Category: Education

Methods of Energizing and Motivating Students

Instructors may not always know with certainty why students are struggling but at the heart of most issues is a willingness to keep trying and work on continued self-development, even when it requires them to acquire new knowledge or skills. What instructors can do is to develop a set of proactive instructional strategies that are encouraging in nature and supportive of students’ attempts and progress.

The following some methods have been implemented in my own teaching practice and what I have helped to coach online faculty with through my work with faculty development.

Build Productive Relationships.

While this should go without saying for any class, whether it is a traditional or online class, relationships with students always matters. It can have a direct impact on their ability to feel comfortable asking for assistance when needed and that can alert the instructor to potential problems. But developing this type of relationship in a virtual environment isn’t easy and a class that lasts only a few weeks can make it even more difficult.

How a relationship begins is with the attitude an instructor holds and it continues with an ongoing intent to be helpful and approachable. Students must know that their instructors care about them.

Carefully Manage Your Communication.

All forms of communication that instructors have with their students matter and must be cultivated with care that the intent of message is clearly made and the tone is not likely to be perceived in a negative manner.

When responding to a student, whether by email or a post in the classroom, it should not be done hastily or when an emotional reaction is felt. The reason why this is so important is that a negative interaction can be de-motivating to a student and a series of these types of interactions can cause a student to disengage from the class.

Be Present, Available, and Accessible. 

If students are to stay engaged in the class and perform to the very best of their abilities they need to know that their instructor is readily available to assist them whenever they need help. This doesn’t mean an instructor has to be on call at all times or answer questions as soon as they are posted; however, there needs to be an established pattern that students can rely upon.

I’ve found it helpful to have multiple methods of contact that includes email, instant messaging, weekly office hours, sharing my phone number for times when students need immediate assistance, and posting a questions thread in the classroom. This allows me to develop connections with students and it can be very motivating for them to know I am accessible.

Help Make Certain that Students are Adequately Prepared.

 I’ve found that academic under-preparedness can be extremely detrimental to the mindset that new students hold as they attempt to navigate the course and the requirements they are expected to complete. Even as established students make progress through their degree program they may still struggle with areas of development that can create a mental barrier and ultimately lead to a sense of defeat if they do not receive assistance.

What I’ve done is to share resources that address students’ specific developmental needs in the feedback provided and if I find sources that may benefit the entire class, I’ll share it in a separate classroom post. I’ve found that the more students feel equipped to complete their tasks, the more confident they will be as they make an attempt to do so.

Develop and Use Proactive Outreach Strategies.

It is imperative that an instructor always be aware of the classroom conditions and more importantly that they are aware of students who are not actively involved and present in class. It may be helpful to establish a mental baseline for expected performance and over time an experienced instructor develops an instinct for student engagement.

A discussion thread is one way to gauge if students are disengaging from the class. When I discover a student who isn’t posting messages or they are continuing to struggle with their written assignments, I’ll make outreach attempts. First I’ll send an email and try to engage them and if that isn’t successful I’ll make a phone call so that the student doesn’t completely disengage from class. I’ve learned that a personalized approach will go a long ways towards helping students sustain their self-motivation.

Benefits of eLearning for Students

Technology and education are a great combination if used together with a right reason and vision.

Online Learning Accommodates Everyone’s Needs

This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Online educational courses can be taken up by office goers and housewives too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings. The online method of learning is best suited for everyone.

Lectures Can Be Taken Many Times

One can access the study program an unlimited number of times, unlike classroom teaching, with online learning. This can be very helpful at the time of revision while preparing for an exam.

Offers Updated Content

One of the prime benefits of online learning is that it assures you that your content are up to date and based on the latest industry trends.

Quick Delivery Of Lessons

eLearning is an approach to provide quick delivery of lessons. In comparison with traditional classroom teaching techniques, this mode has generally snappy conveyance cycles. This shows the time required to learn is decreased to 25%-60% of what is required in conventional learning.

There are some of the reasons why the learning time is reduced by eLearning:

  • Lessons begin rapidly and furthermore wrapped up in a solitary learning session. This empowers preparing projects to effortlessly take off inside half a month, or at some point even days.
  • Learners can characterize their own particular speed of learning as opposed to following the speed of the entire group.
  • Saves time as a student does not need to travel to the training venue. You can learn at the solace of your own place.
  • Students can contemplate particular and significant areas of the learning material without concentrating on every single topic. For instance, they can skirt certain topics they would prefer not to learn.

