Try College 101

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course is designed to equip you with the basic academic, professional, and personal skills you will need to be successful in college. You are probably already familiar with some of the skills and topics that will be covered here; other concepts may be brand-new to you. For example, perhaps you have already learned some effective test-taking strategies that work well for you, but you have never heard of the concept of learning styles. Or, you may be familiar with your learning style, but you want to improve your listening skills and learn how to adapt your learning style to a new academic environment.

Each student will have a different skill set when he or she starts this course. The point of this course is to give you—a new college student or a person considering a college education—a purposeful, thorough overview of the many tools and skills needed for undergraduate success, as well as to help you understand how you can improve each of these skills over time. Keep in mind that the terms skills, tools, and resources can refer to academic, social, psychological, and emotional skills and techniques as well as physical objects such as books and supplies.

You may be tempted to consider some of the broad learning outcomes that are outlined in this course as unimportant for your immediate success in college. For example, you may wonder whether it is really worth your time to think about your long-term career goals or your exercise habits at the very beginning of your college experience. However, having a sense of purpose that motivates you and a lifestyle that supports your ability to focus on your academic goals are the basic building blocks of success in college and beyond.

The first unit of this course will help you determine your goals for your college education. In other words, you will have the opportunity to thoughtfully answer the question, why am I pursuing an undergraduate degree? Knowing the answer to this question will help you stay motivated when you encounter challenges during your college experience. In units 2 and 3 of this course, you will learn how to manage your personal space and time in order to maximize your ability to learn, and in units 4 through 8 of this course, you will explore the learning process itself and the different skills and tools you can use to improve your academic performance. Unit 9 focuses on tests and test-taking, a subject that can cause great anxiety for many students, and units 10 and 11 provide you with general strategies for effectively communicating with college instructors as well as managing stress, anxiety, and other factors that affect your academic goals and overall health during college. Being a college student can present unique and new challenges to your health, and staying healthy, both physically and mentally, are crucial components of your success. Unit 12 of this course addresses the importance of your social life to your college success, and Unit 13, the final unit of this course, equips you with some tools to help prepare you for a career after college.

By the end of this course, you will have gained a comprehensive overview of the skills, tools, and resources you will need for a successful, healthy, and happy college experience. You will understand how to apply the concepts discussed in this course to your individual academic and personal goals, and to practice the skills you have learned by testing them in specific college courses that you plan to take or are already taking. Finally, you will possess a strong starting point for applying your newfound skills to your job search and your career beyond college.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to TRY COLLEGE 101.  Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements.  Please keep in mind that this course is designed to support your ability to succeed in other college courses. You will benefit from this course by taking it before or during your college studies.

Course Designer: Erika Cole Gillette

Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  Most units will require you to complete checkpoint exercises that review the textbook information as well as self-reflective short answer questions that ask you to apply the information.  In addition to these, you will also need to complete the Final Exam.

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to have a strong command of all the material covered in the course.  The most efficient and effective way for you to learn this material is to simply work through all the units and complete all the activities as the instructor and course designer have presented them.

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam, which is administered electronically through the Saylor.org Moodle system.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you approximately 83.25 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you should expect to spend on each subunit.  These are only approximate times meant to help you plan your time accordingly, and could vary considerably for you.  Please particularly note that the time commitment for each unit varies significantly; for example, Unit 2 should take you less than 2.5 hours, while Unit 5 will likely take you 11 hours.  It is a good idea to use the time estimates to help you plan in advance when you will find time to complete each unit.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take you 4.75 hours.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunits 1.1 and 1.2 (a total of 1.5 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.3 (a total of 3 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: The material in this course is designed to be applied generally across all the other courses you will take during your college experience.  As you complete each unit, try to apply that unit’s main ideas to other work you are doing as soon as possible.



SBCTC  
This course has been developed through a partnership with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The Saylor Foundation has modified some materials created by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in order to best serve our users.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Clarify and state your individual educational goals, and formulate specific plans to work towards the goals.
  • Design and implement a personal time management plan.
  • Identify your preferred learning style.
  • Describe and employ strategies for effective reading.
  • Describe and employ critical thinking and creative thinking skills.
  • Adequately describe effective listening, note taking, memory retention, and writing skills, and methods for improving these skills.
  • Identify and accurately judge the credibility of websites.
  • Describe and use different methods of exam preparation.
  • Explain test anxiety and list strategies for reducing it.
  • Describe the interview process and strategies for successful interviewing.
  • Create a resume and a cover letter.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Have competency in the English language.

Preliminary Information

  • College Success

    You will be prompted to read sections of this book throughout the course.  You may choose to download the text in full now and skip to the appropriate section as prompted by the resource boxes below, or you can simply download the specific sections of the text assigned as you progress through each resource box below.

    Reading: College Success (PDF)

    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Building and Working Towards Educational Goals  

    The first unit of this course will help you clarify your individual educational goals and formulate plans to work toward those goals. You will define your own values as they relate to your plans for college, and then you will create a set of specific goals that match your values. Creating both general and specific educational goals and plans will help you understand your academic pathway and identify direct ways to achieve your educational goals. In short, you will have a chance to consider why you are in college (or why you should consider enrolling in college), what you want to get out of the college experience, and how you can design a plan that helps you get there.
     
    Don’t worry too much about whether the goals you set now could change later in your college experience. At this point in your education, the main point is to set out some thoughtful goals and start working towards them, rather than wandering through your college experience without any goals at all – or, worse yet, working towards goals that somebody else has set for you.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Assess Your Current Knowledge and Attitudes  
  • 1.2 How Do You Get There?  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 1: You and Your College Experience”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 1: You and Your College Experience” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read the sections entitled “How to Get There” and “Welcome to College” in Chapter 1. This reading provides an overview of the importance of setting goals that are related to your own personal values and gives a general introduction to the topics that the entire course will cover. Do yourself a favor and read this section in full, even though you might be tempted to skip or skim it. This section will give you a healthy and important context to why the course is important.

      Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 1.3 Identify Your Own Values  
  • 1.4 Build Goals Related to Your Values  
  • 1.4.1 Set Your Goals  
    • Lecture: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Goal Setting”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Goal Setting” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this PowerPoint presentation. With each slide, consider the information you have just read in the textbook to reflect on your own goals. Be sure to take notes as you progress through the presentation; in the assignment that follows, you will be asked to write down your goals in concrete terms based on this reflection.
       
      Reading through this presentation should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.

  • 1.4.2 Goal-Setting Exercise  
  • Unit 1 Assessment  
  • Unit 2: Creating a Physical and Mental Space for Studying  

    This unit explores ways you can organize your space in order to create optimal study environments. In the past, you may not have given this topic much thought – maybe you studied in front of the TV, while hanging out with friends, or on your bed at home. Or, maybe you had a great study space, but now you are in a new environment! This unit will introduce you to the theory behind picking an effective, distraction-free study space, and explain why studying there consistently will make a difference in efficiently completing your academic work. Additionally, this unit will provide you with some strategies for minimizing distractions, especially if you live with family, friends, or roommates.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Why You Need a Space of Your Own  
  • 2.1.1 Feeling Secure and In Control  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1 above. For this subunit, review the reading’s bullet point titled “Everyone Needs His or Her Own Space.”

  • 2.1.2 Physical Space Reinforces Habits  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1 above. For this subunit, review the bullet point titled “Physical Space Reinforces Habits” to reinforce your knowledge of how structure and routine may help your studies.

  • 2.1.3 Physical Space Reinforces Mood  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1 above. In particular, review the bullet point titled “Different Spaces Create Different Moods.” Then, in your notes, consider what type of atmosphere you feel most productive in, e.g., a mostly quiet space, such as a library; a space with some background noise, such as a coffee shop; or a space with total privacy, such as your own room. Then, make a list of all the possible study spaces in your own environment that meet your desired criteria. Don’t forget to include information about each space; for example, opening and closing hours. Keep this list in your notes so you have several suitable places in mind when you are looking for a study area. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading this section and responding to the notebook prompt.

