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This is my second self-observation report based on my weekly research that I had been doing since the beginning of the semester.  Report 2 focuses on my personal experience of dealing with new information behaviors.  Each week I had to post two messages on the Psychology 409b message board on WebCT.  One message would be a short summary of my research that I did on a particular topic.  The second message was a response to a students’ research posting.


I was already familiar with using WebCT and doing research on the Web, therefore I did not experience as much anxiety as I did during the previous semester.  While doing the research I had to continuously take detailed notes of any of the errors that I made, such as what I forgot or neglected to do.  I also had to make notes of my feelings and orientation while trying to complete this task. 


This report will touch upon the different parts toward my acquisition of information literacy.  First I will describe how I felt and what I was thinking as I progressed through each step of this task.  How I coped with frustration and uncertainty and how I progressed through the developmental stages from beginning to end.  Including my Affective and Cognitive thought processes.  Next, I will list the errors that I made while doing the research and my reason for committing this error.  I will then discuss my experience of having to face a due date for completing each task.  I will explain how I managed to cope with the anxiety and distress that I felt while completing this task and my strategies for coping with uncertainty and frustration.  Finally, I will have my Pre- and Post- ratings in a data table.  The table will discuss how this type of self-observation data which can help you (the reader) and others to study information behavior and computer systems. 



My Affective and Cognitive Information Behaviors that I went through while completing each of the sub-tasks for Task 2
Steps My Affective Information Behavior

(feelings, emotions, intentions and reactions)

My Affective Information Behavior

(thoughts, thinking sequences, strategies, plans, interpretations)

Filled out the pre-ratings form. I feel confident that this task will not take very long. I should try and put more detail into my pre-ratings rather than just doodling it down on my note pad.
Logged into WebCT. This should be quite routine, since I have already done this research task before. I wonder if I am the last one posting.
Viewed the message board. I felt relief that the format of WebCT did not change at all. I wished the way the messages are displayed could be improved.  The way it is now I have to click to view the thread, then click on each individual message.  I do not like to click "next" because it is difficult to tell where the end of each thread is.
Chose a topic, and a search engine. I am relieved that the topics are much more specific this semester.  I am going to use google.com because I used that search engine last semester and it worked out really well.
Began to  look for articles. I feel a bit overwhelmed because even though my search was quite well defined, my search results still had many hits.  I think I should just go down the list and each site that has potential and simply "right click", and open each page in a different window to save time.  Rather than opening a page, waiting for it to load, read it, go back, look over the list again, etc.
Logged back into WebCT I felt relieved that I finished finding an article. I better double check all the postings to make sure no one else has the same article as me.
Posted my research message I felt a bit nervous because I was a bit unsure whether or not my message had everything. The instructions for posting is much more detailed.  I better double check to make sure that I included everything that is required in the research posting.
Read my message immediately after posting. I felt much relief to know that my message looked okay and did not contain any spelling errors. Whew!  I got this task done, hmmm looks good.
Filled out post-ratings I felt much better that I finished this task. The message posting seems much better because it is much more specific, with sub-categories for each main topic.


My Affective and Cognitive Information Behaviors that I went through while completing each of the sub-tasks for Task 5

My Affective Information Behavior

(feelings, emotions, intentions and reactions)

My Cognitive Information Behaviors

 (thoughts, thinking sequences, strategies, plans, interpretations)

Fill out pre-ratings I am feeling really anxious because I always wait until the last minute to finish my assignments. I know that procrastination is a terrible attribute, but I notice at times that I concentrate much better and I work much harder when the pressure is on.
Opened my Report 1 and deleted the content so that the format will be the same for the two reports. I feel like making my pages consistent because I hate it when people make pages and each page has a different format.   Such as the links being at the top on one page and then off to the left in the next page. This should save me some time rather than trying to build a new page from nothing.
I cut and paste the instructions from the class Home Page and put it temporarily into my Report 2. I feel much more reassured that I no longer have to have an extra window open to make sure that I touch upon everything that the instructions talk about. All I have to do is separate the instructions and Viola! I have an outline already set up with just a click of the mouse.
Fill in my outline Although the outline is well laid out, I am still taking a lot of time sorting through my notes trying to figure out how I want to separate my steps into this graph. I will include as much detailed notes as possible in order to get that A.
Complete post-ratings I felt much less anxious that I finally completed this task, but very upset that I missed the deadline by so many days. I think I should go back and look over my notes.



