Why You Should Practice Confident Body Language

Body language can communicate information that is beyond what is being said (semantics, the meaning of words) and heard (auditory input), information such as context. According to this discussion’s background video, Your Body May Shape Who You Are by Amy Cuddy (2012),  she suggests that even if you don’t feel confident, practicing confident body language can increase your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. Some of the good body languages you can practice to make yourself more confident are (Cunic, 2018): 

  • Eye contact- having direct eye with another contact denotes interest and can be a sign of truthfulness.
  • Leaning forward– when someone leans forward, it may indicate attention and interest, try this when you are listening to someone. 
  • Standing or sitting straight– this occupies more space than slouching and taking up more space is a sign of power. You can practice this while waiting in line or while sitting down doing homework. 
  • Chin up– walking and talking with your chin up is a sign of confidence as your face is more exposed. One can easily practice this by avoiding looking at the ground. 

Another good way to practice confident body language is to be aware of body language that may convey uncertainty.  These are some of the body languages you should be aware of and avoid:

  • Fidgeting- this is a sign of nervousness and lack of power (Cain, 2018). 
  • Defensive possess- such as crossing your arms, hiding your hands, or holding objects too close to the body convey uncertainty, and mistrust (Cass, 2017). 
  • Forgetting to smile– one way to demonstrate confidence, openness, warmth, and energy is to smile, forgetting to do so demonstrates the exact opposite (Cain, 2018). 

Body language adds another dimension to communication as it informs listeners underlying messages that may not be communicated from the words spoken and heard. By practicing confident body language you can prime yourself to be confident or be perceived as confident. You should also be aware and avoid the body language that conveys uncertainty, hostility, or untrustworthiness. By practicing good body language and avoiding the bad ones, you’ve made a conscious decision to be confident.   

Reference: 

Cain, A. (2018, April 04). 11 horrible body language mistakes that are hard to quit but you’ll be glad you did. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/bad-body-language-habits-2017-12 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Cass, W. (2017). Influence: How to raise your profile, manage your reputation, and get noticed. West Sussex, United Kingdom. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 

Cuddy, A. (2012, June). Your body language may shape who you are. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

Cunic, A. (2018, January 08). 10 ways to have more confident body language: How to improve your self-esteem Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/ten-ways-to-have-more-confident-body-language-3024855 (Links to an external site.)

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Conversation Flow + Halo Effect = Engaging Conversations

Part of being a great communicator is being able to establish engaging conversations that result in positive outcomes.

There is this idea called conversation flow, which basically means to resonate or have friendly rapport with others in a conversation which is essential in developing a close social connection that leads to positive outcomes during conversations (Whitbourne, 2017).  One way to create a conversation flow is to find commonality in others. By finding commonality, the halo effect takes action. 

The halo effect is a cognitive bias where a person makes ambiguous assumptions about person, place, or thing based on concrete information (Kahneman, 2013). When two people find commonality in each other, let’s say that find out they were both grew up in the same city, they will naturally start liking each other more than if they didn’t. This is because commonality with others creates a positive association. 

Finding commonality triggers the halo effect, which caters to the beginning stages of conversation flow, which is essential to having good conversations. Having a good conversation will most likely lead to positive results such as being hired after a job interview or scoring a date after flirting with a potential partner.  

The are other ways to cater to conversation flow, things like active listening and mimicry also promote conversation flow. The idea of conversation flow is to create close social connections that will promote engaging communication that will favor positive outcomes. 

References: 

Kahneman, Daniel (2013). Thinking, fast and slow (1st ed ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. pp. 82–88.

Whitebourne, S. K. (2017, July, 08). The key to better conversations. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201707/the-key-better-conversations

Speech Patterns: The Proposition-to-Proof versus The Problem-Solution Method

Knowing different methods for creating persuasive speeches is useful so that you can use a variety of styles while being aware of each style’s drawbacks. The two methods I’ll be discussing will be the proposition-to-proof method and the problem-solution method. 

