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Welcome to POP Class...the Key to Success...

Have you ever heard of a class that can be a huge benefit in your future? At first, many students first thought that ‘POP’ was a pop-culture class; however, ‘POP’ is not just a wasteful class like some of the other classes that you may not use in the future! ‘POP’ stands for “Personal Orientation Project.” It is mainly a secondary four course, where most high schools have required it in secondary three instead; if you complete the course you make earn up to four credits to graduate. Nonetheless, you can also earn up to zero credits.

What Does this Course Require?

  • The base foundation of evaluating the students is based on competency 1, which the student carries out through the process of his/her career explorations and competency 2, which the students have to reflect his/her learning expression and prospect/opportunity of expression one’s self judgment.

  • ‘POP’ gives high school students the essential role of reflecting and determining one self’s carrier options. This course provides a helpful concept and idea of what is expecting for you in your future of education and job hunting. There are many varieties of carrier fields that may or may not be interesting at first, but the way the program works, is that you need to complete at least three career explorations on your least and best careers you are interested in so you can clarify your future jobs to your likings. [1]

  • This course determines how to find future jobs and future school working habits/attitude. Such as the best ways of finding a job, tips for searching on the internet (if the information is valid), local listing & links. Most importantly this course trains you on how to write a cover letter,writing curriculum vitae (a C.V.), writing a résumé and exploring the interview process.

  • This course mainly requires critical thinking and reflecting, which also introduces a new chapter in your life of blogging and journal reflecting. In this course you have to find a way of expressing your thoughts, opinions and critical thinking.

  • Finding who you are is the most important aspect of this course.

Click on the following links to see the content and criteria of POP:

  • Personal Profile is about personal values and about figuring out who you are.
  • Journal or Blog is reflecting upon oneself. Also setting a "S.M.A.R.T" goal for yourself.
  • Finding Jobs such as finding jobs online and in the Montreal Gazette.
  • Job Application is something you write in order of getting a job. It also includes writing a résumé, a C.V. and exploring the interview process.
  • Technical Vocational School Technical Vocational Schools...what do they offer?
  • CEGEP The link leads to CEGEPS located in Montreal, Quebec. What is CEGEP?
  • University Is University for everyone in life? The link also leads to Universities located in Montreal.
  • Discussion Page is a conversation between students that may reply their own opinions.

Learning about the following in the course or on your own:

Student Life:

  • The students will develop his/her own perspective on who they are and how to plan their future so then they can picture day criteria they need to get where they want to be.

  • "Reflects on his/her career exploration and those of his/her classmates alone, with classmates, parents or other trusted people and considers hypothetical career paths.” [1]

The Wiki Project:

  • "A WikiProject is a collection of pages devoted to the management of a specific topic. A group of editors who use these pages to collaborate on work. It is not a place to write encyclopaedia articles directly, but a resource to help coordinate and organize the writing and editing of these articles." [5]

  • The purpose of Wikipedia: Wiki Project is concerned not with project management, but the daily management, administration and editor support of the process of article creation, editing and completion.[5]

  • School Usage:
"Within public schools in the United States, a project is an assignment given to a student which generally requires a larger amount of effort than normal homework assignments. They can range anywhere from simple written projects to elaborate and well-constructed Science Fair Projects." [5]

Digital Student:

New study at the California State University at Northridge shows that students learning in a virtual classroom tested 20 percent better across the board than those who learned in a traditional classroom.

Jerald Schutte, a professor at Northridge, randomly selected half of his students to be taught through traditional in-class lectures and pen-and-paper homework assignments while the rest learned through text posted online, email and newsgroups, real-time chat with their classmates, and electronic homework assignments.

The students in the virtual-learning group were given two in-class lectures to explain the technology they would be using and then came to class again only for the midterm and the final exam.

The results of the groundbreaking study, obtained by CNET this evening, provided data to be collected on virtual education, despite huge amounts of money that universities are spending to establish themselves as leaders in online education.
Schutte said the unexpected results of the research can be explained by the online collaboration created in the virtual classroom.
"The students formed peer groups online as compensation for not having time in class to talk," he said. "I believe that as much of the results can be explained by collaboration as the technology."

In traditional educational theory, a professor is thought of as the mediator, the figure who encourages collaboration. Most people believe that this is the only way to learn.

"But in fact," Schutte said, "there is a very subtle thing going on here. A classroom can be inhibiting, intimidating. [In the classroom] you think you are the only person who doesn't know the answer, so you don't talk. The very way classrooms are set up, with everyone facing forward, deters interaction."

In fact, according to the study, students in the virtual class spent about 50 percent more time working with each other than the people in the traditional classroom. And while the report acknowledges that the inability to talk to the professor was the cause of this interaction, the results show that the collaboration "manifests itself in better test score" as students formed study groups to "pick up the slack of not having a real classroom."

