An Asynchronous 21W!
After an exciting and well-rested winter break, I'm glad to be back to blogging! As has become tradition for each term, I'm going to introduce you guys to the courses I'll be taking this term and what they're all about. However, what has stood out to me already about my term is how flexible my course schedule is. Since I'm currently in China, it has been difficult at times to work around the time difference. Therefore, I was especially excited to learn that I would have a lot of control over my academic schedule this term, and I'm here to walk you through what that looks like for me!
Starting off with my public speaking class, I was surprised to learn that it would be offered asynchronously. How could I learn public speaking without an audience? One week in, and I've already created a speech and improved my public speaking abilities while doing it. Next week, I'll be able to look at some of my classmates' speeches and give feedback! So, while I won't have to be in class at any specific timeslot, I will be able to interact with my classmates and professor. In fact, my professor invited all of us to meet with her as soon as possible, which I was able to do last week!
Next, I'm taking an Economics class on international finance and macroeconomics. Although we do have a synchronous time slot for the class, we are only meeting for lecture once a week. In addition to our weekly lecture, our professor prepared videos we need to watch ourselves, in addition to a weekly discussion where we can ask questions and talk about the week's topic. Being able to do the bulk of the class when I want to is really great for me, as I love being able to plan my week depending on what I'm doing and my availability. Furthermore, the weekly discussion is a great opportunity to not only get some face time with my classmates and professor, but also an open space where I can ask questions I had on the videos. So far, I've really enjoyed the structure and tone of the class.
To round out my course load, I'll be taking a social psychology class. I studied a little bit of social psychology in high school, so I'm super excited to dig deeper into the subject. Following the theme of asynchronous learning, the class is also a mix of live lectures and prerecorded videos that we watch ourselves. I think being able to have both every week is a great mix, as I can feel like a part of the community while also not having to be in class at ridiculous hours of the day. This week, we just wrapped up heuristics and schemas, which I thought was incredibly interesting.
As you can see, life away from Dartmouth is far from perfect, but asynchronous learning has given me a lot of flexibility and autonomy on how I want to tackle the term. As I learn about exchange rates, speaking techniques, and judgmental heuristics, I can do so at times that work for me. This has already been huge for me, and I look forward to going through another term with the blog!