The proposition-to-proof method uses a pattern by which the speaker begins with a statement of one’s proposition, then follow with proofs that support it. For example, if your purpose is to influence others to vote for a specific proposal, you would begin by stating, “Vote for Proposition H, a ballot proposition that reduces the penalties for criminals of non-violent crimes.” Then you would continue with reasons that support your proposition such as facts and logic. For example, you may say something like:

  • “We spend more money on building prisons than schools.” 
  • “Criminals of non-violent crimes such as stealing are people of color of color, due to systematic discrimination in our laws”
  • “The victim of non-violent crimes such as drug abuse is themselves, by further punishing them with harsh penalties such as prison sentences, we are further victimizing them and creating burdens to society instead of rehabilitating them back as productive member of society”

One drawback to this method is that the speaker may not discuss the opposite position in the first place, in our example’s case it would be why penalties are TOO severe for non-violent crimes. This is known as playing devil’s advocate, a position in which someone takes that they don’t necessarily agree with for the sake of exploring the topic further or debate (Smith, 2017).

I believe it is necessary to play devil’s advocate when giving a speech so that your listener’s can get  both angles of a story. Then once you are done discussing the opposite position (by playing devil’s advocate) you can take the devil’s mask off and refute all those points. 

The Problem-Solution Method

Another method that public speakers like to use is the problem-solution method of public speaking introduces a problem and discusses the solutions for it (Brent, 2018). At first glance, it may seem similar to the proposition-to-proof method, however, if you observe both methods clearly, you’ll notice that they are opposites of each other. The proposition-to-proof-method provides a call to action or solution, then discusses the problem, while the problem-solution method does the opposite by discussing a problem and then discussing the solution.

One drawback to problem solution method is that the solution may be a false dilemma. A false dilemma is a fallacy in which the speaker only provides two solutions to a problem,  when in reality there may exist other options (Hendrick’s, 2018). This A or B thinking is dangerous as it tricks listeners into thinking that there are only two possible solutions to a problem, which then disregards other possible solutions that may exist.

Conclusion

It is important to know different structures of persuasive speech so that one can identify the drawbacks to each and be prepared to tackle them when they are brought up. The proposition-to-proof method suffers from not playing devil’s advocate and the problem-solution method may be weakened by the false dilemma fallacy. In fact, both methods could suffer from either of those drawbacks. The key is to know how speeches are structured and be prepared to handle drawbacks when they are brought up.

References:

Brent, M. (2018, January 16). What are the five organizational patterns for public speaking?. Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-8540323-five-organizational-patterns-public-speaking.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Hendricks, S. (2018, February). 10 logical mistakes you make every day, and what to do instead. Retrieved from http://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/ten-logical-mistakes-you-make-everyday-and-what-to-instead (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

“Persuade with power.” (2018) Lunch Toastmasters. Retrieved from http://www.lucantoastmasters.com/competent-communication/persuade-with-power/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Smith, S. (2017, July 27). Using the devil’s advocate” to your advantage, even when sometimes it feels insane. Retrieved from https://itscoffeeti.me/using-the-devils-advocate-to-your-advantage-even-when-sometimes-it-feels-insane-435788c9c4b7

How to Survive Online Classes at Independence University

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By Dru Macasieb

This post is about how to survive online classes at Independence University, specifically focusing on daily checkpoints, Live/Recorded Lectures, discussions, assignments,  assessments, tutoring, and communicating with your instructor.

Daily Check Points

  • Do them in the morning right when you get up or right before or after you check your email/Facebook on your computer or mobile device. Yes, you can log in to Canvas using your mobile device as long as it’s a smartphone.
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday daily checkpoints are always extra credit, do them, you don’t have anything to lose.
  • It is best to use your laptop to do daily checkpoints so you can hit “Control + F” to bring up your browser’s find tool. With it, you can search for terminology or phrases that may help you find the answer you’re looking for.

View the Live/Recorded Lectures

  • Try you’re best to view the live lectures. Its only two hours out of your day and you can ask the instructor questions and get answers right away.
  • If you can’t attend the live lecture, view the recording. If you can’t sit there and view the recording, at least listen to it. Take your phone let it play as you take a shower, drive, wash dishes, fold laundry, just get exposed to what is being taught, its better than nothing.
  • From my experience, the instructor goes over everything you need to know to be successful in the course. Including how to do the assignments and how to pass the assessments.

