By Dennis Labossiere, August 2015
This can be tough. There is a lot of information thrown at you from the beginning to end, and with life, things can overlap or be forgotten. I follow these 7 foolproof steps when completing any lab or requirement for UC:
1) Start the lab the day it is assigned. Download the necessary files and attachments. Do the required readings and skim the lab for any unknowns and research them. Usually, this is a Sunday or Monday.
2) Do a rough draft of the lab. I will complete the entire lab while taking notes for what I think are the answers (location, how I got there, etc.) and trouble areas or issues (relay this information in the appropriate discussion area to see if other students are having the same issue as well, after you have done independent research). Usually this is a Monday or Tuesday.
3) Complete the lab again, this time I am writing a rough draft of my report that will be submitted. I am reviewing my notes, to see if anything changes and the discussions for other issues or key areas pointed out by other students. Usually this is a Tuesday or Wednesday.
4) I will complete the lab for a third time and this time I will complete my final report. Usually this is a Wednesday or Thursday.
5) I will make any necessary changes to my report while actively monitoring the discussions for keys, tips, hints, issues. I will also complete the lab again for a fourth time and take notes or possibly record myself with either audio and/or video to ensure accuracy and understanding. This is usually a Thursday or Friday.
6) I take a day off on either Friday or Saturday and get my mind away from the lab, the class, school, etc. This just ensures that I don't have tunnel vision from seeing the same things over and over. It also helps if a lab is stressful. Taking a day away from doing the work is really helpful.
7) On the last day, either a Saturday or a Sunday, I will review the report and make sure it is the final, professional version that is ready to be submitted. At this point, I have completed the lab at least 3 times and reviewed my report at least two times.
NOTE: The day off, for me is usually a Friday or a Saturday, but this schedule can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle. Things tend to happen and schedules get changed all the time. That is why having that day of rest planned is helpful because it can be used whenever. This schedule is about getting ahead of the lab rather than waiting until the weekend to cram everything in. If the work is spread out throughout the 5-6 days then there is no need to work on the lab for 5 hours a night. At most, 3 hours a night is sufficient to complete the lab using this schedule.
About the Author
Dennis Labossiere has been attending Utica College since August of 2009. He came to Utica specifically for their Cyber program. Dennis received his B.S. in May 2013 and quickly started the road to his M.S. in August 2013. He is scheduled to graduate in December 2015 with a M.S. in Cyber Security with a dual specialization in Computer Forensics and Cyber Operations.