How To Teach a Student With Schizophrenia

Schizophrenic symptoms are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, thinking disorder, disorganized behavior, social withdrawal and difficulty in processing one’s thoughts. All these signs can have bad effects on a person’s ability to learn and grow at school.

Teaching a person suffering from schizophrenia is a huge challenge for teachers. The student dealing with this mental disorder falls under the category known as educable mentally handicapped. Educators and heath care professionals say that there are multiple levels of need, based on the person’s testable IQ in a particular question, and the resulting level he or she experiences. These high functioning individuals with lower IQ than the average are known as educable mentally retarded. The IQ of the people who are diagnosed as educable mentally retarded, have noticeable delays, and usually their IQ’s fall in an approximate range of 50 to 75.

Emotionally or behaviorally handicapped student is an industry-wide category that assists teachers in understanding what the student needs are. Teaching methods involves creating individual education plans and putting together specific learning guides for each student. A meeting is necessary for all teachers who guide the students, the school psychologist, therapists or team of medical professionals, guidance counselor, parents or guardians, and the student if they are able to comprehend. During the meeting, the team will create an effective place based on the student’s condition and behavior. This may include using graphic organizers and textbooks.

Individual educational plan often calls for accommodations and adjustments for the student who has schizophrenic symptoms. These modifications may include using graphic organizers for comprehension and learning techniques to aid memory recall. People with schizophrenia often have troubles with understanding and memory recall. Their intellectual capacity is quite weak that is why in most cases using visual map of ideas or concepts helps them to easily comprehend. Creating worksheets for students help them organize their thoughts and understand what they are reading. For instance, some teachers use instructions like “Please click on the “Graphic Organizers” link to find out more graphic organizers”. This may improve the students’ ability to follow instructions and teach them how to use the graphic organizer, and then practice using it with a certain lesson. For example, using ROY G BIV to help the students in remembering the order of the colors in a rainbow and using Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, this helps them in remembering the order of operations in math involving parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

It is very important to put the modifications in place. It changes to what the student is expected to learn, how they perform during their lessons, and how they will be tested and graded. For instance, if a student is placed in a regular classroom, there will be small, if any, modifications since he will learn what the others are learning. Each modification has more value in a classroom which focuses on special education. Schizophrenic students will have modification like working on a lower grade level book. Moreover, a student who takes an easier standard test, would also take advantage of a modification.

 

Why Should I Become an Outstanding Student?

Just like everyone wants to be rich, nearly every student wants to become an outstanding student. In fact, being an outstanding student is a noble objective, and there is nothing wrong with this goal. But the problem does lie in the fact that not many students have taken enough quality time to ask themselves WHY they want to become outstanding students, which can be a reason that there are only a few outstanding students in each school. Almost no student has asked “WHY should I become an outstanding student?”

If you had already read many articles in this website, you would have picked up some facts about me that I had been just a normal student until I came to the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL), Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. By the time I had finished high school (and before I got into IFL), I had been a full-time gang who had done so many socially-hated things. I had gotten myself addicted to alcohol and trapped in many serious fights. (If you want to know about my background, click: About)

Before I came to IFL, I had never ever dreamt of becoming a person I am today. I had gone through many traps, obstacles, and hardships before I could achieve impressive academic successes (at IFL), which a lot of people thought to be impossible. Therefore, I knew exactly how it felt like to be on the top of the game, benefited big time, and had a lot of nice things to talk about being an outstanding student. If you want to become an outstanding student but are still not sure why you should be an outstanding student, I highly recommend you read the following reasons:

I. Emotional benefits
If I am not mistaken, no one in the world wants to feel sad or mad; everyone wants to feel good even though they choose different ways to make themselves feel good. As for students, I can say that there is no better feeling than that of their becoming outstanding students.

Even now that I have already graduated from IFL, I still clearly remember the goose-bumps I had when I was called to the stage to receive Awards of Excellence for each academic year or deliver Thank-You speeches. I wish I could precisely describe those feelings of pride and recognition in writing because I really want to share with you those feelings so that you are inspired to reach the top of your competition too. When they called my name and announced my academic achievements, I felt really good-much better than any feelings I had had in my life. I don’t know but for every event, I felt really like I was flying when I saw other students sitting in the audience, clapping their hands for me, and listening to my speech.

Actually, when I write about this, I don’t mean to boast about my achievements and ego at all. But, I want to show you that those feelings came from inner motivation, not outer motivation. You know, whenever I stood on those stages, I realized that my hard work had paid off. I knew the crops that I had grown, and that I had harvested for the whole academic year blossomed and given fruits. I felt more than happy when I internally acknowledged that I had walked on the right path and direction.

Moreover, I felt even better than that when I could see my parents’ smile and laughter. This was the least I could do for them, as a son especially the one who had caused countless problems, wasted a lot of their time, and spent thousands of their dollar. Making me proud was just one small thing, but making them proud of me was really inspirational for me.

II. Mental benefits
Whether you know this or not, you feel confident in yourself only when you know can do something well or when people start to recognize your ability. You know this can be a chicken-and-egg issue. Becoming an outstanding student surely raises your self-esteem, belief and confidence in your own ability and value; however, your having self-esteem can also lead you to become an outstanding student. As not to confuse you, I’d like to focus only on the previous premise that becoming an outstanding can help you build up your self-esteem or self-confidence.

As a reflection, when I was a freshman at IFL I was not a confident person (like I am today). I just did not believe in my ability and knowledge maybe because I had abandoned education and socialized with people in dark side of the society for quite some time. Though it was so, I tried my best and was able to claim the position of the 3rd most outstanding student in the afternoon shift of my promotion, academic year 2005-2006. That achievement was indeed surprising for me, and clearly marked the beginning of my academic successes at IFL.