  • 2.2 Elements of a Good Study Space  
  • 2.3 The Dangers of Multitasking  
  • 2.3.1 What Qualifies as Multitasking?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the first two paragraphs of the section titled “The Distractions of Technology.” Then, write a summary of multitasking in your academic journal. Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 2.3.2 It Actually Takes More Time  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the third paragraph of the section titled “The Distractions of Technology” to further consider how multitasking can actually compromise your time. In your notebook, jot down any recent examples in your own life in which multitasking caused problems. Think of all the free time you could save by staying on task!

  • 2.3.3 It Shortens Your Attention Span  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the fourth paragraph of the section titled “The Distractions of Technology” to further consider how multitasking can shorten your attention span. Following your review, answer the following questions in your notebook: Can you think of any other disadvantages to multitasking while studying? What are some ways you can minimize distractions while studying? Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 2.4 How to Minimize Distractions and Interruptions  
  • 2.4.1 Do Not Multitask  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 2.4.  Remember what you learned in subunit 2.3.  Along with eliminating technology distractions, try to avoid multitasking in the form of participating in unrelated activities with family or roommates, while you should be spending your time studying.

  • 2.4.2 Get Cooperation from Others  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 2.4.  You may have to rely on others to work with you in developing a manageable schedule for studying in order to minimize distractions.

  • 2.4.3 Learn to Say No  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 2.4.  Remember to stay committed to the time you allotted for studying, which may mean saying no to other activities.

  • 2.5 Identify Two Study Spaces for Yourself  
  • Unit 2 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Ideal Study Space”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Ideal Study Space” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Much of your college success will depend upon how much time and attention you spend focused on your studies. A suitable study space is critical to helping you concentrate on your academic skills and reinforce the new material you are learning in your courses. This assessment is a self-guided journal reflection based on the material you have learned in Unit 2 of this course. If you feel comfortable sharing your answers, consider posting your reflections on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

  • Unit 3: Create an Effective Time Management Plan  

    This unit will help you create a reasonable time-management plan that emphasizes an appropriate amount of time for you to spend on school-related work. One of the most interesting activities in this unit will help you accurately identify how you spend the hours in your week. If you work through the diagnostic questionnaires included in this unit honestly, you may be surprised to learn how much time you spend doing (or not doing) ordinary activities. Many peoples’ first estimates about where their time goes are inaccurate, so do not be surprised if you have to adjust your first guess.
     
    One of the most difficult life lessons to learn is that, as adults, we simply will not have enough time for everything we want to do. This unit will help you come up with a realistic plan that prioritizes the things that are most important to you based on the values and goals you have already identified and schedule time to ensure that you can accomplish them. Next, you will learn about strategies for sticking to your schedule in the face of distractions, frustration, procrastination, and non-academic personal commitments. Finally, you will see how two basic tools – a calendar planner and a daily to-do list – can be powerful assets in your time-management plan.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Where Does Your Time Go?  
  • 3.1.1 Account for Your Time  
    • Web Media: Virginia Tech: Cook Counseling Center’s “Where Does Time Go?”

      Link: Virginia Tech: Cook Counseling Center’s “Where Does Time Go?” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: You can use this web media resource to review Activity 2, “Where Does the Time Go?” in the reading assigned beneathSubunit 3.1 above. The point of this activity – whether you complete it in the reading or with this web resource – is for you to estimate where you think you spend your time. After you have completed this activity, spend time during one day using the Daily Time Log in Figure 2.4 of the reading to collect data about how you actually spend your time. The time you spend to faithfully record your activities in the Daily Time Log will pay off in the long run as you come to understand your own time personality better. Keep the data you collect, as you will use it in subunit 3.1.2 and 3.2 below. You may be surprised to learn that your time estimates may not have been very accurate!
        
      Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes, along with a few minutes periodically over a whole day for recording time spent on your actual activities.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.1.2 Recognize Your Time Personality  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1 above. Compare your estimates from Activity 2, “Where Does the Time Go?,” with the actual data you have collected in your Daily Time Log. This comparison will help you develop a better understanding of how you can adjust how your time is spent. In your notebook, jot down a few sentences recording your reactions to your data and brainstorming how you might adjust your time usage. Spend approximately 30 minutes comparing your data and reflecting on your daily time use in your notebook.

  • 3.2 Where Should Your Time Go?  
  • 3.2.1 Determine How Much Study Time You Need  
    • Web Media: Study Guides and Strategies’ “My Weekly Schedule”

      Link: Study Guides and Strategies’ “My Weekly Schedule” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Using the data you collected about your own time use and needs in subunit 3.1 and 3.1.1, use this interactive log to create a reasonable weekly schedule that includes enough time for the activities that are most important for you to prioritize in order to reach your college goals.
       
      Completing this activity should take you approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2.2 Strategies for Using Time Wisely  
  • 3.3 The Battle with Procrastination  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 2: Section 2.3: Organizing Your Time”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 2: Section 2.3: Organizing Your Time” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: As you read through the section below the “Battling Procrastination” heading, you will become more familiar with the causes and symptoms of procrastination and learn ways to beat it. In your notebook, list some examples of personal challenges with procrastination that you have encountered in your academic life so far; then, brainstorm a few ways you can combat these challenges in the future.
       
      Please note that this reading covers the topics outlined in subunits 3.3.1-3.3.3 below.
       
      Reading this section and responding to the notebook prompt should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 3.3.1 Identifying Procrastination  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the reading’s definition of procrastination and how to identify procrastination when it happens. Reflect on your own academic experience: Are there any instances you can remember when you were procrastinating but didn’t know it? 

  • 3.3.2 Reasons for Procrastination  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.3 above. In your notebook, answer the following question: What are some of the reasons why people procrastinate? Make a list outlining some of the reasons you may procrastinate in completing your college coursework. Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 3.3.3 Strategies for Beating Procrastination  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.3 above. For this subunit, write a few sentences in your notebook about which strategies for beating procrastination may be the most helpful to you personally, and why. Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 3.4 Using Calendar Planners and To-Do Lists  
  • 3.4.1 Weekly Academic Planners  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 3.4.  Read about how to use a calendar planner to help you plan ahead to use your study time most effectively. Pay special attention to Figure 2.6 and the tips that follow it. 

  • 3.4.2 Daily To-Do Lists  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 3.4.  Read about different ways to use to-do lists along with your planner to get and to stay organized.

  • 3.5 Special Tips  
  • 3.5.1 Students Who Work  
  • 3.5.2 Students with Families  
  • 3.5.3 Student Athletes  
  • 3.6 Evaluate Your Time Management Knowledge and Skills  
    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Time Management Activity”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Time Management Activity” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: If you have not yet done so, now is time to pull out your academic planner or calendar and put it to work. Based on what you have learned in this unit, review the syllabus for this course and any other course/s you are taking. Record class times, appointments, study sessions, project milestones, goal action items, deadlines, test dates, and other important dates or activities. Once you have completed this activity, do not forget to update and review your planner or calendar as you meet your goals and set new ones.
       
      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.

  • Unit 3 Assessment  

    Being able to properly manage your time is an essential asset for maximizing your college success. The following activities are devoted to equipping you with the tools you need to best manage your time. After you complete the three activities below, you will answer some review questions about this unit.

  • Unit 4: Reading to Learn  

    At first glance, you may think that the topic of this unit – reading – is unnecessary. You may think you already know everything there is to know about reading. After all, if you have successfully completed the previous units of this course, you are doing it quite well right now! However, before you skip to the next unit, consider how often you will be asked to read something in college. The truth is, if you approach every reading assignment you receive in college by reading one word after another, you will probably never finish in time.
     
