Key Learnings in FYE 1220 Fall 2008

Graduation Rubber DuckiesAs our fall semester is winding down in my Public Relations Publications class at Georgia Southern University, we had a fun way to wrap up the key learnings.

Each student chose a small character (ninja, pirate or rubber ducky) from a basket and named the character. Then they each came up with a word or phrase that started with each letter in the name. (Full directions to the assignment are at my Becoming Learner Centered blog.)

A few volunteers came to the front of the class and presented their key learnings to us by showing their list and character on the document projector.

You’ll see what the key learnings for my students were as comments to this blog post. By having them create their own mnemonics in class today, I’m hopeful that they’ll remember many of the key points of this class long after it is over.


Ropes Course Blog Post

Southern AdventuresThis 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 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 (from our Flickr photo set)
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: November 21, by 5:00
  • barbara_is_listening

    Creating Our FYE 1220 Final Exam

    Questions by Oberazzi.For our Final Exam in FYE 1220, Mackenzie and I would like your help. Let’s develop a list of what you consider to be the most important things you’ve learned, and then turn that list into multiple choice questions. You’ll find out in class which categories you’ll need to write questions for. (If you were not in class on the day we assigned categories, you can see your assignment in Final Exam Question Assignment.)

    Your questions are due before class on Monday, December 1. This assignment counts as part of your participation points in FYE 1220.

    Start Writing Questions (clicking this link will bring you to the page where you will enter your questions and answers).

    Photo Credit:

    If You Had to Vote Today . . .

    In class today, I asked my FYE 1220 students to write down the answers to these two questions.

    • If you had to vote for US President today, who would you vote for?
    • Why?

    They then folded the papers, and put them back into their notebooks; I won’t collect these.

    Tonight, the students need to go to Glassbooth and take a short survey. As Glassbooth puts it, “Glassbooth connects you to the 2008 presidential candidate that represents your beliefs the best.”

    Wednesday in class, we’ll discuss reactions to similarities and differences between who they initially indicated they’d vote for and which candidate is most closely aligned with their stance on issues.

    Revising Your Four-Year Plan

    After reviewing the four-year plans submitted last week, Mackenzie and I found several common themes in the plans:

    • Not listing the prerequisites. Use the Georgia Southern Catalog 2008-2009 to check for prerequisites and corequisistes for classes. Prerequisites must be taken prior to the course; corequisites must be taken at the same time as the course. If you try to register for a course in WINGS without first taking the required prerequisite, WINGS will not let you register for the course.
    • Taking the courses out of sequence. Often this is because the prerequisites weren’t checked when developing the plan. On many of the plans, it appeared as though you simply listed the courses in numerical order.
    • Not including all the required courses from the CORE. You cannot graduate until all the courses have been taken.
    • Attempting to schedule a course when it’s not offered. In many majors, upper division electives are not offered every semester. Check with your department to see what the rotation of courses is. For example, see the Spanish major course rotation.
    • Listing all the courses in a given area, when you only need to choose one of them.
    • Not choosing your electives wisely (or at all). Look at the minors you might be interested in, and consider using your electives to fulfill the requirements of a minor.

    In addition, there are often other requirements that must be met before taking certain courses. Be sure you know what these requirements are. For example, many majors require a minimum GPA before declaring the major, or sometimes a C or better in specific courses.

    You have a second chance in preparing your Four-Year Plan. Return your revised Four-Year Plan in class on Wednesday, October 8. Also return to us the plan you originally turned in AND the requirements for your major, so that we can see your changes.

    Questions? You know where to find me.

    Photo Credit: “Only a Little Off Course,” originally uploaded to Flickr by pnoeric

    Blog Posts for Making Connections


    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

    Blog Post #2
    • Set up your own blog at WordPress
    • Create an About Me page
    • Deadline: September 15, before class
    Blog Post #3


    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

    Blog Post #8

    10 Tips for Success on Assignments

    College 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.
    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 WebCT Vista for due dates if they are not specified on the syllabus.
    8. When taking a quiz or test in WebCT Vista, 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.

    Photo Credit: “Success,” originally uploaded to Flickr by kevinthoule.