In late 2006, I became a two-year student. In my class (A2.1), there was almost the same number of students, and classmates. But, the difference then lied in how they were treating me. Their behavior toward me in the new academic year was differently from theirs in the previous year. Most of them treated me strangely in a way that they regarded me as someone who knew more than they did. Whenever they had questions or doubts, some of them approached me. Also, I was highly encouraged to take seemingly difficult or big tasks; sometimes, I singlehandedly did group assignment and presentation. You know, since then, my classmates had treated me like that (until the time I graduated from IFL).

Speaking of self-esteem, I was really nervous and sometimes did not want to move ahead to do those things encouraged or left behind by my classmates at all. But, because there was no one else to do, I just persisted on without complaining and completed them with trial and error. Surprisingly and unexpectedly, the more I did those work, the better I became. Day by day, I became even more knowledgeable and skillful in what I did, and my friends would just watch how I did them and encouraged me more, which made me become a true believer in my abilities and knowledge, and feel even more confident in my answers. If it had not been because of that academic success in my freshman year, I would not have been so confident in life and be writing this article now.

III. Intellectual benefits
They say people need some success to get more successes. With some successes (even small ones), you will be exposed to more learning opportunities and learn more than you have ever done in your life. Frankly, I did not know that at all until I became an outstanding student.

In high school, I had always asked myself and friends why my teachers paid more attention to students who were already good than those who did not do well. ‘Isn’t it more logical that teachers should teach the not-good?’ I asked. I had asked this question for years until I came to IFL and became a good student myself. Actually, the answers can be found in one of following three reasons. (1) You shall get if you give. So the students who concentrate on their teacher’s lessons will get attention from their teacher. (2) Teacher is also a human and wants to be recognized for their effort. Teachers who are able to produce outstanding students tend to be more respected and known than those who aren’t. (3) For one session, teacher has too little time to waste on those who do not show any enthusiasm to learn. To make best use of their time, teacher therefore chooses to invest on those curious learners, instead.

I brought in this point not to claim that I am an expert in education or something, but just for your awareness so that you can take advantage over it. It is so true that people who have talent or show signs of potentials are encouraged and supported to develop further than those you don’t have any. Therefore, if your goal is to excel exponentially in your life, you’ve got to have to be willing to become an outstanding. You have to start stepping first, and your step doesn’t have to be the best though it should be better than most people surrounding you. And once you are spotlighted as one of those who are willing to learn and have potentials to learn, you will be supported, motivated, encouraged, inspired, and pushed to learn even further than you have ever thought in your life. If you don’t believe this, please take me as an example. When I joint IFL, I was just a gangster. Yet when I graduated, I was an outstanding student.

IV. Academic benefits
Nowadays, it has become even clearer to students and to the world that education has no boundary. You know, there are more study programs than ever before in history. Also, thousands if not millions scholarships are offered every day to high-academic-ability students regardless of their gender, culture, race, religion, etc. (Still, different scholarships have different requirements).

Since I am a Cambodian, let me raise an example from Cambodia. On a yearly basis, dozens of IFL students and lecturers alone win sponsored exchange programs and scholarships to the US, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, etc maybe thanks to their high English language proficiency. Besides IFL students and lecturers, there are also hundreds students from other educational institutions and civil servants working for the government who are able to pass all requirements and get scholarships to further their undergraduate or graduate programs abroad. More than Cambodia students, students in other developing countries such as Bangladesh, Laos, Vietnam, etc. are also allowed to pursue their higher education in developed countries of their choice either on scholarship or full fee payment programs.

The door to the world’s greatest and freest education has been opened and awaits students who possess high potentials and guts to prove to the world that they have something to offer. Therefore, if you have always longed for free education or higher education, I strongly recommend you set a goal to become an outstanding student in the field you are studying and go for it now. This goal, if realized, is your single ticket that you can use to get what you want, and financially speaking, it is the cheapest educational ticket that you have ever bought in your life. So, go for it.

V. Relational benefits
For students who always want attention from other people, I suggest you become an outstanding student or the most outstanding student in your school, if possible. If your goal in school is be well-known, I think you cannot choose a better strategy than becoming the best student in your class or school. Believe me, once you have become one of the top students or the top student in your school, other students are just drawn to you; you automatically become a magnet. If you walk in the school campus, people just look at you, talk (or gossip) about you, and want to be your friends.

Personally, I had a lot of friends when I was at IFL. I knew all people in my class, many people in my promotion, and other schoolmates who were studying in different promotions, shifts (time) of study, and classes. Actually, there were many factors leading me to know those people. First, I joint almost all extracurricular activities IFL had to offer. Second, I frequented IFL Self-Access Center (SAC) on a daily basis during weekdays. Last but certainly not least, I was one the most outstanding students. Other students knew me because I was called to receive Awards of Excellence every orientation day of every academic year between 2005 and 2009.

Becoming an outstanding student is like becoming a movie star. People just want to know about you and be your friends if there is an opportunity. So, when you are able to become one of the best students, you do not have problems in finding friends anymore; your only problem is in choosing people with whom you want to be friend. Because this fame is good, the friends that you have respect you and your ability a lot. With them, you are treated with reverence, and you are just a kind of friend with whom they don’t want to mess up.

Plus, you will learn many worthwhile life skills when you become one the top. Besides specialized knowledge, you also learn to control your ego because you can’t just be too cocky or get too loose that you stop learning. Also, you learn to handle publicity. You will become a topic. Other students and people will talk about you, and of course some of their stories are not good or true, thus being emotionally disastrous if you pay too much attention to them. Be ready and I can ensure that it is exciting and fun if you handle it well.

VI. Financial benefits
After everything is said and done, it comes to money, one of most tangible results that becoming an outstanding student can give you and one of the most wanted things that students (and all) people want. Frankly, I was born to an average family who has had many chronic financial crisis. (I eye-witnessed my parents selling our house, borrowing money from others, and strongly arguing with one another about money). When I was a bit younger, I had always wanted nice things that other kids at my age had, but my parents did not have enough money, so I would feel disappointed at myself. Because of such personal disappointment, I knew the importance of money and that money is an essential part of human life whether I like it or not.

