Preparing for Exam 2

Dr. Diane Thompson, NVCC, ELI

Planning Worksheet for Exam 2

This worksheet has two parts. Part 1 is an observation diary; Part 2 is a plan for your essay. You must do BOTH parts, submit them to me by email at Diane Thompson, and receive my response and grade, before going to the testing center to take Exam 2. 

Unless I have received and graded your planning worksheet for Exam 2 before you take the exam, I will NOT grade your Exam 2.

NOTE: following the worksheet, you can read a Sample Observation Diary which may inspire you (or not!).

 Part 1: Observation Diary

You will prepare for Exam 2 by writing your own WWW and classroom observation diary. It must contain entries for at least ten different days--five for  www observations and five for classroom observations. Each entry must have a date and a time (see sample below).

Your WWW diary should include your own experiences while taking a WWW course, comments on how you interact with the online material, your feelings about dealing with the professor online instead of face-to-face, etc. The more details you gather here, the more easily you write the actual essay.

You will also need at least five separate entries on classroom experiences. These may be current, or they may be memories of when you were in a classroom. The entries below should get you started. Of course, you may find that your experiences are very different from these, but whatever they are, get them down in writing. This worksheet will be worth up to 20 points, so be sure to write it  out fully and be sure to email it to me for a grade before taking the exam. You may bring a copy with you to the exam as an aid for writing the essay.

Part 2: Plan for the Essay: 

This plan will be the basis for your essay. The essay itself MUST address the person described in the plan sheet and must deal with his/her issues as well as your own experiences with distance learning. The easiest way to write the essay would be as a letter addressed to the person you analyze in the plan sheet below.

Copy/paste this to your word processor and fill it out thoroughly before coming to the exam.

 The person I am writing this for is _______________________

Here is a detailed description of this person and why he/she is interested in taking a college course.


Here are three reasons why distance learning would be good for this person, based on my own experiences and my knowledge of this person. (You must support EACH reason with an experience of your own and a comment about the person you are writing about). 




Here are three reasons why distance learning would not be good for this person, based on my own experiences and my knowledge of this person. (You must support EACH reason with an experience of your own and a comment about the person you are writing about).




My recommendation(s) for this person are: (e.g. to take some classes by distance and some in a classroom; to take all by distance; to take certain courses by distance; to take all classes in a classroom). List specific supports from your own experience and from your knowledge of your audience to explain why you have come to this conclusion.

Email your Observation Diary and Plan for the Essay to Diane Thompson and wait for my response and your grade before going to take Exam 2.

Now you're ready to take Exam 2. Be sure to bring copies of your observation diary and worksheet to the Testing Center, because they will help you to write a stronger essay.

Sample Observation Diary: WWW and Classroom

Sample WWW Diary

 2/3/02: 7 am. I hate getting up early, but the modem is slower later in the day and I HAVE to do a major internet search, so up I am! I tried Yahoo and got about 100,000 hits on my first attempt, so Iíve got to figure out how to narrow my search. Very frustrating.

 2/5/02: Midnight. This is more like it! Iím a night owl by nature, and this is my favorite time for surfing the web. Unfortunately, I have to spend time reading through the instructions for doing the third essay instead. I donít feel I know enough on my topic to write this essay, but when I try to find more information, the same stuff keeps coming up again and again.

 2/6/02: 10 am. I had to call the professor, because I was confused over the essay 3 topic stuff. She was pretty helpful, but I feel that I learn better in a face-to-face situation. I donít know if this distance learning is really for meÖ.

2/10/02: 3 am (sigh).  If I get my research report plan posted soon, the professor will be getting up and reading it as I am going to sleep. I do like the freedom to work at any time. However, it is too easy to NOT work at any time, when there is something more interesting to do. I do have trouble keeping on schedule when no one is demanding work right this minute. Maybe I would be better off in a classroom.

2/15/02: 9 pm. I wonder if any other students are online right now. I do wish we had some kind of chat room where we could get to know one another. I feel that I would be able to write better essays if I knew the people who were going to read them. I sometimes feel so lonely here in the middle of the night with just my computer instead of a room full of friendly people.

2/17/02: 11 pm. I am up a creek. We have a HUGE project that is suddenly due a month early and I have to work an extra twenty hours a week. I donít know how I am going to deal with my schoolwork.

2/21/02: 2 am (groan). I sent an email to my professor and she said I could let my deadlines slip and if I can get half the coursework completed satisfactorily by my end date, I can request a grade of Incomplete, which will give me four more months to complete the course. Bless distance learning! The flexibility is what I need when I have to both earn a living and go to college. I may be able to finish this course after all!

Sample Classroom Diary

 2/9/02: 8 pm. I am sleepy; I am bored. The floor looks so pleasant and firmóI want to crawl under the table and just go to sleep. The professor is ok, but she just keeps talking and I canít concentrate, because Iíve been up since quarter of five in the morning and all I want to do is sleep! I donít know if I can handle school and a job.

3/1/02: 9 am. I took the day off to go to the LRC and do research, but the librarian was busy for over an hour with a group of students from another class, so I had to wait. When she had time, she was very helpful, but I still need to spend several hours in the LRC following up on her suggestions. I did meet someone from my study group and we had lunch together and discussed our term projects. That was fun! I really value the friends I have made in this class.

3/10/02: I got caught in traffic and was almost an hour late to class. The professor was not pleased, but luckily she does not mark us down for reasonable absences. Unfortunately, there was a quiz and I canít make it up, so there go 10 points!

3/12/02: great lecture! I was confused by the textbook, but the professor was wonderful when she explained all the concepts. Now I think I can take the exam and pass it.

3/15/02: HELP!!! The project draft is due tomorrow and I am NOWHERE NEAR DONE. I canít believe this is happening to me. I used to be so well-organized. But I am so tired in the evenings after work, and I canít always find time on the weekends to go to the LRC. My grade is already hurting from a couple of missed quizzes, and if I donít get this project ready on time, I am road kill! I guess Iíll have to take a couple of sick days to get it done. I hope I canÖ.

3/16/02: I went to the professorís office after class and explained what was happening at work and in my life that caused me to fall behind. She was very kind and understanding and said many students have similar life problems to deal with. HoweverÖ.a deadline is a deadline, and I simply have to make the time to complete my projectóshe said it was a matter of my choosing priorities. Right! Except my priorities seem to choose me. I will need to drop this class and take it again next year when I have more time. It is past the drop date, so I hope the professor will give me a W instead of an F.

(c) Diane Thompson; Updated: 11/7/1998; updated: 08/21/2006