Strategies for Improving Workplace Behavior and Performance

From Leadership Expert Dr. Diane Hamilton

Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students

 

Students often struggle with writing essays.  Some have difficulty with structure. Others dread dealing with APA formatting. I teach everything from bachelor-level to doctoral-level courses.  The following contains some helpful writing tips that I have found may make writing essays a little easier.

Continue reading “Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students”

Millennial Student Entitlement Issues

 

The word Millennials is used to describe adults born between the years of 1980 and 2000.  They are also known as Generation Y.  Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me explained Millennials tend to be more self-focused and may expect to receive a lot of recognition. Sixty Minutes aired an interesting story titled The Millennials are Coming.  In this show, they explained how this younger generation expects good things and expects them with little effort. I have noticed that this sense of entitlement has carried into the online classroom setting.

Most of my students are very respectful. They follow directions.  They ask questions with the proper tone.  However, there are a few that are more demanding.  Although I have not formally studied the age group of the students who demonstrate issues with entitlement, I have noticed that my older Baby Boomer students seem to demonstrate more respect.

Continue reading “Millennial Student Entitlement Issues”

Online vs. Traditional Faculty Demands

MOOCs have drawn attention to the different requirements of online vs. traditional teaching jobs.  I recently watched Dr. Dani Babb’s Udemy presentation titled How to Make Money Teaching as an Online Professor.  She said something that I thought was interesting.  She had worked as a traditional professor prior to becoming an online professor.  When she discussed the job requirements of an online professor, she mentioned that online professors have to deal with students who expect a lot more interaction in the online environment than the traditional one.  This is very true.  This is also something that I do not think gets enough attention in the media.

Continue reading “Online vs. Traditional Faculty Demands”

Changing the Way Students Perform Online Research

 

Google and other search engines have changed the way people locate information.  The problem is that online students think of Google as a proper tool to use to perform research for assignments.  Google Scholar may provide access to some scholarly research.  However, most online schools prefer that students use the school’s library search feature.  It is important that students consider the reliability of the type of content that is available on traditional websites.

Pew reported that the majority of students are not able to recognize bias in online content.  This has become frustrating for professors because these skills should be taught in first-year college courses.  Turnitin’s white paper titled What’s Wrong with Wikipedia, reported that in over 37 million papers submitted by students, there were 156 million matches to content found from the Internet.  This means that students use sites like Google Books, May Clinic, Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, etc.  These are unacceptable sources to use for college-level courses.

According to Turnitin’s research, the following problems exist with student’s research behavior:

  • Problem: Students value immediacy over quality – Students use sites like Wikipedia to find quick answers.  Wikipedia may offer some valuable resources at the bottom of their site to support the content. Solution:  These sources are usually available through the school’s library search feature.  Schools’ search engines are quite easy to use. They access some of the best material available for free.  Students can easily mark a box for peer-reviewed studies.  This will ensure that their research contains quality information.
  • Problem:  Students often use cheat sites – Students may find sites that offer to write their papers for a fee.  Most of these papers are captured within Turnitin’s plagiarism detecting software. Therefore when students buy the paper and submit as their own, the software will detect it as plagiarized.  Solution:  The time it takes to find and buy a paper on the Internet could have been used to simply write an original paper.  Nothing is gained from submitted plagiarized work.  Students risk getting expelled.  Most assignments are not that long or difficult.  The point of writing them is to gain knowledge.  Students who attend school just to obtain a piece of paper will not be prepared for the working world.  They will spend money on a degree that will not help them if they have not learned the information.
  • Problem:  Research is not synonymous with search – Students may put a lot of faith in the information found on the Internet.  Just because a site allows people to ask and answer questions, does not mean that the answers are correct. Searching for answers on the Internet does not mean that the answers are based on actual research.  Solution:  Using peer-reviewed sources that are available through the school’s library ensures that the information in the article has been reviewed by the author’s peers.  These studies are actual research.

There are times when assignments allow for students to use websites like Apple.com, or other corporate or news sites.  If this is allowed by the instructor, students must be able to recognize if the site is highly regarded. An example might be The New York Times.  If students are in doubt, they should direct questions to their instructor for guidance.

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Advantages of Peer Interaction in Online Learning

One of the most important ways students learn in online courses is through peer-to-peer interaction.  In my experience with traditional classrooms, there were far more lectures and much student involvement.  The professors spoke “at us” in traditional courses. In online courses, there is more of a group discussion. Students receive the professor’s perspective as well as viewpoints from every student in the course.  In my opinion, this makes for a much more interesting and interactive classroom.

Not all students are fans of lecture-based learning.  MOOCs may experience high dropout rates due to their lecture-based format. According to the article MOOCs: Will Online Courses Help More Students Stay in School, “Critics of MOOCs are quick to point out their low completion rates (fewer than 7% of students complete the courses on average). They also note that the courses take the ineffective lecture format and make it the primary mode of learning.”

The types of online courses I have taught rely very little, if at all, on lectures.  The courses include more peer interaction and written assignments. The peer interaction revolves around discussion questions.  There are usually at least two discussion topics posted each week.  Students must respond to the initial question and respond to their peers’ postings as well.  This requires students to address the question, discover other students’ perspectives, and develop critical thinking skills.

Students’ responses to their peers must include substantive comments and well-constructed follow-up questions.  These questions often develop the conversation and create a dialogue.  Every student can see these discussions.  Every student can interject their comments.  It creates a pool of information that would not be provided to students in a lecture hall.  It allows for much more depth to the exploration of the topic.

In a traditional course, the professor may give their insight and opinions about a topic.  In an online course, this is possible as well. What is different is the amount of interaction required by the students.  Granted, things may have changed since I took traditional courses in the 80’s.  However, based on what I read and what I hear from my students, traditional college courses have not changed that much.  I believe that is why there is such an interest in MOOCs.  They add a new dimension that traditional courses have lacked.  However, MOOCs may not provide the peer interaction is the same way that regular online classes can.  The reason for this is due to the number of students in class.  MOOCs are massive.  Most online courses I teach include fewer than 20 students. When there are too many students, the discussions become overwhelming and no one takes the time to read all of the postings.

The best part of peer interaction is that students can learn from everyone’s experiences. Many online students have had decades of experience. This provides a wealth of knowledge that may be added to the professor’s perspective.  This allows everyone, including the professor, to garner important insight.

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Online Student Safety and Behavioral Issues

The online classroom may make it easier for students with personality problems or even mental health issues to go undetected.  It may provide a false sense of security for some students who make friends with other students who may appear to be well.  However, in any online situation, it is wise to look for some behavioral signals that may indicate some problems.

I have had students who ignore netiquette, aka rules of proper behavior in the online classroom. I have had a few students who concerned me to the point that I believed, for safety reasons, I had to report them.  Although I have not had this happen often, it can be frightening for innocent students who get bullied or are provoked by these behaviorally-challenged students.

I recently had a student send me a note that she felt uncomfortable by certain wording that another student used in class.  She asked me to ask the student to refrain from using what she considered profanity.  Although this “profanity” may have seemed very mild to some of the other students, it bothered her.  It is important for students to realize that everyone may not be comfortable with certain words.

In the Wall Street Journal article When Social Skills are a Warning, the author explained that it may be important to look for social skills that may indicate a warning of behavioral issues. Instructors and fellow students might be able to detect some early signs that are symptoms of problems like social indifference, lack of empathy, and inappropriate behavior.  Some students do not recognize when to “back off” in discussions.  In the article, the author explained how our brains are set up differently. “Some networks act as emotional brakes and others as the gas.  Everyone has a different balance of these networks, which contributes to our personalities, emotions and behaviors.”

When students notice something that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should report it to their professor or counselor.  Many students are harmless and just do not realize how they may come across to others.  The problem is that there have been incidents that make the news that scare people.  These past tragedies may help to make people more aware of the importance of recognizing behavior.

Just because there is a computer screen between students, does not mean there is no danger.  Some students connect in online chat rooms.  Sometimes they exchange email and telephone numbers.  Just because a student is in an online college classroom, it does not ensure that this person is harmless.  In online, just as in traditional courses, there will be some students who have behavioral problems.  It is important that students do not let their guard down too far due to a possible incorrect assumption that all students must be normal.  I do not want to squelch the college connection experience. It is just important to remember that people may have issues whether they are in a traditional or online location.  Students should be just as vigilant about their safety in an online class as they would be in any other situation.

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Hiring Graduates Based on Personality Skills

HR professionals within organizations have given personality assessments to potential employees for many years. I was asked to take a personality assessment for a pharmaceutical sales job in 1987.  The changes I have noticed since that time include the type and frequency of personality tests given.  What also may be trending is the fact that leaders of schools have become more interested in personality assessments. In the Wall Street Journal article Business Schools Know How You Think, but How Do You Feel, author Melissa Korn explained, “Prospective MBA students need to shine by showing emotional traits like empathy, motivation, resilience, and dozens of others.”  Schools may be interested in these traits because organizations value these traits.  Korn also explained, “Measuring EQ-or emotional intelligence quotient-is the latest attempt by business schools to identify future stars.”

I find this trend to be particularly interesting because I teach business, I am a qualified Myers Briggs instructor, a certified EQ-i instructor, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between emotional intelligence and sales performance.  I have also witnessed that online schools have placed more importance on personality assessments. Many of my first-year students must take a Jung-like personality test.  Many of my undergraduate and graduate business students have to assess their EQ.

I think it is important for these personality preference and emotional intelligence issues to be addressed in online courses.  Some of the things that may hurt a graduate’s chance of obtaining is job include having poor self-assessment skills, poor interpersonal skills, and a lack of concern for how they are perceived by others.

When I was in pharmaceutical sales, they rated us each year on our concern for impact.  It was such an important part of what they believed made us successful in the field, that there were consequences to poor judgment and rude behavior.  In the book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, there is a chapter regarding concern for impact, as well as one for Myers Briggs MBTI, Emotional Intelligence, DISC, and many other personality assessments that may help young adults in the workplace. One of the universities for which I teach requires students to read this book in a foresight course.

It is important for online students to learn about these assessments because employers use them.  Some personality traits stay with us throughout our lives.  The MBTI is an example of an assessment that determines preferences that may not change.  This assessment may be helpful to students who are not sure about career paths.  Other assessments like the EQ-i determine emotional intelligence levels.  The good news about emotional intelligence is that it may be improved. Marcia Hughes has written several books about how to improve EQ in the workplace.  The savvy online students will work on developing their EQ and understanding personality preferences before they graduate.  By being proactive, students may have a better chance of being successful in a career that matches their personality preferences.

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Use of Media and Copyright Issues in Online Courses

Some students like to present papers with a bit of pizzazz. Many may add pictures or charts they have found on the Internet.  Unfortunately many of the things they try to incorporate into their work may create a copyright violation.  The good news is that there are sites where students can find media to share that is not protected.

The Creative Commons site is a good place to go to find content. According to their site, “If you’re looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are hundreds of millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific and academic material — available to the public for free and legal use under the terms of our copyright licenses, with more being contributed every day.”

Some famous sites like Google, Flickr, and Wikipedia use Creative Commons to access media. Wikipedia’s Public Domain Image Resources page also provides some great links to media that is not copyright-protected.  This site provides general as well as government resources.

Some students incorporate images they have found using the insert clipart function in Word. According to the Microsoft site, “The Clip Art and Media gallery provides a compilation of artwork. See the use terms for the description of permitted uses. If those terms do not meet your needs, our Clip Art partners at Office Online provide a variety of images you can license directly. Sample Art may be used for personal use only. You may not sell, lease, or distribute Sample Art, or any materials you create that use Sample images, for any commercial purposes.”

If students submit a Word document that has clip art obtained from Word, they may have questions about how to cite it in APA.  According to Owl Purdue’s site it is, “unnecessary to provide citation on a document presented via the Microsoft program for stock images that a specific to that software package.”

It may be difficult to find free clip art simply by searching for it on Google. Many sites that come up offer some free clip art that is usually not that great.  The better clip art usually requires a fee.  I am often contacted by people about the clipart used for my online education blog.  I have used a couple of sources that charge a fee, including Shutterstock and iStockPhoto.  The really good pictures like these usually require a fee.

When students insert pictures that are copyright protected, professors should explain this to them.  There are many students who assume they can copy and paste just about anything from the Internet into their assignments. Students may benefit from reading:  How to Avoid Copyright Infringement and Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images.

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What to Expect in Online Doctorate Degree Courses

As a doctoral chair, it is my responsibility to help guide students through their doctoral dissertation process.  In order to receive a doctorate through online courses, there is a series of courses that students take prior to the time they begin writing the proposal for their dissertation.  Each online program varies to some degree.  Based on the two programs I have either taken or taught, I can say that they were pretty similar.  The following is what students might expect from an online doctoral program.

Students must first complete a series of online courses that address their field of study. For example, I received a degree that is titled: Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with a Specialization in Management.  That means that those initial courses included a specific focus on business management.  Some students may combine their Master’s with their Doctorate.  Assuming that students have already taken the thirty or so credits required for a Master’s degree, there may be another 10 or 15 courses required in the field of specialization. In this case, it would be to study business management.  These courses are not that different from taking graduate-level classes.

After finishing those courses, students begin taking courses that are more specific to the proposal and final dissertation.  It is difficult to state how many courses may be required at this point. Some students require fewer courses than others based on how much work they complete within the scheduled time for each course.  I have had some students make it through the dissertation in the process by taking only three dissertation courses.  Others may take a dozen or more courses to finish.  It depends upon how much students have done on their own prior to beginning the doctoral courses, how quickly they work, and the type of research they do.

The steps in the doctoral process include writing the proposal (which describes how the study will be performed, aka chapters 1-3 of the final dissertation), obtaining proposal approval, doing the research, writing the final dissertation (updating Chapters 1-3 and writing Chapters 4-5), obtaining approval for the dissertation, defending the dissertation in an oral presentation, and finally having the doctoral chair, doctoral committee, and dean give a final seal of approval.

The hardest part generally seems to be writing the proposal or the first three chapters.  This is difficult because students have to learn how to write in a very specific and scholarly way.  There are templates that may provide helpful information regarding alignment, content requirements, and formatting.   Students work very closely with their chair during this time.  Students must also have at least two committee members.  Some schools, like the one I attended, required an additional outside member to review the dissertation.  All members of the committee must have a doctorate.

Students usually work strictly with the chair until Chapters 1-3 are ready to submit. At that point, the committee looks at the work to give input and make suggestions.  After all adjustments are made, the proposal goes through several stages of approval.  Students may need to submit more than once if there are changes requested. This is commonly the case.  Once the proposal is approved, students can perform the study, and eventually write the last two chapters that describe the results.  This final document goes through the chair and committee approval process again, and eventually must meet with the dean’s approval.  The last step is for students to defend the dissertation in an oral presentation.  Usually that is the easiest part of the process because students know their study inside and out by that time.  It takes some students just a few years to go through the process.  Others take much longer. Some never finish.  It is a very difficult process.  However, in the end, it is worth it.

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Top Resources for Writing College Papers

Please review the following video and articles for help with formatting, APA, grammar and other writing issues.  To return to Dr. Diane Hamilton’s blog, click here. For updates on help with writing, bookmark the following page:  Dr. Diane’s Writing Help

A Day in the Life of an Online Professor

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane Question:  I noticed you work for a lot of universities.  I’m considering working for several universities as well and I am curious what is your typical day like?

Answer:  My days vary, based on how many classes I teach.  I like to teach between 10-15 courses at a time.  I also serve as chair for 10 doctoral students and work on 5-10 doctoral committees.  Additionally I take courses to keep up with technology, education, etc. A typical day usually includes about 8-9 hours of grading papers, providing feedback, responding to discussions/emails, guiding doctoral students with dissertations, and developing curriculum.

I usually look at one school’s information at a time. However, I may have several school sites open at once, if my computer or the site is running slowly.  It helps that schools have different due dates for assignments.  For example, one school may require a “deliverable” or an assignment to be due on Mondays.  Another may have assignments due on Fridays, etc.  Usually it works out that all of the big assignments are spread out over the week.  However, most of them have discussions going on that I respond to on a daily basis. I will go to a school’s site to handle all email, questions, discussion responses, and grade any submitted assignments.  I do the same for the next school, and so on, until I have responded to every single item.  I do not stop working until everything is graded.   Most schools allow instructors a week to grade papers. I do not like to make students wait. If someone has submitted an assignment, I grade it as soon as I log on that day.

On weekends, less homework seems to be assigned, so I work less hours.  I probably work around 3-4 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays.  I do not usually take any days off, but that is not required. Schools usually require 5 or 6 days of work per week.  The nice thing about working as an adjunct is that you can decide how many courses you can handle. You can start off  with just a few and add more if you find you have the time.

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MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities

 

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses.  Although there has been access to free online courses on the Internet for years, the quality and quantity of courses has changed. Access to free courses has allowed students to obtain a level of education that many only could dream of in the past.  This has changed the face of education.  In The New York Times article Instruction for Masses Knocked Down Campus Walls, author Tamar Lewin stated, “in the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree.”

Although MOOCs are the latest trend, not everyone agrees that schools should offer them.  Joshua Kim Insight Higher Ed article Why Every University Does Not Need a MOOC noted that offering free material may not make sense for the individual university.  It may be more important to stand out in other ways.

There may also be some issues for students who lack motivation.  Since a MOOC is voluntary and there is no penalty for dropping the program or lagging behind, there may be issues with course completion.  Although a student may have received an excellent education, there will not be a corresponding diploma.

For those who desire a free education and have the motivation, the following includes the:  Top 10 Sites for Information about MOOCs:

  1. Udemy Free Courses – Udemy is an example of a site allows anyone to build or take online courses.  Udemy’s site exclaims, “Our goal is to disrupt and democratize education by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts.” The New York Times reported that Udemy, “recently announced a new Faculty Project, in which award-winning professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia and Northwestern offer free online courses. Its co-founder, Gagen Biyani, said the site has more than 100,000 students enrolled in its courses, including several, outside the Faculty Project, that charge fees.”
  2. ITunesU Free Courses – Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.”
  3. Stanford Free Courses –  From Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet, Stanford offers a variety of free courses.  Stanford’s – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence was highly successful. According to Pontydysgu.org, “160000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23000 reportedly completing.”  Check out Stanford’s Engineering Everywhere link.
  4. UC Berkeley Free Courses – From General Biology to Human Emotion, Berkley offers a variety of courses.  Check out:  Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS Feeds.
  5. MIT Free Courses – Check out MIT’s RSS MOOC feed.  Also see:  MIT’s Open Courseware.
  6. Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU.
  7. Harvard Free Courses – From Computer Science to Shakespeare, students may now get a free Harvard education. “Take a class for professional development, enrichment, and degree credit. Courses run in the fall, spring, or intensive January session. No application is required.”
  8. UCLA Free Courses – Check out free courses such as their writing program that offers over 220 online writing courses each year.
  9. Yale Free Courses – At Open Yale, the school offers “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.”
  10. Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – Carnegie Mellon boosts “No instructors, no credits, no charge.”

