Improving note-making for my Psychology subject

Let’s face it. I do feel like my Study Engine is a bit rusty. I have quite forgotten on how to study like formal student. Whilst learning is ongoing in my career, we ‘study’ differently. Mostly that form if study is in search for answers to benefit a patients course of treatment or to collect our CPD points to renew our annual MMC certificate. Basically, it is more of reading around my patients.

Now, studying is for an exam. To pass the course and receive a scroll. At the same time applying what we have learnt into our everyday lives.

Since most of my studies are online that means most of my handbooks, textbooks and other learning resources are in a digital format. It is the 21st century and like it or not, I need to be adept in my ability to search for these information. As much as I like delving my nose into the traditional books and papers – I have come to terms that I my laptop and Kindle is now my book that I carry around.

I honestly had no idea how to study Psychology. The knowledge is so vast and it is a challenge to put these into blocks of knowledge, into files that I can arrange inside my memory. Where would Albert Bandura fit in? How about Freud himself? His theories are immense. Or should I ‘shelf’ him in a specific brain cell?

This is how chaotic my notes got for this 1st semester.

First, I read from my handbook and extracted what I feel are important notes. Later, using the links and prompts my E-tutor posted up in the forum I go to all the online materials recommended and add up onto my notes. Which explains the scribbles everywhere in different coloured inks in my notes.

If I have time, I then listen to the YouTube lessons in my car. I found 2 reliable psychology related channels. One is Crash Course. They have a specific playlist for Psychology which has 41 videos. Another one is Dr Jessica of Koehler Academy. That has more videos. I was unable to go through all of them.

I am still finding out ways to improve in my note taking. This is because I will reading off them nearing the exams and I would hate to miss a thing. πŸ™‚ How about other MORE experienced learners, do you have tips that I can use to make my psychology study easy? Would love to hear from all of you.

Part Time Study. A Defense Mechanism?

Perhaps taking on another degree is a form of sublimation for me. Sublimation is one of the many forms of Defense Mechanism proposed by Freud, The Father of Psychology.

What probably started as a feeling of being unhappy at my workplace led to first, Repression. I conceal my feelings, my dissatisfaction hoping it is temporary. Later, I put myself in Denial that there is a problem with my motivation at work.

“i just had birth”

“I am out of my comfort zone, give it time to ease in”

You will be fine”

Persons Hand on Blue Textile

More defense mechanisms begin to set. Projection happens. I thought my boss hates me. My friends dislike me. My patients are all against me. Rationalization came on board asking me to consider this as a challenge from The Divine. That there is a reason for everything.

Naturally, Displacement seeps in when Rationalization did not work. I took out all my negative emotions onto innocent patients, my driving and to a certain extent my family members. Always angry. Cursing in the car is a norm. thankfully, I had no Regression. Can’t imagine suddenly bed wetting or sucking on my thumbs. But is dressing up the way I used to dress as a younger adult woman a form of Regression? It is still a form of going back in time. I will need to ask my tutor that.

Sublimation is maybe the healthiest form of defense for myself. I am channeling all that extra energy and zest into my studies. I focus on doing well thus I have no time for nonsense in the workplace dynamics and bureaucracy. Indeed, it does have a positive impact on me so far. Whether this is a good example of sublimation in psychology, perhaps more learned scholars could give me feedback. πŸ™‚

These mechanisms of defense need not happen one after another. There is no sequence to it. A person can have more than once defense mechanism at one time although one would be more dominating than others.

Semester 1 Exam. First paper done

As mentioned before, our psychology paper is conducted online. It’s of a Short Essay Question (SEQ) format. My paper only has a Part A that has 10 questions with 4 marks each. Total points are 40. I am not familiar with this format so I am not quite sure how long our answers should be. But from what I gather from the Practice SEQ’s, the answer templates are pretty short and concise. I guess the trick is to get straight to the point.

The exam questions were readily available at the OUM portal by 1am but I printed mine in the afternoon during my lunch break. Of course anybody would be tempted to sneakily peek and find out what the questions are. The deadline to submit the answer is the next day at 0800AM.

