Tips for Success

  1. Asynchronousity - You can complete the assignments (trails) whenever you wish, as long as you meet deadlines, unless I have told you otherwise.

  2. Frustration - For most of your life, you have learned from a teacher in the classroom or using a course management system like Blackboard. And most of that time was spent with a teacher who gave you direct instruction. I am a constructivist, I guide you toward constructing your own learning. This educational philosophy forces you to THINK and to take ownership of your learning - this bothers at least 1 person every semester. If you are that person, please understand that you have the ability, just walk away from the computer and try later - after your mind has cleared.

  3. Don't Skim - One of the reading habits developed by students is the art of skimming. This reading skill is a must if you want to survive in college because we ask you to read a substantial amount. However, this reading strategy will not help you when you are following the trails of learning. One of the ways I communicate with you is by writing and if you decided to skim through project directions, you will get confused. So, don't skim.

  4. Learn in Small Amounts - The best way to attack a trail of learning is to do a little bit each day. Those who cram, usually do not get an "A" in my course. This is because I ask you to produce something with what you learn. You will not use Rote Learning in this course.

  5. Use my Examples to Guide Your Learning - I spend hours creating examples for you that emulate what I expect. Please use these examples as guides. These examples are clearly marked on the trails.

  6. Large Monitor - If you can connect your computers to a large monitor, you will have less stress on your eyes. I do not recommend taking my courses on a tablet. Yes, it can be done, but I don't recommend it.

  7. Save your work in multiple places - You will post most of your work on a wiki, but it is a good idea to save some of it in another format (like a word document) and on your computer.

  8. Do not be afraid to ask me questions - When I first went to school, I was a computer programmer. I chose to get into education because I liked working with people. I want you to ask me for help and I want to help you. My job is to see that you succeed; my job is not to teach a course.

  9. Remember that I am a person - Some of you may get very frustrated with me for a variety of reasons. Although you may think I am out to get you, I am not. Before you start talking about me to others, please remember that I am: a husband, a father, a coach and a professor. I will treat you with respect, and I expect you to do the same. Like you, I have feelings. ;-)

James Earle Fraser's Sculpture called End of the Trail
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