Category Archives: Academics

Online Classes 101

Hello there!

Today I thought I would talk to you about my experience with online classes and let you in on a few tips and tricks I have for nailing an online class. Personally before attending FIT I had never taken an online class and just the thought of it terrified me. However, in a few instances, I had no other choice than to take an online class, because my schedule didn’t allow me otherwise.

  1. Don’t be fooled! Often times we take online classes because we think they will be easier. That is so wrong! Most times than not, they actually require much more work and time than physical classes do. Yes, they are more practical, because you can sleep in and work on your own time, which makes planning more flexible.
  2. Is this class for you? What I mean by that is that taking an online class pretty much means teaching yourself. So I would really suggest taking a class, you know won’t be too challenging and require too much work. But once again it’s all up to you. If you have a full schedule and decide to take an online class, I wouldn’t take a class you no familiarity with. For example I never took a math classes online, because I knew it was going to require a lot of work and time on my part, because from experience I know math is not my strong suit.
  3. Make sure you have time. If you have a full schedule, taking 7 classes, and on top of that you are working, I would really think twice before taking an online class. Taking online classes do require you to participate and keep engaged, if it’s a subject you know will be easy to keep up with, then go for it, otherwise I would suggest taking it next semester.
  4. READ what is expected! This is in my opinion the most important tip. You never know what a course will entail before you read the syllabus. Since you don’t have a teacher to tell you, make sure the first thing you do is check Blackboard and look at the syllabus. From there on you’ll be able to make a final decision and decide if this is the class for you. Last semester I wanted to take my internship class online, thinking it would be easier and less work. I took one glance at the schedule, and dropped out immediately.
  5. Create a schedule. If you decide that yes, you are going to take that class after reviewing the syllabus, I would start organizing your schedule. How will you split your time, with physical classes, work and your online class. Don’t forget to write ALL deadlines somewhere you won’t forget them, because online classes are all focused around deadlines (and there’s a lot of them).
  6. Manage you time. OK, so now it’s time to start splitting your time. When are you going to be working on your online class, how long, what day/s. etc. I would invest in a time planner and write down the days you’ll be working on everything, as well as the deadlines all the way through the end of the semester.
  7. Take notes. This is honestly what helped me pass my online statistics class I took two semesters ago. Online classes can throw a lot of material at you, and it accumulates very quickly with new material coming along each week. Videos, tutorials, pdf’s, word docs, charts, slides etc. What I would do is every unit or section of the class, I would watch the tutorials, read the material and write notes on the most important information. Yes, it takes longer, but a least I didn’t need to go back and scramble to find the material again, it was all in my notebook. This is especially helpful, during quizzes and exams, because you can look at your notebook and everything is in front of you.
  8. Make sure you have stable WiFi/internet access. This is especially important during quizzes and exams. This happened to me a couple of times during my exams, when the WiFi wasn’t strong enough and would have to reload. This is the most frustrating thing ever, especially if you under a time constraint.
  9. There’s no time for procrastinating. If you are someone who procrastinates, I would strongly reevaluate taking online classes. With online classes there is no procrastinating, you are constantly under time pressure and deadlines. If you miss a deadline, you cannot just resubmit or re upload it later. The session are closed down and it will affect your grade (harshly).

Anyways, I really hope this was helpful and insightful. Online classes can be really great for students who commute from far away or have busy schedules. However, although I’ve had my few shares of online classes, I personally prefer taking a physical class. But once again we are all different and work differently, some people might enjoy online classes much more than others.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave them down in the comments below.

xoxo

-Z

FIT Honors Courses

Hello Everyone,

Did you know that FIT offers honors courses that can meet liberal arts requirements? Typically, students in the Presidential Scholar Program sign up for these classes, as it is one of the program requirements. However, the honors courses are not limited to just students in the Presidential Scholars Program; any student who maintains a 3.5 GPA can take the honors courses offered at school. These courses can be substituted with a required liberal arts course.
What makes these courses so unique? The honors courses are not necessarily more difficult, but rather stimulating and inventive! Here are some examples of courses available to take:

HA 382 – Beauty: The Human Ideal in Visual Culture-
This unique course explores the theme of beauty throughout different works of art and social sources in various decades. Discover the way that the human body and beauty has shaped power and belief in society.

HA 394 – History of New York Architecture-
Explore New York City’s architecture by visiting different sites around Manhattan. This class allows you to explore outside of the classroom and learn first hand the cultural, social, economic, and political forces that molded The Big Apple’s architecture.

HA 395- Studies In American Indian Art & Culture-
In this art history course, learn about the art work of Native Americans from Alaska to the border of Mexico. In this class, you will dive into the different mediums of American Indian art, such as pottery, paintings, rituals and more. How did the artwork created and the native’s culture change and develop with Western contact? Learn about it all in this honors course!

These are just a few examples of the honors courses available at FIT. More information on courses is available here. Be sure to check it out!

