Throughout the semester, I learned many valuable lessons which I can use for my future classes.
The first thing that I learned was how to use databases. To be honest, whenever I had to write research papers, I never used school databases even though my professors recommended doing so because I didn’t know what to do and I felt that it would be more difficult and time-consuming than simply going to Google. So when I prepared my papers for my previous classes, especially for business and accounting, I had to jump over all different financial websites trying to look for financial ratios and market analysis. Therefore, I was really glad when we observed Thomson One because I was able to find reliable financial information easier and faster. In addition, I learned valuable techniques when searching databases. This was the first time that I learned about how to use “and”, “or”, parenthesis, asterisks, quotation marks and other useful symbols to filter my search results. Also, a thesaurus was very useful. For example, it was quite surprising “e-mail”, a suggested term by a thesaurus generated different search results when I used “email”. I think that I’m well prepared for research projects for further accounting classes and a BPL class. The database techniques which I learned definitely will be a valuable asset for my future classes and career.
The second thing that I learned was how to create and edit wiki. Not only I learned how to gather information for wiki, I also learned about teamwork. It was really great that everyone in our class was able to easily share, edit, and construct personal ideas. I can use wiki for any group works for my future classes. With Wiki, group members will be more engaged to entire projects because everyone will take a part in others’ works while working on their own. It is not like “I’ve done my part, and that’s it”. Also, editing is traceable and it’s really clear to see “who did what”. So I’m expecting that Wiki can minimize free-rider problems.
The third thing that I learned was how to create mind maps. My experience in past English classes would have been a lot better if I had used mind maps for all my readings. Even though I was told that I should’ve created something like mind maps or spider webs before writing essays, I never had a chance to do so because I underestimated the power of mind maps. This is the first class that I’ve had actual experiences with mind maps and I realized it could be very useful for many other subjects, addition to English. For example, when I took political science classes, I had a hard time studying because there were so many materials to read, memorize and understand. It would have been a lot easier if I created mind maps and organized important concepts with related chronological historical events and my additional thoughts. Also, a mind map will help me when I take a BPL class next semester because I can easily make good power points slides and give a presentation to my peers with clearer and more structured explanations using mind maps. I think mind maps will help me when reading any other text books, analyzing information efficiently, preparing for tests and writing constructive essays for my future classes.
The one thing that I had wished to be covered in our class was how to d o low-tech research. We learned that how our digital generation has become experts on high-tech research, but we are lacking abilities in interpreting search results into meaningful output reports. We tend to do rely only on high-tech research generating instant search results. And a lot of employers were complaining about how we don’t possess enough research skills ready for workplace. Therefore, since I am also one of the high-tech researchers, I was hoping to learn more techniques and methods of low-tech research. For example, it would’ve helped me a lot if we covered interview techniques.
After I looked over everything I learned from the class, I can’t stop thinking that I should have taken this class when I was a freshman or sophomore. If I had taken the class earlier, it would have definitely helped me when I struggled with school work in a variety of subjects. I learned many valuable things that I can use for courses in Baruch, and also for my future careers and personal life.