Faculty Advice on Prepping for Finals

Dr. Jennifer Lanter

Dr. Jennifer Lanter

It is often the case that students find studying to be the most difficult part of any exam. Maybe it is the overwhelming amount of material that will be covered on the exam or the thought that the covered material is not very interesting to you. Or perhaps learning the material does not come easy to you. Even if one of these is the case, there are some very practical tips that students can follow to use available study time most effectively. Here are some ideas that might help you as you study:

1.) Organizing your notes for a class will help reduce the load put on your memory, leaving you more cognitive “space” to retain the material presented.

2.) Do not just highlight and re-read course material. Taking the time to elaborate on, describe, and test yourself on the material will provide you with a deeper processing of the material (which then results in better memory)!

3.) Associate what you are learning with things you already know. Often current knowledge can provide excellent retrieval cues for newly learned material.

4.) Avoid the “illusion of learning.” Familiarity with the material does not equal comprehension and understanding of material.

5.) Take breaks while studying. Your brain needs time to consolidate the information you are learning!

6.) Distribute your studying across multiple study sessions. It can be difficult to maintain close attention through a long study session, and studying after a break gives you feedback about what you already know.

By taking the time to organize your thoughts, your material, and your study space you will be better rested and better prepared to suceed on your exams. Good luck and good studying!

Dr. Lanter is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Director of the UWGB Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning

Take Advantage of Summer Financial Aid

By: Jim Rohan, Director of Financial Aid

For those of you considering taking or already registered for summer classes, you may be interested in receiving financial aid to assist with the cost. Here are some things to consider.

Filing the FAFSA and Summer Application
If you haven’t already done so, you will need to file the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to www.FAFSA.gov. The FAFSA needs to be completed for each aid year and can be done any time after January 1. If you have already filled out the 2014-15 FAFSA for your Fall and Spring financial aid, you do not have to fill it out again. The 2014-15 FAFSA is based on 2013 tax information. In addition to the FAFSA, you must also complete the UW-Green Bay Summer Financial aid application available online at www.uwgb.edu/financial-aid. Please note that students are required to be enrolled at least half time (no fewer than six undergraduate credits) in a term to be considered for most types of aid.

Review of Your File and Awarding of Aid
When the UW-Green Bay Financial Aid Office receives your processed FAFSA, we will contact you via e-mail and regular mail if any additional information is needed. Once your file is complete and reviewed we will award you fall and spring aid initially. As we receive and review the Summer Aid Application, your aid award will be revised to reflect your summer award. It is important to note that your fall and spring award will likely change to allow for summer aid. Since the federal government has annual limits on various types of aid, summer assistance can affect the amount of aid available for fall and spring.

Receiving Summer Aid
Once you have been awarded aid, you will be notified via your UW-Green Bay e-mail account. You can log in to your Student Information System (SIS) account to accept or decline some or all of the aid offered (for summer and fall/spring). If you have accepted aid and, if appropriate, completed loan promissory notes and entrance counseling, your summer aid will disburse to your student account about two days prior to the start of your first session (assuming aid was awarded and accepted prior to that date). You should monitor your student account throughout the summer to ensure that your account is paid and that your financial aid has been applied as expected.

Any changes to your enrollment (adds, drops, changing sessions, etc.) for summer can have an impact on your summer aid eligibility, and we will be reviewing those changes regularly. Please talk to your advisor first before you drop a course!

Students should also be aware of fee due dates and add/drop deadlines that are posted on the Bursar Office website at www.uwgb.edu/bursar.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office at (920) 465-2075 or financialaid@uwgb.edu with any financial aid questions.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Induction April 30

UW-Green Bay is proud to support a chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda – a national academic honor society created especially for returning adult learners. The UWGB chapter will induct its newest members at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 in the Phoenix Rooms of the UWGB Student Union.

For more information on Alpha Sigma Lambda, eligibility for membership, or on the upcoming induction ceremony, call (920) 465-2423.

ADP Poll: How Do YOU Handle Exam Stress?

The Adult Degree Program initiated a highly scientific poll (NOT!) to find out how you handle the stress of the holidays and final exams. We had a BUNCH of responses and here are a few of them…

Conclusion: We’re thinking that we need to hire some of you as our stress coaches!  :-)

“A couple rounds of kick-boxing and zumba classes does wonders for the stress that comes along with final exams.”    — Maria F.

“I blast Christmas music when I study. That way later I can hum ‘Frosty the Snowman’ while taking my math test!”    — Kaytlym B.

“Make a couple Bloody Mary’s with celery, beef stick, olives, and sprouts…”    — Dale P.

“Get on my mountain bike and ride!”    – Mark S.

“I hit the gym. I empty my mind of everything and just listen to my music while lifting weights.”    — Shiley H.

“I tend to listen to music and play with my favorite horse. I also read books in the winter time.”    – Carina F.

“Celebrate afterwards with a cocktail!”    — Thea A.

“I treat myself to a full body massage at a local spa during finals week.”    — Amy D.

“I just keep moving forward!”    — Heather T.

 Thanks everyone – and Good luck with finals!!

Practical Tips for Preparing for Midterms and Finals

Dr. Jennifer LanterJennifer Lanter, Ph.D.

It is often the case that students find studying to be the most difficult part of any exam.  Maybe it is the overwhelming amount of material that will be covered on the exam or the thought that the covered material is not very interesting to you. Or perhaps learning the material does not come easy to you.  Even if one of these is the case, there are some very practical tips that students can follow to use available study time most effectively.  Here are some ideas that might help you as you study:

1.) Organizing your notes for a class will help reduce the load put on your memory, leaving you more cognitive “space” to retain the material presented.

