Places to Study Outside of the Library

It’s that time of year again, the semester is wrapping up and exams are looming. In case, you’re preparing for some all-night study sessions and the library hours aren’t going to cut it, here is a list of spaces on campus, accessible 24hrs a day, worth camping out in.

We rated the spaces around campus with 4 main criteria in mind:

  1. Access to electrical outlets,
  2. Noise level,
  3. Seating comfort, and
  4. Distance to facilities (bathrooms and vending machines).

Rating

2nd Floor B Wing Lounge 

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West Lounge – Cultural Center

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F Wing 2nd Floor

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F Wing 1st Floor

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24hr Computer Lab B244

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IMG_0090[1]

E Wing

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Centre Lounge – Cultural Center

Rating

IMG_0093[1]

2nd Floor Cafeteria

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Library Overlook

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Centennial Hall 

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Did we miss one of your favorite study spots? We’d love to hear all about it!

Strong Hearts: Family Violence Prevention at MHC

strongheart

Happy November everyone! As some of you are hopefully aware, November is a very special month. Not only do we celebrate men’s health and awareness with Movember, but we also bring attention to healthy love and relationships with Family Violence Prevention.

Usually when people hear the terminology of “Family Violence Prevention” they’re not quite sure what exactly it entails, but they instantly seem to know that they certainly don’t know anyone who has any dealing with family violence, PERIOD! Sadly, we know from the statistics that there is an overwhelming number of people that have been affected by violence from someone they love. Whether it’s intimate partner abuse, neglect from a parent, or sexual assault, the numbers don’t lie – and they’re staggering! In an effort to help bring a voice to the countless people who are or have been affected by violence in their lives, we host an annual Family Violence Prevention week on campus to encourage this discussion to keep gaining momentum (and smash the stigma associated with it along the way)!

This year, we are particularly excited to bring our first-ever art show collaboration on campus thanks to the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society and McMan Colour Me Free. Teaming up with these two amazing organizations, LGBTQ2+ students from our community have been invited to create works of art that express what healthy relationships mean to them. Giving a “snapshot” of what relationships can be like in the rainbow community, this art show tackles discrimination, outing, homelessness and abuse in the way of artistic expression and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of it. The exhibit itself will be on display from November 27th to 29th in the Den with the opening party happening November 27th at 6PM.

There’s also a Community Resource Fair on Wednesday, November 28th from 11AM to 1PM in the Students’ Association Hallway. Thursday night from 5:30PM to 9PM we have the Medicine Hat Board Game Guy back at Crave to host a Friends & Family Game Night (all ages welcome! It’s FREE!).

For more information, or to help someone whom you know is experiencing violence, the Women’s Shelter Society website and directory can be found here: http://www.mhwss.ca/.

Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Creatives & Intellectual Property

This week, on November 22nd from 5-8pm in c r a v e Pub, the Medicine Hat College Library Services, along with the Medicine Hat Entrepreneurial Development Center, and Enactus are co-hosting an informal learning session where Medicine Hat entrepreneurs, inventors, educators, and experts discuss and share what they have learned about protecting ideas through trade secrets, patents, copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property protection tactics.

As a student at MHC, here are the top 3 reasons why you should attend:

  1. You are an intellectual property owner. If you’ve ever written a paper, email, text, etc., you own intellectual property, so it’s worth learning about your rights.
  2. If you’re planning to work in business or a creative industry learn about intellectual property now while funding is available. “The Government of Canada is investing $85.3 million over five years to help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access intellectual property (IP) through a comprehensive IP Strategy” (Government of Canada, n.d., IP Strategy section).
  3. Medicine Hat has many creative and inventive people that you can learn from. Take advantage of this weeks event to network with both speakers and attendees. Who knows, the time spent  learning about and discussing intellectual property might inspire you to create something great!

 

Here’s what a few of our speakers had to say about IP:

JStroh - Photo
John Stroh

Why did you start working with the IP topic you will be speaking about?

When I started working with Alberta Innovates, many of the companies I worked with were developing new products that provided them with the opportunity to grow their business. I began to look for trusted IP professionals who could assist these companies with their efforts to protect the opportunity, and by extension learned from them along the way.

 

One piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about working on a similar project?

 

JOpeno - mug shot - 2017-2
Jason Open

My best piece of advice is this – do you really want to write a book? Do you have the space/time to write a book?  I took on a book project at the beginning of my doctoral studies. It was a decision made out of ambition, and I paid a price for that ambition and, on occasion, so did my family.  I wanted to be a scholar, I wanted to be an academic, and I wanted to be a leader (even though I am not sure I can define what I mean by any of those labels).  The book came out in July 2018, and I am thrilled, but also humbled – it wasn’t easy; I haven’t always been the best-version of myself throughout the process.  I have wondered, was the ambition worth it if, at the end of the day, I am only more certain that all is vanity, and that there is nothing new under the sun?  After all, it’s a book about assessment.  I think it’s important and I am proud of it, but my ambition has diminished me on more than one occasion. So I guess, do you know what you are signing up for, especially if you are working with someone? And if you are working with someone, make sure you talk about process.  Having those conversations up-front will help out in the end. (I guess that is two pieces of advice).

