Throughout the semester, data was collected in order to analyze it as a source of discourse. I chose to analyze the frequency of Blackboard access per day and the hours in which that frequency is at its highest and lowest. This raw data becomes significant when compared to the general makeup of my average weekly schedule because it reveals important aspects of my study habits. Most importantly though, it highlights my short attention span and the difficulties I experience when trying to concentrate on writing and reading assignments.
The effects of specific times of study, exercise, and lack of mundane distractions, have a positive effect on my study habits; therefore, when compared to the data collected, these three factors indicate that my short attention span is the main obstacle that prevents me from becoming a more effective and efficient student. The data illustrate that my most productive study times are between the hours of 11pm-1am, with 87 log ins at 11pm, 50 at 12am and 110 at 1 am.
This revelation is not surprising as I have found over the years that I focus the most on these late/early hours of the day because there are fewer people awake, and thus, fewer distractions. Usually, I tend to jump from one assignment to the next, in approximately 20 minute intervals, which makes it difficult to read and write efficiently and effortlessly. However, between 11pm-1am my own tiredness and caffeine deprivation are my biggest allies because they prevent my mind from jumping from one assignment to the next, and instead makes it easier for me to focus on reading and writing.
Moreover, exercise increases the length of my attention span. It is commonly known that exercise promotes the production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin all of which contribute to an energized, unstressed and happier mind. I have always had a short attention span, ranging between 15-20 minutes, but I have noticed that high-impact exercise increases my ability to concentrate over a longer period of time. The more I exercise during one day, the longer I can stretch my limited concentration span.
The data collected on the frequency of Blackboard access per day indicates that I access Blackboard with more frequency on Wednesday (25%), Saturday (15%) and Sunday (18%) throughout the semester. This indicates that I was able to concentrate and efficiently study on these three days, with a significant success on Wednesday. Furthermore, I noticed that on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday my main source of exercise is spin; thus, my studying success on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday could be a result of these high-impact workouts.
As mentioned above, I tend to study at between 11pm to 1 am, therefore, efficient study on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday results in Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday early morning Blackboard submissions. Moreover, on Tuesday I double work out, meaning I do an hour of spin followed by an hour of Tabatha Playground. Such high-impact routine could contribute to Wednesday being the day with the most Blackboard access frequency. Nevertheless, there is an inconsistency with the data, as I do the same double workout on Thursday with its effect on my study habits not evidenced.
The inconsistency could be a result of the Organic Chemistry quiz that I often have on Friday mornings, which indicates that I spend my Thursday night/early mornings studying Chemistry. Subsequently, the data delves into the percentages mentioned above and shows that Wednesday had 148 log ins, Sunday had 81, and Saturday had 67. I also noticed that the days with the greatest frequency of Blackboard access, are also the days with the least mundane distractions. I consider mundane distractions such things like television shows.
My favorite television shows, Jane the Virgin, Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy, air a new episode on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Since these episodes air late at night, I usually watch them the following days either at lunch or at night. These episodes represent a distraction, and they usually leave me with a more scattered mind, unwilling to focus on reading and writing assignments. There is a definite correlation between my Blackboard access, and the days that I watch the television shows.
For example, Wednesday has the highest frequency of access hours, but is also the day when I least watch television, as nothing new airs on Tuesday. Likewise, there is nothing new to watch on Saturday and Sunday either, because shows don’t air on either Friday or Sunday. These three factors, exercise, lack of mundane activities and time of studying, have all shown a positive effect on my concentration span. The days when exercise impact is at its highest and mundane distractions are at their lowest, all while keeping a constant allotted time for studying, have contributed to make Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday my most productive study days.
Still, thinking back to my starting days for both the reading notes and the summaries, it is evidenced that I am in no way an efficient student. I start all of these assignments on Friday and Saturday, but since it takes me such a long time to not only focus on starting the task, but focus on its completion, I end up submitting most assignments on Sunday. Additionally, most of my draft corrections have been done on Wednesdays, which explains the high frequency of access on this day, since I have to access Blackboard multiple times in order to complete the revision opportunity part of the assignment.
Therefore, I might be an effective student in the sense that I get work done, and good grades, but I am neither efficient nor effective. It takes me twice as long to finish a reading or writing assignment, than it takes for me to work on math, for example, and great lengths have to be taken for me to remain focused. Nevertheless, I’ve found ways to move past my concentration shortcomings and successfully complete this course.