 

For younger students, check out the 60 Minutes video about Khan Academy and KhanAcademy.org.  Also check out Ted Ed.

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How to Write a Perfect College Paper: Video Tutorial

The following is a video presentation that explains how to write the perfect college paper.  For a written version with more complete information, check out:  Checklist for Writing the Perfect College Paper.  There are some sources referred to in this video presentation.  Here are those sources and the links:

Click here for doctoral dissertation writing help.

Checklist for Writing the Perfect College Paper

Professors may assume that students understand the basics when it comes to writing college research papers. In reality, many students are frustrated by all of the requirements.  There are not a lot of easy checklists that put all of the requirements into one location. The following checklist should be used as a helpful guide to help college students write a well-researched and properly presented paper.

Write in introduction/body/conclusion format

  • Introduction – The first paragraph introduces what will be included in the paper.  It is a good idea to have the first sentence of the first paragraph include a hook to interest the reader.  Students should list a few sentences that summarize the main topics that will be addressed in the paper.  In this example, assume that three things will be covered based on the assignment requirements. End the introductory paragraph with the thesis statement.
  • Body – The body is where the three things, required for the assignment, are addressed. Students should start each paragraph with a topic sentence. Students should write a few sentences about that topic.  Students should end that paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads into the next topic that will be addressed in the following paragraph.  This process should be completed for all paragraphs until the last paragraph.
  • Conclusion – The last paragraph may begin with something like, “In conclusion”.  This last paragraph will sum up the three topics addressed. The last sentence should restate the thesis statement listed in the introduction, and end with some sort of final prediction or conclusion.

Write in complete paragraphs – Paragraphs should ideally contain between 4-8 sentences.  Students often make the mistake of writing in incomplete paragraphs or overly long paragraphs.  Click here for more information about paragraph structure.

Avoid run-on sentences – Sentences should not be overly complex.  Students should check how many times the word “and” is used.  This may signal a run-on sentence.

Write in APA format – Set up papers that include a title page, double-spacing, indented paragraphs, page numbers, correctly cited sources, etc. per APA.

Research the paper through the school’s library – Students often make the mistake of researching through the use of Google or other popular search engines.  Students may also make the mistake of relying on sources that are less than scholarly. Sites like Wikipedia may offer some good information but they are not considered reliable or scholarly sources for research papers.  Students should use the school’s search engine, located in the online library.  Students should click the box that searches for scholarly, peer-reviewed journals to ensure the sources are appropriate.

Cite consistently and correctly throughout the paper – Students often make the mistake of thinking they are story-telling when they should be demonstrating research.  Students should get into the habit of paraphrasing rather than listing direct quotations.  Students should avoid patchworking.  Students should not make the mistake of listing references without citations. This is a common mistake.  Research papers require both citations AND references.  Students should also not make the mistake of simply ending a paraphrased paragraph with (author last name, year) to cite all information covered in the paragraph. This is also a common mistake and can be considered plagiarism.  Every sentence of paraphrased work requires the author and year information.  Click here for information about how to cite.

Submit the paper to TurnItIn – Many schools offer TurnItIn’s plagiarism checker.  This is an excellent tool that is helpful to both the students and the schools. Students should get in the habit of submitting his or her papers through this software program to insure that they are not inadvertently plagiarizing information.

Check narrative mode – Many courses do not allow students to write in first person.  If this is the case, students should not refer to themselves.  Students should look for words like I, we, us, me.  These words should not be included if the paper does not allow first person.

Check Word document format – Students often overlook the settings in the Word document.  Students should be sure that the font, margins and settings are correctly set to APA requirements.

Check spelling and other miscellaneous issues – Students should read the final draft more than once. Even if everything seemed OK in the paper, it is a good idea, for students to read it several times to look for small errors.  Students should check for spacing issues.  Students should also check that there are two spaces after periods per APA.  Students should spell-check the document to be sure all spelling issues are resolved.

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Doctoral Dissertation: Proposal Approval Checklist

 

In the years I have spent as a doctoral chair, I have read many excellent proposals and final dissertations.  Writing a dissertation takes a great deal of patience and time. Some students may become frustrated if he or she believes that the process takes longer than anticipated.  To avoid a lengthy proposal approval process, the student should spend time going over some common mistakes.  Although each school may have different requirements, the following checklist may be helpful to the doctoral learner prior to submitting his or her proposal for review.

Common Errors Place X to Signify Compliance
All Required Forms Are Included
Note That Data Will Be Saved 3 Years Then Destroyed
Paragraphs Must Contain At Least 3 Sentences
Any Defined Words Must Include A Citation
85% Of References Must Be Less Than 5 Years From Proposal Date
All Sections Are Listed In Proposal
References Are In APA Format
Submit to TurnItIn Or Plagiarism Checker
Submit To Editing Software Or Editor
Submit To Statistician If Necessary
Two Spaces Are Required After Periods
Design Is Carefully Described
Clarity – Person Reading Proposal Could Perform Study If Necessary
No Personal Opinions – All Conclusions Substantiated
The Word “Proposed” Is Listed Before Referring To Proposed Study
No Use Of The Wording “The Researcher” To Refer To Writer Of Proposal
No First Person References
No Fluff Words Including:  However, In Addition, Therefore, Etc.
Proposal In Future Tense; Will Change To Past Tense After Study
What Others Have Written In Past Tense
Long Tables Should Be In Appendix
Long Citations Cannot Be On Two Separate Pages – Must Be On One
No Slang Is Included
Use Words “Which and That” Correctly
There Should Not Be Any Tracking Changes Left In Document
Headings Must Be In APA 6th Format
Chapter 1 Must Start On Page 1
Proposal Author’s Name Must Be Listed And Current Month/Year
Watch Use Of The Word Randomly (Be Specific)
No Anthropomorphisms Should Be Used
Watch Implying Causal Relationship If None Exists
Do Not Make Predictions
Multiple Studies In Parentheses Require Names In Alphabetical Order
Avoid Vague Statements Like Something Was “Poor”
Articulate How Participants Were Selected
Articulate What Was Done To Reduce Researcher Bias
Do Not Use Vague Terminology Like “Others”
United States Is U.S. And Not US
1980s Should Be 1980s And Not 1980’s
Stick To One Subject Per Paragraph
Do Not Write In Contractions (Do Not Is Correct – Don’t Is Not)
Do Not Have Back to Back Charts With No Explanation
Use He or She Rather Than They To Define Subject
Be Sure All Chapters Include A Summary
Target Population And Sample Is Clearly Described
Hypotheses May Be Numbered And Supported By Narrative
Choice Of Method Is Clear And Substantive
Punctuation Should Be Inside Of Quotation Marks
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Is Completed
Checklist Should Be Provided To Doctoral Chair
Application Should State If Exempt and Why

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Top 5 Secrets for Online Student Success

Online education is growing at a pace that far exceeds general education enrollment.  Because of the popularity of online learning, many traditional universities are offering online courses.  Forbes recently reported that MIT will soon offer free education for everyone. With all of the online options available, students may be confused as to where to go for helpful information.  There are plenty of sites available to help online students find schools, locate loans and even determine majors.  What is not as readily available is information about how to be a successful online student once he or she is enrolled.

The following is the top 5 list of things that can help the new online student succeed once they have already chosen their school and major.  Click on the blue links for more information about each topic:

  1. Learn Goal Setting – Read about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.  The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant (sometimes also Results-Based), and Timely (or Time-Bound).  Students should set S.M.A.R.T. education goals. Those that neglect to do this may find that it takes them longer to graduate, while they waste time and money.
  2. Learn Tools Offered – Most online universities offer some extremely helpful writing, editing and plagiarism-checking tools.  The school’s online site may also have helpful tutorials to explain how to use the software (also known as the platform) that delivers the classroom information.  Learning how to navigate in the online classroom may take a little time.  However, after taking the first class, many students feel more confident in their navigating abilities.
  3. Use the School’s Library – Students may forget that their university has an online library.  It is important that students do not get in the habit of searching for information using Google, Yahoo! and other similar engines. A well-written paper is supported by peer-reviewed articles.  These may be easily found using the school’s search engines located in their online library.
  4. Learn APA – APA stands for American Psychological Association.  For college students, APA refers to the format in which papers should be written.  While APA may seem daunting to the new learner, there are some very useful examples of APA papers online that can help explain the requirements.
  5. Learn How to Cite – Professors often require students to cite research in his or her papers.  Most often they must cite in APA format.  There are some helpful sites to help students learn how to cite correctly.  Students must also learn how to paraphrase, include in-text citations and avoid plagiarism.

Click here for more useful tips about how to be a successful online college student.

Related article:

Successful Students Use Plagiarism and Editing Programs

 

Students who do not use their school’s library writing centers are missing important, helpful information, and their grades may be suffering because of this.  Online universities offer some very useful tools that can help students to edit their papers, locate scholarly journals, and even double-check for plagiarism issues.  Some of the programs available to students include professional editing software like WritePoint, a database search engine like Proquest, and a plagiarism checker like TurnItIn.  Some schools may use different programs other than WritePoint or TurnItIn, but the programs function similarly.  Students should check their online library for availability of specific writing tools.

The successful student will do their research through the school’s library database search engines.  Once they have written their paper, and have double-checked that they have met all of the teacher’s requirements, they will submit it to the editing software (if available) and the plagiarism checker (required by many schools).  The following gives an explanation of how these three programs work:

  • Professional Editing Software – Example: WritePoint is a program that inserts comments directly into the student’s paper just like a professional editor.  The program will highlight grammar and spelling issues as well as other formatting issues including:  Capitalization issues, clichés, wording choices, use of second person, subject/verb agreement, weak or redundant wording, improper punctuation or hyphenation, and subject/pronoun disagreement.  The student will receive their paper back with comments. At this point, the student can make the appropriate suggested changes and then submit their paper as assigned.  This helps teach the student how to edit their own papers and dramatically improves their ability to get a higher grade.  This also allows professors to focus on the student’s content.  Not all schools offer editing software.

 

  • Database Search Engine – Example: Proquest is a program that offers over 30 databases of information including:  Dissertations, Newspapers and scholarly journals.  For students doing research that requires peer-reviewed scholarly sources, this can be a very helpful tool.  Students should use their school’s library search engine rather than researching through sites like Google or Yahoo!

 

 

  • Plagiarism Checker – Example: TurnItIn is the leading program that checks for plagiarism issues.  The program carries over 150 million archived papers.  There are a variety of websites where students can purchase papers.  Schools are very aware of these sites and programs like TurnItIn will catch these papers.  Students should be aware that professors will submit their papers to TurnItIn and will catch them if they try to submit work that is not their own.

Students may have had some initial training regarding these programs when they first entered school.  However, with all of the other things they had to learn at the time, many may have forgotten the importance of these tools. Students with questions about what his or her school offers, should ask their guidance counselor.

The top articles on this site that are helpful to a student’s success include:

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How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

 

Some professors require that students avoid direct quotations within their writing.  One reason for this is that students may have a tendency to rely too much on what others have written.  They may take large amounts of directed quoted material and copy and paste it into their writing in order to meet page or word requirements.  This is not acceptable.

Students must still cite to explain where they obtained their research.  To cite correctly, students should get into the habit of paraphrasing. In this way, students give the original author credit for their work by citing the source of the information without quoting it word for word.  Citing means acknowledging where they obtained the information.  A student must be careful not to paraphrase everything they write.  The student should not neglect to include their own analysis.  Duke University provides useful information about avoiding patchworking and paraphrasing in APA style.

Paraphrasing occurs when the writer take someone else’s thoughts and information and restates it into his or her own words.  Think of it as more of a restatement than a summary. Owl Purdue explained that it is better than quoting word for word because it eliminates the temptation to cite too heavily.  Owl Purdue’s Paraphrase:  Write in Your Own Words is an excellent learning tool and it includes 6 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing.

To learn how to cite correctly, check out a helpful link from plagiarism.com that explains how to paraphrase properly.  For more examples of how to paraphrase, check out:  Examples of how to paraphrase without plagiarizing.  The Writer’s Handbook also gives some helpful tips about methods of paraphrasing and how to paraphrase difficult texts.

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How to Get an A in Your College Courses

Some of the top reasons that students don’t pass courses, based on my experience as a professor, is that they do not read the requirements for the classes or they don’t turn in material on time.  If a student really wants to receive an “A”, there are some important things that they must do to achieve this.  The following list will help students improve their grades:

  1. Follow Instructions – Read the instructor’s materials for assignment requirements.   Print out a copy of the syllabus and any instructions on the first day of class. Some may post a rubric or a spreadsheet that lists the requirements and the number of possible points allocated for each part of the assignment.  Before turning in your assignment, go down the list of requirements and be sure that you have included all of them.
  2. Cite Correctly – It is best to paraphrase rather than to include large blocks of directly quoted material in your writing.  Some professors will not allow any direct quotations. An example of paraphrasing is:  Hamilton (2011) stated that paraphrasing was important.  An example of a direct quote is:  “It is better to paraphrase.” (Hamilton, 2011). 
  3. Submit Original Work – Schools have a tool called TurnItIn to check for plagiarism.  Be sure to run your paper through that system (or whatever plagiarism tool the school uses) before submitting papers, to ensure that your work is your own.  You can be sure professors will check it if you do not.  Keep in mind that citing incorrectly can be viewed as plagiarism. Plagiarism is grounds for being expelled.
  4. Write in APA – Professors can be very picky about formatting in APA.  Most schools use this formatting as compared to MLA or some other format.  Click here for some of the most important links to help with APA.  When writing in APA, students will need to have their paper include double-spacing, indented paragraphs, proper header information, proper page numbering, proper title and reference page, etc.
  5. Meet Discussion Requirements – Online colleges have specific writing and posting requirements for classroom discussions.  Students often disregard the minimum word count or the fact that the instructor requested cited materials.  It is not uncommon for a discussion question to require 150-500 word responses.  These responses may also require paraphrased information to show research to back up any points that the student makes. Students may also be required to respond to their fellow classmates’ postings as well.  There are usually minimum word count requirements for these responses as well. Discussions should be written in a formal manner.  Sentence and paragraph structure should be the same as if a student was writing an essay.  Simply agreeing with a fellow classmate’s points will not count for credit.
  6. Include Strong Sentences and Paragraphs – It is important to write correctly and in a formal manner in online discussions as well as in formal papers.  In higher-level courses, first person should not be used.  Unless it is an opinion paper and the professor has allowed it, do not refer to yourself in your writing.  Don’t write in run-on sentences.  Sentences vary in length but should average around 20 words.  Keep sentences between around 12-25 words.  Paragraphs should also contain complete information.  A paragraph should include between 4-8 sentences.  Remember to include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. 
  7. Plan Ahead – Many students post late due to not being prepared.  There may be an occasional emergency but in general most issues with late postings could be avoided.  Write papers early and back them up somewhere other than your main computer.  Some students send themselves a copy of their homework so that it is saved on their email server.  Computer issues are not considered a valid excuse for late assignments.
  8. Use Scholarly Sources – Professors often require that students include peer-reviewed scholarly journals as sources for their papers. To find out more about peer-reviewed journals, click here.  Students often confuse citations and references.  It is not correct to simply list a reference without having a corresponding citation.  For help with citations and references, click here.
  9. Never Copy and Paste – Students often try to copy and paste information into their papers.  Not only can this be plagiarism if not cited correctly, it can cause havoc with formatting. 
  10. Always Read Instructor Feedback – I see students submit the same mistakes every week because they will not read the feedback on their papers.  If a professor has taken the time to read your paper and give helpful advice, it is important to incorporate those suggestions into future assignments. 

For additional help, see The Top Ten Most Common Writing Mistakes and The Top Ten Sources for Help with APA.

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  My professor told me I have to cite using scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.  What does that mean?

College students are often asked to include scholarly peer-reviewed journals as sources for citations.  If the school offers an online library, it can be easy to search for these journals by simply marking the box under the search line that lists something like “search for peer-reviewed journals only” or “scholarly peer-reviewed”.  By marking this box, anything that comes up in the search should be appropriate to use for college-level assignments.

A peer-reviewed journal insures that the article is of the highest quality and reflects sound research.  Library.usm.main.edu does a nice job of explaining the peer review process:

  • Articles submitted by authors are evaluated by a group of peer experts in the field.
  • The reviewers recommend whether the submitted article be published, revised, or rejected.
  • This review process is often performed “blind”, meaning the reviewers do not know the names or academic affiliations of the authors, and the authors do not know who is reviewing their work.

Ulrich’s Periodical Directory Online is a link where the journals’ title can be submitted to get a report about whether the journal is actually peer-reviewed. 

What is meant by scholarly journals?  CalPoly explained, “Scholarly journals contain articles written by, and addressed to, experts in a discipline. They are concerned with academic study, especially research, and demonstrate the methods and concerns of scholars. The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report original research or experimentation and to communicate this information to the rest of the scholarly world. The language of scholarly journals reflects the discipline covered, as it assumes some knowledge or background on the part of the reader. Scholarly journals always rigorously cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. Many scholarly journals are published by professional organizations.”

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Commencement Speeches: A Time to Shine Or Maybe Not

 

Steve Jobs’ death has led to many sites listing his commencement speech at Stanford.  While this is an excellent speech, there are some other excellent commencement addresses that should not be missed.  Often some of the best information comes from the valedictorians.  The valedictorian is the person who has been nominated to speak due to receiving the highest academic ranking in their class.

The article The Top 10 Valedictorian Speeches on Youtube, lists some of the most inspirational and entertaining speeches from this intelligent and well-respected group. Not all of them are appropriate though.  There is one that is listed as an example of how not to give a valedictorian speech.

To watch Steve Jobs’ commencement speech click here.

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Top 10 Sources for Help with APA 6th Edition

Students often find it challenging to write papers that meet APA guidelines.  The following table demonstrates how difficult it can be just to cite correctly.

The following is a list of some of the most useful resources to help write a paper that meets APA requirements.