Scalability

eLearning helps in making and imparting new concepts, ideas, and thoughts. Regardless of whether it is for formal education or entertainment, eLearning is a speedy method for learning!

Consistency

eLearning empowers instructors to get a higher level of scope to impart the message reliably for their intended target group. This guarantees all students get a similar kind of preparing with this learning mode.

Reduced Costs

eLearning is cost effective when compared to traditional types of learning. The purpose behind this cost reduction is on account of learning through this mode happens rapidly and effortlessly. A considerable measure of training time is minimized concerning instructors, travel, course materials, and settlement.

About Distance Education

The most prominent benefit of distance education is the convenience it offers. The busy individual, as well as the one who prefers comfort, is well catered for here. Classes can be attended anywhere and at any time. This aspect effectively eliminates much of the stuff that makes education unsustainably costly.

Closely related to convenience is the flexibility that distance education offers. Conventional education has a specific location and time demands. Distance learning eliminates these requirements and allows a student to set a pace that suits them. Slow learners and the linguistically challenged (for instance ESL speakers) can, therefore, move at their pace and grasp as much as they can.

The cost factor also comes in quite strongly as a benefit of distance education. Many students miss study abroad chances because they cannot afford travel and accommodation costs. In Europe especially Spain has some world’s best universities that offer many scholarships. Like University of Barcelona, Autonomous University of Madrid, Complutense University of Madrid, Pompeu Fabra University, etc. Thanks to distance learning, such costs are no longer an impediment. It also cuts tuition costs by a sizeable margin, making it affordable.

On the cons side, the most prominent factor is the lack of direct contact with instructors and peers. Even with online forums, this problem remains unsolved. The lack of direct contact eliminates question and answer sessions, which are sometimes highly insightful. This aspect makes it suitable only for those who are self-driven.

Another con is that since students conduct their studies wherever they choose, they miss the ambiance provided by the campus atmosphere. Campuses are typically designed to maximize learning and as such, those who study off-campus miss out on this benefit.

On top of these challenges, distance education still suffers stigmatization despite its growing popularity. Employers often question the integrity of distance learning. Consequently, those who go through these programs may find the job market quite hostile towards them.

In conclusion, a close look at both the pros and cons of distance education as discussed shows that they are genuine. As such, to draw the full benefits of this approach to education, adjustments need to be made to address the concerns that surround it.

Strategies to Keep Students Engaged in Class

Defining the Concept of Student Engagement

When educators define the nature of student engagement it is usually done from a tangible (what is seen) perspective and this can be a subjective assessment. For example, if a student is posting participation online messages most every day of the week you might say they are highly engaged. The question is how active does a student have to be to meet these criteria? If they are posting messages on five days is that the same level of engagement as a student who is posting on six days? As a general guideline it can be assessed by how invested students appear to be in their class. This includes their involvement in discussions, asking questions, submitting assignments on time, and how responsive they are to other students and their instructor. If a student is going to be considered highly engaged in class, an instructor needs to observe several visual cues.

Why Does Student Engagement Matter?

Engagement matters because it indicates that students are involved in the class. When students are fully engaged, a distance education class begins to feel like a community. If students are not actively involved in their class, especially an online class, they can easily disengage, lose interest, and eventually withdraw. If the instructor doesn’t intervene, these students may drop the course and a continual pattern like this may also lead to disengagement from their degree program. Visual cues are important then because they are indicators of how involved students are in the process of learning. These cues include qualities such as their level of effort, along with their responsiveness to feedback, communication, and coaching.

Discover How to Measure Student Engagement

When visual cues are interpreted it is often done in a subjective manner, looking at more than a student’s tangible work product or written papers. The purpose of measuring engagement in the class is to raise an educator’s conscious awareness of students and keep track of their involvement. It is easy to become so busy managing class operations and discussions that students who are not present end up being overlooked when they are not actively present. For those instructors who are detail minded they can create a spreadsheet and track the progress of their students. Some learning management systems provide analytics that allow an instructor to check on the progress of students in the course. The purpose of doing this is to pay attention to your students and how they are progressing.

Always Be Engaged in Your Class

For instructors, being highly engaged in an online class requires proactive effort and involvement. It is possible to catch struggling students before they are disengaged; however, it can be challenging because keeping track of students does take time. If you are allocating only enough time to complete the required facilitation tasks, you may find that isn’t adequate for taking time to contact students and conduct outreach.