    The amount of reading material a college student is responsible for requires types of reading skills that are different from what you likely have been taught in elementary, middle, and high school. This unit will explain how you can learn more in less time during your reading sessions by scanning the body of a text and taking notes before you read, identifying the most important passages to read closely, and then reviewing the important material afterwards.
     
    Reading comprehension is actually a skill that you can improve upon for a lifetime. As you read this unit, keep in mind that the goal of effective learning is not to read the text as quickly as possible, but rather to read it as effectively as possible. If, in the past, you have not been able to remember the main points of a text after reading it, you can use the skills presented in this unit to ensure that the time you spend reading future assignments is used in a valuable way.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Assess Your Current Knowledge and Attitudes  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5: Reading to Learn”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 5: Reading to Learn” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Complete the first two self-assessments of Chapter 5, titled “Where Are You Now?” and “Where Do You Want to Go?” You already know how to read, but there are different skills that can enhance your ability to learn through reading. These self-assessment tools, and the brief section that follows, titled “Reading To Learn,” will help you measure where you are now and identify ways in which you can improve your own reading skills.

      Reading and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 4.1.2 Where Do You Want to Go?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 4.1.  Complete the assessment to explore your future goals.

  • 4.2 A New Way to Approach Reading  
  • 4.3 How Do You Read to Learn?  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5, Section 5.2: How Do You Read to Learn?”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 5, Section 5.2: How Do You Read to Learn?” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read Section 5.2 in its entirety. This section presents the four steps of active reading, an approach to reading a text that will allow you to absorb more information from a text in a shorter amount of time. This is a valuable skill you should work to acquire because you will be responsible for a great deal of reading as a college student! Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.  
      Please note that this reading also provides information you need to know for sub-subunits 4.3.1-4.3.3 below.
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 4.3.1 Preparing to Read  
  • 4.3.2 Reviewing What You Read  
    • Web Media: YouTube: The University of British Columbia: UBC Learning Commons’ “Textbook Reading”

      Web Media: YouTube: The University of British Columbia: UBC Learning Commons’ “Textbook Reading” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Watch the video under the heading titled “Learn.” Take notes as you watch, and then review your notes as well as the graphics under the webpage’s heading titled “Visualize.” Finally, complete the exercise under the heading titled “Apply” and email the answers to yourself.
       
      Watching this video, taking notes, and completing the exercise should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.3.3 Practice Your Advanced Reading Skills Now  
  • 4.4 Dealing with Special Texts  
  • 4.5 Building Your Vocabulary  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5, Section 5.4: Building Your Vocabulary”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 5, Section 5.4: Building Your Vocabulary” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this section. Learning new vocabulary is not all about flashcards and memorization. When you read effectively, you absorb the meanings of many words quickly. However, one of the main objectives of many college-level texts, especially in introductory courses, is to provide you with new vocabulary that is specific to the subject matter you are studying. Therefore, you should have a strategy for how to learn and incorporate new words into your writing and verbal communication. Additionally, if one of your reasons for achieving a college education is to advance your career or socioeconomic status, you will want to pay particular attention to eliminating what this text refers to as “lazy speech,” which many people consider to be an indicator of lack of education. Make sure to complete the activities and checkpoint exercises within the text.  
      Please note that this reading provides the information you need to know for subunits 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 below. 
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 4.5.1 Lazy Speech  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath Subunit 4.5 above. The activity within the reading will help you become more aware of how you may overuse some common words. For an even more accurate measurement of any “lazy speech” you may use, consider recording a conversation with a friend (with their permission, of course) and listening to yourself, noting any verbal expressions you may want to eliminate.

  • 4.5.2 Building Better Vocabulary Habits through Reading  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath Subunit 4.5 above. Review the reading’s bulleted tips that present strategies for acquiring new words while reading. In your notebook, make a list of the specific types of new words you may be interested in acquiring through your undergraduate reading. Spend approximately 15 minutes brainstorming and describing the kinds of vocabulary you would like to gain.

  • Unit 4 Assessment  
  • Unit 5: Learning Styles and Learning Processes  

    This unit focuses on the higher-level concepts of critical thinking and creative thinking, which are major components of college-level learning. Critical thinking is a level of thinking that requires more effort than simple memorization of facts or solving problems that have a right and a wrong answer. It requires you to make value judgments, either based on personal opinions you have formed, or based on additional information about a situation. In particular, a problem with more than one correct answer, or no correct answer, requires critical thinking to solve. A college-level education will include – and require – much more of this type of thinking than you may be used to, but the effort will be well worth it and very rewarding!
     
    This unit also introduces you to the various styles of learning that exist and helps you explore which style works best for you, how to use your predominant learning style, and how to improve your ability to use other learning styles. You may have heard about different learning styles before, or perhaps this concept is completely new to you. Each person processes information differently, and knowing how your own mind works is a powerful piece of information that can improve your study skills. Other people in your learning environment – teachers, students, co-workers, and writers, for example – may not always provide new information in the format that you like best. But once you have identified your own learning needs, you can better translate new information into a format that is easiest for you to understand and remember.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 Benjamin Bloom’s Six Types of Thinking  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 3, Section 3.1: Types of Thinking”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 3, Section 1: Types of Thinking” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: In the Chapter 3 introduction, complete the self-assessment exercises titled “Where Are You Now?” and “Where Do You Want to Go?” Then, read the section “How to Get There” and the introductory text under “It’s All in Your Head.” Next, read Section 3.1, titled “Types of Thinking” in its entirety. Pay special attention to the chart featured in Figure 3.2, which introduces Bloom’s Taxonomy, and evaluate yourself based on this information using the Thought Inventory Exercise provided later in the text. After you have completed the reading for Section 1, complete the checkpoint exercises. 

      Reading these sections and completing the self-assessments and exercises should take you approximately 1 hour to complete
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 5.2 A Closer Look at Critical Thinking  
  • 5.3 A Closer Look at Creative Thinking  
  • 5.4 Problem Solving and Decision Making  
  • 5.5 The VARK Learning Style System  
  • 5.5.1 Determine Your Learning Style  
    • Web Media: Neil Fleming’s VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles: “The VARK Questionnaire”

      Link: Neil Fleming’s VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles: “The VARK Questionnaire” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Answer each of the questions on the questionnaire to determine your learning preference. Many people score highly in more than one category, but one category usually is at least mildly stronger than the other three.
       
      Completing this questionnaire should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.5.2 The Four Styles and Strategies for Each  
    • Reading: Neil Fleming’s VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles: “The VARK Helpsheets”

      Link: Neil Fleming’s VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles: “The VARK Helpsheets” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the helpsheet for each of your learning styles (“Visual” through “Multimodal,” available via links at the bottom of the webpage) to read about strategies that are specific to your strengths.
       
      Reading these webpages should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.6 Reflect on Your Thinking and Learning Skills  
  • Unit 5 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Applying your VARK Learning Style”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Applying your VARK Learning Style” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This quiz will give you an opportunity to think about how your learning style fits into the learning cycle, as well as how it can complement your in-class learning, instructors’ teaching styles, and classmates’ learning styles. There is no right or wrong answer to this assessment. Rather, the best answer for you is one that allows you to reflect on your learning strengths and weaknesses and to devise a learning strategy that works for you over time. If you feel comfortable sharing your answers, consider posting your reflections on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • Unit 6: Listen, Take Notes, Read, and Study  

    The five most basic building blocks of learning in college – and elsewhere – are reading, writing, listening, taking notes, and studying. You have already learned how to improve your reading skills in Unit 4 and explored your learning style in Unit 5. This unit introduces you to concepts that will also improve the learning skills you use during class, including listening and taking notes during instruction and discussion. You almost certainly already know how to practice these skills to some extent, but this unit provides you with tools to practice these skills more efficiently.
     