Some people think that money is evil, but how about having little or no money? You know, in today’s highly competitive world, it is nothing more miserable or evil than people’s having no money to feed themselves. Personally, even though I know that money cannot buy everything, I prefer to have a lot of money because I also know that without money I cannot buy anything.

Therefore, if you are a student and want to have a decent living of your choice after graduation, you should work your butt off to become the best student that you can be. If you are the best in your class or school, you will earn two or three times as much as ordinary students in your level will. If an average student gets a salary of USD500$ per month, you will make up to USD1000$ or even more. As for me, I’m making twice as much as my friends, who graduated at the same year I did and who are working in the similar work I am doing, are.

VII. Other benefits
1. You’ve a one-for-all key to unlock the world: Whether you acknowledge it or not, the world really values people who are on the top of their game or work. These people are sought after and given more opportunities beyond their specialized skills or expertise. Take me as an example. When I was in my senior (last) year at IFL, I applied to work as a sales executive in an international company called Sumitomo Corporation. Generally, I was not suitable for the position at all, but I was selected. At the time, I met only one of their requirements: high English language proficiency. I neither had experience in sales nor had learnt international business transaction in university. But, still I was selected because they viewed me as a dynamic person because I was an outstanding pupil. Probably, my boss had thought that outstanding people had special ability to learn more quickly and take more responsibility if compared to other normal performers.

2. You’re able to cover all the messes you have made in your life. They say life is a matter of choice. The more correct choices you make, the better your life is. In contrast, the more incorrect/wrong mistakes you make, the worse your life is. Logically speaking, there should not be something called ‘good points replace bad points’ since mistake is a mistake; once you make it, it stays there.

Yet, the good-points-replace-bad-points thing does exist in today’s society. Since I was a child, my dad has always taught me that people don’t care how you do to get rich at all, but they just want to know whether you are rich or not. If you are rich, society doesn’t care whether you used be a gambler or prostitute. But, if you are a nice but poor guy, society will be harsh on you. Even though what my father has taught me ethically speaking should not be taught in school as it encourages students to be too outrageously ambitious, it has a great implication in practical life.

Take me as an example again. I used to screw my life up when I was a teenager. I got involved in many bad things such as gang fights, abusive alcohol drinks, etc. At that time, almost no good people wanted to socialize with me. Those people just ignored me completely. I was abandoned, at least by some of my friends and relatives, and had never hoped of retaining my life again. Yet, today now that I have achieved many thought-to-be impossible things, no one has ever talked about my past experience and life again. Those things are just covered up and buried into the deepest ground possible. With my outstanding-student reputation, all mistakes that I used to make have been automatically corrected, and all holes have been filled up nicely and firmly.

In conclusion, as a friend and someone who was an outstanding student, I really want you to improve and develop to become an outstanding student. I really do want you to climb the ladder to the top of your academics so that you can breathe in the rare breeze and see the world from the top. And then, you will understand that your life is worth trying to achieve the best and living in happiness.

7 Problems Faced by Most Accounting Students

Being an accounting student isn’t easy. You have to be really good at Maths, but that’s not all there is to it. If you want to take up a career in accounting, you will really need to love your job. And while the pay packet can seem lucrative, understand that many accounting jobs involve you to sit for hours on your desk, doing the necessary calculations. Of course, if that isn’t a good thought, then accounting is not for you.

A Career in Accounting

But then, those who do take up accounting know that well. The bigger problem is something else.

Given below are the 7 problems faced by accounting students around the globe.

Managing other people’s money while on a budget – Accounting students have to live their life on a strict and low budget while also manage the incomes of big business houses at the same time. It might be a good idea to take a break before starting an accountancy course and collect some funds to relax as they study year after year.
Leading a social and relaxed life – As students pave their way to adulthood, a university is the perfect place to make new friends, socialize and learn more about life with every passing day. However, accounting as a career can be extremely demanding and an accounting student rarely gets the time to relax or socialize with others.
Immensely competitive – There can be tough competition between accounting students especially because this career has a clear employment goal. This competition can sometimes prove unhealthy and some of the brightest accounting students may fail to secure a job even though they expect to do so easily.
Choosing the correct industry – Trained accountants can choose from various business fields and sometimes it becomes a problem to choose the correct and apt industry for a student amongst the various options available. A student should not limit his opportunities for progression and explore them all before making a final choice.
Formal lifestyle – Being a computer-oriented career, accounting can prove to be quite rigid and requires the student to lead a formal and strict lifestyle both during and after graduation. Internships too can be strict and stressing, without allowing much flexibility to an accounting student.
Being unqualified – An accounting student who fails to complete his degree or secures extremely low marks in his exams due to the excessive academic pressure may face serious problems in securing a job and might be left unemployed while his peers achieve success in their careers.
Online technologies – With the advent of online technologies and an internet culture setting in rapidly, many accounting students find it difficult to secure a job after their graduation as several business homes avoid hiring an accountant when a number of functions and jobs can be completed with cloud-based accountancy software’s.
Every student needs accounting help to be able to do better in their studies.

For all those intelligent mathematical minds, accounting is a great opportunity which offers great employment prospects, several options and a hefty salary. However, as an accounting student, you are bound to face a lot of struggle from the very first year right till the end in order to reach your dream job.

How do you want to ensure that you’re learning the right accounting methods? If you’re looking to get more from your experience of learning accounting and want to get more, the right accounting help is necessary. It can help you to get more out of yourself and be able to perform better! Visit us to know more about how you can take your accounting skills to the next level.

 

An Ideal Student

Who is an ideal student? Some may think that an ideal student should be brilliant in his studies and always stand at the tope of the successful students. But it is a wrong thinking. He should be well in his studies and his scores should be well above 50 percent. But he need not be brilliant. Brilliant students are often regard themselves as superior beings. Sometimes a brilliant student may be a bookworm. But an ideal student is hard-working, polite and gentle. He is intelligent and practical and never neglects studies or other activities of the school.