One of the first steps you can take is to develop a standard of acceptable engagement for an average student. By developing this standard, you can observe patterns and reach out to your students as needed. Overall, it is necessary to establish a plan for conscious awareness of your students if you want to keep them involved. Student engagement in an online class is related to their involvement in the learning process, their retention in a degree program, and it is a contributing factor to their overall success.

As an instructor, you have a direct impact on how your students perform. Take the lead, show them how to be highly engaged, and demonstrate that you care when they are starting to disengage. It may take more of your time, but teaching and nurturing the development of your students will require time and effort on your part. While you may not see the immediate outcome of your efforts, if a student remains engaged in the course, you will have had a direct impact on their lifelong learning experience and this is likely why you became an educator to begin with – to make a positive contribution towards the academic growth and development of your students.

Key Tools to Success in Exams

REVISION AND MORE REVISION – GATEWAY TO SUCCESS IN EXAMS

Almost all schools use test results as one of the main tools for comparing one set of students with the other and this has increased the importance of obtaining good grades in the school tests. One way for the student to achieve this is to have a solid revision plan in place. Revision should not be viewed as merely mugging up whatever has been learnt in class. It is essential for the students to understand the basic concepts of the topics they have learnt and only then can the revision become an interesting exercise. Having knowledge of the marking scheme, type of questions asked in a test or exam and the time to be allotted for each will help the student in writing his exam paper with greater confidence and minimum stress. There can be no compromise on revision if the student wants to fare better at his or her exams.

ONLINE SOURCE FOR DETAILED REVISION

It enables them to understand where the student stands with regard to each topic that he or she has covered. Backed with a degree in Commerce has a vast experience in the field of education having pioneered IB practice test online and IB MYP coaching. As for his degree in Electronics Engineering and Marketing Management makes him the perfect candidate. An entrepreneur par excellence, his business skills besides his experience in the field of computer networking and marketing gives the required administrative and management edge.

HOW DOES IT HELP?

  • The content is segregated topic wise, grade wise and has differing difficulty levels. It can therefore be easily adapzlves the questions online and obtains an answer along with an explanation soon after.
  • Each student obtains a detailed Performance Report per topic and this helps to ascertain the student’s strengths and weaknesses on each.
  • The concerned teachers or the students themselves can decide the areas of concern and overcome them better.

All in all, every school going child has no alternative but to undertake detailed revision and what better way than to enrol.

Robot Framework Training

Robot Framework is independent of the operating system and application. It is an open source software that is released under Apache License 2.0 and the libraries and tools that it uses in the ecosystem also are open source.

This framework was initially developed by Nokia Networks and currently it is sponsored by RF Foundation.

The internet is flooded with several Online Robot Framework Training Tutorials following which one can use this framework as easily as possible.

Some important characteristics regarding RF:

  • It facilitates simple to use tabular syntax to create t-cases in a uniform way.
  • It generates easy to read result reports as well as logs in HTML format.
  • It has the ability to create reusable higher level keywords from existing keywords.
  • It is independent of application and platform.
  • It provides a simple and user friendly library API to create customized test libraries that can be implemented natively with either Java or Python.
  • Its modular architecture supports creation of tests for applications with several diverse interfaces.
  • It offers simple command line interface and XML based output files for integration into the existing build infrastructure.
  • It supports creation of data driven t-cases.
  • The setup it provides is t-case and test-suite level.
  • It provides tagging for categorizing and selecting test cases that are to be executed.
  • It has built in support for variables to enable testing in different environments.
  • It offers support for selenium for web testing, running processes, Java GUI testing, SSH, Telnet, etc.

Keyword driven testing, also called table driven testing are the notions that are widely applied to application independent automation. The tester has to develop the data table using keywords that are independent of the test automation framework or any other tool used to run them for that reason.

