Time management development
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According to Mena-Marcos, Garcia-Rodriguez, and Tillema (2013), reflective writing helps student teachers to better understand their teaching practice. However, as a student, the same concept is very important to me as it helps me understand the course materials compressively. Deliberate reflection by students encourages students to prepare, prepare, and analyze what they have learned. It applies more so if students are given tasks to perform (Zubizarreta, 2009; Jasper, 2005). Moreover, Spalding, Wilson, and Mewborn (2002) observe that reflection enable learners to acquire appraisal skills and tend to follow the laid down regulations with ease. Besides, Collins and Clarke (2008); DasGupta and Charon (2004) also found out that deliberate reflection usually supports construction of professional knowledge among learners. As such, undertaking this reflective report will be beneficial to me in my career path. This report will cover my learning goals which include; developing my academic writing skills and developing critical reading and thinking skills. Additionally, other learning goals include developing my time management skills and learning how to navigate the university website effectively.
Misra and McKean (2000) argue that time management has a way of influencing the performance of students in college. In particular, time management behaviors have a tendency of creating a buffering effect on academic stress among college students than activities they engage in during leisure. Intrinsically, poor time management has worked to my disadvantage on several occasions. In some instances, I was not able to carry out my activities on a priority basis since I could spend more time on social media as opposed to academic studies. This brought a lot of pressure to me when assignments were due or when we were about to sit for exams. In line with Anne Sen (2010), getting to remember such encounters can help in personal growth and a later professional development.
Even though I did not take my studies seriously by allowing phone calls to distract me when studying, I endeavor to change my ways by giving priority to what matters. Sometimes, I could get penalized for submitting my assignments late just because of poor time management. Again, I did not plan adequately for the course. I lacked a timetable that guided my actions on the course. Such lack of direction hampered my confidence in the program. However, time management is regarded as an important component in any professional practice and work performance (Waterworth, 2003). As such, I did not follow this advice which eventually led me having more problems with my academics, and specifically this course. It is therefore important to manage time efficiently as it directly influences performance.
Academic writing development
According to Canagarajah (2013), academic writing tone is very significant in achieving academic success. Each and every filed has its tone of writing, vocabularies that are common with particular courses. Biber, Gray, and Poonpon (2011) argue that grammatical complexity is common in academic writing. For example, complex noun phrase constituents. It is therefore very important for students to write and uphold the requirements of a particular academic area. For instance, referencing materials of law studies usually use Oxford or Oscola (Meredith, 2011).
In my course, I have been encountering challenges of converting my views effectively into English, lacking systematic presentation skills. I could murmur words when called upon to make presentations. The problem was worsened by the fact that I do not read story books, I was not serious with my previous studies, and I loved my native language as opposed to English.
Learning other languages is very important as it helps one to adopt in new environments (Nation, 2013). The same concept applies to academic writing. Acquiring new skills to better my presentation, analysis, and conceptualizing of the course material will begin with mastering academic writing. Speaking and writing fluent English will not only boost my grades but also my communication skills. Furthermore, Covey (1990) suggest that personal habits are very integral in realizing the change we want. Realizing that I have a weakness in academic writing and working towards turning the table around is the first step for success. As such, I intend to polish my weak areas of the course so that I become among the best performers. Additionally, improving my academic writing skills will elevate my confidence since I am not able to express my ideas correctly. As an outstanding speaker, I will be at a level of empowering lives and acting as role models to other students.
Reading is a skill that enables one to express himself or herself (Turner et al., 2011). When we are able to speak and read articulately, our thinking skills are nurtured for the better. Turner et al., (2011) notes that thinking about activities enable us to adjust our activities and to fit in new situations. Furthermore, apt thinking skills increase our knowledge and are able to memorize and reproduce what we have learned. It goes further by enhancing our application skills, understanding various contents, having a different perspective of looking and handling situations. When these qualities become our going concern, then, we change as people and become valuable in the society.
Developing critical reading and thinking skills
In this course, I was not used to reading various references and study guides as recommended by the lecturer. In addition, I lacked the confidence of sharing my ideas in class from asking questions on what I did not comprehend to making an improvement in my weak areas. However, Zan and Di Martino (2007) observes that positive attitude towards a subject is the key to understanding the subject. Even though the duo is talking about mathematics, the concept of learning is similar across all fields. It is therefore imperative for me to make up my mind and focus on passing this course. As of now, I have realized that is was my negative attitude towards the course that contributed to my underperformance in this course. As such, I developed difficulties in capturing what is taught and even what I used to read. Ideally, the dilemma was often propagated by my shift of focus to things that do not matter like social media and lack of seriousness. Moreover, Emrich, Thompson, and Moore (2003) acknowledge that changing the mindset is the starting point of moving towards the right direction. I endeavor to change way perception of this course and generally my career for the better.