Discussions

  • Do your discussions on or before Wednesdays.
  • Do it in Word, spell and grammar check it, and make sure you have the right amount of words needed as described in the directions.
  • When writing the discussion, its best to get a reference from the book and use an in-text citation, as well as referencing it in APA format at the end of your initial post.
  • Do not use quotes. As an instructor, I find it lazy as its merely a copy and paste and since it’s not in your own words, it doesn’t count towards the minimum word count. Instead, paraphrase. Another problem with quoting is that it seems that majority of students don’t know how to quote properly in APA format.
  • If you can, do one reply the same day as your initial post. You’ll need to do another reply on a different day to get full credit. Its only 50 words, be creative.

Assignments

  • Assignments are a bit trickier because it is going to depend on the class you are taking.
  • For general education and management courses, they’re most likely APA papers. It best to download an APA template and submit your written work using the template.
  • For technology students, it may be writing code or going through a virtualization.  Again, the best bet for completing assignments is by attending/viewing the live/recorded lectures.
  • For programming students, the instructor usually goes over how to code in the live lectures. You can also use the textbook to copy and paste the code and then reverse engineer it by modifying certain elements.
  • For papers, use the writing center (I can’t stress this enough). They’ll proofread your paper and provide you with feedback.

Assessments

  • Before taking the assessment be sure you have viewed and read all the course material. I find the live lectures provide you with enough information to do well on the assessments.
  • Use the “CNTRL + F” method to find specific keywords and phrases in any text document.
  • Before hitting submit, go back an check your answers, some answers answer others.
  • If you focus on the learning objectives each week, you should do fine on the assessments as they are based on the learning assessments.
  • Read the textbook from back to front. Start with the chapter questions, then read the summary, then read each section from front to back to front, ending with the introduction.

Tutoring

  • Did you know that we have online tutoring as well as on-ground tutoring?
  • Check out our Study Hall and Resource Center (aka SHARC) and utilize the Student Success Center for free tutoring 6 days a week.*  Online tutoring can help you with:
    • Walk you through assignments
    • Explain directions
    • Answer questions about course information
    • Read and help edit essays for any subject
    • Chat online with you
    • Work with you on the phone
    • Use Screen Sharing –so you can see exactly what they are talking about on the computer screen, and you can show them what you see on your screen as well.
  • The Writing Center- CCSD has an online writing center where you can make an appointment for one-on-one writing help, or simply submit a paper and the writing center will provide you with feedback.

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*Please be aware there are specific hours for each subject. To find the schedule you can visit SHARC, select Student Success Center, then click Hours of Operation.

 

Communicate with your Instructor

Your instructor is there for one purpose only, to help you learn the material. Communicate with them if you are facing ANY obstacles that hinder you the goal of learning the course material, no matter how trivial or serious the situation is. Under instructor information in your syllabus, there should adequate contact information such as email and phone numbers. You can always use Canvas’ internal email function to email your instructor. Before you submit an assignment, there is a comment box where you can submit comments. You should comment on the assignment. Let them know if you enjoyed the assignment, hated it, obstacles you’ve faced, or best practices in completing the assignment. Remember, instructors are people too and communicating with them regularly creates rapport with them.

The Difference Between Online and On-ground Learning

The majority of the students who fail online classes give  me the excuse that “I don’t learn well online.” As an online student myself, I don’t quite understand that statement because to me learning is the act of acquiring knowledge, and to me, nobody teaches anything in college, except oneself. The faculty of a college isn’t called teachers, they’re called… faculty, instructors, or professors. They facilitate learning by providing the tools necessary to learn, like books, assignments,  and clarification of concepts.  The difference between taking an online course versus an on-ground course is the mode of delivery by which facilitation occurs. In an online class, it is delivered by electronic means, such as email and video chat. While on-ground uses face-to-face communication.  Nevertheless, the on-ground portion also uses online tools such as assignment rubrics and submission, and a hybrid portion which includes discussions and daily checkpoints.

Looking at the difference, it seems that the only real difference between online learning and on-ground learning is that amount of real-time communication one has with the instructor. Online gets you 2 hours of live communication, and if you miss it, you still get a recorded lecture. On-ground gets you 5-6 hours of live communication, however, if you miss it you’re out of luck because it does not get recorded.