Advantages of RF:

  • Supports test editors line Vim, TextMate, Emacs
  • Supports Swing, WebTesting, Windows, SWT, databases, GUIs, Telnet, SSH, etc
  • Detailed logs
  • Separate test data editor
  • Simpler tabular syntax
  • Remote test libraries and other plugins for Jenkins/Hudson, Maven, Ant, etc
  • Generic test libraries
  • Clear reports
  • Data driven test cases

Before Enrolling Yourself Into an Online Class

Majority of students enrolled in an online course is from humble working class background who want to pursue their education in hope of carrier boost. However, looking at the prevailing hectic work routines for most people it can be a challenging task to coup with an online degree. You might be lured into enrolling by a common myth that these online classes are way easier than their traditional counterparts. This is a total myth, because where such online class do offer time flexibility, they are in certain aspects even more demanding than traditional classes. This is because with shorter semester length and lengthy course, you need to put extra efforts to cover those lengthy classes.

So, before enrolling into an online course, ask yourself if you got adequate time to coup with such hectic schedule and demanding course or not. Else, you might end up searching for a professional “we do your online class” help.

This is the most bizarre aspect about online classes. Most people only join these classes to get any required degree without any real motivation. The only motivation they have is to excel in their carrier and this make them chose subjects which they have no background knowledge.

While you may get admitted in any of your desired subject but an overwhelming majority of such students can’t coup up with technicalities of the subject and end up looking for an online class helper. So, you need to ask yourself if you really want this degree or you just need it as a carrier ladder.

You might think you have the time to take an online course and you might also be motivated enough to take-on the subject technicalities, but you also need to ask yourself if you really can manage such a hectic life style. We mean that you got to be considerate about your family and friends as well.

Hectic work routine is already too demanding for most people to spend quality time with family members and friends. Top it with online course and you will dread for solitary quality moments with your family. This will not only affect your family members or friends, but also you won’t be able to concentrate and end up looking for some professional “pay to take online class” service. Therefore, make sure you have the time to manage your life before getting yourself into this.

Benefits Of eLearning Overshadow The Drawbacks

  • Reduced Cost- eLearning reduces the cost of instructor, room rentals, equipment, travel, meals etc. It just needs a device capable of carrying out the training. Companies with more than thousands of employees can reduce the cost per head for trainings.
  • Flexibility- eLearning can be done in slots as and when it is convenient within the busy schedule of learners. It is not necessary to spare an entire day to attend the training.
  • Mobility- eLearning courses can be accessed on laptops, mobiles and tablets so learning can be done even while on move.
  • Global- Organizations can be assured that their employees will get the same content regardless of their location. eLearning solutions can be delivered with reduced cost to the people located globally.
  • Engagement- eLearning increases engagement through social and collaborative tools which pushes learners towards training and also help learners retain what they have learnt.
  • Expert Knowledge- Good eLearning solutions and LMS ensures expert knowledge is communicated to learners.

As it is universal that everything has its pros and cons, let us look at the flip side of eLearning courses and see what are the most common disadvantages it carries along with it.

  • Lack of Control- Though self-paced learning is an advantage but learners with low motivation might lag behind the others if there are no deadlines to complete the eLearning courses. So it totally depends on different people at different stages of learning.
  • Learning Approach– eLearning might not be a good experience for some learners specially activists and pragmatists as they will not enjoy it. Different learners have different preferences like images, words, text, videos etc. So it is difficult to make learning enjoyable for every learner.
  • Technology Issues– eLearning is totally dependable on compatible device like laptop, tablet or desktop. And this brings some sort of risk for both learners and organizations. So, all requirements need to be fulfilled beforehand to support eLearning in order to avoid technical issues.

Some Countries to Study Abroad

  1. Sweden

As per many surveys and results, online Sweden is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad. It is relatively more affordable when it is a matter of higher degrees. If you belong to the European Union, then there is no tuition fee that you will have to pay.

  1. Norway

Norway is one the cheapest countries to study abroad for all the students whether or not they belong to the EU. This completely fits the plan of every student who is on a budget and wants to study abroad. It is very much financially possible manageable to study here.

  1. Germany

If you have longed to explore different countries, then you can certainly consider Germany for studies. There is absolutely no fee on tuitions that is charged at the Ph.D. and undergraduate levels.

  1. South Africa

The country of South Africa is certainly an excellent choice when it comes to studying abroad. When you have limited money and capital, then this is certainly the best place. Both the tuition fee and living costs do not burn a hole in the pocket.

  1. Taiwan

This country is one of the amazing countries for students who have a small budget to study abroad. It offers many courses in English, and the tuition fee is relatively lower. If exploring Asia has long been on your list then you may start with Taiwan.

  1. Russia

According to some researchers and online polls, Russia is the cheapest and easiest countries to live and seek education. It is a beautiful country where expenses on living are not high.

