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Friday, July 29th, 2011

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Many nontraditional students are pursuing online degree courses through a variety of options from either major universities or reputable online educational institutions, but there are some factors that students may be overlooking and, as a result, are avoiding necessary steps that must be taken by men and women who wish to acquire their education from an Internet classroom. Obviously, there are some benefits that these students see when it comes to pursuing an online course or degree program, but there are also problems which may arise when it comes to a student being able to benefit from an online education.

One of the first mistakes that new students typically make when looking at online college degree courses is they want to enter into an online degree course where the cost is quite low. No one will argue that any student, be they an online student or traditional student, would love to see their tuition bill shrink and less overall expenses be paid when it comes to pursuing a specific degree, but in the world of online colleges, opting for the cheapest route is sometimes detrimental to the student and their goals. There are, sadly, some educational institutions that work in the online arena who are simply looking to make a profit and produce graduates at a pace that may not give the students the best education for their money.

Online students do have options for financial assistance, and these opportunities should be explored, yet students also need to understand that when they are researching a degree program that can be accessed through an online university, looking at a college’s accreditation should be also part of their research plan. Finding a reputable institution is one of these necessary steps that must go along with the online student research into not only what colleges will offer the degree they seek but what a particular online degree course will entail.

Reputable and accredited online universities usually have financial aid departments which can be contacted or even offer assistance themselves to students who may qualify for certain forms of aid, particularly if a low income student is unable to meet the costs of studying in a specific online degree program. Obviously, students will want to avoid acquiring a high amount of debt for these online degree courses, and this goes for traditional college classes as well, even though student loans are also an option for online students as well.

It’s no secret that there are some men and women who are attempting to educate themselves and earn a college degree but either their personal life or location will not allow them to attend a major university, so they turn to these online college degree courses to meet their needs, but it also needs to be understood that there are some traditional universities that offer distance education and even online courses as well, so looking at not only reputable online universities but degree programs from these more well-established universities can be beneficial when it comes to getting a quality education.

What nontraditional students need to know is that before settling on a particular online university, financial aid resources must be consulted, applications filled out for scholarships and grants, and students may also want to contact their chosen online universities to inquire whether they can get the assistance they need to meet tuition costs. While it will take some time and effort, students will usually win out in the long run as avoiding universities that may offer a lower price tag could potentially translate to a higher quality educational experience and may even help some enter into the career they had hoped to pursue while earning their degree.

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Saturday, June 4th, 2011

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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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Friday, May 20th, 2011

Core Learning Services (CLS), a consultancy providing e-learning-related products and services, is helping Manchester Metropolitan University Business School provide a unique degree course for students with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) have formed a unique global partnership to give CIMA students the opportunity to gain an honours degree. CIMA, the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants dating from 1919, currently has some 183,000 members and students in 168 countries.

MMU is launching the honours degree – a BA with honours in Sustainable Performance Management – in June 2011. A Masters degree programme ” an MSc in Strategic Business Management – is scheduled to follow in September 2011.

In order to be easily accessible to CIMA’s global network of members and students, both degrees are to be delivered entirely online ” with the help of CLS.

Paul Summers, Senior Lecturer in Accounting Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (MMUBS), estimates that some 300 to 400 students a year will join the BA degree programme.

In August 2010, CIMA approached MMUBS to see if it would provide an undergraduate degree for management accountancy students. Establishing such a degree would mean that, in addition to receiving a qualification from the professional institute, CIMA students could also achieve an academic qualification ” which might well stand them in good stead in terms of employability.

“Our response was to allow CIMA students who’ve completed the managerial aspect of their studies to do an additional two units of learning – covering sustainability and ethics ” which are delivered online,” explained Summers. “Awareness of sustainability and ethical issues are becoming increasingly important for professionals including management accountants.”

CIMA students who have achieved the Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting are eligible to undertake the one year (BA) programme, while the MSc Strategic Business Management is open to CIMA members who have completed the full CIMA professional qualification.

The Sustainable Performance Management degree programme requires eligible CIMA students to study two units: Accounting and Management Control Systems, and Ethics and Sustainability Accounting. The programme has been specifically designed to give students commercial insight and its focus is on equipping students with the knowledge and skills to become successful responsible finance and business professionals.

Each of the e-learning units comprises some 20 sessions ” which equates roughly to 20 weeks per unit. Thus, following the BA degree course is likely to add a year to the student’s study time.

Having agreed with CIMA to offer the degree programme, Summers and his team realised that it is vital to ensure that the resulting e-learning content is professionally ‘polished’ and presented ” given that it is being offered to a worldwide audience of professionals. Moreover, it needs to be professionally administered ” with students allowed access to the e-learning materials, monitored in their usage and so on.

So, Summers contacted CLS’s Paul Higgins. Summers explained: “This was the first global partnership we’d undertaken with CIMA and we wanted to ensure we got it right first time ” and produced something which served the students’ purpose.

“We’ve found everyone at CLS to be extremely able, professional and personable,” he added. “We’ve developed a highly positive relationship with them over the past months.”

Having briefed CLS at the end of November, the e-learning units ” which are accessed online, from the CLS server – were ready for use by the summer of 2011.

Students are assessed on their responses to a case study based report, together with a presentation they make to their tutors.

However, there are formative assessments ” in the form of short, multi-choice and other, more discursive questions ” which are included in the e-learning content. Students are asked to complete these and also take part in the discussion forum which is part of the web portal provided by CLS.

This discussion forum examines ethical issues and seeks to get the students to develop critical questioning techniques in discussion with their peers ” who, of course, are drawn from all over the world.