    Like any other skill, the key to improving your effectiveness in listening, taking notes, reading, and studying is to understand each skill better. Just as a baseball player or golfer will not get better at hitting the ball by continuing to swing poorly over and over, you will not become a better listener by continuing to listen poorly! The athlete needs to look at his swing, get advice on how to swing better, and practice the better swing. Even professional athletes analyze their performance in order to improve, so no matter how good you already are at the skills covered in this unit, you can always work on these skills in order to become a better student.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 The Learning Cycle: Prepare, Absorb, Capture/Record, Review/Apply  
  • 6.2 Prepare to Learn in Class  
  • 6.3 Absorb Information Using Active Listening  
  • 6.4 Strategies to Improve Your Listening  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 4, Section 4.3: Are You Really Listening?”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 4, Section 4.3: Are You Really Listening?” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Pick up the Section 4.3 reading where you left off in Subunit 6.3 (from “Activity: Listening to Your Whole Body” onward) to learn additional strategies for staying active while you listen. Even if you are an online student, these skills will pay off great rewards. When interacting with online course content, eliminate distractions, lean forward, focus on what is being said and make note of questions you may have as if you were in front of a live instructor. Even though you may not have ready access to a live instructor who can immediately answer questions, noting your questions will allow you to focus on the material. You may be able to answer most of these questions through conducting independent reading of related texts, reviewing the course materials (textbooks, assignments, and lectures) and performing independent online research. You may also wish to establish or join a study group or online discussion forum in order to share questions and answers with fellow learners.  
      After reading the rest of Section 4.3, make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 6.5 Capture Information Using Note Taking  
  • 6.5.1 Why Note-Taking Is Important  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned beneath Subunit 6.5 above. For this subunit, review the section introduction, including the learning objectives and Table 4.2, titled “Note-Taking Methods.” In your notebook, list the note-taking methods that might work the best for you based on your academic strengths and learning style. Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 6.5.2 Four Note-Taking Methods  
    • Reading: Alexandria Technical and Community College: College Service’s “Methods of Note Taking”

      Link: Alexandria Technical and Community College: College Service’s “Methods of Note Taking” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: The first section of this webpage describes the Cornell Method of note-taking, which you will learn about in detail in the next subunit. For now, scroll past the section on the Cornell Method and read the red heading titled “B. Mapping” for some additional information on the note-taking method of Concept Mapping. Concept Mapping is particularly useful to help you organize information not only when taking class notes, but also during study sessions.  
      Reading this webpage should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.5.3 The Cornell Method  
    • Reading: Alexandria Technical and Community College: College Service’s “Methods of Note Taking”

      Link: Alexandria Technical and Community College: College Service’s “Methods of Note Taking” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the first section of the webpage, under the red heading titled “A. Cornell Note-Taking System,” for information on the Cornell Method. Note that the chart listing the various elements of the system provides a specific example of a topic that has been organized using the Cornell Method.
       
      Reading this webpage should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.6 Practice Your Note-Taking Skills Now  

    Link: Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Activity Instructions” (PDF)

  • Unit 6 Assessment  
  • Unit 7: Academic Writing and Research in College  

    This unit addresses a very important topic: college-level writing. Improved writing is one of the major, universal skills that you will take away from a college experience, and it will likely be the skill you use most in your post-college life. Consider for a minute the many ways in which your writing is the first impression people have of you: for example, when you compose emails, write thank-you notes to your parents’ friends, complete job applications, draft the report your supervisor forwards to the CEO, or post to your blog or personal website. Good writing will distinguish you dramatically from your peers and bring you terrific advantages in the long term.
     
    Yet, college writing is a very specific kind of writing, with its own set of rules and requirements that are different from any writing you will probably do before or after college. College writing is designed to teach you about methodical thinking. Writing out a problem, organizing the pieces of the solution to the problem, and then describing the solution clearly for the reader requires you, the writer, to think carefully about the problem itself. So, good writing is both a goal in itself and a tool you will use to reach other goals.
     
    Writing in college is often also designed to teach you about academic research, provide you with opportunities to conduct research, and teach you how to present the results of research. In some classes, you might write about research you physically do – such as lab research in a biology or psychology class – but in other classes researchmeans reading what many other people think about a topic, then coming to your own conclusion on it. This unit covers the basic process for doing this second form of research, including the important issue of how to find quality information and trusted resources on the Internet.
     
    In sum, this unit of the course will help you understand the steps you need to follow to become a better academic writer.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 What Is Academic Writing?  
  • 7.1.1 Differences between High School and College Writing  
  • 7.1.2 Types of Academic Writing Assignments  
    • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Common Writing Assignments”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Common Writing Assignments” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this webpage, beginning with the section titled “Understanding Writing Assignments” (click on the title to access the full webpage covering this topic). Then, click on the nine different types of writing assignments listed on the webpage. Read each section for an introduction to various types of writing assignments. In particular, note the different approaches suggested for each type of assignment. In some cases, an instructor will not be clear about which type of writing he or she wants; in this case, you can ask the instructor for clarification and use your critical thinking and problem solving skills to determine the best approach. In fact, it may be very helpful to you to bookmark this webpage for use throughout your college experience.
       
      Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.2 Approaches to a Writing Assignment  
  • 7.3 Becoming a Better Writer  
  • 7.3.1 A College Instructor’s Expectations for Writing  
  • 7.3.2 The Writing Process  
  • 7.3.3 Using Style Guides and Writing Handbooks  
    • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “General Writing Resources”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “General Writing Resources” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Explore the different resources available via the links on the webpage above. Note in particular the sections that can help you refine your own writing process (“The Writing Process”); answer your questions about basic writing skills (“Mechanics, Grammar, and Punctuation”); and the extremely helpful citation guides on the left-hand navigation under the heading titled “Suggested Resources” (particularly the MLA Guide and the APA Guide). Note that you may click on each heading on the webpage to access a particular section for more detailed information.
       
      Reading these webpages should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Writing Resources”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Writing Resources” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: You have already visited Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab and explored some of the resources there. There are many other good online resources to assist you in your writing. Several more options are listed in the article above. The most important thing for you to do at this time is to become very familiar with what is available among these resources. By evaluating these resources now, you can access and navigate them more quickly when you need to refer to them for specific college assignments. Be sure to bookmark these resources so that you can quickly find particular guides when you need them in the future.
       
      Reading this resource should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 7.4 Using Others’ Writing Correctly  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 8, Section 8.2: How Can I Become a Better Writer?”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 8, Section 8.2: How Can I Become a Better Writer?” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: In Section 8.2 of the textbook, read the text below the headings titled “Plagiarism – and How To Avoid It” and “Forms of Citation.” Be sure that you understand the underlying reasons why it is important to cite where you have found information. Many students learn how to cite without understanding that citation is an important research tool and a critical component of academic integrity – not a meaningless rule. After you have completed this reading, work through the checkpoint exercises at the end of the section.
       
      This resource also covers the topics outlined in subunits 7.4.1-7.4.4 below. 
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 7.4.1 Someone Else’s Words  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4 above. Pay special attention to the paragraph about the dangers of using another writer’s words in your own writing. There is a correct way to do this that is not plagiarism – this method will be covered in more detail in subunit 7.4.4 below.

  • 7.4.2 Someone Else’s Ideas  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4 above. Just like words, ideas also belong to the original writer. In college, you will be encouraged to read and use other people’s words and ideas, but you will need to know the correct and incorrect ways to do so! Subunit 7.4.4, below, will show you the correct way.