I hope you’re convinced that you should attend Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Creatives & Intellectual Property this Thursday. Register at Eventbrite.ca and join us for lively discussion and tasty refreshments in  c r a v e Pub between 5 and 8pm.

 

Government of Canada. (n.d.). Intellectual property strategy. Retrieved from https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/108.nsf/eng/home#accordion-item-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Picture Problem Solving

Many students find problem-solving in their math and science-based courses very difficult and can end up feeling deflated or frustrated with the challenge.  I often hear students say, “The test was NOTHING like the homework!” or “The problems on the test were not the same as the problems we worked on in class!”  If this sounds like you, here are some questions to ponder…

blackboard business chalkboard concept
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is your approach to solving problems? Do you jump right into the first problem assigned? Do you have a consistent process, system or strategy for solving problems, or are you approaching problems with random, unfocused methods? Do you attempt to see the BIG PICTURE before starting to solve? Seeing the BIG PICTURE can be the difference between a good grade and a poor grade. In order to do well, it is important to review and be aware of your approach to solving problems. The following BIG PICTURE APPROACH to problem solving is a valuable tool that can improve your problem-solving skills and  results:

Part 1: Seeing the BIG PICTURE

CONCEPT – the first question to ask is, “what is the concept?”

A concept is a main idea. When you have a problem, it is important to be familiar with the concept that is associated with the problem. If you don’t know the concept for your problem, then review your lecture notes or textbook to better understand the concept.

S.A.M. – the next question is, “what is the S.A.M?”

  • Set-up
  • Algorithm
  • Method

Every concept has a specific S.A.M. or steps to follow for solving problems. If you don’t know the S.A.M. for your problem, return to examples in your textbook or lecture notes to gain an understanding of the process for doing the calculations and problem solving operations.

VARIATION – now that you have identified the Concept and S.A.M., ask yourself, “what is the variation?” and how does it AFFECT the S.A.M.?”

When you have a group of problems – review all of the problems in the group. They may share the same concept, but are the problems different or the same? The “difference” is the variation.

Does the variation affect the S.A.M.? How do you need to modify the S.A.M. for different problems?

Be resourceful and find other examples of different problems.  If you still need help, see your instructor or chat with peers to gain an understanding of the variation.

Now that you understand the Concept, S.A.M. and Variation, you can see the BIG PICTURE and are ready to begin solving problems.

Part 2: Solving the Problem

COME UP WITH A PLAN – Using the S.A.M. from Part 1 of the Big Picture
Approach to Problem Solving, make a plan for solving your specific problem.
Before making a plan, check that you have a clear understanding of the problem. What is the problem asking? Do you understand all the words in the statement of the problem? Can you restate the problem in your own words? Is there missing information that, if known, would allow you to solve the problem? Still don’t understand the problem? Then return to the steps in Part 1 of the Big Picture Approach to Problem Solving.

What are your techniques to solve problems? Successful problem solvers use a variety of techniques when they attempt to solve a problem. Here are some recommended strategies:

 Make a list of the known and unknown information. Can you express the unknowns in terms of the knowns?
 Make a list of information that is needed
 Draw a diagram
 Make a table
 Work backwards
 Try to solve a similar but simpler problem
 Research the problem to determine whether there are known techniques for solving problems of its kind
 Try to determine whether some pattern exists
 Write an equation
 Guess at a solution and then check it

Need help coming up with a plan? Then STOP here BEFORE continuing. Explain the problem to someone who may help (other classmates, tutors or professors). Ask them how they would solve it.

USE YOUR PLAN TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM
If you can see the Big Picture and have come up with a good plan, then this should be the easiest step in the Big Picture Approach to Problem Solving.
 Work carefully
 Don’t skip steps
 Write clearly

If you have trouble solving the problem, then go back and make sure you didn’t make any mistakes. No mistakes? Then maybe you need to come up with a new plan. Don’t worry, this is part of the learning process. It may help to take a break and come back later with a clear mind. Remember “20-minute rule”– do not stay “stuck” on a problem more than 20 minutes. Skip it and get help later!

THINK ABOUT YOUR ANSWER – Does your answer make sense? Does it fit with the Big Picture? This is the most rewarding and important step. Getting the right answer proves that you have mastered the learning, and it is the learning that matters most.

