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The Alpha Stages of Easymap

Summary:

Easymap is a web application being developed by Dr. Butler and his company in an effort to solve several issues with current test taking. Read the rest of this entry

I give up…

I tried to post my class notes every week, but it quickly became too much effort to edit, convert, and upload the files, let alone linking to them in each new blog post. I will keep to my promise of posting notes and the occasional summary, but I doubt I’ll be able to do so on a regular basis.

On another note, I found that professors like to sync up their tests to around the same time. I’m taking two 200-level courses, two 300-level courses, and one 400-level course so, mixed with my extra-curricular responsibilities, it’s just too much to try to document every week. This week, for instance, continues to be known as “hell week” for me. Today seems to be the only day since last Thursday that I haven’t had a test. On Friday of last week, it was a Research Methods test; Monday was a test in Advanced Statistics; Tuesday (yesterday) was a test in Sensation & Perception; Thursday (tomorrow) will hold a test in Industrial Organization. Before this weekend I have to prepare everyone for our exhibition at Late Nite, which involves making sure our AV expert gets all of the music we’ve chosen so he can cut each song to 2 minutes respectively, going over each routine with each couple dancing, and checking in on the progress of our fliers we plan to pass out.

To try to make this story shorter, those are just a couple of my stressors now. It leads me to feel overwhelmed at times, which increases my need to relax and not do productive work so as to forget my obligations for a few minutes. At the same time, it brings to light the downward spiral people can get into when the pressure is put on.

Spatial Theory

This past week has been pretty funny in that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all declared “ice days,” which has totally thrown me off. We took our Spatial Theory test event though class was cancelled for the day we were to take it. It was taken online in the funky new format where we were required to use a mind mapping software, still being beta-tested by us. If you’re not familiar with mind mapping, it’s basically the visual outline you did in elementary school–you know, the one with the main idea in the big circle in the middle… The problem with this style is that the average sentence at the university level equates to about 8 connections, assuming the sentence doesn’t contain a list. More information on the mind mapping software can be found in my other blog post.

In short, I found it very difficult to determine what Dr. Butler was looking for, and how to best optimize my responses to reflect his objectives. Most professors in the 100- to 200-level courses stick to the regurgitation method of teaching, but Dr. Butler is the type who makes you think and come to your own conclusions. How do you test over that? That’s why he created this testing software.

It’s completely online, hosted on his company’s website with the ability to take the test from any location. Hopefully I got a good grade on it!

UPDATE: I got a 98% on it, even after he said the high score would never be higher than a 99%. Score!!

Procrastination

As one may have noticed, I am the type of person to procrastinate. I posted earlier that I was going to blog my notes from class, but so far I have only created numerous drafts, all of which still require much revision. Instead I have decided to post as often as I can with attached HTML versions of the notes I’ve taken in class. Already I’ve offered to give a copy of the notes I have thus far to two people, and have received the blanket request emails for notes (paired with some excuse for a missed day of class) innumerable other times.

In response to this, I decided to take the easier route by (a) merely posting an exported copy (in HTML) of the notes I take and (b) writing a quick overview of all of the events for that week(?) in class. Doing this will not only make it more likely for me to blog on a regular basis, but it may also cut down on the blanket requests for notes. If I miss a day of class… … well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Week One: Check!

Week one of the spring semester is done and I’m definitely interested in the courses I signed up for. My Tuesday-Thursday schedule is interesting in that I have an almost four-hour hiatus between two classes in particular. It works out great for if I plan on getting a job (and I do) because most employers want you to work through the regular lunch hour as someone to fill-in. My early class I only have on Tuesday before the four-hour break so Thursday is my day to sleep-in.

As for my Monday-Wednesday-Friday courses, They’re all blocked around the middle of the day. In two of the three courses I have on those days, my roommate, Andy, is in the same class with me. I try not to sit next to him for the most part since I’m sure he gets enough of me when we’re living together in such tight quarters. At the same time I appreciate him being there since I know I’ll have someone to rely on if I have to miss a day of class and need notes. We’ll see how this will end up…

This semester I plan on blogging about each of my classes, more specifically, I plan on blogging my notes from class in hopes it will let me better grasp the material. A happy side-effect of this is that my notes are visible to everyone if I ever need to share them. With the world turning more towards cloud computing and me wanting to use every advantage I can get, it only figures that blogging would be my next step.

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