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Try College 101

Unit 2: Creating a Physical and Mental Space for Studying   This unit explores ways you can organize your space in order to create optimal study environments. In the past, you may not have given this topic much thought – maybe you studied in front of the TV, while hanging out with friends, or on your bed at home. Or, maybe you had a great study space, but now you are in a new environment! This unit will introduce you to the theory behind picking an effective, distraction-free study space, and explain why studying there consistently will make a difference in efficiently completing your academic work. Additionally, this unit will provide you with some strategies for minimizing distractions, especially if you live with family, friends, or roommates.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 4 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.4: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.5: 1 hour
 
☐    Unit 2 Assessment: 0.5 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - explain the importance of a designated, organized space for studying;
  - summarize the most important characteristics of an effective study space;
  - describe multitasking and its effects on studying;
  - prepare for unplanned study interruptions; and
  - identify two actual personal study spaces.

2.1 Why You Need a Space of Your Own   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” Link: College Success“Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the introductory text under the “Learning Objectives” box. The bullet points will give you several good reasons for selecting a special study space. Please note that this reading provides information for subunits 2.1.1-2.1.3. 
 
Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

2.1.1 Feeling Secure and In Control   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1 above. For this subunit, review the reading’s bullet point titled “Everyone Needs His or Her Own Space.”

2.1.2 Physical Space Reinforces Habits   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1 above. For this subunit, review the bullet point titled “Physical Space Reinforces Habits” to reinforce your knowledge of how structure and routine may help your studies.

2.1.3 Physical Space Reinforces Mood   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1 above. In particular, review the bullet point titled “Different Spaces Create Different Moods.” Then, in your notes, consider what type of atmosphere you feel most productive in, e.g., a mostly quiet space, such as a library; a space with some background noise, such as a coffee shop; or a space with total privacy, such as your own room. Then, make a list of all the possible study spaces in your own environment that meet your desired criteria. Don’t forget to include information about each space; for example, opening and closing hours. Keep this list in your notes so you have several suitable places in mind when you are looking for a study area. Spend approximately 15 minutes re-reading this section and responding to the notebook prompt.

2.2 Elements of a Good Study Space   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” Link: College Success“Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the text under the heading “Use Space to Your Advantage and to Avoid Distractions.”

 Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes to
complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

2.3 The Dangers of Multitasking   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” Link: College Success“Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the text under the heading titled “The Distractions of Technology.” Be sure to answer the questions posted within the text and reflect on your responses in your notes.
 
Please note that this reading provides information for subunits 2.3.1-2.3.3.  
 
Reading this section and responding to the questions should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 

Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a
[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

2.3.1 What Qualifies as Multitasking?   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the first two paragraphs of the section titled “The Distractions of Technology.” Then, write a summary of multitasking in your academic journal. Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

2.3.2 It Actually Takes More Time   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the third paragraph of the section titled “The Distractions of Technology” to further consider how multitasking can actually compromise your time. In your notebook, jot down any recent examples in your own life in which multitasking caused problems. Think of all the free time you could save by staying on task!

2.3.3 It Shortens Your Attention Span   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.3 above. For this subunit, focus on reviewing the fourth paragraph of the section titled “The Distractions of Technology” to further consider how multitasking can shorten your attention span. Following your review, answer the following questions in your notebook: Can you think of any other disadvantages to multitasking while studying? What are some ways you can minimize distractions while studying? Spend approximately 15 minutes considering this topic and writing in your notebook.

2.4 How to Minimize Distractions and Interruptions   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” Link: College Success“Chapter 2, Section 2.2: Organizing Your Space” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Heading titled “Family and Roommate Issues.” Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading to test your knowledge. Then, write a few sentences in your notebook about how you might prepare for unexpected interruptions.
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.  
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

2.4.1 Do Not Multitask   Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 2.4.  Remember what you learned in subunit 2.3.  Along with eliminating technology distractions, try to avoid multitasking in the form of participating in unrelated activities with family or roommates, while you should be spending your time studying.

2.4.2 Get Cooperation from Others   Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 2.4.  You may have to rely on others to work with you in developing a manageable schedule for studying in order to minimize distractions.

2.4.3 Learn to Say No   Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 2.4.  Remember to stay committed to the time you allotted for studying, which may mean saying no to other activities.

2.5 Identify Two Study Spaces for Yourself   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Organizing Your Space” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Organizing Your Space” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Identify two appropriate study spaces in your home, school, or community that meet the criteria set out by the readings. Open the activity instructions and work through the four questions, using information from the readings and your newly chosen study spaces to draft your answers.
 
Completing this activity should take you approximately 1 hour.

Unit 2 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Ideal Study Space” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Your Ideal Study Space” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Much of your college success will depend upon how much time and attention you spend focused on your studies. A suitable study space is critical to helping you concentrate on your academic skills and reinforce the new material you are learning in your courses. This assessment is a self-guided journal reflection based on the material you have learned in Unit 2 of this course. If you feel comfortable sharing your answers, consider posting your reflections on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
 
Completing this assessment should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.