A Academy


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Some practical tips for students - so they understand how to turn instructions into deliverable assignments.

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  • A Academy

    1. 1. “ A” Academy The things you need to do in order to earn A’s on your assignments. A. Kent Van Cleave, Jr., Ph.D. American Intercontinental University Online
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>This presentation goes into things you need to do in order to earn A’s on your assignments. </li></ul><ul><li>These are broken down into two phases—preparation and execution. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation is about things you want to do before you start working on the assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Execution is about things you want to do as you create the assignment itself. </li></ul>
    3. 3. But first… <ul><li>Manage your relationships with your instructors. </li></ul><ul><li>Be real. Make sure you get to know your instructor. Read her bio and comment on it. Show where you have similarities. </li></ul><ul><li>Be assertive. You have power, use it wisely. Ask for accommodation when emergencies come up. Ask if you can redo something if you did not understand the assignment. Insist that you always be treated fairly, but always be reasonable. </li></ul>
    4. 4. But first… <ul><li>Manage your relationships with your instructors. </li></ul><ul><li>Your instructor wants you to succeed. Pay attention to feedback and other information he gives you. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions. If you don’t understand a concept, ask questions. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Preparation <ul><li>Before you start working on the assignment, you should outline assignment requirements. (See discussion of key words , below…) </li></ul><ul><li>You also need to fully grasp the concepts you will be writing about. </li></ul><ul><li>These things should be approached together. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Preparation <ul><li>Start by looking at what the reading assignment is. </li></ul><ul><li>Read the individual assignment / discussion board instructions carefully. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Compare and contrast three perspectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast three of the following different perspectives (specific theories) of early psychology described in your text or on the internet. These theories include: Structuralism, Functionalism, Gestalt Psychology, Behaviorism, Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Physiological, Evolutionary, Cognitive, Cultural and Diversity, and Environmental, Population, and Conservation. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Preparation <ul><li>If you don’t understand what the assignment is asking you to do, ASK for clarification. </li></ul><ul><li>But don’t just ask; preface the question with your best guess as to what the assignment is asking you. </li></ul><ul><li>If you go with best guess to preface the question, the instructor sees that you are really trying to get it right, and is more likely to give you a careful reply. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Preparation <ul><li>After you read the assignment instructions, do the Survey step of SQ3R for the reading assignment. As you survey, pay attention to what content in the reading is related to the assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>The perspectives are discussed in the text from pages 23 – 30. You will want to grasp these concepts especially well when you read. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Preparation <ul><li>Next, return to the assignment instructions. </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping in mind the reading assignment big picture, break down the assignment instructions into an outline. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast three of the following different perspectives of early psychology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce the paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define each* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare them (note similarities) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contrast them (note differences) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Preparation <ul><li>The outline will serve as a guide while you read and research about the relevant concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: As you read the section on perspectives, look for their definitions, as well as how they are alike and how they are different. </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes on these. </li></ul><ul><li>As you read, pick three perspectives that particularly interest you. </li></ul><ul><li>For the three that you choose, you will want to go to another source. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This will complete your understanding of the three… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and will add credibility to your discussion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caution: Some of the perspectives have the same name as perspectives in other sciences, such as sociology and philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid using Wikipedia as a primary source… </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Preparation <ul><li>Once you have read on the topics you will discuss, you should test your understanding of them by saying aloud what they are about. (The Recite stage of SQ3R). </li></ul><ul><li>Check whether what you said is correct. </li></ul><ul><li>If you can recite the topic, then most likely you understand it well enough to write about it – without plagiarizing . </li></ul><ul><li>If you cannot recite it, then you need additional study and perhaps additional sources. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Preparation <ul><li>Before you start executing the assignment, return to the outline. </li></ul><ul><li>Does it still make sense, or does it need to be changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Use the outline for two purposes: </li></ul><ul><li>A checklist to make sure you deliver ALL the parts of the assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>A guide to writing the assignment. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Execution <ul><li>Here are some things you always want to do : </li></ul><ul><li>An introduction is needed where you tell the reader the purpose of the paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Define and discuss your terms </li></ul><ul><li>Do what the key words ask you to do </li></ul><ul><li>ALWAYS Cite and reference </li></ul><ul><li>Use more than one source, and be sure they are credible ( avoid dot-com sites, Wikipedia, Associated content, etc. ) </li></ul><ul><li>Use APA format </li></ul>Follow that link!
    14. 14. Execution <ul><li>If you have previous feedback from your instructor, review that feedback before you write, so you can avoid making the same mistakes as before and so you can increase the presence of that which your instructor liked. </li></ul><ul><li>In this context, pay attention to where your process failed in the earlier effort. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Execution <ul><li>Start with the outline and integrate your notes. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast three of the following different perspectives of early psychology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuralism is… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionalism is… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The behavioral perspective is… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare them (note similarities) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuralism and functionalism are alike in that… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuralism and the behavioral perspective are alike in that… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionalism and the behavioral perspective are alike in that… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contrast them (note differences) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuralism and functionalism are different in that… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuralism and the behavioral perspective are different in that… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionalism and the behavioral perspective are different in that… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuralism and functionalism are different from the behavioral perspective in that… </li></ul></ul>Compare and contrast are key words!
    16. 16. Execution <ul><li>When you are finished writing… </li></ul><ul><li>Proof-read – It cannot hurt to have someone else read your paper so you can check how well you get your meaning across to others </li></ul><ul><li>Check your originality </li></ul><ul><li>Check your APA format </li></ul>
    17. 17. Execution <ul><li>When you get your feedback, pay attention to what you can learn from it! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself, “What did I not do that cost me points…that I can be sure I do next time?” </li></ul>
    18. 18. Execution
    19. 19. Execution