More and more, adult learners are finding the convenience and flexibility of online learning a match for their learning goals and busy lifestyles. Online degree programs, courses, and virtual universities targeting adult learners have proliferated in the past decade. Although students can easily locate an online course or degree program that's both convenient and accessible, they may face significant challenges in developing a new set of skills for this type of instruction.

Educators have speculated on the development of student skills necessary to succeed in online learning, but relatively few publications cover the topic from the perspective of successful online students. I developed the study summarized here to provide this perspective and to identify useful strategies that instructors can promote in their online courses.

Successful Online Students Identify Seven Tips:

Students responding to the survey agreed on a number of practical steps that helped them succeed in their online courses:

1. Develop a time-management strategy.

Students were asked what time-management strategies they found most helpful. One challenge facing an online student is the self-discipline required to devote adequate time to class in courses that might not have regularly scheduled times to meet synchronously online or in person. Most students found that establishing their own schedules for class time helped them ensure enough time for class participation.

Setting and staying to specific study days was one factor that worked for me. For example, in the evenings, throughout the week, I read my lessons. Saturdays were generally reserved for writing assignments. Saturdays were also devoted to responding to other online postings and building on what I had already submitted.

Another student stated that designating specific times to read, complete written assignments, and post dialogue to other students proved helpful. Students also emphasized the need to create a schedule that gave them some flexibility and wasn't overwhelming. One student explained, "I was careful not to put too much pressure upon myself when completing a homework assignment. I found that doing a little bit here and there avoided trying to do too much all at once." Developing a schedule that designates specific times to log in to and participate in class and to carry out other course-related activities such as reading and doing research promotes a student's success as an online learner. Students identified the most helpful time-management strategies as setting a schedule for study time (78.9 percent) and devoting time daily to the course 31.6%.

A key difference between in-person and online learning is the independence and ability to participate in the online class at a time convenient to the student. This also presents a potential problem, as procrastination could cause a student to fall behind in the online course. The graduates who participated in the study were asked how they avoided this problem. A few students (15.8 percent) commented that logging in to their course portal every day and checking for new postings or updates helped prevent them from falling behind. Other students (36.8 percent) commented that weekly assignments from the instructor kept them on a regular schedule in the course. One student explained,
You have to discipline yourself in maintaining your schedule and not allow any distractions to disrupt your plan. I would allow myself one hour of winding down from work, eat my dinner, and get to my study room. I found that if I put in about 3–4 hours of studying during the week, the weekly assignment would be completed by Thursday or Friday.
Another student stated that an upfront planning process was critical to succeeding in the online course because studying was integrated with many other responsibilities.

2. Make the most of online discussions.

Student interaction mostly occurs through an online threaded discussion that allows students and instructors to interact in asynchronous time. This is a significant shift for students accustomed to in-class discussions. It may provide opportunities for richer discourse through written discussion that allows students to spend time crafting their responses. When asked how they made the most of their online interaction with other students, these students mentioned some interesting techniques. One student commented, "Interacting with the other students was the fun part of my (online) classes. As much as possible, I would post a response, question, or comment to another student's posting. This built up an online relationship." Another student suggested, "Respond to several student postings, but make sure you have something meaningful to add, don't just say 'good post.' Also, don't always interact with the same few classmates. Look for something to say with various students."[5]

Participating in threaded discussions helped 52.6 percent benefit most from interaction with their classmates, while reading the responses of others helped 15.8 percent. About 21 percent found e-mailing outside of the course platform a useful way to interact with their fellows.
The instructor's role is important in encouraging class discussions online. A student explained, "Weekly discussions were best when the teacher encouraged it, especially by having pro versus con discussion, or asking 'why' or 'how' questions." Instructors who establish clear expectations as to how threaded discussions are used or who ask specific questions in response to student postings can expect to encourage richer online dialogue. Students who incorporate a plan for regular communication with their classmates into their overall course schedule will have greater success in their online course.

3. Use it or lose it.

One challenge some students face when learning online is retention of the course content. Students surveyed agreed that finding a way to apply the concepts helped them retain the information. "I applied the 'use-or-lose' technique. As soon as I'd read or study it, I put the knowledge to work through collaboration with students or at my place of employment."
One way to apply these concepts goes back to the use of the online threaded discussion. Concepts can be interpreted and restated in each student's own words in an active dialogue with others. Another student commented that "applying the new material to what I already knew" was a helpful way to retain the material from the online course. Several successful online students mentioned that they retained what they read by developing a way to apply those concepts to a current or past experience, for example at work (31.6 percent). Just under half of the students (47.4 percent) explained that taking handwritten notes from the online text helped them retain essential points. One student explained that she "took notes from the book and micro lectures, just as if [I] were in a regular face-to-face course."

