Q: How does setting goals lead to success? Using areas identified by your ACES assessment, discuss specifically how you will improve these areas through the use of specific, measurable goals.
A: Setting goals require us to think critically about what motivates us and what we need to focus on and achieve in order to reach our goals. By gathering information about our interests, past experiences and abilities, we are more prepared to succeed. Also, by learning a structured process of pursuing our goals, we greatly enhance our success.
In a study conducted by D. Morisano, J. B. Hirsh, J. B. Peterson, R. O. Pihl, and B. M. Shore, “Setting, Elaborating, and Reflecting on Personal Goals Improves Academic Performance,” (2010)*, the researchers compared two groups of students, Group One and Group Two. The students from Group One evaluated their interests and past accomplishments. However, they had no formal training in achieving goals. The Group Two, on the other hand, participated in a program focusing on the process of setting goals. The researchers found that, on average, students from Group One received GPA’s of 2.25 whereas those students in Group Two achieved GPA’s of 3.00.
My ACES score for Organization/Time Management indicates that I need to imporove this area. First, I need to identify the skills necessary to achieving my goals, and I need to learn how to overcome those obstacles that impede my progress toward my goals. I need to prioritize my steps and determine a logical order to progress.
I need a personal plan in order to eliminate my time wasters (i.e., YouTube) and for that I need to think critically. I need to look into the near future and find interest in my next step to my goal. My next scheduled class is “Digital Skills in the 21st Century”. This sounds interesting to me. What if, instead of watching old Led Zepplin YouTube videos, I search for videos about digital learning. This is my plan of turning my time wasters into stepping stones to achieve my goals.
Q: How might effective communication (oral and written) help you advance in your education and your career? How is integrity a component of successful communication in academic and professional life?What communication skills are preferred or required in the careers you researched during this course?
A: Effective communication will help me advance in my education by allowing me to understand the messages I receive from others and to share my understanding of such messages. It will also help me express my own observations in a meaningful and inspiring manner. Without effective communication, there is miscommunication and misunderstanding. In order to advance in my education, I need to understand, not misunderstand.
Integrity is a major component of effective communication because it allows us to avoid misinformation which will only cause misunderstanding. For this reason, we need to take full responsibility for the information we share. It is the communicator who must verify that whatever information we pass on is valid and pertentant to the topic being shared. We must also analyze and reject any commentary or arguemnts based on fallacies. By living up to these standards of integrity, we can become effective communicators.
A good undertstanding of the mechanics of language is a preferred skill in any career requiring effective communication. I didn’t realize it when I was in high school, but I do realize now why we had to learn about the parts of speech and sentence structure. Without good syntax, we are much less likely to get our messages across.
Proofreading through independent eyes is a preferred skill for good communication. When we write something, we know what we what to say. It makes sense to us. But does it make sense to other people? This is the question we need to ask ourselves if we want to objectively proofread our writings.
Accordingly, a good understanding of the mechanics of language and good ability to objectively proofreading are among the most important skills for effective communication.
Q: What are at least two university resources you will use to ensure academic success?
How does using credible resources, both in the library and on the Internet, relate to academic and professional success?
A: Some of the more interesting university resources are the databases in the library. It is really difficult finding reliable information from a google search. However, the databases in the library are filled with a plethora of reliable, peer-reviewed resources. Another university resource is the Center for Writing Excellence. This link (below University Library) directs you to many other resources relating to effective communication. Another interesting link is the Center for Mathemacits Excellence (below Center for Writing Excellence). I know that mathematics will be very important in the study of Applied Psychology.
Using reliable sources relates to academic and professional success because it helps us make well-informed decisions rather than uninformed and even misinformed decisions. It also helps us stay connected to people who also value the importance of sound information. I want to rely on reliable people, and I want them to rely on me. This is what makes a team. We rely on each other. If any team member relies on unreliable information, and all the other team members rely on the unreliable team member, then the team is unrealiable! On the other hand, if we, as individual members of a team take full responsibility for the validity of the sources we rely on, then we become a reliable team!
Knowing the importance of relying on realiable information is simple. The hard part is recognizing the many ways of deception being used to make misinformation seem reliable and nonsense seem logical. These are the obstacles that boggle my mind!
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of adjusting to life as a student at University of Phoenix? What has been the most rewarding aspect of the learning environment?
How does Grit and Growth Mindset apply to your learning experience or future career goals?
A: The most challenging aspect of adjusting to a structured learning environment (like the University of Phoenix) is focus. I need to stay focused on the scope of the course. I understand that this is not an open learning platform like Udemy or Lynda.com. This is more like the structured learning environment I experienced in the 20th century, but a lot different in other ways. The difference is 21st technology. I feel like I have overcome that challenge, and this feeling has been the most rewarding aspect of my new learning environment, so far!
Grit has helped me overcome one of the most challenging academic concepts I experienced as a child and teenager. In high school, I could not figure out the purpose and meaning of the eight parts of speech. I had no idea what subordinate clauses or a modifying phrases were. I felt like I was completely incapable of learning such complex concepts.
When I was a young adult, I got the desire to travel. I was reading a travel magazine and I found a page with various common phrases in six different languages. I memorized them all. I really wanted to learn Spanish, so I bought a used course consisting of cassette tapes and a book. But the book was full of grammer, the same stuff I once believed I could never learn. So I would either have to learn grammer or throw the book and tapes away and give up learning Spanish. I decided to give it a try. Not only did I learn the grammer, but I became intrigued with the whole way language and the parts of speech work together throughout all the languages of the world. I believe my understanding of grammer and the macanics of language has helped me both read and write in my native language as well as Spanish.
Since it was Grit and the Growth Mindset that helped me become the student I am today, Grit and the Growth Mindset will surely help me reach my future goals.