I read a LinkedIn post recently by Dr. Steve Joordens, a Professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. Steve’s posts are always relevant, timely and a quick read, which is why I like reading them.
During Covid-19 and this new ‘normal’, that is so often not very normal, I find myself looking for ideas that are visual, to the point, and that just addresses one specific thing. This is exactly what Dr. Steve Joordens and Nick Khabaz’s tip sheet is. Dina Soliman from our OISE Online Learning team made an infographic, making their ideas visual for even easier access.
Their advice, choose courses and professors that you find engaging, is what I concur with. Let’s face it, professors are not always engaging. Also, not all professors create engaging courses. Sometimes, we take such courses anyway because they fit our timetable, or they are compulsory courses. But, especially now, ask other students for recommendations of courses they enjoyed taking (also ask why: we all like different styles of teaching too). If you must take the course, and just don’t find it engaging, find other ways to add to your learning.
For me, I took a course one term at OISE where I really struggled with the material. Not only was the material hard for me (it was a research–based course) but it was not taught in a way I could learn (just posting of textbook pages and very rudimentary teaching of concepts). I developed an online community with other learners who were good at different aspects of the course. I asked them questions. I took a few free online courses about the same material to help me learn definitions from a different perspective. I set a time in my calendar to work on that course, because it was easy to leave it for other courses that I enjoyed more. I also chose a final assignment topic for the course that really intrigued me, but still aligned with the boundaries set out by the professor. I finished the course, which was a required one, and survived. But it did take a bit more effort on my part.
Take the time to read Dr. Joorden’s tips on LinkedIn and think carefully about your course se