Now that e-seminars have started it is time to think about what I want to get out of my seminar time this year, what kind of effort I expect to make in each seminar and how that will impact my study schedule. This year I have four seminars and four papers to write for the support and marking schemes. Planning carefully will help me get the best results from my seminar participation, write papers that will help me get the marks I need in exams, and keep on schedule with regular studies for my courses.
Studying for multiple courses can be a challenge; when e-seminars begin it is easy for my regular study plan to be disrupted by seminar requirements. It is a good idea to plan my regular study and reading around seminar topics. For example, I am reading a lot of poetry this term and also enrolled in the Study Skills – How to Do Literary Analysis (poetry). I will be sure to read and study several regular course texts in advance of the seminar and plan to re-read some of them during the seminar. It does not matter if the poetry I am reading for regular term study is not the same as texts selected for study in the seminar. For me it is best to be well read and well prepared with texts that I will ultimately use for exams and to continue reading them during the week-long seminar.
Keeping some focus on texts that will be relevant at exam time really helps me get the most benefit from each seminar. I like to apply e-seminar exercises to texts I am studying for exams as I complete the tasks associated with reading assigned by my seminar tutor. It is well worth the time investment because my learning is reinforced by repetition. I also benefit from applying skills to texts I will read and revise for the next several months. This means I will do each assignment at least twice and need to plan how much time will be needed to complete the tasks.
Correctly planning the time required for tasks is very important. When I first enrolled in e-seminars I did not appreciate how my study time would be impacted. There are typically at least four specific tasks in each week-long seminar. If I budget thirty minutes for each task, two hours each week will be dedicated to e-seminar tasks. Forty five minutes to an hour for each task is more reasonable, so I will assign three to four hours to seminar tasks each week that I have an e-seminar scheduled.
During the weeks I have scheduled participation in an e-seminar I will have to decide if I will add three to four hours to my weekly study plan or set aside time already scheduled for regular study to complete e-seminar tasks. If I am enrolled in multiple e-seminars it can mean several weeks of distraction from the texts I must master for exams. It is something to consider, and a very big reason I started to incorporate my regular study texts into the assigned seminar tasks.
In addition to assigning study time to seminar tasks, it is important to consider the impact writing papers for the marking scheme will have on my study plan. More on that next week; today I am finalizing my first e-seminar task and considering how what I have learned so far will help me improve my study habits and effectiveness. I expect to accomplish a lot in e-seminars and look for those results in my regular study routine. Happy studies!