An ideal student is ever cheerful, positive, optimistic, cooperative disciplined and labourious. He is obedient and respectful. He pays proper respect to teachers, elders and his senior students. He is punctual, regular and cooperative and helps other students as best as he can. He spends some of his spare time in the library, reading books, magazines and newspapers but is never a bookworm. At the same time he takes active part in games and sports and co-curricular activities. He never neglects his body nor studies. He pays particular attention to the proper and all round development of his personality. He takes special care to have good moral character and courage. He is friendly, kind and cooperative and liked by his friends and teachers.

He is always active, smart, well-dressed, good mannered and humble. He need not wear fashionable or costly clothes or uniform. He is healthy, cheerful and good looking but need not be handsome and fashionable. His manners are acceptable, courteous and natural. Wherever he goes he spreads good cheer, warmth and friendliness. He is obedient but sometimes may be a little naughty. He enjoys good things of life in moderation and never acquires bad habits. He always keeps away from the bad company.

He aims at all-round development of his growing personality. He loves studies as much as games and sports. He takes daily some physical exercise to keep his body fit and trim. He believes in the saying that “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. Moderation and balance is the hall-mark of an ideal student’s life.

An ideal student is well aware of his duties and responsibilities as a student. He knows how much he owes to his parents, teachers and the society. He takes the full advantage of the opportunities offered. He uses his time wisely and in a planned way and believes that time is money. He knows that students are the future citizens, leaders, parents and scientists. This sense makes him devote all his energies into developing himself a meaningful and useful citizen of the country. He is always proud of his country, its history, culture and heritage.

An ideal student takes keen interest in social and welfare activities in his own way. He wants to make the world a better place. He studies the lives of great men and women of the country and draws inspiration from them. He tries to follow them and their teachings. He is never misguided nor suffers from an complex.

Dangers of Mobile Phone to Students of Secondary School

SIDE EFFECTS OF OWNING A PHONE BY STUDENTS:

HEALTH HAZARDS:

Over the past decade the world has seen rapid growth in cell phone users. Everyone from older adults to kids in high school seem to carry one glued to their ears, without understanding the possible health risks associated with the use of cellular telephones.

To begin with, a recent scientific journal published in 2007 titled Long term use of cellular phones and brain tumors, concluded after assessing results from many different studies that use of cell phones for more then 10 years does show increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. Adding that the risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure, meaning tumor on the same side of the brain where phone mostly held.

Research scientists behind this journal assert that most studies to date on cell phone use and brain tumors have been mostly conducted with an insufficiently long latency period. This journal report gives excellent reviews of other studies and evidence of data entry errors, systematic bias and mathematical errors within those studies.

The effect mobile phone radiation has on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world (as of June 2009, there were more than 4.3 billion users worldwide. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which some believe may be harmful to human health. A large body of research exists, both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals and in humans, of which the majority shows no definite causative relationship between exposure to mobile phones and harmful biological effects in humans. This is often paraphrased simply as the balance of evidence showing no harm to humans from mobile phones, although a significant number of individual studies do suggest such a relationship, or are inconclusive. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.

The World Health Organization, based upon the majority view of scientific and medical communities, has stated that cancer is unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations and that reviews have found no convincing evidence for other health effects. The WHO expects to make recommendations about mobile phones in 2010. Some national radiation advisory authorities have recommended measures to minimize exposure to their citizens as a precautionary approach.

At least some recent studies, however, have found an association between cell phone use and certain kinds of brain and salivary gland tumors. Lennart Hardell and other authors of a 2009 meta-analysis of 11 studies from peer-reviewed journals concluded that cell phone usage for at least ten years “approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same (“ipsilateral”) side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use.”

ACADEMIC DISTRACTIONS:

Some students have the habit of keeping their mobile phones on during classes and studies, even in the library. The do so for their classmates to know their latest ringing tones, thereby distracting other students, even the teacher in the class. Some even put it in vibration and are distracted by the vibration from calls during classes and school hours, diverting their concentration on who is calling at the moment.

This “mobile phone” with different memory capacity is used to download and store several music of different lyrics and tones. The songs are being listened every now and then with the use of earpiece in the school and at home forgetting their academic work which is supposed to be their priority. Some even play these songs in the class, distracting the serious and minded students, while the constant use of the earpiece makes it difficult for some of them to understand conversations with low tones, and shout while talking with the aim to be heard. The academic distraction is getting worse by the day because those that don’t own a mobile phone are eager to get one. Once a student brings a book to study, and a call comes, that is the end of the study after the call, because their concentration will be on the call answered.

One of the several factors that that have distracted these upcoming leaders of our generation has a lot to do with mobile phones. Most students spend hours playing different games in the phone namely real football games, soccer games, snakezia, car race, puzzle games etc. They enjoy these games to an extent of neglecting their academic work, assignments, homework etc. They even discuss these games at school encouraging others how interesting the games were, storing games in the memory instead of their studies. Analysis of performing an art/creative work and playing mobile phone games in twenty-nine secondary schools revealed that 50% can play mobile phone games very well, 27% can do their art/creativity work well while 23% can neither do the art/creative work nor play games well. In order words, the academic works suffers it most.

COST:

The cost of purchasing a mobile phone is expensive to students of secondary schools that have little or no earning source. Most of them prefer buying phones with their school fees to paying it. When this mobile phone is bought, the student has to recharge it and make calls, send text messages, browse and download some files. All these things are money which can be used for their academic pursuit and/or other essential and important things. The cost of repairing and replacing damaged/lost ones are not left out, because, the fact remains that once a student has started using phones, it must be repaired or replaced when damaged or lost. Check the cost of recharging a mobile phone daily for one month, not to talk of a year. All these are unnecessary expenses for students that are being trained by someone.

NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN:

Once a child (student) started using a mobile phone, the numbers will be distributed to different kinds of people who will call and the student will receive. Most of these phones are multi-media in nature such that they download and watch all sorts of pornographic pictures and movies, which curiosity will allow them practice and know what it is all about.

Once a student started using mobile phone, it is an alert for opposite sex that he/she is ripe for sexual relationship. Naturally, there people who cannot speak to their mates face-to-face, using mobile phone becomes a good medium to express their feelings. Most of these students’ calls and messages are all about “I love you, crazy about you, miss you and the likes of it” once a new “love” is found, it takes almost everything in the person, e.g. the thinking, sleepless nights, even financial spending. For some, the phone is the used for formalize arrangements and appointments. With their phones, they know and observe all the happenings in the town like parties, night clubs etc.

Telling lies has become a common thing to students with their mobile phones. Imagine a student in another place for days, told the parents that she went on excursion, which resulted to pregnancy after some months, forgetting that “all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire that burns with brimstone” according to biblical injunction. Some of them are too proud of themselves when they have expensive phones with them, not knowing that “pride goes before a fall” some practice stealing in collaboration with lie to buy/ replace their phones. Some other atrocities like kidnapping, stealing etc are being carried out by some students with their mobile phones.

Most students are unable to concentrate on their studies because of the free calls (night calls) from different networks. These calls start 12:30am and end 4:30-5:00am, and some students make these calls daily, how can they learn when they are dizzy or sleeping in the class? How can they be mentally balanced health wise when they don’t sleep normally like students? Some of them risk themselves making these calls outside the room because of the distractions to others in the same room. The hours spent in making these calls, if utilized, can make the student emerge the best in academic activities.

EXAM MALPRACTICE:

Most of the students don’t study again because of the points mentioned above; rather indulge in exam malpractice during internal and external examinations. Some make use of the calculator in the mobile phone, while others store some information in it. The worst of it is that others use it to send objective answers to those in the examination hall, which may not be correct at the end of the day. This can end the student’s career if caught, as exam malpractice is a punishable offense.

In summary, mobile phones have been of help because information is power. When a student is not informed, he/she will be deformed, and when deformed, the student cannot perform. I encourage students of secondary schools to make calls at phone boot, use their parents, family or relative’s communication device to communicate rather than owning one because the bad part of mobile phones to students are more than the good part. The earlier you look into this and analyze it, the better for you.

6 Strategies to Help Online Students Overcome the Risk of Failure

The retention rate for online schools is low and there are many reasons why students discontinue their degree program, from the cost per credit hour to school policies and the quality of the courses offered. Instructors have little control over many of those factors but what they can help with is the classroom environment that they are responsible for maintaining. With every class students are at risk for failure because of the nature of a virtual environment and interactions with others. New students have the greatest risk and the most challenging learning curve. When students take their first class it is a time when their perceptions and expectations meet the reality of working in an online class. Every subsequent class requires adapting in some manner, to a new instructor and set of requirements. This creates a risk or possibility for students to fail.

All instructors, not just those who teach entry point classes, are responsible for nurturing the development of their students. This means that teaching is not just a function with a checklist of duties, it is a process that requires full engagement and support for the progress of every student. With online classes it is possible for students to gradually disengage, if they become frustrated or their motivation wanes. If an instructor doesn’t notice a student’s struggle or does but doesn’t conduct some form of outreach, that student may disengage completely within a short period of time. There are proactive strategies an instructor can implement as part of their instructional strategy, to maintain awareness of class conditions and lessen the likelihood of students failing to complete the course.

Student Perceptions of Failure

Students start their classes with a variety of feelings. There is a sense of a fresh start, mixed with the possibility of uncertainty, apprehension, and/or anxiety – especially if they do not know their new instructor. The first week requires students to “hit the ground running” so to speak, and few begin by thinking they will fail unless they have determined they do not have the required academic skills and cannot develop those skills quickly enough. Students think about failure most when they put in what they believe to be their best effort and receive feedback that conflicts with that belief and/or they watch their cumulative grade as an indicator of their progress and it continues to decline no matter how hard they try. Some students are not bothered by less than perfect outcomes and others will believe they have failed if they did not earn all “A” grades. There is a perception that grades are somehow tied to a student’s self-worth and that causes those students to give up easily when they perceive they have failed.

The Challenge of Academic Under-Preparedness

Many online schools have minimal entrance requirements for accepting new students, especially related to existing academic skills. Instructors in undergraduate entry point classes know this condition more than anyone else. It is possible to have students who are so academically under-prepared that the focus of the entire class is on learning the basic literacy skills. How well students are able to progress is directly related to their receptiveness to feedback, ability to cooperate, persistence in the midst of challenges, and the nature of the instructor. If an instructor demands compliance, rather than support and encourage development, it will create a barrier to progress that can set the stage for failure. The very first class, even the first few classes, will determine how well students become equipped to meet the academic rigors of their degree program. The support that the school and instructors offer is critical to helping prepare students for success.

What it Means to Be Accountable

Students are expected to follow the required policies and procedures, complete the required learning activities, perform to the best of their abilities, remain highly motivated, and be actively engaged in the learning process as an standard ideal. What instructors use as a guide for assessing how well students are meeting those expectations is what they can “see” in the classroom and that consists of class and discussion posts, along with the effort and attempt made with the learning activities. But to hold students accountable for these expectations, instructors must make them clear at the start of a class and encourage students to ask questions.

It is possible that expectations can vary from one instructor to another, which means instructors need to clearly communicate what they will hold students accountable for and provide both clarification and reminders on a regular basis. What may seem clear from an instructor’s perspective may not be interpreted that way the first time a student reads it, especially during the first week of class when they are trying to read and process all of the new materials and information. One method I’ve used is to create a section in the course syllabus that outlines my expectations and then I will refer back to it on occasion, as a reminder for the students.

Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Failure

In order to help your students meet the required expectations, and help prepare them for success in their class, there are six strategies any instructor can include as part of their online teaching strategy, regardless of the subject taught.

#1. Establish Clearly Defined Expectations: If you expect students to follow your particular requirements then they need to clearly understand what you expect. You can add a section to the course syllabus that outlines your expectations, whether it is a specific number of days you expect them to participate or the use of sources to support the development of their posts and papers. When you post weekly messages, be sure to include reminders about these expectations when needed. One method I have used to reinforce the expectations for written assignments is to develop a rubric and provide it at the start of the class week.

#2. Work to Develop Open Communication: Working in a virtual classroom environment can be intimidating for some students, especially if they feel isolated from their instructor, so it is imperative that productive working relationships are established. This will encourage students to reach out and ask for help whenever they have a question or need assistance. Be certain to have a supportive and helpful attitude as the first time a student asks for assistance will determine if they are encouraged or discouraged from asking for help again. The tone used in all responses will be interpreted so I often read my posts and messages aloud to ensure they are as effective as they can be.

#3. Teach Students the Power of Self-Assessment: Instructors can help students learn to monitor their own progress, the skills and knowledge they have acquired, and the beliefs they hold about their ability to succeed. To monitor their progress I will teach students to use some of the formative assessment techniques, such as a one minute paper. To help students with the knowledge acquisition process I will teach them to use note-taking methods that they can then utilize later as a self-quiz. As to the development of skills, I make sure to note their accomplishments and progress in the feedback provided. Finally, I will talk about self-beliefs in messages I post and conversations I have with students – either by phone or through other one-on-one communication.

#4. Provide Feedback and Follow-Through: Providing a completed rubric or letter grade is never enough when it comes to supporting students and addressing their developmental needs. I provide interactive feedback that addresses both the content and the mechanics of what was written. I add in comments via track changes in a Word document and I share my expertise, experience, and additional thoughts. I also ask questions in my feedback as a means of engaging the students further and then I encourage them to ask questions. The purpose is to create interactive feedback that prompts follow-up with them. The follow-through is necessary whenever I have a student who is struggling, not making progress, making the same mistakes, or facing any other challenges. I want to make certain they have read the feedback and provide them with an opportunity to discuss their progress.

#5. Be a Teacher, Facilitator, Mentor, and Coach: Every instructor can lead the way for their students and be a guide that helps to support them in a servant leadership role. While many online schools like to call an instructor a facilitator, the many responsibilities that an instructor has involves much more than facilitating a process. Instructors need to be aware of how their students are performing and help them find resources when needed, teach them productive habits when it seems they cannot accomplish the required tasks each week, and offer support when they question their ability to do well or have self-doubts. All of these roles help to teach students to persist and it encourages a growth mindset.

#6. Conduct Outreach on an Ongoing Basis: While this will require extra time on the part of the instructor, it can certainly make a difference in the long term success of the students. Instructors must be aware of the class conditions and alert for students who are struggling and disengaging from the class so that they can be proactive in outreach attempts before it becomes a chronic problem that results in complete withdrawal from the class. I’ve found that an extra email or phone call goes a long way towards establishing a bond with my students and helps to bridge the distance gap with them. Most of the time one outreach contact in some form is enough to re-engage the students; however, there are some students who feel hopeless and believe that circumstances happen to them rather than having control over their own outcomes. Those students require much more patience and personalized attention, which some instructors do not like to do, but in the end I’ve found it is worth my time as it helps to address the needs of my students.

Failure is Inevitable

It is highly unlikely that every class will have a 100% retention rate, especially for online schools that have open admissions policies. However, through my work with online faculty development, and experience with online teaching, I have found that there is a direct correlation between the retention rate of a class and both the level and quality of the instructor’s involvement. Clearly there are students who are not well-suited to the online classroom environment and this includes those students who are inflexible, uncooperative, and unwilling to adapt. But there are many students who are able to work successfully in a virtual class and if they experience challenges or frustrations the instructor’s presence and assistance can prevent disengagement. Students respond well to an instructor who makes the extra effort to guide their development and they become more receptive to coaching and feedback. If an instructor cares about how they teach, as much as what they teach, it is possible to reduce the risk of student failures.

Five Strategies Instructors Can Use to Help Students Who Lack Motivation

Developing conditions in an online classroom that are conducive to learning is challenging enough for instructors but then add to that the need to help students stay motivated and interested in the class, and their work is becomes even more time consuming and difficult to manage. There is a belief among some educators that it is not possible to help students that you cannot see, especially with a quality such as motivation that cannot be visually assessed in a virtual environment. But a student’s level of motivation will influence all aspects of their involvement, from their engagement in the class to their participation in class discussions and completion of learning activities such as written assignments.

With the many demands made of an online instructor it is possible that classroom management can become the primary focus and that consists of tasks such as participation, feedback, acquiring class materials, and developing class lectures or posts. It can then become fairly easy to miss a student who is gradually disengaging from class until it is too late. This includes knowing when a student is lacking a sense of self-motivation or does not know how to sustain it when they are feeling discouraged, frustrated, or challenged. While students are expected to be self-directed by nature as adults it doesn’t mean they are equipped to meet the many demands of a student and that is why an instructor must be prepared to identify their needs and have motivational strategies to assist them.

Are There Indicators For An Instructor?

It is possible for an instructor to gauge the level of involvement of their students in a class by the number of times they have posted responses in the discussion threads and the perceived amount of effort that is put into their written assignments. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is possible to accurately gauge how motivated the students are when an attempt of some kind is being made to complete their work. The reason why is that motivation is an internalized state and challenges are acknowledged through statements such as “I’m not certain I can do this” or “this is too hard” or “this isn’t what I expected I would have to do” – anything that will result in a student deciding to give up, quit, or eventually withdraw from the class or their degree program. An instructor will know that this is happening if they have developed open communication with their students and as a result they are willing to share their frustrations and concerns.

