Even though I was absent for the second lecture, I was able to attend to third lesson; luckily, all the slides and necessary information what to do was online so I didn’t feel like totally clueless about what we were doing. And the task we had to write after some normal working within a group and conversations was a summary about really boring article concerning learning. Ironically, this subject feels a bit important, not only boring; the article is about ‘deep learners’ and ‘surface learners’, their motivations and strategies they use. And to sum it all up in one sentence, the ‘deep’ ones employed various strategies and were able to link ideas between paragraphs whilst being motivated thus having a deep level of understanding, and the ‘surface’ ones felt anxious about the text and applied poorly any strategies thus ending up with superficial understanding about the important points of the text. I actually felt my blood pressure started soaring when the lecturer announced we had only very little time to do a summary, and after a minute of quiet panicking I managed to have a grasp on the text, and I was actually able to write some good text in my opinion. Luckily, we didn’t have to give our texts to the lecturer and were assigned to return them for the following lesson.
Oh boy, hasn’t this course been quite a pain! Well, not really, but still… we didn’t have a lesson this week (ergo: returning of the summaries during the following lecture) which means more working and writing reflections about the tasks as well as jotting down my thoughts about the websites we were introduced to. It was quite a challenge with this “Free Rice” website, because first time I tried to open the link a warning from my Anti-virus Program popped up restricting the access to the website warning about detected hazard, but the computers of University of Helsinki do not seem to mind about the site, even though we use programs by the same company; I suppose I could trust the site since professional programs of UH find nothing suspicious at all (and later I noticed my program does not consider the page a risk either, could have been a false alarm and / or a mistake). The purpose of the site is a useful vocabulary learning game: every time the player gets the right answer, the sponsors donate ten grains of rice, and appears to be operated by UN World Food Programme. However, it’s quite a jolly page to learn new random words (as we are obligated to keep with us our personal dictionaries of words we need to learn, it’s quite a good page for). Quizlet, as the name indicates, was all about of six different kinds of modes and very versatile platform, also a good site for learning some new words. TED (abbreviation stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”) and concentrates spreading new ideas as well as information through flash-video-format. I especially do appreciate that every video this far I have watched is by professors who are not only speaking coherently but explaining their ideas and findings in reasonably coherent words and terms and by using transparent examples to demonstrate their ideas, thus making the videos quite enjoyable. Cambridge Free English Dictionary was familiar for me before this course, but Visual Dictionary Online was a pleasant new acquaintance; a word or concept is described not only with definition but also with a picture / pictures, useful tool if you must have a definitive answer or like to know more.
Oh yes, I could also mention a few words about myself (even if it feels a bit repulsive, but I suppose you have the right to know). I study in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Helsinki in Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Arts Studies (what a monstrous conglomeration of words!), majoring in General History. And as I stated during my first posting, I am writing this very blog due it is compulsory.
Well, I guess this is it for now…