This semester I have been tasked with developing a research project that explores an element of the university experience. With such a broad area of focus I have spent this week trying to decide upon a direction to take. It hasn’t been easy but I have managed to come up with a few ideas that could just work.
1. Procrastination: How do students manage the effects of procrastination?
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain
For me personally, the biggest problem I had with writing this particular blog post was finding a way to drag myself out of the sinkhole that is procrastination. Procrastination is all consuming and finding ways of managing its effects is a skill that all university students are encouraged to master. Preliminary research has indicated that this is a common problem for many students and an area that some universities are beginning to look into.
Through procrastinating on writing this blog post I came across Tim Urban’s Ted Talk on ‘Inside the mind of a master procrastinator’. This talk introduced me to the concept that there might be two types of procrastination: procrastination driven by a deadline and procrastination without one.
It is a topic that could be potentially useful to both myself and other students who share a similar problem.
2. Are lectures the ideal way for students to learn? Are there better ways?
I have always struggled with getting through lectures. Even if the lecturer is a brilliant public speaker or if the content is interesting, it can be difficult to not only pay attention but remain actively be engaged.
The style of university learning (one person speaking, the rest listening) has remained largely the same since universities first began. There are however arguments that this approach may not be the best approach for effective learning.
There’s a few ways my research could go:
- Are there are different types of learning styles that are more effective. What is this active learning thing I keep hearing about?
- Why are lectures run as they are? Is there a benefit?
- What’s the student perspective? Do UOW students benefit from lectures? Are they even using them?
Leave any feedback or suggestions in the comments below.
CMG Worldwide n.d., Mark Twain- The Official Licencing Website of Mark Twain, CMG Worldwide, viewed 14 March 2018, <https://www.cmgww.com/historic/twain/>
(2010) It’s almost a mindset that teachers need to change’: first‐year students’ need to be inducted into time management, Studies in Higher Education, viewed 15 March 2018, <https://srhe.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075070903383211#.WqyJ4ZNubJx>
Ted 2016, Inside the mind of a master procrastinator, online video, 6 April, Ted Talk, viewed 16 March 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU>
Freeman, S, L. Eddy, S, McDonough, M, K. Smith, M, Okoroafor, N Jordt, H and Wenderoth, M 2014, ‘Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics’, PNAS, pp. 1 – 6.