Strategies for Success

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Stay involved
Ask questions
Chat with me
Develop good study techniques
Make use of every available resource
Use the Forums, Luke...
Check your e-mail every day
Make learning your responsibility
Enjoy!

The following are strategies you may find useful in any learning environment.

Stay involved

Frequent interaction with your instructor and the materials of this course will help you stay on track and keep you from falling behind. One of the most gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking emotions a student can have is the overwhelming feeling that they are behind in a course. In 99.9% of all cases, this feeling results from submitting to the dark side of the force, by allowing the evil empire to take hold of you and prevent you from learning. The evil empire's favorite weapon is procrastination. The guilt, self-doubt and self-punishment that result from procrastination are enemies of student success. Your continuous participation will alleviate those feelings, make you feel part of something that is fresh and exciting and give you a positive outlook on school and life. Be an active participant in this incredible online learning experience and the rewards will be plentiful!

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Ask questions

If you don't understand something, ask someone. If you are too intimidated to ask me directly, then post a message on one of the Forums. Send an e-mail to another student. Respond to an existing posting. Set up a buddy list on AOL Instant Messenger (IM) or ICQ Chat and activate it when you sit down at your computer (see below). Send me an e-mail. One of the beauties of this electronic medium is that we have so many different ways to communicate. Take advantage of them. Don't assume that I am too busy to answer your questions. I am never to busy to talk to a student. If the answer you receive is short, don't take it as a sign that I am busy. As you become more familiar with the Internet and e-mail, you will realize that many short messages are better than a few long ones. It makes communication more efficient.

You are welcome to call me at home any time of day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please leave a message if I don't answer. Leave your name, phone number and a convenient time for me to return your call. My home phone number is (714) 871-6730.

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Chat with me

America Online (www.aol.com) and ICQ (www.icq.com/support) provide near-instant and instant chat capabilities for user-to-user and multi-user communications. AOL uses something called Instant Messenger (IM) and ICQ uses ICQ chat. Both services are free! You do not have to be a member of AOL to use IM. Both systems allow you to set up a "buddy" list that lets you know when other users are online. In other words, if you are running IM or ICQ, you will know when I am online (or any other person whose name you out on your buddy list). My AOL or ICQ handle will appear in your IM or ICQ window when I come online. When you see my name appear, feel free to send me a message. Gather IMs or ICQs from fellow students and friends and add them to your buddy list. It's a great way to keep in touch. My AOL username is scxq28 and my ICQ user # is 13549819.

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Develop good study techniques

Contrary to what you may think, reading is not studying. Reading is reading. Studying involves making notes in the book, on notecards or on sheets of paper. When you finish reading something you should take out a pen and paper and write down everything you remember. You will be amazed at how much you recall using this method and even more amazed at how much you remember later because you took the time to write it down. Make tests for yourself. Make a list of key terms on a piece of paper and try to write a definition for each term. Write out the complete definitions and then check them against the book or my lecture notes. Do not go down the list with your eyes and say "I know that...I know that." Write out the definitions. Your understanding and ability to communicate the terms will be greatly improved. Study in groups and quiz each other. Discuss the concepts. Ask each other "Just what the heck is he talking about right here." Make charts and maps. Practice drawing graphs. Use every tool available to you to learn the material. Learning means being able to define it in your own words, to be able to explain it to someone who has no previous experience with oceanography, to be able to come up with new thoughts and ideas based on the material. That's learning!

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Make use of every available resource

You have right at your fingertips the most incredible information resource in the history of humans -- the WWW. Use it!  Do a search on the WWW. Use Yahoo or HotBot or Alta Vista or select one from the search engine selection site. Searching for information itself can force you to be more specific or think of related terms, which is a good exercise in itself. Once you find relevant information, it can provide you with a different perspective of the material. However, many times I ask questions that require you to think and synthesize concepts. You will not find these answers in the book, notes or the WWW. You will only find them in your brain.

The Fullerton College campus can be a tremendous source of help, if you take advantage of it. The college maintains a Writing Center, where students can go to get help with writing. The Writing Center frequently conducts seminars that help students with basic writing skills like "How to Write a Good Paragraph" or "Improving Your Sentence Structure" or "How to Write a Good Resume." As I hear about these seminars I will try to post them on the Daily Announcement page for your section.

Use your local library. The Yorba Linda and Anaheim libraries maintain an excellent collection of documentaries, many of which are related to the ocean. State colleges and universities offer an extensive collection of weekly and monthly scientific journals, in addition to general reference books. Librarians are a great help when it comes to finding information. Just ask them!

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Use the Forums, Luke...

The Forums enable you to post messages and respond to messages. Here you can ask questions, find study partners and make new friends. It's a good idea to check here frequently. Chances are if you have a question, someone else has the same question.

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Check your e-mail every day

Unless I am out of touch with a computer (such as on a field trip), I generally respond to all e-mails within 24 hours. If you do not hear from me within 48 hours, then send me a follow-up message. Sometimes I am unable to reply to you because of a problem with your e-mail address. If you still don't hear from me, then call me. Also, be sure that you are subscribed to the mailing list with your current e-mail address. Anouncements from the cybernauts mailing list provide information that is critical to your success in this course.

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Make learning your responsibility

It is your responsibility to make sure you understand what is required of you in this course. Ignorance of my rules is no excuse! I have carefully developed and spelled out these rules because they are essential to the efficient operation of this class. If you submit your work on time and with the required information, I can spend my time responding to your questions and helping you learn. Make it a habit to read these rules and guidelines several times throughout the semester. Become familiar with these strategies for success. They just might help get you through one of those panicked moments at 3AM the night before something is due! If you don't understand something or can't locate it on the web site, call me. Don't assume that I will let you slide by. I most certainly won't! If you have a problem submitting an exam or quiz, get hold of me immediately. It's your grade on the line! Communicate with me what is happening and together we will find a solution.

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Enjoy!

Your life is what your thoughts make it! Life is not a dress rehearsal. It's the real thing, day in and day out. Pursue your dreams! Enjoy the beauty of each moment. Keep a positive attitude about school and your life and everything and everyone around you will bring you joy. Don't blame others and don't let others rent space in your head. It's too expensive. You are the master of your destiny.  Exercise your right to choose, but be aware of the consequences of your choices and be willing to accept them. Study hard and you will be rewarded far beyond the confines of this course. You will know a new freedom. Enjoy!

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