Here are the winning ($2,000) and runner-up ($200) entries for the September 2016 round of the $2k for 2,000 Words Scholarship Comp.
Thanks for all the entries. We received close to 300.
The winner, June Garcia, works for the Red Cross in America and studies with the University of Phoenix.
Judges for this round were:
- Dr Andrew Lancaster, UniCurve company director
- Dr Shane Hersey, Lecturer at Western Sydney University
- Bernadette Smon: Communications and PR consultant
- Sandra Lancaster: School teacher.
Distraction with a Twist
~ by June Garcia, who is studying Business with the University of Phoenix
One of the biggest threats to successful online study is distraction, and the internet can be the ultimate source of distraction for many people, including myself. To be successful in my online studies, I have had to retrain myself on how to use the internet more wisely. I frequently visit many websites while researching study topics and sometimes lose track of where I obtained information.
To keep my research organized, I created an online flashcards account and keep the tab open while online. I created a folder for each class and made a set of cards for the various study topics. When I find interesting content, I copy the data to a flashcard and include a link back to the source.
Because the flashcards are stored online, they can be accessed at any time, even when I am reading online material using my phone. This has helped me improve my ability to retain and recall all the bits of knowledge ingested while surfing various internet sites. This also helped with keeping track of the very valuable location of information so that I can properly cite my sources when writing essays or participating in classroom discussions.
The Motivation of Creativity
~ by Amanda Haehl, who is going to study Graphic Design
As I search the Internet for an inspiring design course and a reputable school, I look forward to actually taking classes rather than looking for them. I have finally found a path that fits my skills and interest so I cannot wait to begin my journey.
Self-motivation is the greatest challenge for online study, however with the growing number of opportunities to freelance or work remotely, I plan to treat my online courses like a job. Setting daily goals and making checklists can help me succeed in each course and project, allowing me to prove that I can work efficiently and independently. Accomplishing small goals each day and creating a portfolio will help motivate me to keep working, understanding that the sooner I master my courses, the more creative and confident I can become as a professional.
It is exciting to look towards the future, from simply wondering what I will learn to developing my skills to finally putting my training to use. By practicing self-discipline and focus now, I am not only acquiring the skills to become an accomplished designer but also setting the foundation to become a successful freelancer and a life long learner.
~ by Tori, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Financial Planning Certificate with the University of Phoenix
Studying online is great, because it allows non-traditional students, like me, to get a degree. There are 3 things that I like to do when studying, to help me learn.
- The first is, I like to study with coffee. Coffee is my treat for myself when I need to study hard. By starting my studying with something I enjoy, it makes my entire study session better.
- The second is to play happy music, which keeps me alert and in a good mood. Keeping good vibes going while I study makes the studying go by faster, and much more enjoyable.
- Finally, I like to quiz myself on whatever I am studying. This helps me to check my knowledge, and feel more confident when it is time for the real exam.
It is Easier than it Seems!
~ by Sarah D, who is studying Early Childhood with Psychology with University of East London / James Cook University
1. When I first started studying online, I found it difficult to listen to videos 3 hours straight and remember everything. Take breaks! Also, you could record teaching videos if they are only streamed online. Divide the video into several parts, depending on topics and sub-topics. Give the file a name (Psychology: An Introduction) and a date (27.09.2015) so it is easier to find at a later point.
2. Write down in bullet points what you can hear (Psychology is…) in each section and put the time (01:35 or 00:57-2:13) behind it. To have a clear overview, give each time frame a heading (Introduction). This helped me to maintain a clear overview of what has been said at what time and how it links together.
3. Later on, you can map the bullet points and link them together with sub-topics and other information. It also gives you the chance to give your input by writing down your own knowledge. For example, information from 10:45 (emotion) matches what has been said at 03:19 (action). You know that emotion and action can be linked because of hormones and psychological influences (your knowledge). Creating a mind-map out of it can do miracles here!
The Online Road to Success
~ by Sabrina Grossmann, who is studying for a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) with Swinburne Online
To reach your goal on the sometimes bumpy road of online studies, you need to be organised and you need to stay motivated. While having the choice of studying whenever and wherever it suits you is a great advantage of online courses, it also entails the risk of falling behind in readings, losing interest and feeling unconnected to the content. To overcome these barriers to success, my most effective strategies are:
- Make a study plan! At the beginning of each term I take the time to plan readings and work on assignments. Although I regularly adjust the plan if necessary, it keeps me on track.
- Connect with others! Online portals, discussion boards and Facebook can help to find students in the same course, maybe even in your local area. Connect with peers and team up for group assessments, stay in touch, and help each other with proof-reading, tips and exchange of resources. Talking to other students opens my mind and keeps me motivated.
- Stay healthy! “Mens sana in corpore sano: A healthy mind in a healthy body”. Our brain can only work to its fullest if our body is well. Have regular breaks that involve exercise and fresh air and eat good food! Preparing a healthy meal or going for a run is not wasting your time. I usually come up with my best ideas during a mountain jog.