4. Make questions useful to your learning.

One student commented that "asking questions is integral to learning. By asking questions, fellow students and instructors would go deeper into the subject. Going deeper made the subject matter more understandable." The online course environment typically provides communication tools (such as threaded discussions, e-mail connectivity, and live chat) that students can use to ask in-depth questions. Students also can take the time to craft questions that may go beyond what they would ask in an in-person course, probing the subject with greater specificity.

Asking questions helped me to understand the material. I was a student that did not have experience in many [online] classes, but the other students did. Asking questions of some of the other students helped me understand the principles and practices professionals in the field face on a daily basis. From the responses to this survey, successful online students spent time researching and crafting questions (21 percent) and making them clear and understandable (10.5 percent). They found thoughtful questions to be a valuable resource in support of their online learning experience, although 26.3 percent of their peers admitted they just asked questions.

5. Stay motivated.

Without direct physical contact and interaction with other learners or an instructor, online students can lose their interest or motivation mid-way through their course or program. The graduates who participated in this study were asked what motivation techniques they found most helpful in preventing burnout or loss of interest when studying online. As one student put it, "keeping your eye on the prize" is always helpful. Another student commented, "The main motivator was envisioning myself in cap and gown, walking up and receiving my degree, and having all my dear family and friends in attendance." [5]

Students also mentioned they find motivation in getting a good grade (21 percent) and in setting personal goals (42 percent). One student stated, "I always want to get an 'A' in every course I take. It doesn't matter as much in graduate school as it did as an undergraduate, but it still motivates me." Some students took advantage of opportunities to work with other online students, using the encouragement and feedback they received from that connection to stay motivated (15.8 percent). One student explained, "I had a friend (in my online courses) that I teamed up with, and we tried hard to make sure we not only finished our assignments, but that we turned in only the highest quality work possible." [5]

Each individual may find something different that works for him or her in staying motivated. One student promised to buy himself a new truck if he completed the degree. With a greater amount of work done independently in online courses, a new online student would be well advised to consider developing personal techniques for staying engaged, specifically by creating a self-motivation plan.

6. Communicate the instruction techniques that work.

Instructors in online courses employ a variety of techniques aimed at engaging the learner. The participants in this study discussed some of the techniques that were most successful. One student commented, "I liked instructors who logged in often and asked a lot of questions. Not only did this help to increase understanding of the subject, but it gave people the opportunity for class participation." Another student added, "One teacher went farther than I would expect, but I found his technique wonderful. He posted the initial question for discussion, and then asked us individual questions based on our answers." This technique worked well with a variety of learners (42 percent). The instructor was able to craft questions that matched the students' level of understanding of the material and provide online resources that helped them (15.7 percent).

7. Make connections with fellow students.

The participants in this study had the opportunity to share successful techniques and practices that helped them in developing their online student skills through some open-ended questions. One student mentioned that making a friend (connected with online) helped. Being part of a community of learners is helpful in courses that are taught in-person, and the same holds true for online classes (15.8 percent). One student explained that "it made a huge difference when you had good students in the class." Another student commented,
The experience was enriched greatly by the relationships and interaction with my fellow students. It amazes me how well we got to know each other even though we were often thousands of miles apart and were only virtual classmates. I learned as much from other students and their experiences as I did from the instructors. I never expected that type of rewarding learning experience in a traditional classroom.

Using online threaded discussions in their course management system, the students can extend classroom discussions beyond the traditional boundaries of physical class time. Students in the online class may get to know one another more from recognizing the writing style and expression of thoughts and ideas rather than by physical attributes. Many students develop meaningful connections with their online classmates that can translate into career networking opportunities later.


During the process of writing the Career Explorations, Personal Profile, an essay paper etc, many students have to get into the habit of marking their sources as references, such as indicating the copyrights, as protecting/defending other people’s work. Please note, that without copyrights you do not ‘own’ that piece of information; without using quotations and references, you are being considered ‘copying’ that information.

Copyrighting is a structure of ‘citing’ the material in a form of intellectual property, which gives the ‘author’ of the original work exclusive rights of giving that ‘author’ the credit. “The intent of copyright is to allow authors to have control of and profit from their works, thus encouraging them to create new works and to aid the flow of ideas and learning.” [4] Citing copyrights has been useful to indicate the information in a piece of work. It is a material of uploading how to divide the intellectual property rights on the product they are creating. [3]

The online ‘Merriam-Webster Dictionary” denotes the definition of ‘copyrights’ as the following:
“the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work.)” [2]


[1] The following website states the purpose of why POP is useful towards the lives of students. 11-1-2006
[2] The following website is a simplified explanation of what is 'copyrights.' 17-4-2007

[3] __The following website is an article that indicates how and why is copyrights is important. 23-09-2009

[4] The following website is EVERYTHING you need to know about Copyrights. 12-3-2008

[5] The following is a link has more information on the Wiki Project. 01-31-09

***Picture on the top of the page we got it from our 'POP' teacher.