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Dr. Danielle P.
Educator with more than 20 years experience
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

What are some tips that students can use for overcoming writer's block?

Dr. Danielle P.
Answer:

Writer's block happens. It's a fact of life. At some point, every student is going to experience it as they travel through their educational careers, but there are methods for overcoming it. Here are just a few that I have personally used and found helpful: 1) Relax. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that writer's block is normal. Sometimes, giving yourself a little break, like walking away from the computer or taking a quick nap, can provide your brain with the time it needs to get past the block. 2) Get the blood flowing. Having trouble getting that first sentence started? Or maybe it's that last paragraph that has you stumped? Get up and do some jumping jacks or take a quick jog around the block to get the blood flowing to your brain. More a couch potato than the athletic type? Then try sitting on the couch upside down so that your back is where your bottom usually is, your legs are where your head usually is, and your head is resting where your feet usually are. If you are comfortable trying this for a few minutes, you may feel a remarkable difference in your ability to think and write clearly. 3) Stay hydrated. Your brain is made up of mostly water so be sure to keep the creative juices flowing by keeping yourself hydrated. Set a timer as you work to remind you to drink a cup every hour.

Study Skills
TutorMe
Question:

What tips for success would you give to a brand new online student?

Dr. Danielle P.
Answer:

There are several tips that can help a brand new online student succeed. Here are just a few: 1) Save your work frequently and save yourself a headache. As you write papers, responses, and work on other projects on your computer, set a timer to remind you to save your work periodically. This will help you avoid losing any progress you are making in the event your computer freezes up or your laptop's battery dies in the middle of your project. 2) Send your work to yourself. This takes saving your work to a higher level. At least once per day while you are working on your projects, take a moment to open up the browser and email yourself a draft of what you are working on. You can also upload a copy to a free online storage database such as dropbox.com. This serves two purposes. The first is that you will always have a fairly recent copy of your latest work in the event your computer totally crashes or gets stolen, and you can access your work from any remote location if you need to do so. 3) Highlight, copy, paste, and respond. Online instructors want to make sure that you are responding to all of the points in their assignments. One way to make sure you hit every point that they want to see is to highlight the text of the assignment and then copy and paste it into the document that you will be writing your report on. After you paste this, go back and highlight it again, and then make the text boldface and italicized so it stands out from what you will be typing. Be sure to save it, and then start to answer the questions or points of the assignment instructions. When are sure that you have answered and addressed all of the questions or points, go back and delete the bold-faced and italicized text. Utilizing these tips can insure that you avoid the frustration of losing time or your work and insure that you do a thorough job of addressing all that your online instructor expects from you.

Education
TutorMe
Question:

What are some of the best practices educators can utilize to create a safe, ethical learning environment to build trust and camaraderie among students in the online classroom?

Dr. Danielle P.
Answer:

Two best practices that online instructors can utilize to help create a sense of trust and camaraderie among students in the online classroom are: 1) explaining the expectations for proper netiquette and ethical online learning communication during the first week's lessons; 2) designing the syllabus to include tips and recommendations for creating a safe learning environment, such as keeping posts professional and respectful.

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