Turner et al. (2011) recognize that our thinking plays a vital role in whom we become. I have recognized the fact that I have a problem navigating the university website, specifically, the blackboard where tutors post course materials. In this course, I am not habituated with learning tools and assessment procedures, new to online learning technology, and not proficient in computers. These weaknesses have greatly interfered with my performance on the course. I have not been participating fully in lectures for fear of being asked a question. And therefore, I have failed to give my best to the course.
I can also recognize the fact that by practicing, I can achieve my dreams. By becoming keen during training will help me grasp more techniques of navigating the website (Chretien, Goldman & Faselis, 2008). Attending tutorials and asking questions about my SCU blackboard is the step of gaining my academic freedom on this course and other subjects. From that, I will not only be able to access class notes but will also acquire research skills. Taylor, Bogdan, and DeVault (2015) recognize that research skills help in carrying out studies with ease. As such, I will finish this course and my overall program a smart scholar.
Navigating the university website
Reflection on what we have been taught is the best way to capture and master what we learn daily (Melissa Craft, 2005). It is like keeping a diary of what we are doing daily. Reminding ourselves what we did and writing it down opens our minds to comprehend even perceived complex activities. Taking a step to horn my academic skills, reading and thinking skills is a step in the right direction to liberate my career. Moreover, working on my time management skills will not only instill discipline in me but also boost my self-esteem and confidence, which are recipes for success and achieving greatness. Besides, knowing how to navigate the web is an essential skill for any student. It helps nurture research skills as well as analytical techniques.
I recommend the following strategies to overcome various challenges facing my learning goals; provide sufficient time every day to learn from study guides and be familiar with Blackboard and fix the internet issues that is often slow for learning to take place. Additionally, I purpose to make a weekly session planner and go accordingly to help manage time accordingly and consider switching off my phone while studying for maximum concentration. Furthermore, make a clear vision of the short-term and long-term goal to achieve my academic goals and general career objective. To develop critical reading and thinking skills, I recommend to train myself to develop a reading culture and go beyond the prescribed coursework. Finally, to develop my academic writing skills, I prefer to practice writing through research on the website for general acclimatization of change and academic revolution.
Anne Sen, B. (2010). Reflective writing: a management skill. Library management, 31(1/2), 79-93.
Biber, D., Gray, B., & Poonpon, K. (2011). Should we use characteristics of conversation to measure grammatical complexity in L2 writing development?. Tesol Quarterly, 45(1), 5-35.
Chretien, K., Goldman, E., & Faselis, C. (2008). The reflective writing class blog: using technology to promote reflection and professional development. Journal of general internal medicine, 23(12), 2066-2070.
Canagarajah, A. S. (2013). Critical academic writing and multilingual students. University of Michigan Press.
Collins, S., & Clarke, A. (2008). Activity frames and complexity thinking: Honoring both public and personal agendas in an emergent curriculum. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(4), 1003-1014.
Covey, S. R. (1990). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic (Fireside. New York).
DasGupta, S., & Charon, R. (2004). Personal illness narratives: using reflective writing to teach empathy. Academic Medicine, 79(4), 351-356.
Emrich, K., Thompson, T. C., & Moore, G. (2003). Positive attitude: An essential element for effective care of people with mental illnesses. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 41(5), 18-25.
Jasper, M. A. (2005). Using reflective writing within research. Journal of research in nursing, 10(3), 247-260.
Mena-Marcos, J., Garcia-Rodriguez, M. L., & Tillema, H. (2013). Student teacher reflective writing: what does it reveal?. European Journal of Teacher Education, 36(2), 147- 163.
Melissa Craft, M. S. (2005). Reflective writing and nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(2), 53.
Meredith, S. (2011). Oscola, a UK standard for legal citation. Legal Information Management, 11(2), 111-114.
Misra, R., & McKean, M. (2000). College students' academic stress and its relation to their anxiety, time management, and leisure satisfaction. American Journal of Health Studies, 16(1), 41.
Nation, I. S. (2013). Learning Vocabulary in Another Language Google eBook. Cambridge University Press.
Spalding, E., Wilson, A., & Mewborn, D. (2002). Demystifying reflection: A study of pedagogical strategies that encourage reflective journal writing. Teachers College Record, 104(7), 1393-1421.
Turner, K., Ireland, L., Krenus, B., & Pointon, L. (2011). Essential academic skills. Oxford University Press.
Taylor, S. J., Bogdan, R., & DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.
Waterworth, S. (2003). Time management strategies in nursing practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 43(5), 432-440.
Zan, R., & Di Martino, P. (2007). Attitude toward mathematics: Overcoming the positive/negative dichotomy. The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, 3, 157-168.
Zubizarreta, J. (2009). The learning portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. John Wiley & Sons.
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