Five Things Every New SLIS Student Should Know
Navigating a new course of study in an online environment can be challenging. In fact it can be downright intimidating for some. But as most SLIS students come to find out, a totally online school can turn out to be a perfect fit.
So, what are a few things new SLIS students should know about their new world, their new digital home-away-from-home?
1. A new class can seem overwhelming at first. Reading a syllabus alone on your computer screen can make anyone feel anxious. I have found that printing the syllabus off and marking due dates down on my personal calendar can help ease my fears. While the online classroom feels and looks different than a traditional face-to-face environment, I know that I can always email or even call my professor with any questions I might have. They are always ready and willing to help.
2. The SJSU King Library is a great resource. The library should be bookmarked in your web-browser-of-choice at all times. The wealth of information that the library contains for SLIS students is wonderful. Feel free to contact the librarians via email for help. I keep the library and information science guide handy at all times. There is also a specific guide just for MARA students. Check it out!
3. Yes, courses really do have group work! It can seem like an impossible hurdle to work in an online group with students all over the world instead of meeting in-person at the nearest coffee shop. But it can be done! And most importantly, you learn a lot in the process not only about ways to work and meet digitally but how to negotiate and compromise with your team. (A skill that might come in handy later in life too…)
4. Rest assured that there is no “typical” or “traditional” SLIS student. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and walks of life. Having an English major and loving books is not required in the MLIS or MARA programs, though if you do you probably won’t be alone. The first week of every semester is my favorite. It is during that time that every student in class will “introduce” himself or herself to you. It’s truly amazing to see where everyone lives, works, and hopes to be once they have completed their degree.
5. Consider exploring some online technology tools. While LIBR 203 (or the New Student Technology Workshop, for MARA students) will introduce you in more depth to the most important online tools (like Google Docs and blogs) I also recommend that you look at Jing, Dropbox, or Prezi. These are all tools that I have used during my time at SLIS, most often for presentations. Dropbox is a great cloud storage site where you can keep your school documents for your ePortfolio, one of the two culminating experience options for MLIS students. As you progress further into the program you will find your own favorite, go-to tools.
Still feeling overwhelmed or confused? Feel free to leave a comment and I will be sure to get back to you.
Additional pages to peruse: