How Does Online Learning Stop Procrastination

You’ve attended multiple college courses and after several years of pay and tuition, what are you doing with all of the free time you have? And what do you do with a lot of it?

Once a week on Newyorkism, I have a conversation with a student about something in class. We usually end up having some type of disagreements, even though I’m loving my time teaching all of the newbies that have gathered for my course. I will often feel a bit reactive when it comes to the line of questioning because I’m so eager to get to my next course. I will respond to the interviewee by informing them that I’m still learning, and that not all classes in the classroom are created equal. (It’s one thing to do more homework on a hard course that’s already been graded and graded by someone, another to do the same type of work on a new, open-ended class that is meant to be a “beginner” rather than the instant pass I typically associate with a college or university.)

My colleagues tell me that after each interview, I often “get” the questions that really matter in the classroom. A closer look reveals that I understand that during the course of the semester there are going to be times when teachers and students aren’t best equipped to understand and discuss the questions and issues coming at us. One such circumstance is the act of procrastination.

One of the courses in which I teach is Theater and Film. At the end of every two weeks of my class, we send out a mass email with the names and locations of the two specific plays featured during each presentation. This can be intimidating and at first, there’s an initial scramble to think about what to send out as well as having any ideas for what plays to send on. The only requirement for our class is to answer the following question:

“In their plays, which one or two characters do you find yourself either falling in love with, judging or detesting?”

My class of newbies can be squishy, and my intention is to give us as much knowledge as possible to prepare us for the two plays presented. This we will be seeing in the first semester of our course. By the time we hit the second semester, though, the more energy we put into our work, the less time we have to focus on procrastination. The first step is just to start the idea for the play, then build a character portfolio that shows the person’s positive characteristics (i.e. charity/friendliness/kindness), his/her negative traits (i.e. awkwardness/ambition/illness), and more.

The other step in the writing of a play is to think about possible sets for the show. So, in this particular class, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the different places we could look for scenery to spread out throughout the show. I’ll start with our usual environment – the stage – but usually skip this step until after I have a few ideas. (Some people get better at this part than others, but one of the most difficult things about writing your own show is how much work it is to make the process visual.) Once I have a solid idea, I’ll go to work.

If the essay/ethics writing portion of the class isn’t for you, you should still find a way to write the same character portfolio. The response you get from our course evaluations is almost always positive and the goal is for students to get the most out of this class to make sure they can make sure they’re not the ones who don’t live up to the next course. There are always reasons to slip up, so we strive to give students the tools they need to succeed on our stage.

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