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab APA 6th Edition – One of the most excellent resources for all things APA, writing, punctuation, grammar, mechanics, MLA, and more . . . main Purdue site index.
  2. APA Style Lite for College Papers – Free style guide that gives excellent examples of how things should look in APA 6th edition.
  3. Sample APA Paper from Owl Purdue – Excellent example of a paper with arrows and text boxes pointing out each area of the paper and how it should look.
  4. APA 6th Edition Tutorial – Video demonstration of changes in most recent APA edition.
  5. APA 6th Edition Style Headings – Examples of the different levels of headings.
  6. Meeting APA 2 Spaces After Periods Requirement – Video of how to easily change from one space to two spaces after periods to meet 6th edition guidelines.
  7. Long Quotation Requirements – How to space longer quotations in APA 6th edition.
  8. Removing that Extra Space Between Paragraphs – Video demonstration of how to use the home tab in Word to find paragraph settings to remove any spaces from in between paragraphs.
  9. Accessing Headers and Page Numbers in Word – Video demonstration of how to set up headers and page numbers.
  10. Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes – Additional APA information, first person explanation, vocabulary, grammar, anthropomorphisms, Wikipedia, and more.

Adjunct Advantages: The Future of Education

 

Professors who work on a contracted, part-time basis are referred to as adjuncts.  There are advantages for universities that hire adjuncts rather than tenured faculty. However, many adjunct professors do not like this option.  Some refer to the way things have changed in the university system as adjunct purgatory, with low pay, few benefits and no security.

There is no shortage of articles that point out the problems with adjuncts.  In an article from MindingTheCampus, author Mark Bauerlein stated, “The practice creates a two-tier system, with tenured and tenure-track folks on one, adjuncts on the other.  Adjuncts take up most of the undergraduate teaching, enabling the others to conduct their research and handle upper-division and graduate courses, thus maintaining a grating hierarchy that damages group morale.  Also, because of their tenuous status, adjuncts can’t give students the attention they deserve and they can’t apply the rigor they should.”

These problems are more often associated with traditional campuses.  However, the future of education is headed toward more online learning.  In fact, according to Campustechnology.com, “Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.”  In private online institutions, adjunct positions can actually be more lucrative due to the ability that faculty may teach multiple classes for multiple universities.

 

The reason there are so many negative articles about adjuncts is that in the traditional setting, they have a completely different set of issues than those in the online setting.  There are many positives that should be noted for adjuncts in online learning. Some of the positives from the universities’ perspective (online or traditional) include: Not having to offer tenure, having flexibility in course offerings and paying less money per course.

There are even more advantages for online adjuncts from the faculty’s perspective:

  • Ability to work at multiple universities
  • No driving to campuses
  • Less meetings to attend
  • No need to publish research
  • Ability to work any time of the day in asynchronous courses
  • Ability to have other jobs at the same time
  • Ability to travel and still teach without taking time off
  • Option to have some of the same benefits with some universities offering 401k, insurance and reduced tuition costs for the adjunct and their family

For those considering an adjunct online position, a site like higheredjobsis a great place to find teaching opportunities. For more information about adjunct salaries, check out SalaryBlog.org.

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Anthropomorphisms: When Not to Use Them

There is a really big word that students should know, but may not.  That word is anthropomorphic.  Technically it means to give human form or attributes to something that is not human. It is popularly used in children’s books.  However, doctoral students often have their dissertations rejected for including anthropomorphisms.

Here are some examples of what an anthropomorphism looks like:

  • The study assumed that people would not be interested.
  • The computer program thinks that the results are accurate.

Both of these sentences should not be used.  The reason is that a person can “assume” but a study cannot. Animate nouns are things like a person, a researcher or a participant.  Animate nouns can make an assumption.  An inanimate noun, like a research study, cannot.  Just like an animate noun, a researcher can “think”, but an inanimate noun, a computer, cannot.

To put it more simply, think of it this way:

  • Person, Researcher, Participant = assume and think
  • Study, Computer, Inanimate Object ≠ assume and think

Best Apps for Students and Everyone Else

It can be hard to keep up with all of the apps out there. There are over 425,000 apps on Itunes now and that number grows daily.

In the article 48 Apps That College Students Love, they have listed some very important apps.  The apps are broken down the into the following categories:  Essential Tools, Education, Communication, Entertainment, Information Management, Organization, Budget, and News.

This article listed some of my own very favorite apps, including TED, which includes some of the greatest talks from TED.com.

There are also some fun ones like Rate My Professor. Check out Posting Teacher Reviews Online – What is Rate My Professor.

There are a few that I would like to add to the list, though, that I think are awesome apps:

HowStuffWorks – This app has all of their great podcasts including my favorite from Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant of Stuff You Should Know fame.

StitcherRadio – Great way to access multiple ratio stations and more.

GoogleCalendar –  Google’s Calendar is a great way to keep things organized.

Words with Friends – I like this version better than Scrabble’s and it can connect to Facebook as well.

Young Adults and Unique Identity Theft Issues

As more people have embraced technology, more opportunities for identity theft have been created.  PC Magazine author Larry Seltzer interviewed a cyber-crimes expert and found that there are some unique new ways that people have their identities stolen.  One of the things that may come as a surprise is that misconfigured peer-to-peer apps like Limewire can share information from your “My Documents” folder.

While you may be hip to the Nigerian scams, you may not be aware of skimmers on ATMs that can read your credit cards. Seltzer explains, “These are devices which install over the reader appear to be part of the machine. When you insert your card the skimmer reads it and records the information on it. They are often used in combination with surreptitious cameras to record the keys you press for the PIN. Skimmers are especially popular on gas pump, but they are also being used on the smaller point of sale readers found in stores.”

CNN Money reported that the top consumer complaint is identity fraud.  “The Federal Trade Commission counted 250,854 complaints about identity theft in 2010, according to a report issued Tuesday. That was 19% of the 1.3 million total complaints the agency received, putting it at the top of the consumer complaint list for the 11th year in a row. The most common form of identity theft was through fraudulent government documents. Credit card fraud garnered the second highest number of identity theft complaints, followed by phone and utilities fraud.”

Many young adults are going back to school soon.  College students may feel they are invincible and not notice identity theft as quickly as they should.  They are less likely to track their bank accounts and credit card statements.  Mainstreet.com reported, “Studies have shown that it takes 18- to 24-year-old Americans twice as long to find out they’ve been the victim of I.D. fraud – which is usually too late to do anything about it.”

Wells Fargo has come up with tips for college students to safeguard their financial information.

Fraudpreventionunit.org also has listed 10 Tips for an Identity-Theft Free 2011.

College Students Beware of Financial Aid Scams

In the recent article 15 Common Financial Aid Scams to Watch Out For, the author points out that college students may be a vulnerable demographic.  So-called financial aid experts may be out to take advantage of those looking for legitimate ways to finance their education.  Watch out for some of the following wording:  Unclaimed Money, Buy Now, Application Fees, Free Seminar, and Guaranteed.  For the complete list of scams with explanations, click here

Finaid.org claims, “Every year, several hundred thousand students and parents are defrauded by scholarship scams. The victims of these scams lose more than $100 million annually.”  There is some protection against fraud.  The Scholarship Fraud Protection Act of 2000 has increased the penalties for this fraud, including a maximum fine of $500,000 and jail time. 

If you feel you have been scammed, you have recourse.  According to the Finaid.org site, “The following organizations can help you determine whether an offer is legitimate. They will tell you whether they have received any complaints about the company, or whether it’s currently under investigation. They can also provide you with additional information or assistance.

National Fraud Information Center (NFIC)
In addition to providing helpful information, the NFIC will pass your complaints along to the appropriate authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and your state’s Attorney General’s Office. The NFIC also maintains a toll-free hotline at 1-800-876-7060.”

Female Career Choices That May Surprise You

On the first day of work as a pharmaceutical representative in the 80’s, I was struck by the similarity of my newly-hired peers.  There were about 10 of us that started at the same time.  Nine out of 10 of us were women.  I hadn’t given much thought as to whether women dominated in the pharmaceutical business at that time.  However, sitting at that long table full of women, most of whom had business degrees, made me realize that things were changing for women and their career choices.

Since I currently teach for many different online universities, a recent article about women and their online degree choices caught my eye.  In the article 10 Majors That Are No longer Male-Dominated, the author pointed out, “Historically, women have dominated majors like education, English and psychology, while men were more likely to study engineering, computer science or math. Although this may ring true at some schools, it isn’t the standard at every traditional or online college. More than ever, college women are opting to study traditionally male-dominated majors and are breaking enrollment records while they’re at it. As the line between male- and female-dominated academic fields continues to fade, there will be less segregation in the job market and more opportunities for both sexes.”

The article lists the following online majors as currently female-dominant:

Computer Science

Business

Engineering

Agriculture

Biological Science

Construction Management

Fire Science

Criminal Justice

Information Technology

Sports Management

For more information about the increase in women majoring in each of these areas, click here to read the full article.

Top 100 Vocabulary Words That Adults Should Know

Educators often use words with meanings that students may not fully understand.  Rather than looking foolish and asking for an explanation, students may go through years of schooling and not truly grasp the meaning of important terminology.

After consulting with a past English teacher, my sister, Lesley Hamilton, and a future English teacher, my daughter, Terra Rothpletz, we came up with a list of 100 words that are dispersed by educators but not necessarily understood by students.  Rather than list the definitions here, I thought it might be better to just include the link so that you could test yourself.  Look at the following words and see how well you do.  To find out the definitions, just click on the word. 

  1. Acquiesce
  2. Acronym
  3. Ambiguity
  4. Analogy
  5. Anachronism
  6. Andragogy
  7. Antithesis
  8. Antonym
  9. Articulate
  10. Assonance
  11. Benchmarking
  12. Brainstorming
  13. Circumspect
  14. Clandestine
  15. Cognition
  16. Collaborate
  17. Colloquial
  18. Connotation
  19. Contrived
  20. Conundrum
  21. Correlation
  22. Criterion
  23. Cumulative
  24. Curriculum
  25. Deference
  26. Developmental
  27. Dialect
  28. Diction
  29. Didactic
  30. Dissertation
  31. Divergent
  32. Egregious
  33. Eloquence
  34. Emergent
  35. Empathy
  36. Enigma
  37. Epitome
  38. Epiphany
  39. Epitaph
  40. Erudite
  41. Existential
  42. Exponential
  43. Formative
  44. Holistic
  45. Homonym
  46. Hubris
  47. Hyperbole
  48. Incongruous
  49. Infamy
  50. Initiation
  51. Innate
  52. Intellectual
  53. Interactive
  54. Irony
  55. Jargon
  56. Juxtaposition
  57. Malapropism
  58. Magnanimous
  59. Mentor
  60. Metaphor
  61. Meticulous
  62. Mnemonic
  63. Monologue
  64. Motif
  65. Myriad
  66. Nemesis
  67. Nominal
  68. Norms
  69. Obfuscate
  70. Obtuse
  71. Onomatopoeia
  72. Ostentatious
  73. Oxymoron
  74. Paradox
  75. Paraphrase
  76. Pedantic
  77. Pedagogy
  78. Perusal
  79. Phonemes
  80. Phonological
  81. Plagiarism
  82. Plethora
  83. Posthumously
  84. Preposition
  85. Pretentious
  86. Pseudonym
  87. References
  88. Reflection
  89. Rubric
  90. Sardonic
  91. Satire
  92. Simile
  93. Soliloquy
  94. Superfluous
  95. Syntax
  96. Thesis
  97. Validity
  98. Vernacular
  99. Virtual
  100. Vocational

Cohabitating: Financial Reward Different for College Graduates

Just because two people live together doesn’t necessarily mean they will have a higher household income.  The Pew Research Center recently analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data and found that there are 7.5 million couples, in the 30-44 age range, that are cohabitating.  This analysis  indicated that an economic advantage was obtained for those that were college-educated and cohabiting but there wasn’t the same advantage for married couples or those without an opposite-sex cohabitant. 

Pew analyzed their economic well-being and that data was reported in  USAToday: “Median adjusted household incomes of college-educated couples were $106,400 for cohabitors, $101,160 for married couples and $90,067 for adults with no opposite-sex partners. But for less-educated couples, cohabiting is an arrangement that looks a lot like marriage and may well include kids: Incomes were $46,540 for cohabiters, $56,800 for married couples and $45,033 for adults without opposite-sex partners.” 

To read the USAToday article, click here.

Who’s living together?

Partnership status by education

All:
Married, 58%
Cohabitor, 7%
No partner, 35%

Not a college graduate:
Married, 54%
Cohabitor, 8%
No partner, 38%

College graduate:
Married, 68%
Cohabitors, 4%
No partner, 28%

Notes: Based on 30- to 44-year-olds. “No partner” includes those living without an opposite-sex partner or spouse.

Source: 2009 American Community Survey, Pew Research Center

Top Universities Increasing Online Degrees Programs to Meet Needs of over 5 Million Learners

Arizona State University is just one of many major universities that have started to increase the number of online courses they offer.  Within the next decade, ASU expects that 25% of their students will be exclusively taking virtual classes.  ASU and other schools are keeping up with their learners’ desire to take online courses. 

The Sloan Consortium, also known as Sloan-C, is an institutional and professional organization integrating online education into mainstream education.   The consortium is committed to quality online education.  The Arizona Republic reported, “According to an annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning at 2,500 colleges and universities, 29 percent of students took at least one course online in fall 2009, up from nearly 12 percent in fall 2003.”

In a recent webinar I created and delivered for Sloan-C, there was strong interest by educators to learn how to deliver effective online courses. There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.” According to a recent survey by the Sloan Consortium, more than 5.6 million students took an online class last fall, which translates to about 30 percent of college students.

The days of thinking that online education is somehow inferior is changing.  Arizona’s three main universities are all embracing online learning.  ASU is ramping up their online program. University of Arizona (U of A) has nearly 30 degree programs exclusively available online; many of these programs are graduate-level.  Northern Arizona University (NAU) has 63 exclusively online programs and anticipates a 10% growth increase per year.

Arizona universities are not the only major universities to get on board with online education. Some other very prominent universities that also offer online courses include:   

If you or someone you know is considering taking an online class, it is important to understand the terminology, the process and the tricks to being successful as an independent learner.  For help, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student

Boomerang Generation: College Graduates Giving up on Employment and Moving Back Home

There has been an unusual trend with recent college graduates.  After working so hard to become educated for their new careers, recent grads are not jumping into the workplace right away.  This has caused an increase in the numbers for unemployment in this population.  However, this unemployment has been influenced by some of these grads actively making the choice not go to work.

It’s not only that employers don’t want the recent graduates. In fact, Wall Street Journal reported, “Employers plan to hire 19% more new graduates this year than in 2010.” Part of the choice has been due to the graduates opting to do other things. In that same article, it was reported, “Career counselors at colleges say that in the past two years they have seen increasing numbers of graduates opting to travel, volunteer, or get unpaid work experience rather than head straight into a tenuous job market.”

Recent statistics show that up to 54% of those under the age of 25 are without a job. Many of them feel that the economy is so bad at this time that they would be wasting their time even trying to get into the workplace.  This has caused a trend of young adults moving back in with their parents.  The New York Post reported, “This year, some three million young people are expected to graduate from college. Facing a double-digit unemployment rate for young people, 85 percent of them will initially move back home with their parents, and that’s up from 67 percent in 2006, according to a poll by researcher Twentysomething Inc.”

Some have referred to this new generation as the Boomerang Generation.  Just as parents think their children have left the nest, they turn around and come right back.  Some students are holding out for the job they want rather than taking “just any job”. Having gone through the time and effort to get a higher education, they are not willing to take employment beneath what they feel qualified to do.

Where Your College Tuition is Spent

 

Many people are going back to school to further their education in the hope of being more marketable in the workplace. As tuition increases, students may be wondering where their money is being used.

Onlinecolleges.net reported 10 Telling Stats on Where Your Tuition Money Goes. It is interesting to note that the professor’s pay is not a big factor in these increases. It may be surprising how much goes to construction and renovations. Also of note is how much is being spent on entertainment. “Travel and entertainment are major expenses for universities. For example, Kansas State University spent $9 million in travel and entertainment related expenses in 2010.” For the complete list explaining where your funds are being spent, click here.

Is Facebook and Twitter Keeping You Out of College or Helping You Get In?

Employers often use Google or other online research sites to find out about prospective job applicants. If there is embarrassing or incriminating information out there, it may not just be prospective employers that find it. 

Universities are also performing online searches on prospective students. According to Latimes, “College admissions officials look up applicants on Facebook and Twitter, experts say. Details revealed through social media can make or break a good impression.”

Keep in mind, social media can be a way to have employers and universities find out good things about you as well.  In the Latimes article the editor of StudentAdvisor “suggests following the school’s Twitter feed or “liking” its Facebook fan page. Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities and provide a link on their applications.”

For more information, check out the Online Reputation Guide

Online Reputation Guide for College-Bound Students

How to Respond Effectively in Online Discussions

Online college students often find that they are required to answer discussion questions in class.  With the popularity of texting and the lack of formality used when writing an email, many students are lacking the necessary skills to write an appropriate posting. 

Online schools often require that postings are substantive.  In other words, the postings should be substantial and have sufficient content to answer questions in depth.  Students may be given guidelines or a minimum word count to guide them.  However, when responding to fellow students’ postings, there are usually not specific word count requirements.  Therefore, it is important for students to respond in a way that is not merely showing their agreement or disagreement with what is being discussed. 

A good rule of thumb is to support what the student has said with at least one sentence. That doesn’t mean the student has to agree with the statement; they just have to support the fact that the student has made their point. 

Then after supporting them, the student can disagree or agree with the topic at hand.  They should include several more sentences explaining their position on the topic.  They could give examples and cite sources.  

A good way to end the discussion would be with a question that is either addressed to the original student or one that could be addressed to the class in order to bring more participants into the discussion.  

It is extremely important that students write in complete sentences, use correct grammar, check spelling and punctuate correctly.  For additional help with writing skills, please check out the following links:

Can Spell Check Make Things Worse?

Top 15 Writing and Grammar Mistakes

15 Ways to Improve Writing Skills

10 Common Writing Mistakes

Can Texting Damage Writing Skills?

Gainful Employment Rule: Effect on For-Profit Schools and Graduation Rates

 

For-profit education is beginning to feel the squeeze.  July 2, 2012 marks the day that the U.S. Department of Education rule goes into effect.  This rule restricts students from using government aid to pay for schooling that doesn’t include occupations that have a strong entry-level salary.  

