Ridge Report Writing and Photography Contest

This year, you can submit a short story, poetry piece, and/or photography connecting to one of three possible themes. Your options are "Hush", "Bang", and "Click". Be as creative as you want!

Entries will be accepted starting Monday May 1st 2017

The deadline for entering is Friday May 20th 2017

First place winners in each category (short story, photography, and poetry) will have their entry published on the Ridge Report website and will be awarded a prize.

Click on each category to submit and know about the rules and requirements.

Short Story

Monday, October 16, 2017

8 Study Tips for Taking Online Courses

Have you ever been interested in taking an online course? Are you, perhaps, doing one right now? Online courses can be a lot more fun and bring a lot of scheduling benefits, whether through a spare during the school day or by letting you work from home during summer school. But they can also be a lot of work- and it’s sometimes easy to forget that. Here are some tips for you to get the most out of your online course!

1. Choose a workspace
How often do you get distracted halfway through an assignment and end up down a rabbithole of unrelated internet browsing? When you’re doing an online course, that can be easier than ever. So how can you guard against it? One way is to mentally isolate your course as much as possible. Setting up a workspace for yourself can help with that- it does tend to help with focus in general. If you make sure to only do work in this space, you may end up automatically associating it with your course, making it easier focus when you’re actually trying to get work finished. Of course, space is not the only important part of your setting, when working. In fact, one of the things that can help establish best the best productive habits is to...

2. Create a routine
One of the coolest things about taking an online course is that you don’t have to do your work during set class periods, giving you a lot more schedule flexibility. But just because you have choice with respect to your schedule doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one at all. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m just repeating something that you’ve probably heard by teachers again and again, but for most people, setting habits really does do wonders for productivity. And, plus, keeping a schedule can help eliminate evening spent trying frantically to finish your day’s work at 11pm. And don’t forget, when you’re constructing your schedule, to leave some time to...

3. Break it up
Doing all your work at one time can get you kind of burned out. An online course will probably take about as much work as a regular one, overall- but, unlike your other classes, all that work is packaged in one big bundle. That doesn’t mean you have to do it all at once! Taking an online course means you have more time- and, therefore, more opportunities for breaks! Seriously, though, separation of work is an important part of time management. Of course, you need to make sure you know the right time to fit in a break, to. And for that, you need to...

4. Learn deadlines as early as possible
Usually, online courses’ day-to-day work is less strictly fixed than in-class courses. As long as you do something, the specifics of what you do on any given day is sometimes up to you. That can lull you into a false sense of security, though- not having designated work periods or in-class reminders about projects can make it easy to forget about deadlines until they’re right on the horizon. Usually, you’ll be able to see the work assigned up until the end of the week. Taking stock of your workload is incredibly helpful for planning schedules. Sometimes, though, even if you understand a deadline in theory, it’s hard to motivate yourself to work towards it. In that case, the most useful tactic is to...

5. Bring a friend
It’s always much more fun to take a course with a friend. When you’re doing an online course, it’s more unlikely that you’ll happen to be in a class with a friend or acquaintance- your classmates are from schools all over Halton, not just your grade at your school. So if you’re planning to take an online course, it helps if you can take it with someone else! Not only will a friend be a useful resource, but taking a course together (and stressing out over next-day-deadlines together) can be a bonding experience. But regardless of whether you can find a friend to take the course with ahead of time, it’s always useful to...

6. Make some contacts
You’ve really got a huge pool of human resources to draw upon for online courses. Getting to know whoever teaches your course at Iroquois- or, at least, someone in that department- can be very helpful. Not only will they be a good person to ask if you need help, but (depending on the department) they might even know the teacher of your course online, which could be useful for getting in contact with the latter. Figuring out how best to contact your teacher as early as possible during the course is incredibly important. It’s usually fairly easy, and online teachers tend to be fairly laid-back and communicative. Being able to ask for clarification is a think we can take for granted in a normal classroom, and trying to do work without it is much harder. Also, you’ll know how best to...

7. Ask for help
The format of online courses sometimes seems discouraging when you’re trying to ask for help. In order to ask something of your teacher, you may have to email them about it separately, which may feel like too much of a hassle for a quick question. But don’t let that daunt you! Sending a quick email to your teacher for clarification is equivalent to raising your hand or asking your teacher something at the end of class. Teachers of online courses tend to be fairly prompt at getting in touch, and will be usually more than happy to answer your questions. And as much as you it might seem easier to just figure out the answer to your question on your own, the minute it takes to send a quick email to your teacher might save you half an hour of frustration further down the line if you don’t properly understand a problem’s requirement. And, of course, you don’t want to spend too much time sitting there, frustrated. After all, one of the main points of being able to control your own learning is to...

8. Have fun!
Don’t let this scare you away from taking an online course. They really can be more fun than regular courses- online course teachers tend to be fairly adaptable, and you have much more control over your own schedule. If that’s something you enjoy, then you’ll probably have a very good semester doing an online course.

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