Do Students Intentionally Become De-Motivated?

When students are struggling in their class it can be easy to first assume that they are not trying hard enough, they aren’t utilizing the feedback provided, they haven’t read the assigned materials, or any other number of possible reasons – without being able to pinpoint exactly what they are experiencing. At the beginning of class most students have the highest level of enthusiasm and a sense of hope about a new start, even if there is some anxiety or apprehension mixed in. It is when they attempt to participate in the class that determines how long that excitement is sustained and there are many factors that can have a negative impact, including a lack of academic skills, feedback they do not accept or understand, a subject that is too difficult to comprehend or does not seem relevant to their lives, or receiving a grade they do not believe they should have earned. This causes an eventual decline in performance and one that may not be intentional or even consciously recognized until an instructor addresses it.

5 Strategies to Help Your Students

Instructors may not always know with certainty why students are struggling but at the heart of most issues is a willingness to keep trying and work on continued self-development, even when it requires them to acquire new knowledge or skills. What instructors can do is to develop a set of proactive instructional strategies that are encouraging in nature and supportive of students’ attempts and progress. The following five strategies have been implemented in my own teaching practice and what I have helped to coach online faculty with through my work with faculty development.

#1. Build Productive Relationships. While this should go without saying for any class, whether it is a traditional or online class, relationships with students always matters. It can have a direct impact on their ability to feel comfortable asking for assistance when needed and that can alert the instructor to potential problems. But developing this type of relationship in a virtual environment isn’t easy and a class that lasts only a few weeks can make it even more difficult. How a relationship begins is with the attitude an instructor holds and it continues with an ongoing intent to be helpful and approachable. Students must know that their instructors care about them.

#2. Carefully Manage Your Communication. All forms of communication that instructors have with their students matter and must be cultivated with care that the intent of message is clearly made and the tone is not likely to be perceived in a negative manner. When responding to a student, whether by email or a post in the classroom, it should not be done hastily or when an emotional reaction is felt. The reason why this is so important is that a negative interaction can be de-motivating to a student and a series of these types of interactions can cause a student to disengage from the class.

#3. Be Present, Available, and Accessible. If students are to stay engaged in the class and perform to the very best of their abilities they need to know that their instructor is readily available to assist them whenever they need help. This doesn’t mean that an instructor has to be on call at all times or answer questions as soon as they are posted; however, there needs to be an established pattern that students can rely upon. I’ve found it helpful to have multiple methods of contact that includes email, instant messaging, weekly office hours, sharing my phone number for times when students need immediate assistance, and posting a questions thread in the classroom. This allows me to develop connections with students and it can be very motivating for them to know I am accessible.

#4. Help Make Certain that Students are Adequately Prepared. I’ve found that academic under-preparedness can be extremely detrimental to the mindset that new students hold as they attempt to navigate the course and the requirements they are expected to complete. Even as established students make progress through their degree program they may still struggle with areas of development that can create a mental barrier and ultimately lead to a sense of defeat if they do not receive assistance. What I’ve done is to share resources that address students’ specific developmental needs in the feedback provided and if I find sources that may benefit the entire class I’ll share it in a separate classroom post. I’ve found that the more students feel equipped to complete their tasks, the more confident they will be as they make an attempt to do so.

#5. Develop and Use Proactive Outreach Strategies. It is imperative that an instructor always be aware of the classroom conditions and more importantly that they are aware of students who are not actively involved and present in class. It may be helpful to establish a mental baseline for expected performance and over time an experienced instructor develops an instinct for student engagement. A discussion thread is one way to gauge if students are disengaging from the class. When I discover a student who isn’t posting messages or they are continuing to struggle with their written assignments, I’ll make outreach attempts. First I’ll send an email and try to engage them and if that isn’t successful I’ll make a phone call so that the student doesn’t completely disengage from class. I’ve learned that a personalized approach will go a long ways towards helping students sustain their self-motivation.

Sources of Motivation

Most research about motivation points to the sources of motivation, both internal and external. This means that students may be motivated by a sense of accomplishment (internalized) or a grade (externalized). With a limited amount of time available to get to know students, instructors may never know exactly what the source of motivation is for every student or be able to develop techniques to meet their individual needs – especially when classroom management and instructional duties require a significant investment of time. What instructors can do is to address self-motivation as a driving factor for the engagement of all students in a class and use the strategies provided to help students feel empowered to succeed rather than become easily discouraged and willing to give up. When instructors bridge the distance gap and connect with their students they will notice the results in the effort made and the performance level maintained throughout the class, which is directly related to their sustained self-motivation.

Do You Want to Change How Students Perform? Influence Their Beliefs

When an adult student begins a class, whether it is a traditional, online, or corporate training class, a factor that can have a direct impact on their level of involvement in that class is their beliefs. The beliefs that students hold about their academic abilities and capability to participate in the learning process will determine their level of effort, energy, and willingness to be involved. It influences their persistence when faced with challenges and is a determining factor for their grades and course outcomes. Their beliefs also shape their attitude about learning, interactions they have with other students, and working relationships with their instructors. While beliefs are subconsciously held they become consciously recognized through ongoing interactions within a classroom environment.

Instructors also hold beliefs about their students and what they expect of them, which can have a positive or negative impact on them, especially those who are struggling to become engaged in the class. Students start a class with their existing beliefs, whether they are accurate or not, and they will naturally look for evidence to support rather than contradict what they believe. This means that students need direction and guidance if they are going to reassess, change, or alter those beliefs in any manner. Teaching adult students will become much more effective if beliefs are examined and understood, both the beliefs of the instructor and their students. While this requires a level of involvement with students that may be more difficult for some classes than others, instructors can always monitor their own beliefs and support students as they make progress through the class. A student who is struggling in any aspect of their performance may need new supportive beliefs.