Analysis of Errors for Task 5

Error rating based on a 10 point Likert scale.  

(10= Extremely Severe Error  1= Extremely Minor Error)

Description of Error How I felt Error Rating (1-10) Cause of Error Solution for Error
I did not find the listing for Psychology 409b, on the WebCT site where everyone is supposed to add on a class. I felt quite stupid because I could have avoided such a simple error by just taking my time.   Rather than just rushing through things, like I usually do. 2 I already had experience with this type of task, therefore because of that I was too overconfident that registering on WebCT for this class was going to be a breeze.  Without thinking I just scanned through the entire list, with the assumption that my eyes could quickly scan the list and the listing for the class would "jump out" at me.  As I held down the "scroll" button I quickly realized that I had already passed it. I need to be more cautious because taking shortcuts and not paying attention to detail could possibly lead much greater mistakes in the future. 
I was late with posting my research message on WebCT.  I felt really overwhelmed with all the other assignments that I neglected to complete my research postings on time, so I felt really disappointed in myself for being such a forgetful and lazy person. 10 Since we are given the opportunity to make it up by posting two extra messages the following week, I kept postponing my research posting.    I should have left Post-It notes on my computer screen, to remind me that I need to be posting two messages per week.
I could not remember my Password.  This was making me very annoyed. I hate it when I cannot remember my password.  I had to change my normal email accounts so many times already because I could not remember my Password, and I could never remember the answer to the hint. I felt really annoyed after the first few unsuccessful attempts to access my account, I began to feel really discouraged and I was almost to the point where I was going to give up and start up another account. 8 I should write it down, but so many people use the same computer that I am using right now it.  The wrong eyes may see it.  I am just too paranoid and always change my passwords, therefore if I do not go to a certain account I always forget the Password.  It is not too safe to use the same thing for every account. I just need to write it down on a piece of paper.   That would ensure that I do not forget.  It is just too time consuming typing things
There were many good sites, but many times on my first try I would find sites that needed more information I felt a bit dissappointed because I thought that I had enough experience where finding a good site would be no problem.  4 I was too over confident of my abilities and did not narrow down my search. I need to be more specific.  That would avoid the hassel of getting many unrelated results. 



Pre and Post Ratings for Task 5
Questions Pre-rating Post-rating

2. Mood

(1= negative; 10=positive)

5 8 By the time I began to fill out my post rating for this task my mood began to get much better because that was one task that I had finished, which was a great relief.

5. Importance of succeeding at this task

(1=not important; 10=extremely important)

10 10 Throughout this entire task the importance of succeeding at this task remained consistent.

6. (Expected) difficulty in performing task

(1=not much; 10=a lot)

7 9 As with many things in life, I made a major mistake and underestimated the amount of time it took for me to complete this task.  I thought that this task would be as easy as Task 2.  Unfortunately I was very wrong, and it took twice as long as I initially expected.

7. How upset if I failed at task

(1=not upset; 10=extremely upset)

8 10 At the beginning I would not have been as upset, but as the days went on and it noticed how much difficulty I was having with this task, it was bothering me more and more.

8. Degree of certainty in completing task

(1=doubtful; 10=almost certain)

10 10 Throughout the entire task, I remained very persistent in trying to complete this task.

9. Likelihood of becoming good at task

(1=pretty doubtful; 10=almost certain)

9 10 By the time I filled out the post ratings I gained more confidence that I would become good at this task as long as I am motivated and practice.