This isn’t the only issue that for-profits are facing.  A loophole has been close that would allow schools to financially reward admission counselors for enrolling students.  This is one of the reasons enrollment is down at some of the major for-profit universities.  This has also led these universities to increase tuition to cover their losses. 

The programs that are considered not high paying enough to meet the Gainful Employment rule will be shut down.  The New York Times reported that accounts for only about 5% of these schools’ programs. What happens to the students already enrolled in them? The Arizona Republic reported  that they are allowed to continue with the program under the “teach out” rule.

Many for-profit universities are implementing new programs to help face their new challenges including:  orientation programs to improve retention, trying to bolster brand awareness, and finding ways to comply with the July deadline to meet the Gainful Employment Rule. 

Many of the guidelines that are changing now are to protect students and to be sure that they are graduating with degrees that will be worth their expense. Politics Daily reported that a study completed by the Committee of Health Labor Education and Pensions found “94.4 percent of students attending for-profit schools take out loans, compared to 16.6 percent attending community college and 44.3 percent enrolled in traditional four-year public schools. Much of that money comes from federal Pell Grants, which help low-income applicants attend schools of higher education, but is often never returned if they don’t graduate.”

It is important that students are able to complete their programs, not only to pay back the loans, but to move ahead in their careers.  The New York Times claimed, The report, “Subprime Opportunity,” by the Education Trust, found that in 2008, only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at for-profit colleges over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

For now, for-profit colleges are making some needed changes. The Arizona Republic reported that Peter Wahlstrom of Morningsar, who tracks major for-profit education companies, stated, “What you are trying to do is create a solid program based on academic quality, which, in turn, helps with student outcomes. That helps with retention, that helps with enrollment, and that eventually helps with financial results.”

50 Excellent Lectures for the Small Business Owner

Many are now just completing their MBA or considering starting their own small business. There is a great article from BSchool that includes 50 excellent lectures about entrepreneurship, practical tips, innovation, leadership, technology and the economy.  The courses come from sources like the University of California through UCTV.  The one I first watched was an hour long and had four accomplished entrepreneurs discuss the excitement and challenges of starting a business. It offered an insight into what to expect as a new entrepreneur and pitfalls to avoid.

These are excellent lectures. To see the complete article, go to BSchool’s link by clicking here.  Bschool.com is an online resource for MBA programs and top
online business schools. They provide thorough information on MBA subjects, specialty MBAs and business school rankings.

To see the the types of lectures, I have included an excerpt from the  bschool.com article:

Entrepreneurship

These lectures tackle topics in entrepreneurship, from appealing to the consumer to making great pitches.

  1. Entrepreneurs: Four entrepreneurs share their journeys to open a new business, and the talks inspire passion and excitement.
  2. Entrepreneurship and Society: This talk from UCTV is led by Tom Kemp, President and CEO of Centrify Corporation. He talks about what new ventures need in order to effectively appeal to the modern-day consumer.
  3. Women Entrepreneurs: Consider the differences between men and women as business leaders and owners.
  4. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship: President Obama gives a talk to an international audience on entrepreneurship and realizing the American dream.
  5. Entrepreneurs: Then and Now: Guy Kawasaki compares the foundation of entrepreneurial strategy during the late 1990s and what’s popular and effective now.
  6. Leadership and Entrepreneurship: This lecture from MIT World features three business leaders from completely different fields but who have relied on their instincts and bold ideas to get their ideas off the ground.
  7. Whatever it Takes to Stay in Business: Frank Levinson encourages entrepreneurs to lose their pride, just like a baby, in order to please their customers and stay in business, whatever it takes.
  8. New Media Entrepreneurship: This talk is from 2008 but still has valuable tips on developing a good, emotional, factual pitch and going for the gold in order to move up in business.
  9. Behaviors of Successful Business Owners: Ron Finkelstein from Akris, LLC shares how entrepreneurs can make more money and develop productive employees, all with an efficient use of time.
  10. David S. Rose on pitching to VCs: In this TED lecture, serial entrepreneur David S. Rose helps you to pitch and prove yourself to venture capitalists.

Practical Education

From management to marketing, here are lectures that give you new ideas to help you build your business.

  1. John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer: Learn how to appeal to the post-recession consumer here.
  2. Team Process Leadership: James Seferis’ innovative philosophy on business leadership and success involves active participation from all team members.
  3. Finding Gold: Hiring the Best and the Brightest: Watch this lecture from UWTV to build an invaluable team that’s focused, motivated and cooperative.
  4. Customer Relationship Management: Former Amazon.com executive Bill Price weighs in on customer relationship management.
  5. Marketing a Start-up: Learn how to develop a smart marketing strategy before attempting to sell anything.
  6. The Case for Sustainability: Sustainability isn’t really an option for new business owners in today’s society: it’s a necessity. Here you’ll learn how to develop a sustainable, environmentally conscious business that’s also attractive to consumers.
  7. The Naked Corporation: Learn how to be a more transparent and honest business owner, in an age when positivity is just as important as profitability.
  8. Talk to an Angel: Crucial Connections to Early Stage Capital: This group from MIT helps entrepreneurs find the right investors when they’re first starting out.
  9. Joseph Pine on what customers want: Writer and consultant Joseph Pine gives tips on selling authenticity to modern consumers.
  10. Choosing people — the ultimate talent?: Look over the transcript from this lecture given at Gresham College to choose the right senior people so that you have less managing to do later.
  11. Challenges of Managing: Firing People: Gajus Worthington is a proponent of firing employees in order to produce a healthy, successful business. This 22-part lecture series offers tips for firing and recruiting.
  12. Business Ethics: These lectures given by top business executives and professors will clue you into integrity, corporate responsibility, and ethical leadership culture in the business world.
  13. No Sweat Speaking: Whether you need to work on giving pitches or improving upon your networking skills, this public speaking lecture will teach you how to tell a good story, make use of the audience, and relax before speaking.
  14. Chinese Business Culture for Business Travelers: If you plan on doing business in the East or recruiting from China, watch this lecture.

Innovation and Leadership

Learn how to effect change and inspire your workers here.

  1. Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty: James Parker and Barbara Stocking discuss strategies for energizing and motivating all employees of an organization, from the top down.
  2. Bringing Creativity into an Organization: Ignore the classic MBA management strategies if you want to really cultivate creativity in your workplace, argues Robert I. Sutton.
  3. Building the Next Generation Company: Innovation, Talent, Excellence: Lecturer John Chambers came out of the last recession with big profits, and in this speech, he explains how you can beat the recession, too.
  4. Seth Godin on standing out: Don’t bury your creative ideas because they seem outrageous: those are the ones worth nurturing.
  5. Howard Rheingold on collaboration: Learn how to work with team members around the world with technology, new media and open culture.
  6. Richard Branson’s life at 30,000 feet: Notable entrepreneur Richard Branson is interviewed about his larger than life ideas, his major struggles, and his motivations.
  7. A Policy on Leadership: If your business is struggling — or you want to prevent a fallout — watch this lecture to learn how to create a fact-based analytical organization and good management teams.
  8. Values-Based Leadership: Strive to be a leader with character, and you’ll end up inspiring your employees to work just as hard as you do.
  9. Innovative Leadership during Economic Crisis: Let this lecture help you to think outside the box, no matter what kind of crisis is getting in your way. You’ll learn how to be innovative in three areas: with customers, people, and products.
  10. How great leaders inspire action: Simon Sinek’s TED speech uses examples like Martin Luther King, Apple and the Wright brothers to explain how the mark of a great leader is his or her ability to inspire action and change.
  11. Composing a Career and Life: Get inspired to take a nonlinear path when obstacles are tossed into your plan.
  12. Derek Sivers: How to start a movement: Don’t settle for selling goods or services. Learn how to start a movement.
  13. The case for collaborative consumption: Rachel Botsman’s lecture focuses on our natural desire to share, and how collaborative consumption is a powerful economic force.
  14. Gerd Leonhard: Find out why ego doesn’t have a place in business anymore, and what that means for your business plan.
  15. Video Player The Power of Competition: How to Focus the World’s Brains on your Innovation Challenges: Conversely, Fiona Murray believes competition is healthy, too, and asks business owners to embrace it in order to add a jolt of energy to the enterprises.
  16. Nurturing a Vibrant Culture to Drive Innovation: Here’s another lecture on inspiring innovation in order to nurture a talented, unique team that drives your business.

Technology

Become a smarter user of technology so that social media and other tools end up working for you.

  1. Technology and the Recession: how new technology is changing the way we do business: Consider technology’s new role in business.
  2. Craig Mod: Publisher and developer Craig Mod discusses the changes coming for the book publishing industry, but as one commenter notes, the questions raised are relevant to all business ventures.
  3. Why social network mess can benefit your business: Euan Semple’s talk should convince you to get involved in social media, even though it’s always changing.

The Economy

Discover how to work with the economy, even in bad times.

  1. Shaped by Booms and Busts: How the Economy Impacts CEO Management Style: On your way to becoming a CEO, find out how to make room for economic changes.
  2. Video Player The Economic Meltdown: What Have We Learned, if Anything?: Paul Krugman delivers this lecture to MIT to help us learn from our mistakes.
  3. Alex Tabarrok on how ideas trump crises: Consider the notion that free trade has opened us to global collaboration and an idea-sharing culture.
  4. Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women: Get statistics on the rise of women in the workforce, and their newly appreciated value in the economy.
  5. The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage: Here you’ll learn why it’s important to organize your company so that it can withstand catastrophe, from an economic downturn to an event like 9/11.
  6. Making Globazliation Work for All: Watch this lecture to learn how to make use of globalization without succumbing to immoral practices, like using sweatshops.
  7. Business, Knowledge and Global Growth: You’ll learn about the true impact that MBAs and business schools have had on the economy.

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What do professors mean when they say to include citations and references?

Students are often required to have both citations and references when creating their college assignments.  There can be confusion as to what the difference is between a citation and a reference.  Cornell explains, “a citation occurs when you use a specific source in your work and then follow up with the proper bibliographic information; plagiarism issues arise when you use a specific source, but fail to indicate what you have borrowed, and/or fail to provide proper bibliographic information a reference is the bibliographic information that guides readers to your source.”

It may seem easier to understand when given examples of each.  Here is an example of a citation:

“Canadians can celebrate that smoking rates have dropped dramatically in Canada in the past three decades” (Reutter, 2001, p. 13). 

You may also paraphrase what others have written.  Here is an example of how to do this correctly:

According to the Canadian Lung Association (2008), most people who quit smoking use a combination of methods. 

These should be included within the body of the document. They should not be confused with references.  References should be included on the separate Reference Page.

An example of how to list references on a Reference Page is listed below.  Keep in mind that formatting will not show up correctly on a blog.  The first line of each reference should be at the left margin and each following line should be indented 1/2 inch.  Here is an example without the indentations showing up:

References

Canadian Lung Association. (2008). How to quit. Retrieved May 26, 2008, from http://www.lung.ca/protect-protegez/tobacco-tabagisme/quitting-cesser/how-comment_e.php

Reutter, L. (2001). Health and wellness. In P. A. Potter, A. G. Perry, J. C. Ross-Kerr, & M. J. Wood (Eds.), Canadian fundamentals of nursing (2nd ed.) (pp. 2-30). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Harcourt Canada.

It is important to note that many students think they should just include references to show the sites they visited or read to complete the assignment.  This is not correct.  References should be listed to explain where the citation information was obtained.  If a citation was not listed within the document, it doesn’t make sense to list a reference.

Employers Embracing Online Education

How do employers view online degrees?

Online degrees are often in the news.  When I first began teaching online, there were far fewer schools offering an online education.  This led to some negative interpretations when employers were considering applicants with an online education.  

Thankfully it is 2011 and people are waking up! In today’s AOLjobs.com article, the author noted, “While online degrees were once largely seen as being second-rate, recent studies have reported that employers are not only more open to, but are even showing a favorable sentiment toward candidates with online degrees these days. Besides the increase in reputation these programs are experiencing, online degrees have also become so popular, that if employers were to disregard candidates with such degrees, they’d also be disqualifying a significant portion of the work force.”

How popular is online learning? According to Campustechhnology.com, “Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.”  

With the growth of the Internet, the ease of accessibility to computers and the flexibility that the online environment affords students, online learning has become more popular than ever. The advantages of not having to buy gas to get to class, not having find a car park or pay for parking, and being able to attend class at any time of the day or night have all contributed to its popularity.

A large percentage of students who are studying online are working on their associates, but there are baccalaureate, master, and doctoral programs available online as well. Much of the growth that has occurred in online learning has happened since 1999. With the recent changes in the economy, online classes have seen a surge in enrollment. “Bad economic times have often been good for education, either because decreased availability of good jobs encourages more people to seek education instead, or because those currently employed seek to improve their chances for advancement by pursuing their education” (Sloan, 2008).

There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.”

If you are thinking about going back to school in 2011, check out some of the following articles for more advice:

Wall Street Journal Partners with Unigo to Create a Site that Offers Potential College Students Some Sound Advice

 

The Wall Street Journal has teamed up with Unigo’s student correspondents from more than 2000 colleges across America to produce a site they call WSJ on Campus.  If you are not familiar with Unigo, you can watch a video that explains what they do by clicking here.  Their system helps student match their interests and values with appropriate universities.  Their offer help to prospective students by providing reviews written by past students regarding the schools they have attended.  This information is used to help prospective students decide which school is best for them.

If you to go to WSJ On Campus, you will find that they offer the following information about getting prepared for college:

  • What matters when choosing a school
  • What it will really be like when you get to college
  • The perfect school for you
  • Are Ivy schools are really worth it
  • How to master the admissions essay
  • How to deal with school’s turning your requests for admission down
  • How to prepare for the SAT
  • What to do if you can’t go to your first choice school

They also offer the following information about what to expect once you get there:

  • How to choose the right classes
  • How to choose the right major
  • Who earns the most money
  • How to handle doing the assignments
  • Understanding academics
  • How to succeed in your Freshman year
  • How to get an A on your papers
  • How to use textbooks on your iPhone

 

I tried searching by online, online colleges, distance learning and other terms but found no information about online education on the site.  I even typed in some of the top online universities to see if they would come up and there was nothing.  It appears this site is very helpful if you are considering going to a traditional college but not so helpful if you want to use it to choose an online university.  Even if you do decide to attend an online college or university, you can learn a lot from their articles about how to be a successful student.

For more information about being a successful online student, click here.

How Online Learning Compares to Traditional . . . Continuing the Debate

The New York Times recently reported, “An analysis of 99 studies by the federal Department of Education concluded last year that online instruction, on average, was more effective than face-to-face learning by a modest amount.”

However, in this same article, they noted that not all results have shown this to be true.  Mark Rush of the University of Florida’s researched students who watched lectures online vs. traditional students who attended regular live in person lectures. Their study showed more online students let the lectures pile up and got behind.  To find out more about this study, check out the New York Times Article.  

While I find this to be an interesting study, almost none of the online classes I teach include recorded lectures.  Therefore I don’t find this data to be representative of the online experience that I have witnessed in my over 5 years of teaching for many different online universities.

Although many people find the lecture experience a big part of education, not everyone finds this to be the most effective way to learn.  When I attended a traditional college, I personally did not enjoy having to sit through long lectures.  Perhaps that is why I was drawn to online learning later. 

I am more inclined to look at the 99 studies from the Federal Department of Education than one study that looks specifically at how well students keep up with watching lectures in determining the effectiveness of online learning. I personally think that people are drawn to the type of education that fits their needs.  For those that enjoy long lectures, traditional universities may be the best optino for them. For those who don’t, online has a lot to offer.

For those considering taking an online education, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Succcessful Online Student.

Recommended Articles:

How Employers View an Online Education

Online Schools using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technology

How are Online Degrees Perceived

The Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes

 

Ask Dr. Diane: What are the most common writing mistakes that your students make?

While it is not unusual to see spelling and grammar issues, I’ll assume that readers realize that they should check for such things and just list the top 10 most common other issues I see here. I hope this posting will give some insight into how to set up your papers so that you can avoid making these common mistakes.

  1. Papers not set up with double-spacing – To set your paper to be double-spaced, be sure you are on the home tab in Word and go to the paragraph section of the tool bar.  There is an up and down arrow icon that you can click on.  When you do this, it will give you choices of how to set up your spacing. Pick 2.0 to set double-spacing. 
  2. Papers should not have an extra space between paragraphs – Remember that papers must be double-spaced throughout in APA.  Word sometimes defaults with an extra space between paragraphs.  To change this, click here.
  3. Papers must have headers/numbers set up correctly through the header/number function in Word – To learn how to do this, click here.
  4. Papers must be set up with an introduction/body/conclusion – Your introduction and conclusion need to be strong summaries of what the paper will or has included.  For more about how to write an essay, click here.
  5. Papers should not be written in first person – Remove the “I” or “Me” from your writing. For an explanation of the meaning of first person, click  here.
  6. Citing and References confusion – Citing is the act of quoting a source.  For example:  “Citing is the act of quoting a source.” (Hamilton, 2010)  This is not to be confused with references.  References are included on a separate page with the title References at the top.  You must include references whenever you cite.  The reference explains who deserves credit for the citation.  Many students list references but no citations.  That is not correct.  You need both. 
  7. Paragraph length confusion – Students often either write in overly short or overly long paragraphs.  A good size paragraph is at least 3-4 sentences but should not be so long that it takes up an entire page or more.
  8. Papers should be left justified and not blocked – Students sometimes write in blocked format.  That is not correct.  Papers need to be left justified.  The setting for this is on the home tab under the paragraph part of the toolbar.
  9. Over citing – I see a lot of students who tend to write entire paragraphs of citing and forget to include their own writing in their work.  Although citing is important, it is also important to have your own points and statements.  Remember to make your point and then follow that up with citations to back up what you have written.  As a professor, I am looking to see that you have learned the subject and are not simply restating what others have said.
  10. Forgetting title page – Students often forget to include a title page.  It is very important that all papers include a title page that is correctly formatted in APA format. For helpful examples of APA formatting, click here.

For more help, see the following articles:

15 Ways to Improve Writing Skills for Students and Everyone Else

Removing Extra Spaces Between Paragraphs

How to Add Headers and Page Numbers in Word

APA Style:  5 Essential Tips for APA Style Headings

Citing Long Quotations in APA 6th Edition

Sample APA Paper – 6th Edition

Adding 2 Spaces After a Period to Meet APA 6th Edition Requirements

What is the Difference Between a Citation and a Reference?

Is Wikipedia Reliable?