Until next time,
Annmarie X

Goodbye Stress

Hello Everyone,

With midterm season almost at a finish (thank goodness), it is never too soon to get a head start preparing for finals. There are simple steps you can take to reduce stress and keep calm this finals season.

Meditate-
Always give yourself room to breathe. It is important to set aside time for yourself to relax and wind down. Mediation can mean literally practicing breathing exercises, or simply allowing downtime to center your mind and body. There are even apps that help schedule a few minute long meditation exercises into your day. It is a simple way to stay calm, cool, and collected.

Time Manage-
Set up a calendar with your due dates for assignments and exams. Give yourself time to chip away at your work week by week. The less pressure you’re under, the more successfully you can perform! Beat procrastination before it can even become an issue.

Communicate-
If you are struggling, whether inside or outside of school, never be afraid to reach out. FIT has free Counseling Services for any full-time student who has personal or academic concerns. Communication is important, especial during high-stress situations. No problem is too big to too small to reach out.

Health is Wealth-
Being conscious of what you put into your body can make you feel better in the long run; fuel your body on healthy, clean food whenever you have the opportunity. Even spending an hour in the gym is a great stress relief to let you mind unwind. The better you are to your body, the better you will feel mentally! However… there is nothing wrong with treating yourself every so often . Which brings me to…

Treat Your Self!-
Every now and then, you deserve to treat yourself. Take an hour or two and watch that Netflix movie you haven’t gotten to watch yet. Meet up with friends for dinner. Have a cookie. You deserve to enjoy the simple pleasures of life!

I hope these tips help decrease stress as final season approaches in the near future. Never forget to take care of YOU.

Best,
Annmarie

Midterm Aftermath: Ways to Prevent Sickness

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With some of us still conquering midterms and some facing the repercussions of red-eyed late nights, it is important to put your health first and take care of yourself during such a stressful time. Our immune systems can slack off sometimes but it doesn’t mean you should too. Here are my tips:

 1.  Vitamin C 

This has been constantly drilled into our minds by our mothers and goes to show she knows best! A vitamin C tablet or two a day will definitely help keep the common cold away.

 2. Wash Your Hands 

Not just after you go to the bathroom, but EVERYWHERE — when you leave the library, store, classrooms, or pretty much anywhere public where you can bring in foreign bacteria into your body.

 3. Keep Stress Levels Down

Sounds like the impossible, right? No stress during finals week? Well if you get sick it’s going to be 10x more stressful; try to keep stress levels down by relaxing during study breaks, going to exercise in between errands and getting enough rest.

 4. Catch Some Z’s 

Sleep is so important in keeping your immune system at its best during this stressful week. No matter how much time you plan on spending on late night study hours, be sure to get a good amount of sleep so that you and your immune system can be at its best.

 5.  Quarantine

It seems that everyone gets the plague during finals week or any week that is extremely important and it spreads like wildfire, so try your best to stay away from the germs. Take hand sanitizer with you everywhere, stay and study in your room and only come out when its safe.

With just a few precautions and changes in routine, you can avoid getting sick this season. Good luck to everyone and their immune systems during this hectic month of exams!

MB

Brain Foods for Midterm Madness

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If anyone is currently gearing up for midterms or any other testing, I’m right there with you! My mind is all over the place now that midterms have begun at FIT, and if I’m honest, it’s a struggle to balance healthy eating when coffee and ramen are so easily accessible. It’s time to make a conscious effort to eat foods that will stimulate your mind. Here are my suggestions for healthy brain foods during midterm madness:

  1. Berries: Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which have been shown to enhance brain performance and improve memory. The vitamin C in berries will boost your immune system and overall mental function — even improving your skin!
  2. Eggs: Eggs are rich in protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to your overall physical and mental health. The choline in eggs is an essential building block of the brain’s memory function. They contain biotin, which contributes to healthy hair and nails! Hard-boiled eggs are an easy way to incorporate this brain-food into your eating habits.
  3. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate combines the energizing benefits of caffeine with the health benefits of antioxidants to provide you with some serious brainpower!  This sweet little combination will increase blood flow to the brain, which is necessary for good brain function.  Additionally, the caffeine will give you a short burst of energy, increasing focus and concentration.
  4. Spinach: Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and cabbage contain vitamin B12, B6, folic acid and iron, which help support memory function. An easy way to incorporate spinach into your diet is to consider using baby spinach leaves in your salad instead of romaine or iceberg lettuce.  You can also try spinach in a smoothie, where it’s blended up so much that you can’t even recognize it!
  5. Whole-Grain Cereal: Whole grain cereal makes for a nutritious, brain-powering breakfast. Whole grains contain fiber, vitamin E, and carbohydrates, all of which are good for your body and your mind because they contribute to healthy blood flow to and from your brain.  Carbohydrates are also an excellent source of fuel for the brain because they are your body’s preferred energy source.

Hope these suggestions help you power through testing!

MB