Clear Light Bulb on Black Surface

Once I have finished my work for the day, I prepared dinner for the family and washed up. I had wanted to do a YouTube video of myself answering the exam in the comfort of my own study but then I felt that it’ll be too much effort to find something more syariah compliant to wear throughout the video. So, nah.. no video.

I answered whatever I could from the top of my head. My long term memory. Hoping that I could score as much points as I could. I typed my answer in the format given : Times New Roman, size 12 with 1.5 spacing and had the answer sheet uploaded to the portal. Thankfully, my internet connection was at a good speed so there were no glitches.

So, 1 paper down. Another one to go. Can’t wait to get over this and start with a new semester. OUM did not mention whether it was an open book sorta exam but since we’re mostly adult learners, I suppose the administration trusts us enough to sit for the exam as how we see fit and know what we want to achieve from this exercise.

TITAS exam

Our modules and assignments are designed in such a way that it is part-time friendly. Meaning, that learners are assessed in various ways. In OUM’s case, most of the assessment is assignment driven. And the assignment comes in various forms. It can be a traditional academic essay or in the form of a video.

TITAS’s final exam is the MCQ. Apart from trying the sample questions uploaded in the student forum, I also googled ‘TITAS MCQ’ for more samples. I printed at least a few pages of the questions I found online.

Indeed, all the searching paid off as some of the questions in the final MCQ had the same vibe as the ones available online. I was able to answer them confidently.

Revision. In progress

Online learning is great if you know what you are doing. It is pretty much self-directed like the Problem Based Learning (PBL) I did in medical school whilst at Manchester University. Of course, we still need to have face to face tutorials to keep us on track and to clarify topics that are best explained when we sit together.

Silver Imac Displaying Collage Photos

My psychology exam is next week. It contributes 40% of my total marks for the course. The other 60% is from my coursework. For this semester, our psychology coursework includes 4 Tasks and MCQ quizzes. If I were to answer all of them correctly, I could actually get 60% just like that. With 60% I have enough to pass the course. I aim to not only pass but to achieve my best potential as a psychology disciple. I hope to further my studies in Masters and maybe Ph.D. InsyaAllah.Β  To do that, would it not be great if I could prove to my superiors that I can do this?

Stacked of Stones Outdoors

As for my other subjects, TITAS has a heavier weight of 70% on its coursework with a remaining 30% during the final MCQ exam. As for the Learning Skills for 21st Century subject, THAT is 100% coursework. I really hope they like my essay on GCED and biodiversity because I enjoyed the write-up process too.

Amidst the COVID-19 situation, our learning process has shifted 100% online. This is my 1st semester and there are only 5 of us in the class. HAHAHAHA. I had hoped we could become close-knitted coursemates but have yet to forge a bond in our class since we only had 1 physical class with only 3 students turned up. Maybe we could become closer next semester.

I did not receive a reading list for the course. Maybe there isn’t one. So I have been searching for an academic list online. To be honest, I am not quite sure if the books recommended were academically suitable or more like pop psychology. I still took note of these recommendations and tried to search pdf versions of it. If you’re a psychology student and have a textbook list, do let me know. Thanks.

  • Gray Study Dice on Table

My study techniques are not perfect. I have yet to discover if the methods I used during PBL would be suitable for psychology but I am tweaking them as I go through the lessons. I would start by reading my handbook and extracting notes from it. I find that the references at the end of the topic more useful than ever because this is where the supplementary reading comes in. However, the biggest help of all comes from my E-tutor on the forum. Bless him!

For each lesson, he creates sub-topics on the forum with links of materials to read up on. I was also learning from the more enthusiastic and diligent students who replied to his questions on the forum. I used the sources he suggested to further add on to my notes. Not only that, since the exam is next week he is now posting up learning prompts to enhance our study. I thought that was great. It would have been excellent though if we students could meet up on ZOOm maybe and discuss briefly our notes and such. But like I said, we did not get to bond. πŸ™‚

By the way, I purchased a Kindle. Will review on that later.

Wish me luck for the exams.