PowerPoint – Resources and Examples to Make the Perfect Presentation

The Top 100 Vocabulary Words Adults Should Know

Sample APA 6th edition paper in PDF Form

Explanation of First, Second and Third Person Writing

Anthropomorphisms:  When Not to Use Them

Have Some Fun With Common Grammar Mistakes

TerriblyWrite Blog

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

How to Get a Job Marketing You as the Product

Click on the picture below to watch the video of Dr. Diane Hamilton’s presentation:  “How to Get a Job Marketing You as the Product”:

Dr. Diane Hamilton – Tech Forum 2010

 

For those of you  atttending  University of Advancing Technology Tech Forum –  I will be giving a talk about “How to Obtain Your Dream Job And Make More Money Marketing You”  – See:  University of Advancing Technology – Tech Forum 2010.  The talk will be from 5:30-6:30 on November 4, 2010 at UAT.  For more information about the speakers at this seminar, click here.

College Costs . . . Good News Bad News

[Tuition]

image via online.wsj.com

If you are considering going back to college, you may be interested to know that tuition rates are going up.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that the Pell grants are on the rise.  I give a lot of advice about paying for college in my book, The Online Student User’s Manual.  For more information, you can also check out some of my recent articles by clicking here.   

According to an article in WSJ.com by Stephanie Banchero, “The average price of tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year institutions is $7,605 this school year, a 7.9% increase over last year. At private nonprofit colleges and universities, the average price is $27,293, a 4.5% rise. Two-year state colleges saw a 6% rise to $2,713.”  To read the entire article, click here.

Which Degree Will Make You The Most Money

 

If you are considering going to school or going back to school, check out some of these figures gathered from over 11,000 graduates.

[MAJORPAY]

How Employers View an Online Education

In the book The Online Student’s User Manual, I wrote quite a bit about online universities, their perception by employers and how they compare to traditional universities. Check out the following article from elearners.com that gives some interesting statistics about employer’s perception of online education, also see my previous posting about some of these results by clicking here.

How do employers view online degrees?

How do potential employers view online courses and degrees? How are job candidates viewed based on their academic credentials, online or traditional? Under what circumstances are online degrees viewed as a “non-issue” or an asset for job applicants?

These were some of the questions posed in Hiring Practices and Attitudes: Traditional vs. Online Degree Credentials, research undertaken by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and commissioned by eLearners.com, a web resource of EducationDynamics, which connects prospective students with online degrees. And as with a number of similar studies undertaken over the past ten years, the results reflect an interesting and transitioning set of assumptions among hiring managers about the value of online degrees and degree-holders.

See the key findings as an infographic!

To read the rest of the article click here:  elearners.com

Website Helps Teens Prepare For College

 

Image via eduinreview.com

I am always interested in any technology that helps young adults prepare for college and beyond.  Arizona has a new website that is aimed at helping high school grads pursue a college degree. Check out this article by Eugene Scott at the Arizona Republic:

A new online portal to help high-school students prepare for college is part of a public-private education initiative aimed at boosting the number of Arizonans with a college degree.

The High School Portal, which is found at AZTransfer.com, streamlines information from all public universities and community colleges into a central source.

The portal is touted as a key tool to help students transition into college. It outlines steps that teens must take to attend college, begin earning college credit and figure out what careers may be best suited for them.

To read the full article, click here:  azcentral.com

Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, Stuff You Should Know Guys, Discuss Dr. Diane Hamilton’s Book

I am a huge fan of Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant who do a podcast called Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com.  On a recent podcast, they mentioned my book, The Online Student’s User Manual.  For those of you who have read my book, you may have noticed they wrote a nice review that I included on the back where they stated:

“Here’s something you should know—Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive ‘soup to nuts’ book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.”  Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant  “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

I try to listen to all of their podcasts. They recently did an excellent one about octupuses (and yes, that is one way you can say it according to their report).  I recommend listening to all of their podcasts though.  They are extremely informative as well as fun and creative.  You can hear the mention of my book at the 34:34  mark on one of their recent podcasts by clicking here.

To find out more about why Josh and Chuck’s podcast is so awesome, click here.

Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

In my books, I often write about using social media tools.  I think they can be invaluable in the classroom.  I recently found a great article about media tools for teachers on Mashable.com.   I am a big Mashable fan.  They have wonderful articles about technology and every one of them is more interesting than the next. If you haven’t checked out their site, you really need to do so. 

In Sarah Kessler’s article 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers, she point out some great tools that can be used in the classroom including:

  1. Edu 2.0  – site that allows teachers to share content
  2. SymbalooEDU  – site allows teachers to organize classroom resources,  school logos may be added
  3. Collaborize Classroom  – site allows for online discussions to remove intimidation factor
  4. Edublogs  – site is great for group projects, newsletters and more
  5. Kidblog  – good site for K-8 classroom
  6. Edmondo  – site is similar to Facebook but more controlled environment
  7. TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Youtube – TeacherTube and SchoolTube are alternatives to Youtube for teachers

 

 

To watch videos about each of these tools, click here to read the Mashable article.   

Mashable already had a really interesting article about the need for social media in the classroom.  Click here to read that article.

Can Texting Damage Writing Skills?

 

I often talk to my students about whether they feel texting has caused people to have more difficulties with their writing skills.  I personally see a lot of first-year students who abbreviate quite a bit, lack punctuation skills and don’t write in complete sentences. 

Young and younger children are receiving cell phones. It may make parents feel safer knowing they can reach their children. Tweens are learning to type in text abbreviations which may affect their ability to write well.  WJS.com reported “The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm. Adults are catching up. People from ages 45 to 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the second quarter of 2010, up 75% from a year ago.” 

Eudopia.org recently posted a survey asking the following question to see if text messaging is harming students’ writing skills:  “IYO txtng = NME or NBD?” If you have no idea what that means . . . Translation: “In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?” 

PiercePioneer.com asked, Mike Darcher, English instructor for 20 years if he felt texting was hurting our students’ writing ability.  He said he could not make the connection of bad texting habits being carried over into student’s writing. “In terms of writing skills, there is no way of measuring its impact,” Darcher said.

TimesDaily reported the results of a report of a study from Pew Internet and American Life Project. “The study was prompted in large part because of growing concerns over how text-based electronic communications affect the writing ability of students who are immersed in electronic media. Out of 700 youth aged 12-17 who participated in the phone survey, 60 percent say they don’t consider electronic communications – e-mail, instant messaging, mobile text – to be writing in the formal sense; 63 percent say it has no impact on the writing they do for school and 64 percent report inadvertently using some form of shorthand common to electronic text, including emotions, incorrect grammar or punctuation.”

Some linguists are mixed on the effect of texting on writing skills. There are those who think that this may not last and may just go the way of some slang words that are no longer used.  Some think that learning texting is just like learning another language.  As long as the students can keep them separated, then they see no problem with it. 

Texting may be a passing thing, but it is definitely here for now.  If you are trying to figure out what that text is or that abbreviation that someone sent you, you might want to check out the following list from the Vancouver Sun:

The top 10 commonly used abbreviations in texting — translated to plain English:

– 411 — All the information

– BBIAS — Be back in a second (also BBIF — be back in a few, and BBL — be back later)

– BFN — Bye for now

– ETA — Estimated time of arrival (used for deadlines and when to expect something/someone)

– FYI — For your information

– KK — Okay, okay (I understand what you’re saying)

– LOL — Laugh out loud

– OMG — Oh my God

– TTYL — Talk to you later (also TTYS — talk to you soon)

– UOK — Are you okay?

If you want to know what your kids are saying to each other, here are some common text abbreviations to watch for. Parent alerts include:

– PAW or 9 — Parents are watching

– POV — Parent over shoulder

– CD9 — Code 9, meaning Parents are around

– P911 — Parents coming into room alert

– PIR — Parents in room

– PSOS — Parent standing over shoulder

– KPC — Keeping parents clueless

– NP — Nosy parents (But this is also used as “no problem”)

Want to know your kids’ relationship status? Nothing to be alarmed about if they text:

– LYLAB — Love you like a brother

– LYLAS — Love you like a sister

– LDR — Long distance relationship

But you don’t want to see:

– 420 — Let’s get high/marijuana use

– LGH — Let’s get high

– LH6 — Let’s have sex

– LHOS — Let’s have online sex

– LIK — Liquor

How is their day going? Here are a few common indicators:

– 2MTH — Too much to handle

– ADIH — Another day in hell

– ADIP — Another day in paradise

– LTHTT — Laughing too hard to type

– HHIS — Head hanging in shame

– CWOT — Complete waste of time

– IMSB — I’m so bored

– BOOMS — Bored out of my skull

– 121 — One to one (private chat invitation)

If your son or daughter texts you a status report, you should be familiar with:

– BHL8 — Be home late

– CUL8R — See you later

– G2G — Got to go

– G2R — Got to run

– ILBL8 — I’ll be late

– TTYL — Talk to you later

Get a Job and Get Noticed By Taking Full Advantage of LinkedIn’s Capabilities

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

With the release of my new book, How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love, I have been talking with a lot of people about ways for job seekers to get noticed. If you are currently in the market for a new job, don’t under estimate the importance of utilizing sites like Linkedin.  In a radio interview I did yesterday, talk show host, Anna Banks, and I discussed the value of Linkedin for the job seeker.  To listen to that interview, click here.  If you have not had a chance to take full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, take a moment to check out some of the links provided in this article to help you increase your exposure on their site to get noticed by prospective employers.

LinkedIn image
Website: linkedin.com
Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: May 1, 2003
Funding: $103M

Southcoasttoday.com reported, “LinkedIn has become the new resume, so the importance of it from that regard cannot be understated for job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as their primary research tool. Job seekers should ensure that their LinkedIn site tells their story well, uses key words that are likely to be searched, and includes a downloadable resume using a tool such as Slideshare, which is available on LinkedIn”

I personally also recommend considering importing presentations from Google Docs into your LinkedIn profile to showcase your talents.  To see how to do this click here

How big is LinkedIn?  According to Bakersfield.com “LinkedIn boasts of 80 million members in more than 200 countries. A recent post on Mashable.com notes the growing number of places recruiters are posting jobs, with LinkedIn at the top of the list. ”

If you are interested in reading more about Linkedin and ways to use it to find a job, check out some of these articles:

Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Using Keywords to Optmize Your Linkedin Site

LinkedIn’s New Signal Program

How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

How to Look Amazing on LinkedIn

Asking People to Join You on LinkedIn

The Top 5 Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

I am always on the lookout for articles about careers, social networking and education.   I hit the trifecta when I discovered Linkedin was offering Career Explorer for graduates.  TechCrunch recently a very interesting article they posted about the use of LinkedIn for students needing help with their career path.  The following is an excerpt from that article:

LinkedIn is launching a new data-focused feature, called LinkedIn Career Explorer, that provides college graduates with insights from other LinkedIn members to help them visualize a career path.

Career Explorer leverages data from the professional social network’s 80 million members to help students visualize and map successful career paths in a variety of industries. The product also shows college students job opportunities and salary information, the type of education and experience required, and will indentify people who can help them find these jobs.

So students can specify a type of job that they want to pursue or the company they want to work for and LinkedIn will show professionals who have succeeded in similar endeavors. Students can also access the best contact within their networks for certain fields or companies, and LinkedIn will recommend job openings.

The new feature will lead students to the Company Profiles (LinkedIn now has over 1 million profiles on the network), and encourage users to “follow” those companies to receive updates, including job postings, new hires and more.

Career Explorer is currently being rolled out to students at 60 universities in the U.S. and will eventually expanded to users from other educational institutions. The feature seems fitting for the platform and will no doubt provide a unique way for college students to see the career paths of those who have reached success in particular industries. Also, Career Explorer is a way to attract college students (and perhaps even ambitious high school students) as members of the community and perhaps gain loyalty among this age group.

To read the complete article click here.

Are You Satisfied With Your Career Path?

[SATISFY]

image via online.wsj.com

Many people are in transition between careers due to the economy right now. A lot of them are changing original focus in life and switching industries.  In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I wrote about how people sometimes find that the career or education they received when they were younger, may no longer interest them as they age. 

I found an article in the Wall Street Journal that included the above chart to be interesting because it ties into something I wrote about in my book.  Many of the jobs and opportunities that are now available, were not available when many of us first began our career. 

The above chart shows that the MIS or Management Information Systems major was more satisfied than some of the other popular majors.  When I received my first degree from Arizona State University in the 80s, MIS was not an option as the Internet and PCs were not available to the general public yet.  MIS is about collecting information and providing that information for the organization to run smoothly.  Computers are a big part of the MIS program.  

If you are considering making a career change, this chart may give you an idea of some of the fields that lead to a more satisfying career path.  Note on the chart, it states that the grades were asked if the set of jobs available were deemed satisfying, well-aid and with growth potential.  If those are important goals for you this information may be helpful.  What is important is to decide what your goals are and pick your major or career based upon those goals.

Online Schools Using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technologies

Recently one of the universities where I work sent me an email stating that they require that I have a Skype account.  I was curious to see if other schools were using Skype and did a little research.  I found an article which I found interesting from informationtechnologyschools.com.  In the article, they mention 10 ways to use Skype in the online classroom:

  1. Videoconferencing
  2. Tutoring
  3. Live Lectures
  4. Guest Lectures
  5. Global Projects
  6. Student Presentations
  7. Classroom Discussions
  8. Announcements
  9. Oral Examinations
  10. Virtual Field Trips

For the complete article, click here.

I can see that Skype would be extremely useful in synchronous classrooms.  Click here for another article about online learning using Skype from collegefinder.org.  I like that they are finding new and unusual technology uses for the classroom. Click here for an excellent article on 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom from onlineuniversities.com.

I’ve seen that some schools are using TinychatPBworks.com claims, “Tinychat delivers dead simple video conferences without the extraneous ad-ons and inconvenience, making video conferencing an accessible, uncomplicated experience. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux; with Firefox, IE, Safari, and Chrome; and there is a version available for iPhones. You can have up to twelve people in a room with HQ video, protected by passwords and moderators, share your desktop with them, and your conferences can be recorded and embedded on your website.”  – Check out this tutorial on how to use Tinychat by clicking here.

When it comes to video conferencing, though, one of the advantages I see for online learning is that it can be completed in asynchronous format.  In other words, users can log on at any time of the day and not at a specific time.  As an instructor, I find this to be extremely helpful to me.  I do my best thinking at around 5:00 am and I doubt my students would want to log on for a lecture at that time.

Asynchronous video is still an excellent option for online courses. It may not have the interactive abilities that programs like Skype have, but it may also avoid some of the confusion and problems that come with understanding the technology as well.  There is also the blended learning option that some schools embrace.  Some schools have parts of the classes offered synchronously and parts asynchronously. 

There are tools for both types of learning.  There are advantages and disadvantages with both.  Chronical.com stated the following about synchronous online tools, “If using the “same time, different place” model of communication, some common barriers to implementation of synchronous tools are cost and bandwidth—not only cost and bandwidth on your end, as the individual teacher or the institution, but also to the students. This is especially true with conferencing systems; video/web conferencing requires equipment to deliver but also to receive. Although the benefits of real-time video conferencing are clear—it’s as near to a physical classroom environment as you can get—the software, hardware, and bandwidth necessary on both sides can be more cost-prohibitive than actually physically attending a class.”

That same article addressed asynchronous online tools, giving the following examples of technology that can be used in this asynchronous online setting:

  • Discussion boards: whether integrated into your online learning environment or not (such as Google Groups), well-managed discussion boards can produce incredibly rich conversations about topics at hand.
  • Blogs: my personal favorite, as not only are the students discussing with one another (and the instructor), but they’re learning something about writing for a wider audience whomay or may not be listening in.  The open nature of blogs also allows for communication between students in other classes at other institutions who are studying the same topics.  You might have to make “comments on blogs” count for a grade in order for some students to do it, but such is the nature of  the beast—those students probably wouldn’t talk in class, either.
  • Social Networking Site:  Facebook and Twitter can play important roles in your asynchronous communications strategy.  Facebook pages for a class can be the destination for up-to-date information about the course, without your students having to friend you (or even one another).  Twitter, and Twitter lists, can be useful sites of asynchronous discussion, although not in the threaded format that one is used to seeing in a discussion board setting.
  • E-mail/Listservs:  Some people consider mailing lists to be quaint relics of a previous technological age, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that they still work: an e-mail based discussion list does afford one the ability to carry on threaded discussions in a private environment, yet outside the confines of a managed system (for discussion boards).  In fact Google Groups (referenced above) is a threaded discussion board that can also take place via e-mail, putting a different twist on the typical concept of the listserv.

I personally often use my blog in my online classrooms.  I teach many courses where students are researching specific topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, etc.  By adding links to my blog where I have written about many of these topics, it helps add content to the discussions.  I have not had students create their own blog as the above author mentions, although I like the idea, but I have taught classes using a wiki.

For those of you not familiar with what a wiki is, think of Wikipedia.  That is the ultimate wiki where information can be added to a site by multiple sources.  When classes are taught on a wiki, it is a bit more complicated as students need to write some code-like information.  It worked out well in the school where I taught it, because it was a technology-based school where students had more technology training.  One advantage of a wiki is for group-based projects.  In the course I taught, students were able to work together on one big project where they could all enter information onto the wiki.  The problem with any group project, wiki-based or not, is that you still have those students who do not participate as much as others.   

As with any technology, there will always be some obstacles to overcome.  However, I embrace technology and look forward to the next new product that helps increase student involvement and retention. For more information about online learning, check out my book:  The Online Student User’s Manual.

How Are Online Degrees Perceived?

I often get into Linkedin group discussions about the pros and cons of online learning.  I address it in depth in my book, The Online Student’s User Manual.  I thought eLearners.com had a pretty good article about the acceptance of online degrees.  To read the entire article click here.

 

In that article, hiring managers were asked how they felt about strictly online learning environments.  It was close to 50/50 in terms of whether they felt it was favorable or not.  The acceptance got better with the schools that had both regular classes and online classes offered. 

I have taken both traditional and online courses.  I personally prefer online learning.  I think it will become more and more the norm.  I feel I learned more and had a much better experience in my online business classes because I was not forced to be in as many group-related activities.  In my traditional university experience, I witnessed a lot of business majors getting their bachelor degree based on being in groups where they contributed nothing and got A’s because the rest of the group did the work. 

I think a lot of people are slow to accept technology because it is a big change. However, online learning is here and it is growing.  I work for many online universities where I see very strict guidelines enforced.  I have people monitoring my classes constantly.  I get feedback and direction to be sure I am staying on track and offering only the highest in quality education. 