10. Main reason for completing task

(a=luck; b=skills I’ve acquired; c=help from others; d= combination of things)

B B I never attribute anything that happens in life to luck.  Everything happens for a reason, whether it be good or bad, it all serves an ultimate purpose in the end.  The main reason for completing this task I feel is mainly due to the skills that I have acquired.

11. Amount of motivation to complete task

(1=slightly motivated; 10=very highly motivated)

10 10 Thoughout the entire task I was very motivated to complete this task because I had procrastinated for so long, so the pressure was on for me to finish this task.

12. Computers make it easier to perform the task

(1=I strongly disagree; 10=I very much agree)

10 10 I totally agree that computers make this task easier to perform because it makes doing research so much easier.   I do not even have to get up and go anywhere.   The only problem with computers, are that there are too many distractions, such as visitng other sites, or someone would "Instant Message" me while I was doing my work.

13. (Expected) amount of effort to complete task

(1=not much; 10=a tremendous amount)

10 10  

From the beginning to the end I had an idea that this task would take much effort to complete.




Experience of having to face a due date
My biggest problem of doing Report 2 was facing the due date.  Originally this assignment was due on November 7, but Dr. James postponed the due date for one week longer.  Even with the extention, I still did not manage my time very efficiently.  Having to deal with work, school and trying to deal with personal problems is much too overwhelming. 

So far this entire semester I have just been too stressed out and lately I have been scurrying to complete this task.  I am really disappointed that even with the one week extention, I still am working on this after the stated due date. 

Throughout this semeseter I have missed many deadlines.   Such as the two message postings, I posted many late.  Every time I missed a posting for the week I would make sure to write a note that I needed to make up for two postings the next week.  I noticed that if I don't make a note about that then there is a chance that I may forget to make it up and I may be short posting by the end of the semester.

I felt very stressed out while completing this task because I was already so very late with uploading this report.  I need to work on managing my time better.   Many times I would get side tracked and begin to work on another assignment.



The most common and major error that I made while completing this task was always waiting until the last minute to finish anything such as; posting a message, a response, starting on my tasks, etc. 

One odd thing that I began to realize is that when I start early on an assignment I get sidetracked very easily.  Earlier in the semester while I was doing my web research, every time I went to Google.com and began searching for my topic, I noticed that one by one I would open up another window to check my mail.  Then open another to check out other forums, etc.   Within an hour I, usually have the first window minimized (my research topic) and I am blasting my music, chatting with someone, downloading music and movies, buying things from Ebay, Amazon, etc.  By the time I get off the computer I forgot about what I initially went on the computer for.

The purpose of this assignment was for me observe any errors that I made, while learning to do something new and different.  This task is indeed a different task that I have never done in any other class before.  Although I did have one class where I had to also post messages on WebCT, I never had a class where I had to post my assignments all on the Web.  That was a really new and interesting skill to learn.   When I first began taking notes about the errors that I made while completing this task I did not notice how many erros that I made while trying to finish Task 5.  Only after I began writtting this Report did I realize the small things that I did not think was a noticable error.  Such as getting side tracked by looking up other things.  

Another part of this assignment was for me to take notes on my Affective and Cognitive thinking that was occuring while I doing this assignment.  The more that I procrastinated made my self-confidense go up because I remembered many times I have procrastinated on an assignment.  Then in the end I got a good grade, therefore since I had a good outcome from procrastinating for so long I use the anxiety that I felt earlier to my advantage.  With all the stress and pressure to complete this assignment building up, I began to feel more anxious and it helped me to focus much better on the task at hand.



Advise for future Generations
These tasks may seem easy at the beginning, but if one begins to fall behind, you better catch up as soon as possible.  These due dates sneak up on you so fast and there are so many other things that students have to worry about besides just school.  It is always a very good idea to be on top of it.  I made a drastic mistake of falling behind on my work.  Now I am paying for it because I worry that I may not get a good grade because I may have left something out of this.   Yet procrastination maybe good thing because I know it may sound weird, but I like to work under stress because that is when I concentrate the hardest. 





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