  • 7.4.3 Common Knowledge vs. Distinct Contributions  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 7.4 above. Many students struggle with knowing what is common knowledge and what needs a citation. If you are ever in doubt about whether to cite something or not, err on the side of caution and cite it. You will never get in trouble for telling someone where you found your information – but you might get in trouble if you do not.

  • 7.4.4 Citing Your Sources  

    Note: This topic is partially covered in subunit 7.4 above. The reading under the heading titled “Forms of Citation” gives you the names of different citation methods you may be asked to use, but it does not actually describe the methods or show you how to use them. You have already explored several great online resources and citation manuals. For your convenience, links to two important citation styles, MLA and APA, have been provided again below for your review. Click on one or both of the links below to further explore these resources. Specifically pay attention to the menu of clickable links that run down the left-hand side of the page. These links include both style guides as well as examples of specific citations and documents that you can use as models. Do this right now, while you are thinking about citations. Don’t wait until you need this information at the end of a research assignment! Because different instructors may ask for different types of citation formats, it might be a good idea to bookmark both of these webpages for later use.

    • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “MLA Formatting and Style Guide”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “MLA Formatting and Style Guide” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Use this guide to gain a more in-depth understanding of the MLA Style Guide. Be sure to click on the links at the left-hand side of the webpage to explore examples of specific parts of MLA style.
       
      Reading this guide should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “APA Formatting and Style Guide”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “APA Formatting and Style Guide” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Use this guide to gain a more in-depth understanding of the APA Style Guide. Be sure to click on the links at the left-hand side of the webpage to explore examples of specific parts of APA style.
       
      Reading this guide should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Rutgers University: Paul Robeson Reference Library’s “How to Avoid Plagiarism”

      Web Media: Rutgers University: Paul Robeson Reference Library’s “How to Avoid Plagiarism” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Instructions: The website above contains four videos (including a quiz). Start by clicking on the words “1. What is Plagiarism?” to watch the first video and learn about what plagiarism is and some possible consequences that committing plagiarism could bring to your academic career. Continue to the second video by clicking on the words “Click Here for Part 2” on your screen. This section will explain how to cite your research in the correct way in order to avoid plagiarism. Continue to the third video by clicking on the words “Click Here for Part 3.” When you come to the quiz show section, select your answers and then read the responses. After you have finished watching these videos, take the time to locate and familiarize yourself with your own college or university’s academic honesty policy by searching the school’s website or asking an advisor.
       
      Watching these videos and completing the quiz should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on thewebpage above.

    • Reading: The New York Times: Trip Gabriel’s “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age”

      Link: The New York Times: Trip Gabriel’s “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this article to learn about the complex issue of crediting your sources in order to avoid plagiarism. Following your reading, answer the following questions in your notebook: How do you feel about the different examples described in the article?  Have you ever been in a situation where you were not sure whether you should cite a source?  Considering what you know now, how would you have handled that situation?
       
      Reading, note-taking, and answering these questions should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on thewebpage above.

  • 7.4.5 Style Points for Using Quotations  

    Note: Many new college writers struggle with how to integrate the research they have collected from other sources into their own writing. Learning the mechanics of how to do this is one thing (which you learned earlier in this unit) but what about style? Read the “Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing” resource found via the first link below to understand your different choices. Then, click on the second link below, which provides you with an essay and a sample summary, paraphrase, and quotation from the essay. Before reviewing the sample summary, paraphrase, and quotation, you may want practice writing your own summary, paraphrase, and quotation based on the essay, and then compare your work to the sample provided. Make sure you understand how these elements are different from each other and how to create your own summary, paraphrase, and quotation in the future.

  • 7.5 Integrating Research into Your Writing  
  • 7.5.1 Begin Research  
    • Web Media: The University of California Libraries’ “Research Tutorial: Where Do I Start?”

      Link: The University of California Libraries’ “Research Tutorial: Where Do I Start?” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Instructions: You will use this website for all of Subunit 7.5, including subunits 7.5.1-7.5.4. For this subunit, read all the content under the tab titled “Begin Research.” Click the small arrow on the top right hand of the webpage next to “1 of 17” to read all 17 entries and answer any questions within these entries.
       
      Completing this assignment should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.5.2 The Knowledge Cycle  
  • 7.5.3 Finding Books  
  • 7.5.4 Finding Scholarly Articles  
  • 7.5.5 Search Strategies  
  • 7.6 Evaluating Online Sources  
  • Unit 7 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Put your Writing to Work”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Put your Writing to Work” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Writing is a critical life skill, and your mastery of writing will have a tremendous impact on your academic and professional career. Like many skills, the best way to improve your writing is to practice. This assignment will help you apply many of the writing guidelines and techniques that you have explored this unit.
       
      You will find more information about this assignment at the link, including an essay review checklist to help you check your work after you have finished writing. Please keep your audience in mind: This essay is intended to be posted and discussed on the Try College 101 Discussion Board.

      Composing and revising this essay and engaging other students on the course discussion board should take approximately 4 hours to complete.

  • Unit 8: Using and Improving Your Memory Skills  

    This short unit focuses exclusively on improving your memory skills. Memorization is an interesting problem for the college student because, unlike in high school, just knowing a list of facts is unlikely to be the end goal of your learning. You will need to memorize information in college, but primarily so that you have access to this information in order to perform the higher-level thinking skills that will be discussed in Unit 5 of this course.
     
    Because memorization is a common study skill for high school subjects, you may already have specific strategies that you employ. Nonetheless, as with the other critical undergraduate skills of listening, note-taking, reading, and writing, you can improve your memorization skills by studying the advanced memorization techniques discussed in this unit.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 Review Information to Remember It  
  • 8.1.1 How Memory Works (The Brain Science of Memory and Short-Term vs. Long-Term Memory)  
  • 8.1.2 Tips for Putting Information in Long-Term Memory  
  • 8.1.3 Using Mnemonic Devices  
  • 8.1.3.1 Acronyms  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.3 above. Focus on the section with the subheading titled “Acronyms” to review how you can use acronyms to help recall information. In thinking about acronyms, consider the many organizations that use acronyms to simplify a longer title, such as United States government organizations like NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or world-wide organizations like the UN (The United Nations). Jot down a list of common acronyms in your academic journal. Reading this textbook section and completing the notebook question should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 8.1.3.2 Acrostics  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.3 above. Focus on the paragraph starting with “Acrostics” to review how you can use this device to help recall information. Pay particular attention to the examples provided for memorizing musical notes or the order of the solar system’s planets. Consider any other acrostics that you may already be familiar with, and write these down in your notebook as examples. Reading this textbook section and completing the notebook question should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 8.1.3.3 Rhymes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.3 above. Focus on the paragraph starting with “Rhymes” to review how you can use rhyming as a device to help recall information. Consider the examples provided about familiar ways in which rhymes are used to memorize factual information. Can you think of any times in your own academic career when you have used rhyme to aid your memory? Write these down in your notebook as examples. Reading this textbook section and completing the notebook question should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 8.1.3.4 Jingles  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 8.1.3 above. Focus on the paragraph starting with “Jingles” to learn how the use of catchy music may help you recall information. Can you think of any advertisements that used a jingle to help make a product more memorable? Consider how you can use this device as you study. Write down any jingles that you remember in your notebook as examples. Reading this section and completing the journal question should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 8.1.4 Active Reviewing Techniques  
  • 8.2 Exercises to Improve Memory and Retention  
    • Web Media: Lumosity’s “Basic Training”

      Link: Lumosity’s “Basic Training” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Instructions: Test your memory skills with this website. You will need to create a free, private account to access the resource. This is a great website (and free unless you want to keep exploring it past the free options) to improve your memory skills. Click on the large orange button titled “Start Training.” Next, choose which areas you want to work on. Once you have completed this training, complete the registration process. The progress beaker in the upper right corner will fill up to 100% when you are done. Next, you will be given three beginning tests. Take the tests, and record or print your results to use in the activity assigned below.
       