Perhaps a lot of the perception is due to the profit or non-profit status of schools.  I think a lot is name recognition.  Big-named schools like Harvard now offer online courses.  To find out more about that program, click here. I think as more schools like Harvard add distance education, it will only improve the perception of online education.

E-Textbooks and Ipad

In a previous blog, I wrote about e-books vs. traditional books. I personally have been happy with using an Ipad to view books and texts.  I guess I am not the only one.  Cost is still going to be an issue though for many. Check out the following from an NPR.org article:

For a few years now, people have been expecting electronic textbooks to take off in a big way: They’re cheaper than traditional textbooks, easier to carry around in a backpack, and seem like a natural progression for students who have grown up playing and working with digital devices.

Despite all that, traditional textbooks have prevailed — until now. The game changer, according to Matt MacInnis, may be a little thing called the iPad.

MacInnis is the founder and CEO of Inkling, a company that designs textbook software for the iPad. He says the iPad has allowed for the reinvention of the textbook.

to read the rest of the article click here:  npr.org

Choosing a College Minor or Co-Major: What Degrees Pay the Most and the Least

When I received my BS in Business Management from Arizona State University in the 80s, choosing a minor was a common thing.  I chose Personnel Management at the time, because I was very interested in the human relations side of management.  It seems you don’t hear as much about students picking a minor lately.

Today, the Arizona Republic ran an article about students choosing to have a minor more often when obtaining their degree.  According to the article, “A small but growing number of Arizona college students are graduating with academic minors, hoping that concentrating in another field of study will broaden their knowledge, help them land a job or get into graduate school. This year, 13 percent of undergraduates at Arizona State University earned a minor, up from 10 percent just two years ago. The state’s largest public university is offering 92 minors in a range of different subjects compared with 67 a decade ago.”   

Keep in mind, that although the student obtains the minor, it will not be reflected on their diploma.  It will, however, be notated in their college records.  It’s important to note that not all schools even offer minors.  Yale, is a prime example of a university that does not. On the other hand, some schools actually require a minor.  Northern Arizona University (NAU) is one that has this requirement.

Another trend I’ve seen for a lot of the newer generations to go the co-major route.  ASU has a program where students can have a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies or BIS degree. According to ASU’s site, “The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree program is one of the highest-quality and best-recognized interdisciplinary studies degree programs in the country. It offers students the freedom to select two concentration areas from a rich menu of more than one hundred possibilities, and it enables students to integrate those areas into a degree with interdisciplinary breadth, intellectual cohesion, and practical value. The core curriculum of the BIS program provides students the intellectual tools needed to integrate their concentration areas, engage in interdisciplinary problem solving, and prepare for careers and graduate programs that increasingly cross academic disciplines.”

There are advantages to picking the minor or double-major route:

  1. You gain different perspectives and don’t have such a single focus.
  2. It may be helpful in gaining entrance to graduate school.
  3. Having two areas of specialization can be advantageous for specific jobs.
  4. Some employers think the minor is as important, if not more important than the major.  See this article from fastweb.com.  http://www.fastweb.com/college-search/articles/46-does-your-minor-matter
  5. If you and a competing job applicant have all of the same things going for you but you have the extra minor, that could be enough to push ahead in the race.
  6. Having a minor can send a message that you have a strong interest in a specific area.
  7. Having a double-major can allow you to study more than one field in depth.
  8. Having a double-major may open up more job possibilities for you.
  9. Having a double-major means you may not have taken as many elective courses to obtain your degree, which also shows dedication. 
  10. Having a double-major may be useful in a job that requires a broad range of knowledge.

For more information about advantages and disadvantages of a double-major, click here.

Are you still trying to decide on a major?  If salary is a concern, you might want to consider the following:

Top 10 College Degrees by Starting Salary from Darwinsfinance.com

1.         Petroleum Engineering $86,220

2.         Chemical Engineering $65,142

3.         Mining & Mineral Engineering $64,552

4.         Computer Science $61,205

5.         Computer Engineering $60,879

6.         Electrical/Electronics & Communications Engineering $59,074

7.         Mechanical Engineering $58,392

8.         Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering $57,734

9.         Aerospace/Aeronautical/ Astronautical Engineering $57,231

10.       Information Sciences & Systems $54,038

Bottom 10 College Degrees by Salary Start from Walletpop

1.          Social Work  $33,400

2.          Elementary Education $33,000

3.          Theology $34,800

4.          Music $34,000

5.          Spanish $35,600

6.          Horticulture $37,200

7.          Education $36,200

8.          Hospitality and Tourism $37,000

9.          Fine Arts $35,800

10.        Drama $35,600

E-Books vs. Traditional Books

 

Ask Dr. Diane:  Which do you like better .  .  . e-books or traditional books? 

I am often asked about my preferences for e-books vs. the traditional book for use in the classroom setting.  I teach for many different online universities.  Some of these universities use e-books and others do not.  Initially I was leery about using them because I am a page bender, a highlighter and basic destroyer of books, in order for me to get the most out of them.  Technology has improved though and you can now do more to the e-book to mark things of interest.  Also there is the option of printing out a few pages here and there if you really want a hard copy. 

When I wrote the book The Online Student’s User Manual, I had no intention of offering it as an e-book.  However, within weeks of its publication, one of the universities where I teach asked for it in that format so that they could make it required reading for all new students. Needless to say, I got over my reluctance quickly and made it available.  I also made it available on Kindle: http://amzn.to/aCvMI1

Through time and experience using them, I realized that e-books are a great option for many students.  A typical example is the student who attends a regular university and doesn’t want to lug a ton of books all over campus.  However, my students are online students.  Many may tend to have an ease with technology which is why they chose online learning in the first place.  Some of my older students may have more of an issue with it than the younger ones.  However, the portability and ability to read at work online or print things has made them accept the transition and appreciate it more.

Top 10 Free Online Courses

Teaching Online Courses – Top 10 Free Courses  from GetEducated.com

via Teaching Online Courses – Top 10 Free Courses | GetEducated.com.

Check out this article to find some great resources for online instructors including sites to teach best practices, developing course content, designing classes, tips on distance education, step-by-step training videos, links to sites like MERLOT which has vast resources for online instructors and of course a link to Sloan-C.

Number of College-Educated Workers Increases Nearly Every Year

All of the increase in employment over the past two decades has been among workers who have taken at least some college classes or who have associate or bachelor’s degrees—and mostly among workers with bachelor’s degrees. The number of these college-educated workers has increased almost every year. Over the 1992–2009 period, the number of college-educated workers increased from 27 million to 44 million. In contrast, the number of employed people with only a high school diploma or without a high school diploma has remained steady or decreased.

Student Success Secrets Revealed by Author Whose Book is Required Reading at Arizona University

Dr. Diane Hamilton’s new book, The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student, may be geared toward the online learner, but instructors and online professionals can also learn from her advice. To find out tips and insight regarding how to help online students succeed, Dr. Hamilton will be conducting a webinar for the Sloan Consortium on October 27, 2010. This is an excellent opportunity to find out why online universities have tapped into Dr. Hamilton’s expertise to help their students succeed. Author and professor, Dr. Diane Hamilton’s (http://drdianehamilton.com/), new book will be required reading for all new online students at an Arizona university and is being considered as an addition at several other universities. To find out more about how to help online students excel, educators can access the webinar through Sloan’s website and students can obtain the book in paperback and digital formats through Amazon.

Help for online students and online professors.

Quote start“As a former online learner myself and online professor for more than a decade, I can say this is by far the best book I have read on becoming a successful online learner. I WILL recommend this book to my learners.” Quote endDr. Dani Babb Author and Professor

Tempe, AZ (PRWEB) September 7, 2010

The Online Student’s User Manual had been published less than two weeks by the time a well-respected Arizona technical university sought to include it as required reading for all of their new online learners.

Some of the things the new online student will learn from Dr. Hamilton’s book include:

*computer and software requirements
*how to use the search engines and upload assignments
*how to organize and manage your time
*how to track and schedule your assignments
*how to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students
*how to maximize your grade
*what mistakes to avoid
*how to create measurable goals and stay motivated
*how to prepare for tests…and so much more.

Dr. Hamilton currently works as an online professor for 6 different universities. She has taken her experiences and incorporated them into her book to help online learners succeed. Now she is taking it one step further, as she shares her expertise with other online professionals. Dr. Hamilton will be conducting a Student Success Strategies Webinar for The Sloan-Consortium, Sloan-C, on October 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm EST. Sloan-C is an institutional and professional organization that integrates online education into mainstream education For more information go to SloanConsortium.org or click here.

Online professors who attend this webinar will learn ways to improve their students’ skills in the following areas:

*Navigation
*Terminology
*Academic Honesty
*Goal Setting
*Time Management
*Motivation
*Increasing Retention
*Understanding Learning Preferences
*Writing and Formatting
*Test Preparation Techniques

About the Author

Diane Hamilton currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses. Along with her teaching experience, she has a Doctorate Degree in Business Management and more than twenty-five years of business and management-related experience. To find out more about her writing or to schedule an interview, visit her website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/. Review copies are available.

The Online Student’s User Manual is available in paperback and digital formats–August, 2010 ($14.95/ Amazon). ISBN: 0982742800/9780982742808 Approximately –184 pages

 

Associate Professor Writes Book for Online Students

Story by Trevor GreenUAT.edu

Advances in computer technology have made education available to students far removed from a traditional classroom, with universities of all sizes instructing learners digitally – never physically interacting with their teachers. For many students, the trappings of online classes – writing papers, using course shells, submitting work – is a foreign concept that can impede academic progress.

UAT-Online Associate Professor Dr. Diane Hamilton, a longtime online instructor, recently published the book The Online Student’s User Manual to help them succeed. She was compelled to write the paperback after finding a lack of works covering frequently asked questions of first-time online learners.

“The books out there, they’re good about telling you, ‘online’s good.’ They’re good about telling you, ‘you need accredited,’ or what the other choices are or how to get financing, but they don’t tell you what you’re supposed to do,” she said.

She added: “I kept answering the same questions over and over and over, and I thought, ‘Well, how about writing a book that explains it?'”

(To learn more about Dr. Hamilton and her book, The Online Student’s User Manual, check click here.)

Hamilton develops curriculum and teaches classes like Ethics in Technology and Foresight Development for UAT-Online. Possessing a Ph.D. in business administration and career experience in corporate training, entrepreneurship and realty, she melds her years of business and technology knowledge to computer-savvy students.

With content on everything from rubrics and syllabi to essay formatting, Hamilton sees her work as a good aid for online pupils and instructors of various ages, skill levels, disciplines and educational backgrounds.

“I think the book’s a good resource, not just for new students but for people who have been in it for awhile, or even professors to know how to teach people how to do these things.”

A self-professed techie, Hamilton picked up various facets of Web 2.0 technology – including blogging and Twitter – to market the book, and she offers advice for students on her blog with tutorials using screen-recording software Camtasia and Microsoft PowerPoint. She sees the breadth of electronic tools as essential to embracing distance teaching.

“I like to embrace new technology, and I think students have to realize that [online learning] is the future.”

Colleges to Offer More E-Books

Insidehighered reported today that Daytona State will be using e-books to save their students as much as 80% on supplies required for courses.

Other universities have been going that route for some time now.  The University of Phoenix has had a lot of success with their e-book program.  Insidehighered reported “Phoenix actually mandates that instructors assign digital materials “whenever feasible” — a strategic turn the company started to take back in 2003, but which has come to fruition more recently, with so many more materials now available in digital format. At this point, roughly 90 percent of Phoenix’s course content is delivered via e-books or other electronic means — the only exceptions coming in courses such as art history, where copyright issues surrounding digital renderings of images such as paintings remain a hurdle for e-book publishers, says David Bickford, the vice president of academic affairs at Phoenix.”

I work for several online universities that are utilizing e-books.  In fact, I have made my most recent book, The Online Student’s User Manual, available to a university where it will be delivered in an e-book format.  I have also made it available on Kindle because I believe that many do prefer to have quick access to resources like these rather than have to lug a bunch of books around with them.

Convenience of access is a big plus for e-books.  Cost is also a very important consideration. Toccon.com claims, “The spiraling cost of textbooks is rendering higher education unaffordable to many students, particularly in community colleges, where textbook costs often exceed tuition. While some may think of a digital textbook merely an electronic image of a paper product, others have employed the electronic format in broadening the spectrum of learning. This session examines the emerging future of digital textbooks, including open access; subscriptions; texts bundled with online study resources; innovative texts that include multimedia, simulation models, automated assessments; and business models that will allow publishers to survive and thrive in the future.” 

A recent ezine article gave 7 reasons why students should be offered e-books as a choice.  To read that article, click here.

Think of Technology When Managing Class Assignments | CollegeSurfing Insider

was with a group of college students this week recently who brought their planners with them to schedule events throughout the semester. I was surprised at how most of the dozen students brought paper calendars and planners, instead of plugging the dates into calendars on their phones or computers.

I understand the reluctance to put all assignments in a calendar or file on the computer or to use the calendar and to-do apps on an iPhone or Blackberry. There’s always the concern, especially with students who aren’t that tech-savvy, that something could happen with the phone or computer and all of that crucial information for a college student seeking to ace a class would be lost. Talk about a stressful situation.

Maybe it’s easier to contemplate going virtual with assignments and calendars when you’re taking an online class. All the class information is online, so why shouldn’t your planning and time management for assignments be on the computer, too?

Diane Hamilton, author of “The Online Student’s User Manual,” says she’s a fan of the free iGoogle service because it allows students to keep track of and access their calendars and course information from anywhere. That’s helpful, even in the worst-case scenario.

Hamilton, who teaches for six online universities, says that even if your computer crashes, your schedules and assignments will be accessible through any computer.

Have you tried using iGoogle or other sites to manage your college coursework and other activities, and what have you found are the pros? Or what should students know if they’re trying to use more web tools to manage their assignments?

-Lori Johnston

Taking Your First Online Class? A Professor Shares How to Succeed | My Education Blog

Even if you do much of your work online and socialize online, there may be challenges when it comes to online learning. If it’s your first online class, you’re not only facing a learning curve about the subject matter, but what it takes to do your best in an online classroom.

Dr. Diane Hamilton, author of “The Online Student’s User Manual” who teaches online courses for six universities, shares some of her tips for being a successful online college student.

Q: What technology skills should students gain before starting an online course?

A: They have to know how to upload files and how to understand the classroom and how it’s laid out (online). They’re not just opening the door and walking in. Sometimes there’s four of five different areas where they have to look for information (such as homework assignments).

Q: What can older learners who may not be as tech-savvy do to prepare?

A: I have a lot of sympathy for the older learner. There are a lot of tutorials online that are free. I have links that I always put in my classrooms, such as how to set up papers, how to set up a PowerPoint. They don’t have a good idea of how to set up documents.

Q: What are the biggest mistakes online students should avoid?

A: There’s a lot of buzz terminology that they need to know about so they don’t get into class and become overwhelmed by the terminology (words like “search engine” or “rubric”). Use basic “netiquette,” with the proper way of speaking to one another and being respectful. You can’t type in all caps because that means you’re yelling. Also, texting has been the way people communicate, but this is a formal environment and you need to write in complete sentences. Students are sometimes not using capitalization and they’re doing other things like they’re texting (instead of) being in the formal classroom.

Q: What’s an online tool for communicating with professors and peers that students should use?

A: Some of the schools set up a chat room (for the course), which is a really good thing. I also set up my own if the school doesn’t set up one. It’s like standing in the hallway talking. The bachelor students want to talk in the chat rooms, but tend to be more shy in terms of talking to the professor. I will post kind of funny YouTube things to lighten the mood to get people posting and talking to each other and to make me more approachable and make them realize I’m not a scary person. I have a Facebook page for my online students. I also have a blog. I have Twitter. I tell all my students, this is how you reach me on all those different areas.

Q: How does online learning appeal to different personalities?

A: I think that a lot of introverts really find online learning appealing for the fact that an introvert tends to think internally before speaking. They can take time to process their information and backspace and retype. With an extrovert, it’s appealing in another way. Sometimes they say, “I wish I hadn’t said that.” They have a chance to delete before posting it.

-Lori Johnston

This blog article, was written by Lori Johnston, and can be found by clicking here

Book for Online College Students is Now Available on Kindle

The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student is now available on Kindle.  Click here for more information.

The Online Student User’s Manual will show you —

  • what you need to know about computer and software requirements
  • how to use the search engines and upload assignments
  • how to organize and manage your time
  • how to track and schedule your assignments
  • how to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students
  • how to maximize your grade
  • what mistakes to avoid
  • how to create measurable goals and stay motivated
  • how to prepare for tests…and so much more.

The Online Student User’s Manual is the only “go-to” resource you will need to help you master the world of online education.

To order the traditional paperback version click here.

10 Sites for Free Education – Itunes U Gets 300 Million Downloads

You might have seen today’s mobile computers news article titled: Online education gets serious as iTunes U sees 300 million downloads from Mobile Computing News.  Click here for the article.

In my book: How to Reinvent Your Career, I list Itunes U as one of many great resources for free education.  Many people changing careers are looking for free resources to help improve their skills.  Here are the rest of the 10 free sites I suggest you consider:

  1. iTunes U: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ – iTunes have their university courses as well as regular podcasts available. Be sure to check out all of the free things iTunes has to offer.
  2. ‘Stuff you should know’ podcast: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/stuff-you-should-know-podcast.htm
  3. MIT Open Courseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm
  4. Computer training: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=140
  5. How to use APA for writing papers: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
  6. Source for a lot of educational videos that help you to be on the cutting edge: http://wimp.com/
  7. Grammar guide: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
  8. Online tutorials: http://www.librarysupportstaff.com/ed4you.html
  9. Source for many educational training videos: http://websearch.about.com/od/imagesearch/a/education_video.htm
  10. Career training resource: http://freecareertraining.org/

Books You Love Book Review for: New Book by Dr Hamilton for Online College Students

The Online Student User’s Manual will show you —

  • what you need to know about computer and software requirements 
  • how to use the search engines and upload assignments
  • how to organize and manage your time  
  • how to track and schedule your assignments
  • how to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students
  • how to maximize your grade
  • what mistakes to avoid
  • how to create measurable goals and stay motivated
  • how to prepare for tests…and so much more.
via booksyoulove.co.uk – please click on this link to see complete review.

