Student Success Transcript

New Student Online Orientation
Student Success—Transcript
(Video = “How to Succeed in College”)

Hi, I am Dr. Jared Griffin. I’m the English Professor here at Kodiak College and I’ve been asked to talk with you just a little bit about how to be a successful eLearning student.

Aahh, you’re probably, you’re taking some online classes or you’re thinking about taking some online classes through Kodiak College, and we thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea about what it means to be a sucessful student in some of these classes. And so if you know me or you’ve taken some of my classes, you’ll know that I am a fan of etymology, which is the fan…which is the study of ‘word history.’ And (ahh) I think if you look at the word ‘class’ you pretty much get everything that you need to know about how to be successful (umm) in an eLearning class or even a face-to-face class. So the word ‘class’ is an old Latin word actually; it’s been around for about almost 3,000 years. and the word ‘class’ has a lot…meant a lot different (ahh) meant something different thousands of years ago than it meant today.

Today we think of class as, you know, a group of students in a room listening to a teacher or doing some work, but back then the word ‘class’ meant kind of a group of people who are called to arms.-When (umm) a village or a town was being attacked, (ummm) they would shout out a call to arms and everyone would prepare the city or prepare the village or the town for some kind of attack in order to defend it. And (umm) I kind of really, I like that understanding of the word ‘class.’ I think you start to understand your class like that because the word ‘class’ actually means support. It means supporting each other and helping each other to help each other get through something difficult, and I promise you these are some very difficult classes that you are going to be going through and hopefully succeeding in.

(ahh) So the thing about eLearning classes is that (uumm) you think that you are there by yourself. You are there in front of your computer, you are drinking your coffee, or eating your Doritos, or maybe knitting and you’re there by yourself while you are there working on your class or maybe listening to a teleconference or an e-Live or something like that. But that’s the wrong way to go about approaching eLearning classes. Because if you think again about the word history of the word ‘class,’ thats a recipe for disaster. Thinking that you’re going, that you are going to go through this all by yourself, being an individual in your eLearning class, will only get you so far. You may pass the class, but you won’t remember anything or you’ll forget the experience. (umm)

In fact, (you) know (uumm) the number-one worst way to study for class, to prepare for class, to study for a test is to do it by yourself. The number-one best way to study and prepare for class is with other people, is with support. College classes are already really strange, and eLearning classes are even stranger than normal college classes or face-to-face college classes. So the more people you have to support you, the easier it will go. It will still be work. It will still be hard work, but you will remember more, you will get through it more efficiently (uumm), and you will probably actually have fun in the class than if you did it by yourself.

The other thing that it does if you are looking for support (uumm), if you are looking for help with others, is it prevents boredom. I have taken online classes before, I teach few online classes. And when I was taking online classes, I was bored—this is like ten years ago. I was bored out of my mind, and it was probably my fault! (uumm) If you think about the word ‘bore,’ that means to “drill a hole into something.” (uumm, and ahh ahh) A lot of the times we say we are bored, it is because we are the ones that are boring. We are the ones who are kind of sucking the life out of the class and sucking the life out of your experience in the class.

So you have to do some things (uumm) to make your classroom experience less boring. (And the re) And how you do that is by seeking help from others, learning all the different support opportunities that are there on campus, getting to know your professor. Getting to know your librarian is a big one! I would challenge you once you start your eLearning classes, send an email to the librarian here at Kodiak College introducing yourself. Instant friend! Just like that and you’ll bet set. (Umm) Excellent support, excellent way to to help you through these eLearning classes.

So there are a few traits I think that will help support you in your eLearning venture. I am going to use the acronym H O P. It is very active—hop, yes. Okay, so the first one is (uumm) “humility,” I know that sounds really weird (uumm) in a college class, but there’s a lot of traits that go along with the idea of humility. One is listening—if you are listening in your class, you should have no problems at all. It’s once you get distracted, that’s where problems start to arise. (uumm) Accepting critisim is another big part of having kind of that humble spirit. When you are going into an eLearning class, (uumm) critisim from (ahh your ahh) your peers and definitely from your instructor; (uumm) accepting that and working with that in your class.

You also need a humble spirit to ahh to learn. “Learn” is one of my favorite words! I know this is Alaska, and we love to hunt. And the word “learn” was actually an old hunting term that means to track or to find a track, so as hunters were hunting their game, that’s what they were doing. They were learning; they were following the track. It’s perfect for this state, right? So you can’t learn unless you are humble, unless you let the track follow you. And a well put together eLearning class will give you that track. You need to find that track in the syllabus, in the schedule, and in the weekly assignment. Whatever it is, follow that track, and you will be really successful in these classes.

The second thing is “obedience.” I know that’s a really…a really weird…another weird word. But obedience, to obedience to truth. (Okay, so it’s ahh, ahh, whats the word I am looking for?) So obedience to truth, which means ask questions and respond to questions, from others, from your instructor, that keeps you engaged, that will keep you involved, that will help you support others in the class, and that will help others support you. You have to remember that all the information that you are getting in that college class, face-to-face or online, all that information is incomplete. There is always something to add, and that is why you are in that class. You are in that class because you can add a lot to the experience of the class and to the knowledge base that is going on in the class. That keeps you engaged also, so it’s not boring; so you don’t find yourself being lost in the class.

And the last thing is “presence.” You have to actually be there. And I’m not talking about “be there” in some kind of weird, virtual reality kind of space, where you’re not really there—you know, like The Matrix, are you there, but not really there. (uumm) There are some physical things you should do. (uumm) You are preparing for class, you do need to eat, you do need to drink, you do need to sleep. I know that’s hard to do in a college class, or preparing for college class, but you need those things to be successful. If you don’t do those things—you don’t eat well, drink well, sleep well—you will be distracted, you will not have the energy, you will not have that kind of balanced approach to eLearning. And (uumm) those are so vital to being successful in class! Really simple things just like that can increase your (ahh ahh the) possibility that you’ll be successful in the class. And that also means you have to trust yourself. Know even though you are hiding behind the computer screen, in a way, for your eLearning classes, you still have to remember that you, yourself, have dignity, as a student. And you need to take pride in your experiences, in your knowledge base, in your intelligence, (uum) in the life, the life history that you’ve had. And, and have the, and feel that your life is dignified, that it’s justified, that you are in that class for a very important reason. And that’s to support yourself, but also to support others.

And so I think, if you do that—make friends in that class, make friends with your professor, make friends with the librarian, make friends with the Student Services and the computer lab and all the tutoring opportunities that we have here on campus, (aahh) you will find yourself on that track, on that path to success in eLearning. Very simple things that you can do, but reap so many benefits. Well I think that is just about all of my time. (uumm) Thanks again and good luck in your classes.