      Completing this assignment should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Memory Tests”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Memory Tests” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Complete this activity based on your previous training on the Lumosity website and your textbook readings. Answer the activity questions to review your coursework in this unit.
       
      Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • Unit 8 Assessment  
  • Unit 9: Be Ready For Tests and Test Anxiety  

    This unit will present you with strategies you can use to study for tests, reduce or eliminate stress related to test-taking – commonly called test anxiety – and increase your skills in taking tests.
     
    The weeks and days before a test are a great time to remind yourself of an important point: being a college student is voluntary! Put another way, you are in college because it will help you achieve the goals you set out at the beginning of this course. If you approach tests as an opportunity to see how well you are doing, rather than as a punishment or trial, you will find it easier for you to have a positive attitude about the process. Nearly every student has experienced test anxiety at some point, so if it happens to you, do not see it as a sign of failure. Instead, learn the strategies presented in this unit so that when test anxiety appears, you will have the emotional tools to manage it. 
     
    One of the most effective strategies for avoiding excessive anxiety during an exam is being well-prepared for the exam itself. Feeling confident about the material comes from studying effectively and often, and from feeling healthy and well-rested on the exam day. This unit also covers strategies for actually taking a test, including understanding the different question types, which questions to answer first, and other useful tips.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 9.1 Why Test?  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 6: Preparing for and Taking Tests”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 6: Preparing for and Taking Tests” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: In Chapter 6 of the textbook, begin by filling out the self-assessments titled “Where You Are Now?” and “Where Do You Want to Go?” Then read “How to Get There” and the introduction titled “Tested at Every Turn” to gain some new perspectives on the purpose and value of testing. Pay particular attention to how testing fits into the learning cycle you have studied in earlier units of this course.
       
      This material also covers the topics outlined in subunits 9.1.1-9.1.3 below.
       
      Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 9.1.1 To Measure Progress  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing this reading to better understand how the results of your tests can show you how much you have learned, not just what you haven’t learned.

  • 9.1.2 To Reinforce Your Understanding  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1 above. Focus on reviewing how tests can present extraordinary learning opportunities to sharpen and hone your knowledge.

  • 9.1.3 Testing’s Place in the Learning Cycle  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 9.1 above. Pay special attention to reviewing Figure 6.2 in the reading.

  • 9.2 Why Stress?  
  • 9.3 How to Be Prepared for the Test  
  • 9.4 Types of Tests and Strategies for Each  
  • 9.5 General Strategies for Test-Taking  
  • 9.6 Types of Test Questions and Strategies for Each  
  • 9.7 Academic Honesty  
  • 9.8 After the Test  
  • 9.9 Practice Your Test-Taking Skills  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Short Answer and Essay Test”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Short Answer and Essay Test” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Access this exam and practice responding to the different types of exam questions. Spend only 15-20 minutes answering each exam question. You may take a break between each exam question, but it may be a good idea for you to attempt all five questions in one sitting in order to simulate the time allotted for each short answer and essay response in a typical college test. You can check your answers here.
       
      Completing this assessment and checking your answers should take approximately 1 hour.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Matching and Fill in the Blank Test”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Matching and Fill in the Blank Test” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Access this exam to practice three matching and fill-in-the-blank exam questions. Spend only 5 minutes answering each exam question. You may take a break between answering each exam question, but it may be a good idea for you to answer all three in one sitting in order to simulate the typical time allotted for each question in the matching section of a college test. You can check your answers here.
       
      Completing this assessment and checking your answers should take approximately 1 hour.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Multiple Choice and True/False Exam”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Multiple Choice and True/False Exam” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Access this quiz to practice answering five multiple choice and true/false exam questions. Spend only 5 minutes answering each exam question. You may take a break between each question, but it may be a good idea for you to answer all five questions in one sitting in order to simulate the amount of time allotted for each question in the multiple choice or true/false section of a typical college test. You can check your answers here.
       
      Completing this assessment and checking your answers should take approximately 1 hour.

  • Unit 9 Assessment  
    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Developing a Test-taking Plan and Putting It to Work”

      Link: “Try College 101 Discussion Board” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: One of the most important strategies for ensuring your college success is to develop a plan for how you will prepare for quizzes, tests, and exams. If you do not already have a basic plan, now is the time to create one. Pull out your planner or calendar, your course syllabus, and your course notes and other materials. Note all your upcoming quizzes, tests, and exams in your planner.
       
      Also be sure to:
       
      1. Schedule time on your calendar for reviewing your course notes. Divide the notes into manageable chunks and schedule time every day between now and the next upcoming exam to review these notes.
       
      2. Attend extra study sessions. Make sure all your group study sessions, recitations, review sessions, and tutoring appointments are on your calendar. Don’t wait too long to try to find a tutor if you need one. The closer to the exam you are, the harder it will be to find someone who has time to help you.
       
      3. Plan as if you have a critically important meeting the night before the exam. How can you have all your studying completed well beforehand?
       
      4. Eat, sleep, and exercise. Don’t forget to eat properly, exercise, and get a good night’s sleep before the exam. Make sure you have a good breakfast and/or snack before the test.
       
      5. Relax during the exam. What are three things you can do while taking the exam to help you relax and to calm your nerves? Share your answers on the “Try College 101 Discussion Board.”
       
      6. Review test-taking tips. Make note of effective test-taking strategies based on your readings in your College Success textbook. Share strategies that work for you on the “Try College 101 Discussion Board.”
       
      7. It’s not over yetOnce you have completed your exam, read through it one last time to make sure you have not missed any questions before you turn it in.
       
      When the graded exam is returned to you, be sure to review it. Focus on any parts of the exam in which you performed poorly, and use the test as a resource to prepare yourself for future exams. Receiving your first test grade is a good time to schedule an appointment with your instructor to discuss anything you do not understand.
       
      Wash, Rinse, and Repeat
       
      Effective test-taking is an important part of learning and is a skill that you will continue to develop over time. As you continue to improve the studying and test-taking skills that you have learned in this course, you will find that they will continue to pay dividends throughout your college career.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Preparing for Tests”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Preparing for Tests” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This assessment asks you to reflect on a time when you were a successful test-taker. Can you visualize your success? If you feel comfortable sharing your strategies for preparing for tests, consider sharing your insights on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
       
      Completing this assesment should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • Unit 10: Interacting with Instructors and Classes  

    This unit focuses on how to engage in the learning process through interactions with your instructors and other students.Interacting with the instructor and other students leads to a full educational experience. Whether you are attending a class online, sitting in a lecture hall, or participating in a small group study, you will find that by being actively engaged with your instructor and fellow students, you will be on the path to a more successful college experience.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 10.1 Assess Your Current Knowledge and Attitudes  
  • 10.2 Interacting with Instructors and Classes: Why Attend Class at All?  
  • 10.3 Interacting with Instructors and Classes: Participating in Class Reading  
  • 10.4 Interacting with Instructors and Classes: Communicating with Instructors  
  • 10.5 Interacting with Instructors and Classes: Public Speaking and Class Presentations  
  • 10.6 Interacting with Instructors and Classes: Chapter Activities  
  • Unit 10 Assessment  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Find a Mentor”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Find a Mentor” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this article about why and how to choose a mentor to enrich your learning experience while in college. Building relationships with one or more mentors can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your time in college. After reading about mentorship, you will be asked to carry out and reflect on the process of finding and interviewing your own mentor. If you feel comfortable sharing your experience, consider posting your reflections on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.

  • Unit 11: Managing Your Health and Stress  

    You may be aware that poor health can be a major cause of stress, but did you know that prolonged stress can also cause bad health? Especially if being a college student coincides with your first experience living away from your parents, or if you are balancing school with work or your own family life, college can present new and stressful academic, social, and financial challenges. Managing your responsibilities well includes managing the stress they may cause you, and this unit provides you with proven strategies for stress management that can help.
     