2.) Do not just highlight and re-read course material. Taking the time to elaborate on, describe, and test yourself on the material will provide you with a deeper processing of the material (which then results in better memory)!

3.) Associate what you are learning with things you already know. Often current knowledge can provide excellent retrieval cues for newly learned material.

4.) Avoid the “illusion of learning.” Familiarity with the material does not equal comprehension and understanding of material.

5.) Take breaks while studying. Your brain needs time to consolidate the information you are learning!

6.) Distribute your studying across multiple study sessions. It can be difficult to maintain close attention through a long study session, and studying after a break gives you feedback about what you already know.

By taking the time to organize your thoughts, your material, and your study space you will be better rested and better prepared to suceed on your exams. Good luck and good studying!

Dr. Lanter is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Director of the UWGB Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning

Do I Even BELONG Here?

Forrest Brooks
By: Forrest Brooks, ADP Academic Advisor and Lecturer – First Nations Studies Program

Are you in the first or second semester of your educational journey in the Adult Degree Program? Are there times when you feel like, “I don’t belong in college!”? Are there times when the assignments seem to be very difficult and you fear that you might not be able to complete them? If you have had some of these feelings, you are not alone. A feeling of academic inadequacy or of being an “imposter” is common in adult learners who have had little or no prior academic experience in a four-year institution. Fear not. Every student begins their educational career with different academic experiences and every student will struggle with certain courses. However, the fact remains that every student admitted into the Adult Degree Program has met the qualifications to be a student at UW-Green Bay. This means that you belong here! This means that you have the academic skills to be a student in the Adult Degree Program.

Every student has academic ability, and like any skill, these skills must be developed. If you have struggled with writing and research, there is good news for you. UW-Green Bay features its Writing Center which will assist you to develop those skills. The Cofrin Library will also assist you to become a better researcher. If you are new to online learning, there is also technical support to assist with issues using the “Desire to Learn” (D2L), the University’s online learning platform.

As with any new endeavor, a key to success is the development of the skills necessary for the task. The key to overcoming the “imposter syndrome” is persistence and the patience to develop the skills you need. The following links below are available to assist you in your educational journey. And, as always, never hesitate to contact your professors or your academic advisor for help!

The Writing Center: http://www.uwgb.edu/writingcenter/

UW-Green Bay Adult Degree Library page: http://libguides.uwgb.edu/adult_degree

D2L Technical Support: adultdegreesit@uwgb.edu
Phone: (920) 465-2879
Hours: Monday-Friday; 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Writing Center Opens Summer Hours

By: Dr. Brian Sutton, Associate Professor of English & Director of the UWGB Writing Center

This year, for the first time, the UW-Green Bay Writing Center is offering online tutoring services during the summer semester.

The Writing Center, which offers tutoring to UWGB students working on writing assignments, has in past years always been closed in the summer because of budget issues and the relatively low demand for tutoring during the summer. But this year, one of the student tutors is available for online tutoring on an appointment-only basis.

If you’d like advice about revising your paper, send your draft of the paper as an email attachment to Brian Sutton, the Director of the Writing Center, at suttonb@uwgb.edu. Along with the paper, please send a copy of the assignment handout. In your cover email, make sure Professor Sutton knows you’re sending the paper for Writing Center tutoring, and let him know what particular concerns you have about the paper. Professor Sutton will forward your materials to the student tutor, who will read the paper and return it to you along with written suggestions for revision.

If possible, try to send the draft to Professor Sutton at least a week before the final copy is due, since the student tutor may have other obligations and may not be able to get to it right away. But we encourage you to take advantage of this free opportunity to improve your writing!

Helpful Tips for Success in Online Courses

Stacie ChristianBy: Stacie Christian, Lecturer; Human Development

As a faculty member who teaches online courses for two universities and who also is taking online courses, I am offering some words of advice for students who want to enhance their overall experience while taking an online course.

First: Read the syllabus, and highlight due dates. Then, write key due dates of major assignments on your calendar. Take time once or twice each week to look ahead at what is in store for you and carefully note due dates for that week and the upcoming weeks. Then take a look at your personal calendar and note timelines that conflict with due dates and make plans to get those assignments completed in advance. This will take you at the most 10 minutes each week, but it will help you to keep the due dates and tasks in mind – AND it helps to keep you on task.

Second: Note if papers are to be typed in APA style or in another professional format. Familiarize yourself with this format via the Cofrin library website so you do not get deductions for assignments because you used a different format at: http://libguides.uwgb.edu/CiteYourSource. In addition, review the Cofrin library link to plagiarism: http://libguides.uwgb.edu/plagiarism. For example, some students may try to cut and paste information from an article and cite the author(s) thinking this qualifies as citation. It may instead qualify as plagiarism because you have not used your own words within the assignment.

Third: Introduce yourself to other class members. You will want to do this without writing a thesis length introduction, but students who introduce themselves often can find someone to contact if they need advice or assistance during the course. Students have even formed study groups if they live in the same area to prepare for an exam, or they e-mail each other asking the other student to proof-read papers that will be submitted.

Fourth: Acquaint yourself with the free university services prior to starting a new course. Students who utilize the Cofrin library reference librarians, the UWGB Writing Center, and the Helpdesk or the Adult Program techs often find these services to be very helpful. You will learn valuable tips that will help you to write a professional paper or work with technology which will enhance your grade. Make sure that your computer programs are compatible to the D2L Dropbox for viewing media. If you have problems, contact the Helpdesk at 920-465-2309 immediately. This is not a challenge that should be procrastinated as you may miss deadlines.

Fifth: Have fun and share your knowledge with your family and friends! Students who teach and share what they learn with others will help engage family members and friends to support you in your efforts. It is fun to learn together and to share what you know with others!