where going to class just isn’t possible for whatever reason. There also are times you may not have all the notes from a certain lecture in which having two sets of notes is far more beneficial. Befriending someone becomes a mutual relationship.

Organization was never a strong suit of mine. I always knew I’d be able to rely on my faulty memory for my many assignments. PFFFT! Yeah, right! I had to learn the hard way that writing things down is the BEST way to get things done.

10 Tips To Succeeding At Southern January 28, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in success.
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Check out these great tips from Haley Higgs, one of our peer leaders in FYE 1220 this semester.

Facebook Privacy Settings January 28, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in social media.
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How secure is your Facebook profile? If you’re not sure (or even if you think you are), please read this article titled 5 Facebook Privacy Tips You Need to Know.

Did you find anything in the article that surprised you?

Keeping Organized in Online (and F2F) Classes January 25, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in success.
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[cross-posted & slightly tweaked from my Public Relations Matters blog]

If I was paid a dollar this semester for every time I heard/read a student say this, I’d be rich. Well, at least I’d have enough for daily Starbucks.

It’s so confusing having an online class! I can’t ever remember when things are due…

Here’s my suggestion.

Create a Google Calendar for yourself. (Here’s how.) Your Google Calendar is available from any computer, and it can automatically synchronize with many popular smart phones (like the iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm Pre) — which means that you’ll have the ability to know when things are due no matter where you are, 24/7.

For my classes, look in GeorgiaVIEW for deadlines for:

  • Assessments
  • Assignments

Look here on my blog for blogging guidelines and descriptions of when your blog posts are due.

Create a calendar entry in your Google Calendar for each item that is due. Set interim deadlines for yourself for larger projects. You can tell Google Calendar to send you a reminder about any deadline you choose.

And that’s all there is to it. At least, except for the “completing the assignments” part.

Hope you found this helpful.

(NOTE: If you have another calendar method you prefer, and it already works well for you, USE IT. No need to switch. But if you’re having trouble staying on top of your classes, try this method. It’s how I keep myself organized.)

13 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You January 24, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in success.
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Last fall, a colleague shared with me a blog post she read called 13 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You by Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman. I couldn’t have written it better. We liked the post so much we posted it outside our department’s Peer Advising Center.

Here are a few of my favorite ones from the list:

2. Say hi to the professor when he or she enters the room. Seems obvious. But take a look sometime at how few students do it.

4. Put in your two cents worth. Another way professors break up the class is by asking questions. At times, running a class discussion can be like pulling teeth, especially for those professors who think they should not make a move until the student has moved first (like a game of chess, with the professors playing “black”). So, perk up with a question when the professor comes in asking, “Does anyone have any questions?”

8. Ask the profs what theyre working on. Most professors have spent many years working on a research project. And there’s almost nothing professors like to talk about more than their research. But it’s a rare student who thinks to ask the professor about it. This is something that’ll surely set you off from the crowd, and hey, you might even learn something about Siberian poetry of the late 1820s.

Take a few minutes and read 13 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You by Jacobs and Hyman. Which of their suggestions have you tried? Were they successful? What other suggestions do you have? Please reply with a comment to this post.