 Check that your answer is correct. Does it fit with your expectations? If your answer is not correct, then step back through each step. Where is the error?
 How would the answer change if the problem changed? (See VARIATION in Part 1)
 Marvel at your accomplishment. Enjoy the rewards of your hard work.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now trained in the Big Picture Approach to Problem Solving.

Engaging in learning processes and strategies can lead to student success!  If you need help with this or any other learning strategies please visit me!!

 

Justine McKennie

To book an appointment call 403-529-3819.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Help with Essays?

Writing college-level essays and assignments can be scary, especially if you have never written one before, have been out of school for a while, or are an international student unfamiliar with the expectations of Canadian institutions. Medicine Hat College offers free Writing Support Services to all students in any program or discipline. As the Writing Specialist, I am here to help you with practical advice at all stages of the writing process for a variety of assignments.

I am happy to help you with everything from understanding your assignment and brainstorming ideas to thesis development, essay structure, and self-editing. If you are struggling with grammar, punctuation, formatting, and citation and referencing (APA, MLA, and Chicago), stop by and I can give you advice and point you toward useful resources and tools.

It’s important to remember that the content of your papers is your responsibility. I can’t tell you what to write or edit your whole paper for you. But if you are stuck and need help understanding your assignment or figuring out the structure of your essay, if you want feedback on a draft or tips on how to improve your writing based on the feedback from a paper you got back from an instructor, make an appointment with me or drop by and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have or talk through your concerns regarding an assignment.

woman typing writing programming
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

The best place to find me is in Student Success Centre in the Vera Bracken Library for drop-ins or appointments (a sign-up sheet is on the cubicle wall) Monday through Thursday 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00, and Friday 11:00-1:00. I also offer assistance through limited office-hour appointments (booked via email), online tutoring (via Blackboard), or small group tutorials. See the Writing Support webpage for contact information and more.

Becoming a better writer is a process that takes time and practice, and I’m here to help!

What is Academic Coaching?

 

What is Academic Coaching?

Academic coaching is a personalized, one-on-one meeting with an academic strategist who can help you be proactive about your success as a student and can enhance your learning experience.  There are many components required for student success and with support from the academic strategist, you can discover what areas you may need to develop and what strengths you already have that can facilitate your learning and overall success.  Working with the academic strategist at MHC you can develop “executive function skills”  such as time management, goal setting, organization, test preparation, note-taking, communication, how to be resourceful and more.

Who is academic coaching for?

All students can benefit from academic coaching. It is a free student support service offered to all MHC students. Coaching techniques are often effective for a wide range of students, such as first-year students who are transitioning from high school to college, student-athletes striving to balance school and sports, those who struggle academically, individuals diagnosed with learning disabilities, and high achieving students with extraordinary goals. Meeting with the academic strategist is useful:

How do I make an appointment?

To book an appointment with the academic strategist call 403-529-3819.

Drop-in service is also available in the Vera Bracken Library at the Student Success Centre:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

11:30 – 1:00 PM

What should I bring to my appointment?

The sessions are free! Just bring any questions or concerns you may have. It is also helpful to bring your agenda/planner, class schedule, work schedule, class syllabi, class notes, and study materials.

My goal as an academic strategist is…

My goal as an academic strategist at MHC is to provide academic coaching that will empower students to manage their work and themselves so they will be successful at MHC and beyond. My wish for students is for them to have a positive learning experience by tapping into their strengths and helping them identify what habits they are engaged in on a daily basis that work for them and where do they need to make some adjustments.

You’re invited to LNAP!

LNAP logoWhat is it?

LNAP stands for Long Night Against Procrastination.  Still confused?  One night each semester we bring together all the services that we think will help you succeed as a student here at MHC.  We want to help you avoid procrastination and give you support to start (or finish!) all of your assignments and papers.

Who is it for?

LNAP is a college-wide event for all MHC students.

When is it?

Fall 2018 LNAP is happening Wednesday, October 10th from 5 pm. to midnight.

What can I expect?

  • You can expect a fun, friendly atmosphere
  • You can expect quick workshops filled with all kinds of success strategies
  • You can expect stress release activities (hint:  puppies and kitties)
  • You can expect food and caffeine (another hint:  pizza)
  • You can expect help and support from Faculty, all staff including Advising, Library, IT, Peer Support, Writing Specialist, tutors in the ARC, Counselors and more

What do I need to do?

  • Register now at LNAP Pre-Registration or register in person starting October 1 in the cafeteria or B-wing hallway (location changes depending on the day)
  • Bring your student ID card
  • Arrive at 5 and be ready to become a part of something big!

It’s up to you.  Join in all of the activities or hunker down and get some work done.  It’s all good.  See you there!