Success Strategies for Online Students | The Sloan Consortium

Success Strategies for Online Students

Date: 
October 27, 2010 – 2:00pm3:30pm

Important Guidance Tips to Address Student Concerns

Students have a variety of unique issues they face in the online environment. Many are either too intimidated to ask, or are unaware of what to ask instructors about how to be successful. This webinar will address how students and online professors can both benefit from guidance provided in the online classroom.
The following topics will be addressed:
  1. Navigation Issues
  2. Terminology Issues
  3. Academic Honesty
  4. Goal Setting
  5. Time Management
  6. Motivation
  7. Increasing Retention
  8. Learning Preferences
  9. Writing and Formatting Skills
  10. Test Preparation Techniques
Although these are common topics addressed in many online courses, many instructors may be inadvertently omitting some important guidelines necessary for their students’ optimal success. In this webinar, the focus will be on providing satisfactory answers to questions students really have,  alleviating their concerns. The end result of learning these techniques will be more successful online students as well as more effective online professors. 
Price:
Individual Members (Free)
Institutional Members ($25/participant)
Guest and Non Members ($99/participant)

 

Powered by Elluminate

Facilitators: 
Diane Hamilton received her B.S. in Business Management from Arizona State University, her M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and her PhD in Business Management from Northcentral University. She currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. Her books and articles focus on understanding online education, career reinvention and understanding personalities in the workforce. At one of the universities where she teaches, her book The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online College Student, is required reading for first-time online students.

Please click on the above link to find out more about a webinar I will be fascilitating for The Sloan Consortium. “The Sloan Consortium is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of education. Membership in the Sloan Consortium provides knowledge, practice, community, and direction for educators” (Sloanconsortium.org).

For a list of members of this important consortium of institutions and organizations, please go to: http://sloanconsortium.org/members_list

I personally teach for some of these universities that are listed here. It is an honor to be part of such a quality institution that is committed to teaching excellence. I highly recommend checking out this site by clicking here.

Top 50 Online Buzz Words Explained

If you are considering taking an online college course and feel intimated by the terminology, here are 50 of the top buzz words and terminology you will hear in the online environment. If you are wondering what a rubric is . . . you are not alone.  I have alphabetized them to make definitions easier to find.  To find information like this plus a whole lot more, check out The Online Student’s User Manual by clicking here

1.     Accreditation – Quality of the education provided meets the U.S. Dept. of Education standards. There are nationally recognized agencies that the U.S. Dept. of Education recognizes that accredit universities.

2.     ACT – American College Testing Program – test given to high school students to measure education and ability to do well in college.

3.     APA Format – American Psychological Association Format is a guide for formatting students’ papers, including how margins, fonts, citations, etc. should look.

4.     Asynchronous – Not at the same time. In college courses, if a course is asynchronous it means that everybody does not have to participate at the same time.

5.     Attaching Files – When submitting assignments, attaching or uploading is similar to sending an email with an attachment or an uploaded file.

6.     Attendance – Usually a student is considered in attendance on any given day should they post anything to any area of the classroom to show they were there.

7.     Blackboard – Software that many schools use to access the classroom.

8.     Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence – Learners express themselves through movement.

9.    Chat Room – An area in the online classroom where students can talk about things as if they were in a hallway or relaxation area in a regular school. Topics must be clean but do not have to be related to the course.

10.   Critical thinking – According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking (2010), critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

11.   Curriculum – Educational courses offered.

12.   Diploma Mill – A higher-education institution that gives diplomas based on less-than-quality education for a financial return.

13.   Discussion Board – Area in the online classroom where students post responses to questions posted by the professor.

14.   Doc Share – An area within the software program eCollege where students can upload their documents so that others within the course can see and respond to them.

15.   Dropbox – An area within the software program eCollege where students can upload their documents so that only the professor can see them.

16.    eCollege – An online learning software platform used by colleges.

17.    Emoticons – A group of characters used to convey intended tone, e.g. a smiley face.

18.    e-Portfolio – An electronic way to assemble a collection of work you have done, including writings, pictures, blogs, etc.

19.    Extension – In software, the extension is the part of the filename that comes after the period. For example, if a file is named “Sample.doc” then the extension is “.doc”.

20.    Feedback Area – An area in software platforms such as Blackboard where students can see input from the instructor as to how they are doing in the class.

21.    Font – The typeface that is chosen for a document.

22.    Forum – An area within certain software packages such as OLS, which is like a classroom or place that a student will go to find information.

23.    Grade Scale – Explanation for what percentages equivocate to certain grades. For example, 90% may be an A, 80% a B, and so on.

24.    Grant – A way to finance your education, unlike loans in the fact that they do not have to be paid back.

25.    Header – The area at the top of your paper where you might include details such as page numbers or other information about the assignment.

26.    Logical-Mathematical Intelligence – Prefers to think with logic, reasoning and numbers.

27.    MLA – Modern Language Association. A style of writing that schools may use. Most commonly, they use APA.

28.    Musical Intelligence – When music and hearing help with learning, a student is said to have musical intelligence.

29.    Naturalistic Intelligence – When being around outdoors, plants and animals helps with learning, a student is said to have naturalistic intelligence.

30.    Netiquette – Combination of “Internet” and “etiquette”, meaning how to behave properly and not be rude in the online environment.

31.    OLS – Online Learning System software offered by universities to allow students to access their online classes.

32.    Participation – Posting something of substance in a course, usually in response to discussion questions posted by the instructor. Unlike attendance, there must be quality to the posting.

33.    Peer-Reviewed – Peers of the writer of an article have reviewed the document.

34.    Plagiarism – Taking someone else’s work and trying to submit it as your own.

35.    Platform – Software that universities use for online courses to enable students to have access to classes.

36.    Retention – The ability to retain or remember things.

37.    Rubric – Rules for how one will be graded.

38.    SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test given to high school students to assess intelligence and readiness for college.

39.    Search Engine – Software that searches the Internet for specific things. Examples include Google, Yahoo and Bing. Educational examples include ProQuest and EBSCOhost.

40.    SQ3R – Stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. It is a process that students can use to study and have better retention.

41.    Syllabus – A summary of course requirements or expectations.

42.    Synchronous – Attending class at the same time as your fellow students and instructors. 

43.    Thread – A posting in class where students and the professor continue a conversation.

44.    TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language – Test to evaluate English skills.

45.    TurnItIn – A software platform that colleges often use to test students’ papers for plagiarism.

46.    Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence – When spoken or written words help students learn better they are said to have verbal-linguistic intelligence.

47.   Virtual University – An online university.

48.   Visual-Spatial Intelligence – When pictures or visual aids help students learn better they are said to have visual-spatial intelligence.

49.    Wiki – A software platform that allows multiple users to input information.

50.    Wikipedia – An online encyclopedia site where students can go to discover basic information. It is important to note is that this is a good place to start looking for information, but not a good source to use when you start to cite references. Because it is a wiki (see definition for wiki), the information on it can be manipulated by numerous users, and therefore can be unreliable.

Is Your Online or Traditional College Fully Accredited?

Is Your Online or Traditional College Fully Accredited?

by admin on August 20, 2010

Is Your Online or Traditional College Fully Accredited?

Accredited online college grade preparation is flourishing quick with most schools charity online degrees. Many colleges right away suggest online courses as well as methods of investigate which have been simpler as well as some-more beguiling for a tyro nonetheless do a good pursuit during education.

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Accredited college grade online programs have been accessible in most fields as well as can be finished during a preferred gait of a student. Every a single of us who has ever set feet in a propagandize knows which a little things need some-more time to learn, whilst alternative capability sets as well as contribution have been sealed in to mental recall immediately.

Accredited college grade courses suggest higher grade preparation options all accessible over a Internet. Accredited college grade preparation online is customarily offering in dual options. These have been people from a USA as well as others.

The significance of obtaining a college grade is easy to discriminate as a earning opening in in between those with college degrees as well as those though continues to grow. Accredited college grade preparation online offers some-more people worldwide a event to benefit a college preparation from their own homes or businesses.

Students who finish online college grade mandate rise skills to contest for entrance spin jobs in most specialized fields as well as once hired benefit an value in their capability to allege inside of their fields.

It is rarely critical to investigate as well as to acquire your college grade from an accredited establishment no have a difference if we investigate online or upon a college campus. Not usually will your pursuit offers be contingent upon your college being accredited though students who instruct to request for college financing can usually do so if their college is scrupulously accredited by a correct tutorial boards. No banks will give any college tyro loans to students who have been intending to investigate with a college though accreditation.

The tangible costs of your preparation will change formed upon a university your select to attend, credits we have been transferring in, as well as a approach we select to financial your education. You should deliberate with a college which we devise to attend to get a good guess of a price of your college education.

Online schools carrying a most appropriate staff as well as expertise to learn a college degrees do not come cheap. It takes income for a college to sinecure a good training staff which will work during upon condition which we with a information, skills, as well as believe which leads to good outlines as well as keeps your seductiveness spin tall as we finish your college grade requirements. High outlines as well as a execution of your studies in spin gets we which good job.

Online grade programs everywhere worldwide from normal universities as well as colleges to featured item educational centers focusing upon a expect margin we might be meddlesome in. Just have certain which a college or university which we select is entirely accredited as well as has a rarely competent staff prior to signing upon for their courses.

Learn some-more about online college preparation as well as a consequences for a approach we will live as well as work during College Education Online

It is important to understand accreditation when looking for an online university. This article shares some important information. I’d also add the following:

Not only are schools accredited (institutional accreditation), but their individual programs (specialized accreditation) may be as well. There are six regional accrediting organizations that can grant this accreditation in the U.S.:

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools www.msche.org.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges www.ctci.neasc.org.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities www.nwccu.org.
Northcentral Association of Colleges and Schools http://www.ncacasi.org.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools www.sacscoc.org.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges www.accjc.org.

You also want to be sure that after you have spent a lot of time, money and effort getting your degree, employers will recognize that as a quality education. You also want to be careful that you are not getting a degree from what many have referred to as a “diploma mill”.

A diploma mill is a school that is more concerned about simply making money from you, and just giving out diplomas for that money, than the education you receive. “A diploma mill or degree mill will pose as a real university and rewards degrees without any evaluation or very little academic work from its students. They make money by selling printed degrees and providing academic references and falsified transcripts to indi-viduals who purchase degrees from them” (elearners.com, 2010). Technically, you can buy just about anything out there, but what good is a piece of paper that says you have a degree when you didn’t learn anything, or do anything to get it other than pay money? That is why it is very important to check out the school’s accreditation before you pay for anything, to be sure you are getting a quality education that will be well-respected and worthwhile.

Help for Online Students at Changing Hands Bookstore and Amazon

My latest book: The Online Student User Manual is now available at Changing Hands Bookstore

They are located at:

Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85283

The book is also available directly through Amazon by clicking here.

If you are interested in signing up for a free newsletter that contains a lot of tips and helpful advice from the book, please click here.

New Book Explains 10 Things Online Students Need To Know

Are you currently taking an online course or considering taking one? The Online Student’s User Manual provides some answers, other books about online learning have neglected. Even if you feel comfortable writing an essay or uploading documents, there is a lot more that you need to know to be a successful student. In the book, you will learn:

1. What you need to know about computer and software requirements

2. How to use the search engines

3. How to upload assignments

4. How to organize and manage your time

5. How to track and schedule your assignments

6. How to communicate to professors and fellow students

7. How to maximize your grade

8. What mistakes to avoid

9. How to create measurable goals and stay motivated

10. How to prepare for tests . . . and so much more

Online is the future of education. If you or someone you know is considering taking an online course, The Online Student’s User Manual provides the answers needed for success.  If you are interested in receiving a free newsletter with tips and suggestions from the book, click here.

New Book Promises Help For Online Students

For the full press release, click here.  To order the book, click here.

Thinking of Taking Online Classes? What to Know Before You Start

My new book is now available . . . to see full press release, click here.
“Here’s something you should know – Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive “soup to nuts” book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.”     Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant  “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

“Here’s something you should know – Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive “soup to nuts” book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.” Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

Quote start“Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.(Campustechnology.com, 2010)Quote end

Tempe, AZ (PRWEB) August 17, 2010

College and university fall-semester classes will be starting soon. With the popularity of online education, many courses are now being presented in an online format. This has left students looking for answers for how to be successful in the online classroom. Are they getting the help they need? According to Dr. Diane Hamilton, author of The Online Student’s User Manual, many students could use more helpful advice.

There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.” With a predicted 22 million students taking some form of online courses, are students getting the help they need to understand this new form of learning? Apparently they are not, if the dropout rate is any indication. Karen Frankola with BNET (2010) reported, “Chronicle of Higher Education found that institutions are seeing dropout rates that range from 20 to 50 percent for distance learners. And administrators of online courses concur that dropout rates are often 10 to 20 percentage points higher than in their face-to-face counterparts.”

As online learning becomes the future of education, more and more students are finding they have plenty of questions about online learning but many are not receiving the answers. There is no shortage of books that explain the value of an online education. However, the typical book about online learning leaves out helpful advice about how to be a successful online student. This has left learners floundering in their first year of college.

“Other books for the online college student have failed to explain some of the most important skills that the new learner will have to possess once they enter the online classroom” explained Dr. Hamilton, who has also written books about understanding personalities in the workforce and how to reinvent your career. “I have taken my many years of experience teaching first time students and compiled what I’ve learned into The Online Student’s User Manual. This book is designed for those who are looking to understand key terminology and want answers to questions that other books about online learning have neglected to answer. For the first-time online college student, this book contains all they need for optimal success. For the experienced online student and online professor, this book is also an excellent resource, with tips on time management, goal planning, test preparation, writing guidelines, and document preparation techniques.”

There are plenty of books that will help you decide on the right school or find the money you need to finance your higher education. But if you want answers to all your other questions as well, The Online Student User’s Manual takes you where no other manual has gone before—deeply into the online learning experience. Not sure if you have enough computer skills or know how to navigate in cyberspace? Intimidated by all the new terminology? The Online Student User’s Manual will allay your fears and frustrations, as it provides you with information that will make you able to successfully traverse the online halls of learning.

About the Author
Diane Hamilton currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. Along with her teaching experience, she has a Doctorate Degree in Business Management and more than twenty-five years of business and management-related experience. To find out more about her writing or to schedule an interview, visit her website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/. Review copies are available.

The Online Student’s User Manual–August, 2010 ($14.95/Amazon). ISBN: 0982742800/9780982742808 Approximately –184 pages

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Students Using Social Media for School Shopping

Marketing school products has taken a virtual direction with sites like Facebook, My Space, Twitter and others focusing their messages on young shoppers.  Advertising on cell phones and social networking sites is becoming more common.  Students can now see virtual dressing rooms right on their phones.  Apps, or applications, are the big thing now.  With them, companies can set up pages on Facebook and other sites to show off their product line. 

In a recent article in the Arizona Republic, Staples Inc. spokeswoman Karen Pevenstein stated that virtual retailing is big business. “It’s the best way to reach teens.”  This same article cited that “Young shoppers are expected to spend more than $200 billion of their own and parents’ money this year, making them one of the retailers’ most sought-after demographic groups.”

According to ABC News, the latest trend is to post haul videos.  “A new phenomenon called haul videos means they can show off their purchases to the whole world. There are more than 110,000 haul videos currently on YouTube, and some videos are racking up tens of millions of views. Hauls are short product review videos. The “vlogger,” or video blogger, shows off her goods, gushing about everything from lip gloss to flip flops and gives her opinion on the quality of the products. Haul videos are the perfect marriage of two of Generation Y’s favorite things: technology and shopping”

It is not just teens and tweens students that have the retailer’s focus.  This year it is anticipated that $34 billion of the estimated $55 billion in back-to-school spending will collected from college students and their parents.  The Arizona Republic reported, “To reach that market, retailer Target Corp. has added a “college” tab to its Facebook page with coupons, supplies, checklists and sharable cellphone apps to help students determine how to furnish their dorm rooms or apartments and manage shared bills and chores with roommates.

Free Online Education vs. College

Bill Gates says the best college education could soon be available online and for free. At a tech conference, the Microsoft founder said that in five years the best lectures in the world will be available for free on the web. And he thinks that will make the Internet “better than any single university.” Gates also thinks there needs to be a way to get credit for what you learn, no matter where you learn it.

Looking for Free Education . . .Click on the above link to hear Bill Gates’ opinion on what will soon be available. In my book How to Reinvent Your Career, I list a lot of great free resources that are already available. Check out some of my favorite free educational sources:

1. iTunes U: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ – iTunes have their university courses as well as regular podcasts available. Be sure to check out all of the free things iTunes has to offer.
2. ‘Stuff you should know’ podcast: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/stuff-you-should-know-podcast.htm
3. MIT Open Courseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm
4. Computer training: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=140
5. How to use APA for writing papers: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
6. Source for a lot of educational videos that help you to be on the cutting edge: http://wimp.com/
7. Grammar guide: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
8. Online tutorials: http://www.librarysupportstaff.com/ed4you.html#Online Tutorial
9. Source for many educational training videos: http://websearch.about.com/od/imagesearch/a/education_video.htm
10. Career training resource: http://freecareertraining.org/

Why I Recommend Using Google Calendar for My Students

I personally have www.igoogle.com as my homepage.  I love everything Google right now.  I think that www.google.com/calendar is a great place for students to go to set up their calendars, plan their days and become organized for school.

Google gives their 7 reasons to use them in their article you can access by clicking here.  Here are the main reasons why I think it is helpful to college students:

  • You can share your schedule with family or friends or just be able to access your information anywhere. This is nice if you go out of town, aren’t around your computer or if your computer should crash.
  • You can set up reminders so that it notifies you when you have to do something such as study or take a test, etc.
  • You can sync to other applications like Outlook or transfer information to your Iphone or Ipad, plus more.
  • It’s FREE
  • You can import events and contacts into it that you may have had in another program.  

You will first need to create a free account.  You will want to start by reading their getting started guide by clicking here.

I would also suggest you read the article about how to set up notifications so that you will never be late for submitting another assignment by clicking here

If you have any more questions, you can find them in their forum by clicking here.

For more helpful advice for students, click here.

Ask Dr. Diane: Tips for How to Successfully Teach an Online Class

Today’s Question: I know you teach a lot online and finally I will be teaching my first class (utilizing eCollege) soon.  I just wanted to know if you could provide me with some feedback so I might eliminate some typical rookie mistakes.

Answer:  That is a good question.  Each online college has a software they use to deliver the class.  Not all colleges use the same software.  It is interesting to see all of the differences that each of the software platforms provide.  I currently teach for 6 universities and use eCollege, Blackboard, OLS, Angel and sometimes even Outlook Express to access my classes.  I think you will find that eCollege is pretty simple.  Most of the course will be set up for you.  Usually you will have to add your own information such as your bio, updated due dates for assignments, any lectures or guidance, etc. 