    For some people, one of the biggest challenges about stress is recognizing the symptoms of stress before they are out of control. Others struggle with identifying the causes of their stress. This unit will present you with strategies to help you realize when you are feeling stress and pinpoint the cause of that stress. It will also give you techniques for managing and reducing stress, both in the short- and the long-term.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 11.1 What Kind of Student Are You?  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 1, Section 1.2: Different Worlds of Different Students”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 1, Section 1.2: Different Worlds of Different Students” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. College students comprise a more diverse group than you ever may have experienced before. You will have a much more interesting and fruitful time in college if you understand this change and know where you and your friends fit into the mix. For each category of student described in this section, consider whether you could fit into the category. It will be useful for you to be particularly aware that you and other students may fit into more than one category! Just as there are many diverse students that make up a college population, so too are there many ways to be a successful student in college. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading. 
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution, as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 11.2 The Elements of a Healthful Lifestyle  
  • 11.2.1 Nutrition and Weight Control  
  • 11.2.2 Activity and Exercise  
  • 11.2.3 Getting Enough Sleep  
  • 11.2.4 Substance Use and Abuse  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.4: Substance Use and Abuse”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 10.4: Substance Use and Abuse” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. Make sure to complete the self-assessment, the case study, and the checkpoint exercises. Please note that, as an online student, your reactions to this section will not be seen, heard, or read by instructors, administrators, or other students. This information is between you and yourself only, so make sure that your answers are honest and comprehensive. You can make decisions later about what actions you may or may not take; first, just read to inform yourself, without judgment.  

      Reading this section and completing the self-assessment and exercises should take you approximately 2 hours.
       

      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 11.3 What Exactly Is Stress?  
    • Lecture: Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center’s “Stress Management”

      Link: Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center’s “Stress Management” (QuickTime Video)
       
      Instructions: Watch this video to learn what stress is and effective stress management techniques.  It may help to take notes as you watch this video.
       
      Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 11.4 What Causes Stress?  
  • 11.4.1 Major Life Events  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4 above. Review the paragraphs and bullet points that give examples of major life events that may cause stress, under the heading titled “What Causes Stress?” In your notebook, reflect on any major life stressors you have experienced over the years, and the ways in which you handled them. Knowing your past personal coping mechanisms will provide you with insight on how you can improve your strategies in the future. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 11.4.2 Everyday Stressors  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4 found above. Review the bullet points and paragraphs that discuss more common stressors, under the heading titled “What Causes Stress?” In your notebook, consider what stressors you may face in your daily life and how you may overcome these stressors to focus on your studies. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 11.5 The Effects of Stress  
  • 11.5.1 Long-Term Effects  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.5 above. Review the bullet points that follow the first two paragraphs of the section to learn about the significant long-term physical effects of chronic stress. Many of these effects can develop into serious medical conditions over time; be sure to monitor your responses to stress so that you can manage your health before stress exacts long-term consequences.

  • 11.5.2 Long-Term Effects of Chronic Stress  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.5 above. Review the bullet points that are identified as acute, or short-term, stress to learn about the negative effects of this kind of stress. Can you identify any additional short-term effects of stress that you have experienced in your life?

  • 11.6 Responses to Stress  
  • 11.7 Positive Responses  
  • 11.8 Emotional Health and Happiness  
  • 11.8.1 Problematic Emotions  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the introduction to the section, your answers to the self-assessment, and the text below the heading titled “Problematic Emotions.”

  • 11.8.1.1 Anxiety  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Focus on reviewing the bullet points under the heading titled “Anxiety,” which describe five more serious forms of anxiety. If any of these forms of anxiety sound familiar to you, it is likely that some professional counseling could greatly improve your emotional health.

  • 11.8.1.2 Loneliness  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Review the bullet points under the heading titled “Loneliness.” Keep in mind that while you may not feel these emotions as strongly as they are described here, you may experience a version of these emotions at some point in your college career. Learning about these emotions and how to cope with them now will prove important and helpful to you in the future.

  • 11.8.1.3 Depression  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Review the bullet points under the heading titled “Depression.” Pay particular attention to the bullet points that describe when negative emotions have progressed to the level of depression. Pay attention to identifying these symptoms now, even though they may not apply to you or someone you know at this point.

  • 11.8.1.4 Suicidal Feelings  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Review the bullet points under the heading titled “Suicidal Feelings.” Pay attention to identifying these symptoms now, even though they may not apply to you or someone you know at this point.
     
    If you or a friend is in a crisis and needs help at any time, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). All calls are confidential.

  • 11.8.2 Emotional Balance  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the text below the headings titled “Achieving Emotional Balance” and “Tips for Success: Emotional Health.”

  • 11.9 Relationships  
  • 11.10 Sexual Health  
  • 11.10.1 Understand Your Sexual Values  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Sexual Values and Decisions.” Pay special attention to the careful definitions of various terms used in the text. Knowing how your values are related to these issues is an important part of building your own value system.

  • 11.10.2 Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the text below the headings titled “Alcohol and Sexual Activity,” “What’s ‘Safe Sex’?” and “Sexually Transmitted Infections” (STIs). Take time to review the information included in Table 10.2.

  • 11.10.3 Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy.”

  • 11.10.4 Preventing Sexual Assault and Date Rape  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Sexual Assault and Date Rape.” Pay special attention to the carefully defined terms in this section. It is especially important that you are aware of this information so that you can protect yourself and avoid an unsafe situation.
     
    If you are sexually assaulted, talk to someone. Call 911, a rape crisis center, your student health center, and/or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for a confidential conversation.

    • Reading: Vassar College: Sexual Assault Violence Prevention (SAVP): “What Is Consent?”

      Link: Vassar College: Sexual Assault Violence Prevention (SAVP): “What Is Consent?” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this webpage. Think about how you can prevent sexual assault and violence. Make a list of important emergency phone numbers for your own campus and/or home. Be sure to program these phone numbers into your cell phone.
       
      Reading this webpage and taking notes on the important phone numbers should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 11.11 Evaluate Your Stress Levels  
    • Activity: The Oxygen Plan Corporation’s “Oxygen Plan Stress Test”

      Link: The Oxygen Plan Corporation’s “Oxygen Plan Stress Test” (HTML)
       

      Instructions: Complete this self-evaluation. At the end of the evaluation, print or save your “Stress Numbers,” and then click on the “What Your Scores Mean” button. Read the explanations on this page, and then print or save this page as well. You will need this information to answer the questions for the next assignment in this subunit.
       
      Completing this self-assessment activity should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Week 9 Activity”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Week 9 Activity” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Using your results from the “Oxygen Plan Stress Test,” which you completed in the activity above, answer the questions in the PDF linked above.
       
      Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • Unit 11 Assessment  
  • Unit 12: The Social World of College  

    This unit focuses on the social dimension of college. The social aspects of college enhance the learning that goes on inside the classroom. Navigating the social aspects and student body diversity of college has a large impact on your academic success.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 12.1 Assess Your Current Knowledge and Attitudes  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 9: The Social World of College”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 9: The Social World of College” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Complete the first two sections of Chapter 9, titled “Where Are You Now?” and “Where Do You Want to Go?” which are self-assessment tools. These tools, and the brief section that follows, titled “Social Life, College Life,” will help you measure where you are now and identify ways that you can engage in the learning process through interactions both inside and outside the classroom within the diverse society of the college world.
       