  1. Malaysia

Irrespective of whether you are rich or not, you can indeed study in Malaysia because it is cheap and affordable. You will never have to spend copious amounts of money.

  1. Poland

It is not just the architecture and culture that is exciting but when it comes to pursuing education Poland is fabulous. The costs of living are negligible.

  1. India

There is no better place than India when it comes to living and studying. There is cultural diversity, and with the jaw dropping prices it has to offer India is certainly the most desirable.

  1. Mexico

This country is not only popular among the tourists but is also attractive for aspiring students. This is because it offers the most affordable fee on tuitions and living.

Possibilities galore

There are many opportunities that you can consider from the list of countries mentioned above. It is not only about studying but also experiencing new stuff, food, and culture. All you must do is a thorough and detailed research before zeroing upon a country. There are many online mini-Encyclopaedias that shall be the best help and you can subscribe to their newsletters for detailed information. Go through the compiled list and brace yourself up for an experience of a lifetime.

Online Statistics Tools for Students

SPSS

Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) is a software that has been launched by the IBM. This data is useful for the students as it allows them to do data entry and create various tables along with graphs to analyse the data thoroughly. This software is much applicable to the social sciences and buzz world, where the data to be managed, is move and calculations are lengthy. It can be easily installed on a computer running any version of Windows as well as for desktops having an open source operating system. The data is entered through the worksheet, and the various options are present to work on the data. For example, under the data option, you will have a list that includes multiple formats of searching, sorting and arranging it. Also, there is a choice of graphs that allows the user to plot graphs of different types depending upon the requirement of data. It is a Graphical User Interface (GUI), and no written commands are required. The only selection has to be made.

Stata

Stata is statistical analysis software developed in 1982 by StataCorp LP. Apart from data analysis, the software embeds a broad range of services like data management, plotting graphs, provides exact case-control statistics and various tests along with their predictions. This a list of the main features of Stata. There is much more to the software which in turn allows the quick processing of the data. Just one click and the data entered in the worksheet gets converted into a graph or a chart depending upon the requirement of the calculation. The software is available for almost all versions of various operating systems and thus is considered to be flexible. Varying versions of the software is available for ever-changing needs of the users. For example, some might use Stata/SE for large data sets while some of the users might be interested in using it for multiprocessor computers called Stata/MP. Thus, students can buy the version depending on their needs and data analysis.

MS Excel

Microsoft Excel is a program that contains spreadsheets allowing the users to enter numerical values and formulae for calculations. This software is marked as highly useful for statistical calculations. It includes a list of methods and thus allows the users to just select the row and formula. There might be some methods that are no included in the list, but they can be appended manually by the user. Here is an additional feature which makes it all the more suitable for the users. It contains a list of different graphs that can be included in the calculation process making it easy for the user to display the results. In addition to the basic designs, there are a lot of new types of graphs included in the list. The pages are called spreadsheets and are in a tabular format. The users can work simultaneously on different sheets, and the collection of sheets is known as a work book. The users have to install the entire package of Microsoft Office for Excel to work properly. It is mainly available for Windows users.

Minitab 17

Here is one of the leading statistical software which was established in the year 1972. It is one of the most widely used software because all the great companies and colleges are using it. As per a survey, almost 90% of the total business firms and approximately 4000 colleges and universities are using this software for analysing their statistical data. This software is the highest version of the Minitab launched initially. This software is useful for even those who do not have any experience of the statistics. The software includes two main analyses namely, Design of Experiments and Multiple Regression. Apart from these new features, the users get access to the regular analysis methods like capability analysis hypothesis chart and control charts. Minitab 17 has gained acceptance around the globe, and for the same reason, the company has launched the product in various regional languages like French, English, German, Spanish and Chinese. The prompt customer support system is the backbone of the success story of Minitab 17.

R software

R is a termed as an open source programming language along with being software. It is specially designed for the statistical analysis of data along with providing graphical interpretations that are supported by R foundations only. It was developed with the motive of providing free availability of statistical analysis tool. It is an open source language and software that means it can be used to develop statistical tools along with providing them itself. It is mainly a command based software and less of GUI that makes it a bit tough to use. Thus, it is less popular these days as long codes are required to execute the statistical analysis and consumes time. However, for those who have a passion for programming in statistics, R acts as a blessing in disguise. It is possible for them to play with numbers and figures.