An Instructor’s Beliefs

Before an instructor attempts to understand what their students believe, they should examine their own belief systems. Here are some questions to consider: Have you considered what assumptions you hold about your students at the start of each class? For example, do you assume that students are academically prepared to participate in the process of learning and motivated to complete their assignments, or do they need your guidance to know how to get started? What do you believe about your students and their capacity to learn, and do those beliefs change as the class progresses?

An instructor’s initial beliefs may include perceptions, whether valid or not, about their students’ abilities, which can include their need for support, feedback, independence, expression, and ongoing meaningful interactions. What instructors believe about their students may inform their approach to teaching and these perceptions are likely to change through interactions and class discussions. For example, one negative interaction can affect the disposition of an instructor and how they approach a student. A helpful approach for effective classroom teaching involves conducting a self-examination of the beliefs held and the impact of those beliefs on the process of learning.

Self-Check Your Beliefs

As an instructor, you can begin to examine the beliefs you hold about your students by looking at the words you would use if you were asked to describe your students right now. Would your description include the words potential, capable, self-directed, flawed, unwilling, or self-motivated? Next, consider what you believe your students’ needs are at the beginning of your class. Would their needs include guidance and support from you, or personal and professional development? Finally, take into consideration what your role is as an instructor, along what your involvement in the class should be, and how you will interact with your students. Will a description of your tasks, duties, and responsibilities include mentor, coach, teacher, or facilitator? Do you believe that you need to facilitate a process, teach your students about something specific, or tell them what it is they need to learn? These beliefs create a lens through which you view your students and it is important to reevaluate what you believe on a regular basis so that you can determine if they are accurate and supportive of their development.

Are Your Beliefs About Students Valid?

Once you examine your beliefs you can consider what factors have influenced and shaped what you now believe about your students. It is likely that the interactions, experiences, assignments, responsiveness or lack thereof to feedback, along with discussion question responses from prior classes have had a direct bearing on your current lens. What you believe will translate into how you initially interact with your students. As part of this self-examination you have an opportunity now to evaluate the validity of your beliefs and determine the impact of your current perspective about the classroom environment. Beliefs can be limiting when students are viewed collectively as a class that is succeeding or failing, willing or resistance, capable or limited in their abilities. One method of overcoming the development of a single perspective about your class is to ask students to post an introduction at the beginning of the class so you can shift your view from seeing students as a group to evaluating students on an individual basis. Your perspective will be further updated as you begin evaluating students’ performance. Try to weigh their work and evaluate their participation individually and keep in mind that every student has a capacity to learn and change, if they are provided with the necessary support, tools, and resources.

Influence Beliefs by Changing Behaviors

At its very essence, beliefs that students have are pre-conceived ideas, whether it is about learning, the classroom environment, their involvement and participation, or their instructors. A common example is that a student’s best effort is enough or satisfactory for classroom performance. Another is that trying hard should result in the best grade possible. Some students will state that all instructors are unfair and have this belief because their expectations weren’t met or they didn’t receive an expected outcome. An instructor can recognize a belief like this if a student states they didn’t deserve a grade received, which is often a reflection of their locus of control. They will either view their grades and outcomes as something that happens to them or something they are in direct control of regardless of the grade received.

Of course in a class that lasts a few hours, a day, or even several weeks, it may be impossible for instructors to learn about the beliefs of every student or tailor their instruction to every individual student. What an instructor can do is to establish clear expectations, provide support and feedback, and influence beliefs by understanding what behavioral aspects of a student’s performance need to change because at the heart of a student’s performance are behaviors. Students need to develop self-efficacy or a belief in their ability to complete their tasks, along with self-regulation or an ability to control their behaviors and manage their emotions. They must learn to persist when they are challenged to learn new behaviors, especially as related to new performance methods, and they need supportive work habits to maximize their productivity. Teach students to persist and discover their internal motivation, and you’ll help them develop new habitual behaviors that support positive beliefs about their capabilities.

Overcoming Belief-Based Challenges

Once you understand what you and your students believe, then you can work to influence them. However, can an instructor directly influence, guide, and help shape an adult student’s beliefs if they do not have a positive attitude about their capabilities? This can be best accomplished by helping the adult student discover that they have a greater capacity to learn and it is possible to improve with time and practice. An instructor who effectively guides the adult student may shape their beliefs by engaging them in the process of learning, by encouraging their efforts and attempts to participate, and finding resources that help to meet their developmental needs. In contrast, an instructor is likely to find that simply telling their students they must become an active participant is a less effective approach than one that involves guiding them through the process. The adult student is self-directed by nature and they often come to the classroom with specific needs, which are influenced by their beliefs about what they are capable of doing.

Establish a Realistic Perspective

Students, especially new students, may need to alter or completely discard beliefs that are not serving them well and develop new beliefs. However, changing a belief, especially one that has been held for a long period of time, may not happen overnight or within the short period of time allowed during a class. It is the accumulation of positive experiences and meaningful interactions that can change an adult’s beliefs in the long run, along with the development of habitual behaviors to support it. An instructor who encourages self-discovery and reminds students that they have a greater capacity to learn will likely find this approach is much more effective in shaping their beliefs than demanding their involvement in and compliance with the learning process. An adult is more likely to be engaged in the class if they believe they can learn and that it will meet their needs. This is one example of the power that beliefs can hold for the process of adult learning.

Creating Optimal Class Conditions

Where beliefs come into play, especially where they are tested and shaped, is in the classroom. An instructor can either establish a supportive or demanding environment. Consider a student’s perspective. If they come into the class with a mindset of anything other than self-assurance, how do their beliefs guide them? In other words, if they don’t have a strong belief in what they are capable of doing they may easily quit trying or give up if the learning process seems too difficult. Students need strong beliefs and supportive habits if their behavioral patterns are going to result in maximum productivity. The most effective approach an instructor can take is to influence what students believe and create classroom conditions that support their attempts and developmental progress.