      Reading this section and completing the self-assessments should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution, as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 12.2 The Social World of College: Getting Along with Others  
  • 12.3 The Social World of College: Getting Along With Others: Living with Diversity  
  • 12.4 The Social World of College: Campus Groups  
  • 12.5 The Social World of College: Chapter Activities  
  • Unit 12 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Social World of College”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Social World of College” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Now that you have almost completed this course, you likely have had the opportunity to interact with your college instructors and other students. You may have also begun to participate in extracurricular activities, such as campus social clubs, volunteer organizations, intramural sports, cultural events, and other group activities. Inside and outside the classroom, you are gaining experience in communicating with your peers both face-to-face and virtually.
       
      Take a few moments now to reflect on these social relationships and group activities. If you feel comfortable sharing your answers to any of the following questions, consider posting your reflections on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • Unit 13: Your Career After College  

    The time to think about what you will do after college is now! You may have already given this considerable thought in Unit 1, but the final unit of this course will give you some practical guidelines for preparing the specific tools and elements of a successful job search, as well as the knowledge you need to organize yourself for your entire career, not just your first job.

    Time Advisory   show close
    Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 13.1 Finding a Career  
  • 13.2 Choosing Your Major  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.3: Choosing Your Major”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.3: Choosing Your Major” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this section to learn about the significance of choosing your college major. This is a short but truly helpful reading that can take some of the mystery out of what area you choose to study. While important, the major you choose does not necessarily limit your career choices significantly. This reading will help you identify what information you need to select a major that is appropriate for you and tips on making your major selection process easier. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 13.3 Getting the Right Stuff  
  • 13.3.1 The Transfer Ticket  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading the section under the heading titled “The Transfer Ticket” to learn about how to successfully transfer from a two-year program or community college into a four-year program.

  • 13.3.2 Skilled Labor  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3 above. Read the section titled “Skilled Labor” to review the difference between work-based skills that will be specific to a career or job and transferable skills that are relatable to almost any job. After you have re-read the passage, complete Exercise 3, titled “Transferable Skills Inventory,” to self-assess your own transferable skills. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on your transferable skills and completing Exercise 3.

  • 13.3.3 Are You Ready for a Test Drive?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.3 above. Re-read the section titled “Are You Ready for a Test Drive?” to review the differences between volunteering, interning, and securing a paid job experience. In your notebook, identify opportunities that are appropriate for you and how to create a written agreement with your employer that outlines the goals your internship or work experience. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on this topic and writing in your notebook.

  • 13.4 Thinking About Your Career Now  
  • 13.5 Résumés and Cover Letters  
    • Reading: College Success: “Chapter 12, Section 12.7: Resumes and Cover Letters”

      Link: College Success“Chapter 12, Section 12.7: Resumes and Cover Letters” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this section to get a good picture of the purpose of a résumé and cover letter and to learn how to write them. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises except for item 3. You will create your own résumé and cover letter in subunit 13.7. For now, keep in mind that it is a great idea to have a draft of a résumé and a cover letter that you can easily update as needed for job applications; but also remember that you should plan to make significant alterations to your drafts for each job application, in order to tailor both your résumé and your cover letter to a company’s specific needs.
       
      This material also covers the topics outlined in subunits 13.5.1 through 13.5.5 below. 
       
      Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • 13.5.1 The Purpose of a Résumé  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the bullet points that explain the generally accepted principles of résumé building. Consider what your own purposes for your résumé will be as you consider your personal skills and job interests.

  • 13.5.2 The Elements of a Résumé  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading the section that outlines the contents of all three résumé elements: the header, the objective, and the résumé body. Brainstorm how you will organize these components in your own résumé.

  • 13.5.3 Summarizing Your Work Experience  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading the bullet point titled “Résumé Body,” and then review the “101 Action Verbs” that follow it. Think about how you can state your best accomplishments using these verbs.

  • 13.5.4 Formatting Your Resume  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “The Finishing Touches.” It is usually better to keep formatting as simple as possible. In today’s electronic age, many résumés are read by machines before they are read by human eyes – so fancy formatting could compromise your résumé or even eliminate you from consideration before a person ever reads your résumé!

  • 13.5.5 Cover Letters  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 13.5 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Cover Letters.” Be sure to understand the purpose of the letter, as well as the important elements that should always be included in the letter. Keep in mind that a cover letter should be adapted to the specific job being applied for and geared toward the specific company being applied to. This knowledge will help you avoid producing a general cover letter that might go unnoticed.

    • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letter Workshop”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letter Workshop” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Fead the headings on the webpage titled “What Is the Purpose of the Cover Letter?” and “Learning about the Job.” Some of this information will serve as a review of information you have already seen in your course readings so far.
       
      Next, click on the light orange tab on the left side of the page, titled “What To Include,” and read the information under the headings titled “How To Relate your Experience to the Job Advertisement,” “Deciding which Qualifications To Include,” and “Afraid of Not Meeting the Requirements?”
       
      Finally, click on the light orange tab on the left side of the page titled “Formatting and Organization,” and read the information under the headings titled “Formatting Your Cover Letter,” “Organizing Your Cover Letter,” “Addressing Your Cover Letter,” “The Introduction,” “The Argument,” “The Closing,” and “Before You Send the Cover Letter.” Be sure to carefully review the cover letter example provided at the bottom of this webpage.
       
      Note that, although these resources echo the information you have read in the College Success textbook, these points are organized differently and often go into much greater detail than the textbook. You may want to bookmark this webpage, as it may prove very useful to you in your long-term college experience.
       
      Reading this resource should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 13.6 The Job Interview  
  • 13.7 Create Your Own Résumé and Cover Letter  
    • Reading: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “The Interactive Résumé”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “The Interactive Résumé” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Open this interactive document and click on each of the sections to review the purpose of each element of a résumé. Be sure to click on and read all of the following sections: “Contact Information,” “Objective,” “Experience,” “Education,” and “Honors and Activities.”
       
      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Sample Resumes”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Sample Resumes” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Use the Purdue Owl Sample Resumes to develop your own resume, based on the information you have learned in this unit.  You may find that the other resume resources listed along the left side of the webpage are also helpful. Once you have developed a rough draft of your resume, it is very important that you ask several knowledgeable people to review it for you, such as a career counselor, a supervisor at your current job, or a person with experience in business.  You should spend approximately 2 hours completing this assignment.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter”

      Link: Purdue University Online Writing Lab’s “Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above and use the Purdue Owl Resources to create a cover letter for a job posting you are interested in.  Work through all five light orange tabs on the left side of the page, entitled, “Cover Letter Headings,”  “Addressing Cover Letters,” “Cover Letter Introductions,” Cover Letter Body Paragraphs,” and Cover Letter Closings.”
       
      As you read through each tab, create that section of your own letter, using information about the actual company and job you are interested in. Just like your resume, it is a good idea to have a knowledgeable person review your first few cover letters, until you have mastered this skill.

      This assignment should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Resume/CV and Cover Letter” and VisualCV, Inc.’s “Create Your VisualCV”

      Link: Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Resume/CV and Cover Letter” (PDF) and VisualCV, Inc.’s “Create Your VisualCV” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: There are many additional ways to present your resume and qualifications on the job market.  Once you have created a resume and cover letter on paper that you feel presents your personal information well, you may decide to also format them in alternative ways.  Remember that traditional companies and hiring departments may prefer a standard document-based resume over a web-based or other interactive software based resume.
       
      If you are interested in an interactive resume, you may read the assignment instructions to use the online software to complete a Virtual CV.  Then, write a basic cover letter to go with it.

      This should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the VisualCV, Inc. website.

  • Unit 13 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Career Plan”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Career Plan” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Now that you have completed the exercises and assignments for this unit, you should have drafts of a résumé and cover letter ready for polishing. Read this article, which will guide you through the process of finalizing your résumé and cover letter and creating your professional profile. If you feel comfortable sharing your work, consider posting your portfolio or a link to your professional profile page on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.

      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Final Exam