Succeeding in this course
Success in this course is dependent upon several factors. These include:
- Time Management: Treat school like a job. Set aside a given number of hours each week to complete your work in this course, and incorporate that block of hours into your weekly schedule. It is all too easy to put things off, but the most successful students start early and allocate adequate time to completing the work.
- Technological proficiency: An online course requires the student to be able to navigate through several supporting systems. In this course, students will move between this Weebly content site, BBLearn at the University of Idaho, and Mastering Geography within BBLearn. While we have attempted to make this as seamless and fluid as possible, there will inevitably be technology issues with computers, access, and internet outages, and students who struggle with the technology will likely do poorly in this class.
- Minimal mathematics and language skills: This course is a science course, therefore, it requires students to do math, and to learn new scientific vocabulary. If this is not something you are comfortable doing independently, then an online course is probably not for you.
- Engagement with the material and the instructor: Numerous studies have shown that students who sit in the front of the classroom and ask the most questions tend to do best in school. Since there is no classroom in an online course, asking questions on the discussion boards, answering other students' questions on the discussion boards, and engaging with the instructor are the best way to ensure you understand the material.
- Think about what you are learning in the context of the real world: There are many courses in college that have little obvious or immediate application to the 'real world.' Physical geography is not one of them. Physical geography is all around you, everywhere you look. The students who do well in this course are the ones who begin to look at the world around them and ask questions about the processes that shaped it, and then apply what they are learning in the course to answer their own questions. Look at vegetation as you walk through campus. Look up at the sky and ask yourself what kind of clouds you see and what processes created them. Look at rocks at your feet and ask what kind they are and where they likely came from. Let your inner 5-year old self ask as many "Why?" questions as possible, and apply what you are learning in the course in order to answer them.