Studying for finals can be easier with help of internet

With finals beginning, students are starting to search for the most efficient ways to study. Because each student’s study habits differ, some online resources are trying to accommodate for those differences.

Sang Han, junior in LAS, said online tools can be just as helpful as textbooks.

“Personally, I prefer to just go over the textbooks, but it is convenient when they are online,” Han said. “Also, if a teacher puts a lecture online it is a great way to go over the material again as a refresher.”

Joel Gher, senior in LAS and Business, said refreshers help during the studying process.

“For the courses I’m in, it is always very helpful to be able to access slides or online notes to help out,” Gher said. “I prefer to take online courses because all of the material is easily accessed, and the way that the classes are set up. Online tools are helpful to study from.”

Andrew Spernow, senior in Business, said it is very helpful when teachers give students information and resources through Web sites such as Compass.

“Two of my teachers don’t really put much materials onto Compass, which makes it a little bit more difficult,” Spernow said. “In a few of my classes, we use Google Docs a lot when we are sharing documents for our group projects.”

Other tools not provided by teachers are available for students to use when studying or completing problems. Said Hamideh, business consultant at Wolfram|Alpha, a problem–solving computational system, said students who need help in engineering, mathematics and physics can us the free Wolfram|Alpha Web site for certain problems.

“The goal of our Web site is to accept completely free-form questions and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates the kind of information that students would look for to gain a better footing in their studies,” Hamideh said.

The Web site provides visual graphs and demonstrations to help students understand their work.

Matthew Ando, professor of mathematics, said this Web site is a convenient way for teachers and students to use visuals in lectures and homework.

“Clearly it’s a benefit to me now, since I have been able to do some simple demonstrations without hours of additional preparation,” Ando said. “My students can see that it’s easy to use.”

Ando said hopefully students can learn some mathematics from Wolfram|Alpha, while also learning when the site is useful and when it is not.

“The danger is that Wolfram|Alpha is easy to use as a crutch: a student can now do many homework problems in a standard calculus text without any understanding at all,” Ando said. “Doing homework that way won’t help you on a test, though.”

Agustin Duran, junior in LAS, said online practice problems are another great way to review materials.

“I take online practice quizzes that give me a good understanding of what I know and need to study,” Duran said. “The answers are posted online too, so I can receive instant feedback on what I need to review.”

Gher added that when studying for tests and finals, it comes down to one’s study habits and strategies.

“I like to be eating something like sunflower seeds,” Gher said. “For everyone studying is different, I am good at time management.”