2.1 Effective Study Skills
When it comes to the study skills outlined by Dr. Bob Klick’s website, the top three that I excel at are:
- Sticking to a prioritized schedule
- Pre-reading, reading, and post-reading reflection (what Klick refers to as the SQ3R method)
- Extracting important details from lecture and reading
However, I do face some challenges. Since I work full-time as a high school teacher, some weeks I put in well over the standard 40 hours. Consequently, some of the practices I tend to engage in, contrary to Klick’s advice include:
- Starting assignments right after a meal
- Working on assignments within 30 minutes of my bed time
- Working in suboptimal environments (e.g. on the way to work on public transit)
2.2 A Day in the Life of Kazemi
This week we were asked to document our day with an Activity Log. Here is everything I did today (9/6/2018), from the time I arrived at work:
2.3 Project Management Videos
We were assigned to watch three videos on project management and to write a summarized reflection.
The first video, by Knolscape, provided a general introduction to project management. The video contrasted projects and operations. Projects are temporary endeavors that produce unique projects and cease after all goals are reached. On the other hand, operations are ongoing and repetitive, with a goal to sustain business. In other words, a project can produce a single new product, but an operation mass-produces the product to produce profits. However, many projects fail before getting to the operations stage. Successful projects have project managers who have skills that include leadership, communication, information technology, accounting, purchasing, and problem solving.
In the second video, Jennifer Witt, director of projectmanager.com, explains that work breakdown structure is a “deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables”.
The third video by the University of Minnesota’s Department of Writing Studies describes how you can use a Gantt Chart to illustrate the work breakdown structure of a project. The chart provides a timeline that includes time estimates for project completion–an optimistic time o, a normal time n, a pessimistic time p, and an expected time that is calculated based o, n, and p. It also lists whether tasks can be done concurrently or as a prerequisite to subsequent tasks.
2.4 CAPSTONE PROJECTS
As an educator, I appreciated the team that created a solution for teachers to be able to use the FreeCodeCamp GitHub repository with their students. It was unfortunate that two of their members were unable to make it. I would have appreciated seeing a demonstration of how the end product functioned rather than a high-level overview how it functions.
As a person who enjoys video games, I was delighted to see the CYGNUS project. Overall, it seems like the team worked well together to make the pieces come together. There was a nice balance of technical overview and gameplay demonstration. I would have liked to see more emphasis on what the team thought was a unique element–absorbing elements from the environment.
The team that developed Harvest Dashboard created a product that could be used practically in the real world in the agricultural sector. Presenter Leslie Amezcua used really good vocal expression in her presentation, making her easy to listen to. I noticed many of the other presenters could have improved upon this.
This week I had to really balance work and school. The study skills and project management tips really reaffirmed my current approach in maximizing my time and sticking to a schedule. While I do often have to employ less than ideal study practices (e.g. studying before bed), this is beyond my control at the moment. However, I believe I have the perseverance to make it through the program because I am doing what I love. I am also careful to take self-care time over the weekends to achieve a proper work-life balance.