As far as mistakes you might want to avoid, here are a few things to think about:

  • If you include lectures/guidance that have links to material on the web, be sure you go to each of them to see that they are still working.  Be sure you have a well-written lecture/guidance page that gives helpful advice about what they will be discussing that week.  I try to include links to areas that will help them write their papers that are required. 
  • Be sure you welcome each student in the introductory area.
  • In eCollege, it will probably default to showing you what has been posted since the last time you entered the class.  If you go into class, get out again, and haven’t accessed those areas to see what was posted, the next time you sign on, it will assume you went there and not show you any new activity.  The activity is still there . . . just not the reminder on the main page.
  • If you are curious to see how much time you or any students are spending in a class, you can go to the gradebook, pick user activity, click on the name and it will show you. 
  • Sometimes I like to post fun things in the chatroom . . . cute links to funny things like this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ  . . . it helps to show that I have a sense of humor.
  • I like to respond to as many of the initial discussion question (DQ) postings as possible.  The best style is to acknowledge what the student said, add a few things about that and then develop the discussion by asking another question. 
  • If students are not meeting the requirements of class, do not post it in the main discussions.  Contact them individually. 
  • I always respond to DQs and grade homework within 24 hours of it being posted.  I know the schools do not have this requirement.  Many schools give you a week or more to grade homework.  It drove me crazy when professors took a long time to grade my work so I don’t do that.  I think students really appreciate getting feedback quickly, especially in short 5 or 6 week courses where the feedback is necessary sooner in order to write the next paper. 

eCollege has some interesting ways of changing information. You must access this through the author tab on the left.  This is where you will go to change your dates, and add information.  If you have any more questions about the specifics of how to do this, you can contact me through my website at www.drdianehamilton.com.  You can also find out more information about my book, The Online Student’s User Manual there or by clicking here.

Ask Dr. Diane: Do You Have A Question?

I have dedicated  a section of my blog to answering questions about the topics I cover in my books.  If you have a question about online learning, personalities in the workforce, how to get a job or reinvent your career, personal finance, social media or any of the other topics I cover here, please  email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com and I’ll be happy to post it here with my response.

Attention And Excellent Reviews Generated By New Book for Online Students

The following are reviews  for The Online Student’s User Manual due to be released in the next month. Click on the highlighted links to see information about the reviewers.

“I wanted to share with you, that the post on your book, generated the most traffic in a single day since I started the site.”  Jon at  Action Book Review

“Here’s something you should know—Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive ‘soup to nuts’ book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.” Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant  “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

“As a former online learner myself and online professor for more than a decade, I can say this is by far the best book I have read on becoming a successful online learner. I WILL recommend this book to my learners.” Dr. Dani Babb  Author, Professor, Consultant

Where Future College Students Are Finding Information

This E-Expectations 2010 report is out and it includes information about college-bound student’s expectations and how they are finding information about learning.   It can be confusing for recent high school graduates to know which college to attend.  In this report Google is the front-runner with 44% of students using this search engine to find college websites.  I found it interesting that 89% of the students learn about schools from traditional mail sources vs. 79% from email and only 65% from online searches.  Not surprisingly, 76% used Facebook as their number one social media resource  compared to only 33% using MySpace.

Inventions: Good Intentions Gone Bad

In my entrepreneurial and foresight classes I teach, we often talk about how some seemingly wonderful or harmless inventions have unintended results.  I often refer my students to a “Stuff You Should Know” podcast about Agent Orange.  If you are  creating a product or idea, have you considered all future consequences.  I highly recommend reading Jacob Silverman’s article at:  http://www.howstuffworks.com/agent-orange.htm.

Ask Dr. Diane: First Time Online Student Questions

Ask Dr. Diane:  This week’s question is actually a compilation of several questions my “new to online learning” students have asked this week.

  1.  How much time does a student have to complete an online quiz?  This varies by school and by quiz.  In most of my courses, there is no time limit on taking the quiz.  However, many of the quizzes are set up so that you can only take them once.  If you get out of it, they often do not let you get back into it.  If you have technical difficulties, you might be able to call technical support and have them reset the quiz for you.
  2. How many discussion questions do I have to answer each week?  This also varies by school.  I have schools where I post one or two discussion questions each week that we get into a lot of depth discussing.  I have others were we have 5 questions.  Most schools require that you not only answer the initial question but that you also respond to some of your fellow classmates’ responses to that question. 
  3. How much time will I need to spend online each week?  This is a complicated question to answer.  Most of the classes I teach are asynchronous which means you can access the class during the hours of the day when it is most convenient for you. If a class is synchronous that would mean you would have to be online at a specific time.  In asynchronous classes, like the ones I teach, the majority of times students will spend will depend upon the course being taught.  It has been my experience that first-time 100 level courses require more reading than they do a lot of writing.  As you progress into master level courses, more research and writing will be required.  If you are reading more than writing, the time you spend online would depend upon whether your books were online books or regular books.  Even if they are online books, you could technically print them out.  I have some students say they spend about an hour a day online while others spend much more time.  A lot depends upon your learning style and that week’s assignments’ requirements.
  4. How are assignments submitted?  Each school uses a software program to have you access their classroom materials.  This software is called a platform.  The schools where I work use: OLS, Angel, eCollege and Blackboard.  The software for each school may differ to some extent, but in general, you will post answers to questions by responding in a way that is similar to responding to an email or a blog posting.  To upload assignments, it is very similar to uploading a file as you would if you were attaching it to an email. 

I answer a lot of these questions and more in my book:  The Online Student User’s Manual.

The Online Student User’s Manual Facebook Page

There is now a Facebook page for The Online Student User’s Manual.  For updated information about being an online student, go to: http://bit.ly/bQrm12

15 Ways to Improve Writing Skills for Students And Everyone Else

In some of the classes I teach, we discuss whether texting has hurt how people communicate.  Many students are so used to abbreviating that they sometimes have difficulty when the time comes for them to actually write in complete sentences.  I get a lot of questions from my students about how to format papers.  I think it is helpful to have a few different sites to go to for examples to help learn how to write and format correctly.  Many colleges and universities require that papers are submitted in APA format.  If you have to write something for a class or just need helpful writing tips in general, please check out the following:
  1. For a sample APA paper in 6th edition style, see:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/20090212013008_560.pdf
  2. For more APA information check out http://apastyle.apa.org/ and http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.
  3. The following is a great site for help with grammar:   http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/.
  4. To see how to remove extra spaces between paragraphs check out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWcouakic5Y .
  5. A good size paragraph is at least 3-4 sentences.  It also should not be so long that it takes up an entire page.  Many students are unaware of how to set up a paragraph correctly.  For help understanding paragraph structure, check out http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/fwalters/para.html. Also check out: How to write an essay – http://lklivingston.tripod.com/essay/.
  6. Always check your spelling! To see commonly misspelled words, check out http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html.
  7. Always submit your documents in the format requested.  I teach for 6 universities and they all require papers in .doc or .docx format.  Do not submit papers in .wps format.  When you save your document, be sure you are picking the save as Word document setting. http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/11/25/how-to-change-default-file-saving-format-from-docx-to-doc-in-word-2007/.
  8. Many people are unaware of the functionality of the home tab in Word.  If you are in a word document and want to set your paper’s default settings, notice the paragraph part of the tool bar.  On that section, there is a small downward diagonal arrow in the bottom right corner.  If you click on that, you can set your default settings for your present document or for all future documents. If you want it set for all future documents, pick the default button at the bottom when you are finished changing your settings. Be sure your spacing is set at zero before and after paragraphs if you are getting extra spaces between paragraphs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWcouakic5Y .
  9. How to write a business plan – http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/writeabusinessplan/SERV_WRRITINGBUSPLAN.html.
  10. How to write a marketing plan – http://www.infotoday.com/mls/jun99/how-to.htm
  11. How to write an abstract – http://www2.winthrop.edu/english/handbook/AbstractTips.pdf.
  12. If you need some editing help, many schools have a writing center where you can submit your paper to give you suggestions as to how to improve your paper.  I have several editors I can recommend if you want to email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com.
  13. If you need statistical help, I also have an excellent statistician I can recommend if you email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com.
  14. Do not cut and paste things into your paper.  If you are going to quote someone, you can do so if you cite correctly.  Many students make the mistake of thinking they can copy and paste entire pages of information right into their papers without citing.  Do not do this as it is considered plagiarism. For help understanding how to avoid plagiarism see http://library.csusm.edu/plagiarism/howtoavoid/how_avoid_internet.htm.
  15. If you are submitting a paper for class, it is best to submit it to their TurnItIn program to check to be sure you are not plagiarizing.  TurnItIn is a program that many schools offer to be sure your work is legitimately your own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnitin.

Related Articles:

How to Paraphrase and Avoid Using Direct Quotes

Ask Dr. Diane: How to Become an Online Professor

Ask Dr. Diane:  How Do I Become an Online Professor?
 
Today’s Question:  One of my goals is to teach for an online university. Is a Masters enough or do I need a PhD? What can I do to enhance my chances? Do I need teaching experience or does work experience with education qualify me?

These are all very good questions.  A lot of these questions are answered in a book by Dr. Danielle Babb called Make Money Teaching Online.   http://www.amazon.com/Make-Money-Teaching-Online-Credibility/dp/0470100877/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1.  Dr. Dani gives some great advice.  She was on my doctoral committee and she really knows her business.  I highly recommend getting a copy of her book. 

There are some schools that allow you to teach with a Masters.  Some schools do prefer a PhD – especially for teaching higher level courses.  I think the best site to find online teaching jobs is www.higheredjobs.com.  Your best bet to enhance your chances of getting accepted is to apply for actual jobs that are listed on sites like Higheredjobs as well as through other sites like www.monster.com.  I have seen the University of Phoenix on Monster but not on Higheredjobs – so it is important to look at several sites to find all of the jobs out there. It is good to have online teaching experience but not all schools require it.  They like to see that you have real world working experience which is helpful when you are participating and sharing in the classroom.    

Ask Dr. Diane – Today’s Question About: Online College Student’s Learning Style

I am happy to answer questions about online learning, understanding personalities, careers and job changing, personal finance, and more . . . To see the list of things I write about, see the categories to the right. 

Today’s question:  In an online-learning system, how do you identify visual and verbal learning styles, and then what is the right method to use. Maybe you can give me the information and recommendations about it. Thanks.

There are several instruments (tests) that can be taken to give you an idea of your preferred style of learning.  You may have heard of VARK, Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (ELT), or The Index of Learning Styles .

 Although it is the most helpful to do so, you don’t necessarily have to take a formalized test to know which of the styles best fits you. A student can try several different methods of learning to see which of them provides the most benefit. 

Some clues that you might be a visual learner would be if you like to:

  • Highlight or underline things to remember them
  • Prefer to re-write notes you have taken to better remember them
  • Find charts or graphs helpful
  • Find flashcards helpful

Some clues that you might be better with verbal learning would be if you like to:

  • Talk about what you have learned
  • Do well with audio books or like to record lectures
  • Read out loud to listen to questions asked and hear your answers given.
  • Like study groups

The following site offers a free learning assessment:  http://www.learning-styles-online.com.  This site could be a good starting place to give you a idea of what your style is and to suggest ideas of things you can do to help you learn based upon your preferred style.  

If you have a question you would like to ask me, please contact me by clicking here.

To receive a copy of my free online student’s newsletter, please click here.

Thanks for the great question!

Lack of Specialized Sales Training in College Business Degrees

  

        Have colleges and universities prepared future sales professionals with enough skills and knowledge to be successful?  Most graduates, who find themselves in sales positions, have had very little sales training.  There are some colleges that do offer sales programs.  However, many students may have received a business degree in marketing or management thinking this would be enough.   Unfortunately often times those majors did little to prepare them for the challenges that a sales job offers. The nature of sales has changed.  There are now more women in it than ever, there are more technological challenges, there are social media options, the competition is more complex due to the international impact of the Internet . . . the list of challenges goes on and on. As more and more companies are requiring that their sales people have a college degree, especially to advance into management, colleges need to reassess what courses they offer in order to better prepare their graduates.  Perhaps courses in database management, cold calling, self-marketing, networking, male/female communications and others could be integrated into the current core curriculum.  There are plenty of colleges and universities that offer marketing degrees that have some sort of emphasis on sales training.  However, the majority of marketing classes do not teach the skills a sales person needs on a day in and day out basis.  In 2009, companies spent over $100 billion on sales and training. Should universities improve their sales programs, companies may find that they eliminate a lot of the training time and expenses they incur in order to get their new hired sales people up to speed.  Sales people also might just find that with specialized training in college, they can be more successful and earn more once they get into the real world of sales.

Sample APA Paper 6th Edition

I often have students ask me for examples of how to write in APA format.  With the recent changes in the 6th edition of APA, it can be even more confusing.  I think the following link has a good example of what an APA paper should look like:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/20090212013008_560.pdf

Self Help: Improving Your Lifetime Potential – Dr. Diane Hamilton

My website www.drdianehamilton.com is dedicated to helping people improve their lifetime potential.  What does that entail?  I am always studying self-help articles to improve “me”.  I find that a lot of others do the same.  I use my website and blog as a way to share those things that I have learned through my research.  It can take a lot of time to find how to do certain things or how to improve your life in certain ways.  I hope that with my research, I make your research a bit easier.

Career

I like to study careers and different jobs that become available due to new technologies and advancements.  My degrees are in Business Management with a strong focus on Human Resources and Personnel Management.   In my book How to Reinvent Your Career I include a lot of information about how to improve yourself in order to get that career that is a good fit for you.  The anticipated publication of this book is early Fall, 2010.

In the meantime, I recommend checking out some of the following sites for more information to help you with your own research:

Personal

There are always personal areas we can develop. I love books like The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.  Tony Robbins also inspires me quite a bit.  It can be easy to get bogged down in negative thinking.  We all have that inner voice that we barely notice in our minds.  I think it is important to pay attention to it, to be sure we are not focusing on negative thoughts. 

I recommend that you check out some of the following sites for more information about self-help topics:

Health

Having worked in the pharmaceutical field for 15 years, I received a lot of health-related training.  I have a CMR certification which was a pretty intense graduate-level program where I learned about medicine, disease management, and how the different systems in the body function.  One thing that I had to learn in my own personal life was the importance of being healthy as compared to just being thin. 

I recommend that you check out some of the following sites for more information about health-related topics:

 Education

I currently teach for 6 online universities and personally have a PhD in Business.  I am a big advocate for a continued life-long education.  I never stop taking courses.  I love to learn new things. The great thing about the Internet is that there is a wealth of information out there that is FREE! 

I recommend that you check out some of the following sites for more information about paying for education:

 I recommend that you check out some of the following sites for more information about free education:

Technology

My latest passion has been to learn more about social networking.  It can be so complicated because there are so many different sites out there.  I do like to use sites like Posterous which allow you to update many different sites easily with just one email.  I am always looking for great suggested sites and things to read.

I recommend that you check out some of the following sites for more information about social networking:

I hope some of my links are helpful to those of you who have similar interests to mine.  I welcome hearing back from those of you who have found sites that you like as well.  I am constantly updating my lists so check back on occasion to see some new site that I think are useful.

What’s New in the Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual?

What’s New in the Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual?

via apastyle.org – Click this link for more on this article.

Many of my students are now required to use the 6th edition of the APA manual. For help on what has been changed in the newest edition, see the above link. I like that they now have 2 spaces after a period . . . I think it looks better.

Do You Need Help Finding a Job or Reinventing Your Career?

In my book How To Reinvent Your Career, I list some great sources for information.  Here are just a few of them:  
Area Where I Need Help Solutions
I need help with computer skills. http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=140
I need help with grammar and spelling. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com
I want to take understand personality assessment that gives a basic idea of personality type. http://www.humanmetrics.com/#Jung, Myers–Briggs(free site, but not as accurate as the actual Myers–Briggs test)Read my daughter’s (Toni Rothpletz) and my book The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personality.

Monster.com and CareerPath.com have a personality quiz

Personal.ansir.com

Careerplanner.com

Livecareer.com

Assessment.usatests.com/

Jobtest/?v

http://jobsearch.about.com/gi/

o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=

jobsearch&cdn=careers&tm=

17&gps=179_834_1003_630&f=

21&su=p284.9.336.ip_p554.13.336.ip_

&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//

tools.monster.com/perfectcareer

http://www.discoveryour

personality.com/Strong.html

I need help getting connected to people to start networking. LinkedIn.comFacebook.comMySpace.comNaymz.com

Ryze.com

Twitter.com

Meetup.com

I need help finding jobs, learning to write résumés, and general career advice. Monster.comCareerbuilder.comjobs.aol.comRead the book What Color is Your Parachute, by Richard Bolles

Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Careerjournal.com

Workforce.com

Talk to your school counselor

Careermaze.com

Mediabistro.com

Higheredjobs.com

I need help paying for education. Staffordloan.comCollegeboard.comFafsa.ed.govTuitionpay.com

Afford.com

Read my book The Online Student’s User Manual, which is also helpful for all online student questions other than financial.

I need help with diet and exercise information. sparkpeople.combodyforlife.comfitday.comdietfacts.com
I need help with optimism and happiness. Read The Art of Happiness,by the Dalai LamaRead The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
I am getting older and need career advice for my age group. aarp.org/money/workCareermaze.comhttp://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/econ/workers_fifty_plus.pdf
I need help to avoid work-at-home scams. Read my articleInvestopedia.com/articles/pf/09/work-at-home-scam.asp?&Viewed=1
I need some other suggested reading to help me reinvent myself. Read Career Renegade, byJonathan FieldsRead Reinventing Yourself, bySteve Chandler
I need help with information about expected salaries. Salary.comIndeed.com salary toolNew York Times Salary ToolsGlassdoor.com

TheRileyGuide.com

I need help keeping track of my job search progress. Myprogress.comWorksolver.comExecrelate.com
I need help researching companies for interviews. Google.comExecrelate.comCareerTV.com
I need help finding out about good places to work. http://www.aarp.org/money/work/best_employers/http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/

bestcompanies/2010/

www.hoovers.com/free

biz.yahoo.com/ic/

ind_index.html

Top Questions New Online Students Ask

I need your help! I am developing some videos for YouTube where I will be answering some of my student’s questions.  I would like to hear from those who have questions that you would like answered about online college courses.  Many of my students have questions about participation, time requirements, how discussion questions work, how to stay on track, how online degrees compare to traditional degrees, etc.  Please email me by clicking here and  I will send you back a response and your questions may show up on YouTube!