Conclusion

So why do students fail online courses more than on-ground classes? I think it has to with the autonomy of learning, that is the self-governance of learning. In online education, you are pretty much learning autonomous meaning you are in control of how and what you learn. You’ll have to take the initiative to read the chapters, study, and do the work. In an on-ground class, the autonomy still exists, however, it is lessened because instructors give students up to 6 hours of force-fed learning through lectures,  assignments and in-class activities. By following the tips regarding daily checkpoints, live/recorded Lectures, discussions, assignments,  assessments, and tutoring outlined in this blog, students may have a better chance a passing an online course, or any course for that matter.

These are my tips for surviving an Independence University online course. Do you have any other tips worth mentioning? If so, comment below would love to hear your tips.

 

Career Services

The Career Services team is dedicated to helping students, recent graduates, and alumni as they seek to enter and ascend their industries of choice. It begins with assessing individual priorities and career goals, measuring strengths and skills, then devising a realistic plan and implementing it.

Whether you are a newer, inexperienced student looking for a “survivor job” to help generate some income, a seasoned professional that has already earned some chops but has greater ambitions, or somewhere in between….Career Services can help.

We offer 1:1 career coaching, job lead assistance, resume consultation, networking advice, interview tips, and a bevy of other services customized to your specific needs. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to reach out and initiate the first contact.

So please stop by, give us a call, or shoot us an email. Your success is our business and we look forward to partnering with you as you carve out your niche in your respective field of study.

Contact one of our career experts now!

Gary Rossi
Director of Career Services, California College San Diego
Gary.Rossi@cc-sd.edu
(619) 680-4430 x1575

Brandon Delavar
Brandon.Delavar@cc-sd.edu
619.680.4430 x1534

Brooke Finney
brooke.finney@cc-sd.edu
619.680.4430 x3907

Virada Sayanghky
Virada.Saysangkhy@cc-sd.edu
619.680.4430

Danielle Shields
Danielle.Shields@cc-sd.edu
619.680.4430

Sydney Young
Sydney.Young@cc-sd.edu
619.680.4430 x1553

Canvas on the Go!

By Dru Macasieb

October 3rd, 2016

Canvas by Infrastructure has, by far, been the best Learning Management System (LMS) I’ve ever encountered. Partly because of its ease of use and mobile friendly approach. This post is about using Canvas on your mobile device though the Canvas App, viewing Canvas on your mobile browser, and using the SpeedGradeApp.

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Access your courses on the go!

Canvas App

The Canvas App can b downloaded in the App Store or Google Play store. From an instructors point of view, the Canvas app is pretty limited to viewing and posting to discussions boards, reading Canvas mail, and viewing already entered grades. Personally, I mostly use this from the student side of things such as: doing discussions, looking up assignments, taking quiz, and viewing grades. However, having this app from an instructor point of view does come in handy as you can see what your Canvas app classroom would look like from a student’s perspective

Mobile Browsers

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Be sure to enter our campus: CEHE

What I like about Canvas is that it is mobile friendly. One can access the entire Canvas site using a mobile device like a smart phone or tablet. The best way to do this is by bookmarking Canvas on your mobile device. You’ll have full access to Canvas as if you were working on your laptop. Some of the neat features:

  • You can view assignments, make comments, and grade right from you device
  • You can edit and update assignments, exams, and pages
  • Anything you can do on a personal computer, you can do on your mobile device

SpeedGrader App

The SpeedGrader App is available on iOS tablets (iPads) and all Android devices. This app allows access to your grade book, where you can grade discussions, assignments, and assessments. It has a more streamlined approached than mobile browsing as it skips the the rest of Canvas (modules, pages, etc.) in favor of focusing on the grade book.  I highly suggest to use download this app as it makes grading on the go easier.

Conclusion

Canvas is an amazing LMS order to remain relevant in today’s competitive workforce, it is important for us to accept and embrace new technology. The Canvas App is great for students but its limited functionality makes it okay for instructors. Viewing it on a mobile browsers, is the same thing as viewing it from a personal computer, therefore bookmarking it as a no brainer.  The SpeedGrader App, is my favorite tool to use as it makes grading on the go quick and easy, however, the only set back is that its only available on iPads and Androids, (sorry iPhones). In the end, it may be more convenient to work on your laptop, but learning how to work in the mobile arena my prove useful during times when your laptop is not readily available.