I attended college for the first time just a few years ago. The advent of computers being used regularly as a communications tool with the instructor and as a way to turn in assignments solved, for me, one of the key things that had caused me stress. Now as soon as I finished an assignment I could turn it in electronically. With the syllabus posted online I pretty much knew what would be coming next which let me get an head start on it before the next class. I no longer had to worry about losing the assignment or having an unreadable copy when I arrived for class.
Technologically savvy teachers would have all the assignments up on their school website and be reachable via email for quick questions. A few of the classes even had their own forums that had students reading and reacting to each others submissions.
As an older student I had an appreciation for the advantages that the technology gave us that the younger students who have grown up with computers didn’t seem to have. The main complaint I heard was directed at the reading and response forums. A typical assignment was to read the books or articles or whatever about the subject we were studying then write three 200 word posts to the forum and respond to two other students posts. This is supposed to foster communication skills and critical thinking, along with teaching us to engage with our peers and see things from alternate viewpoints.
Since the forums were all done online I could read or post from just about anywhere. This helped a lot since I was an adult with a family and job I had to fit school around. My fellow students though, seemed to think that 200 words was too much to come up with. This kind of shocked me because when you break it down that is less than some text conversations. Something most of these guys were doing very regularly each day. In fact at this point in this post I’ve written more than 250 words and I’m not done yet!
When the question inevitably came on how I could manage to always have my three forum posts up so quickly I tried to explain that I prioritize school work over a lot of things so that I could be done faster. I was met with blank stares. The best explanation that seemed to get my point across is that I used the B.I.C. Technique which is also referred to as the “Butt In Chair” Technique. The way the B.I.C. technique works is that you sit down, shut up, and just do the work before you do anything else. When applied properly this technique can help with any number of issues but most especially it works to prevent procrastination and late assignments.
My fellow students were skeptical. That’s okay they are young and hadn’t been practicing life skills in the real world for very long. The B.I.C. technique is key to most successful careers. It’s a proven method with a lot going for it. I have no doubt that at some point in the future as they experienced more life they recalled the B.I.C. idea as a helpful aid in upward mobility. Well that or I’ll see them manning a drive through somewhere.