“This will help to deepen their understanding of these ethical issues and improve their professional reasoning skills,” said Summers.

“The BA (Hons) Sustainable Performance Management and MSc Strategic Business Management allow accounting and business professionals to formally display their expertise academically and professionally – and reinforces MMUBS’s reputation as the choice of world class professionals,” he said.

End

About Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is part of the largest higher education campus in the UK and one of the most extensive education centres in Europe.

MMU was established as a polytechnic in 1970 and became a university in 1992. It developed initially as a centre of technology, art and design from Manchester Mechanics’ Institution (1824) and Manchester School of Design (1838). The painter LS Lowry attended the art school in the years after the First World War. Later, schools of commerce (founded 1889), education (1878) and domestic science (1880) were added, along with colleges at Didsbury, Crewe, Alsager and the former domestic and trades college (1911), latterly Hollings College.

Currently, MMU is the third most popular university in terms of applications in the UK.

About Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (MMUBS) has been supporting industry and commerce in the city since 1889. Today’s Business School offers undergraduate, postgraduate and higher research degrees in all major sub-disciplines of business and management. Notable growth areas include entrepreneurship and innovation, human resource management, marketing and public relations, as well as accounting and finance. With some 4,000 undergraduate and 1,000 postgraduate students (including 60 research students and 420 professional accounting students), MMUBS is one of the largest business schools in the UK.

About Core Learning Services
Core Learning Services (CLS) provides consultancy services, working with partners to deliver customised learning management systems reflecting clients’ needs, pre-populated with market leading on-demand e-learning content libraries and CLS’s unit stock model. This is complemented by CLS’s in-house course design services based in the UK.

CLS’s successful partnerships include Sector Skills Councils – National Skills Academies, leading Government training organisations, UK publishers, to partnerships in the Education sector including Manchester Metropolitan University and many more…

Further information:

Paul Higgins, Core Learning Services, + 44 (0)7533 732784; phiggins@corelearningservices.net

Bob Little, Bob Little Press PR, +44 (0)1727 860405, bob.little@boblittlepr.com

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Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

No need to speak Pashto

The process of the lessons is pretty straightforward, Pamela tells us. “First, we — I can’t tell you my student’s name because it would place her in danger — sign into Skype and then wait for our slot to become available; each lesson lasts 50 minutes. The first thing I did was assess her reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Her English level is quite high. She’s taught herself over the last few years through classes at the Afghan-Canadian Community Centre [ACCC], and she’s had previous speaking practice through Skype lessons. I email her homework and other documents.”

As you would imagine, there are some challenges involved in teaching this way. The most obvious would probably be how to communicate with someone if you don’t speak their language — Afghanistan’s two official languages are Dari Persian and Pashto — and, as there’s no video connection, you can’t use body language or acting to get your message across. “Well, as many of the students speak Pashto, all the volunteer teachers are sent a link to an online dictionary just in case we have problems communicating,” Pamela highlights. “This hasn’t been an issue with my student yet, though.”

“Cultural considerations, however, have been a learning curve. When I was accepted into the program I was sent a Teachers’ Handbook, which includes an explanation of issues that might arise. The first thing for me was my Skype ID photo: I was using ‘Beach Skype,’ which was a bikini bottom on the Skype logo, so I changed that as it would be immodest for their culture. Lesson planning also requires more thought as I have to be careful about both the topics I choose and the images on the worksheets we use. Teachers in the program have access to materials from ESL websites that the AIWR has subscribed to, but the handouts we use in the West also include cultural references or subjects that students in Afghanistan may not be familiar with. I’ve had to modify my expectations of which topics we can chat about: Talking about chocolate — a universal favorite — went well, but subjects we take for granted in the West, such as favorite TV personalities, didn’t work at all. A lot of the lesson material we use in the West may include pictures of men and women together, alcohol or exposed skin, which is either prohibited or immodest for Afghanistan’s culture.”

Given the unstable situation in Afghanistan, how regular have the classes been so far? “Even though the Internet connection is via satellite and the computers are, for the most part, reliant on generators because of the erratic electricity supply in Kandahar, we’ve had minimal problems with the actual Skype connection,” Pamela explains. “We often use the chat/text box if the connection becomes muddled. Our initial classes were delayed because of Nevruz. Then we had scheduling issues with the time change in Turkey: There’s a one-and-a-half-hour time difference between the two countries, and this year Turkey delayed its time change by a day, whereas Afghanistan doesn’t change. At the ACCC there are 60 students who each have a 50-minute slot on one of the 20 computers there, from Saturday to Thursday, so that entails complex coordinating of teachers worldwide. However, since we started lessons in March, we’ve only missed two classes: one because of the violent demonstrations in Kandahar protesting the Koran burning in the US, and most recently we missed another because of heightened security in the city after members of the Taliban and other prisoners escaped from jail.”

Afghanistan is a real place

We are all familiar — perhaps too familiar — with seeing Afghanistan on the news but as a result of the AIWR’s English program, Pamela is now emotionally invested in both the country and its people. “When we’ve missed lessons due to unrest in Kandahar, I’ve been worried about my student,” she points out. “However, when I next speak to her and ask how things are there, she simply replies, ‘Fine, things are back to normal.’ Her idea of what is ‘normal’ and mine are very, very different.”

So has Pamela learned anything about what life is like in Kandahar for her student? “A little, but if I ask direct questions I get blanket statements about life being difficult because of the insecurity in the country, or she tells me about more specific problems, such as coping with a sporadic electricity supply on a daily basis. Through our lessons I am gradually getting a very general idea of what life is like there.”

One major thing Pamela has realized is just how restricted her student’s movements are, as she explains: “As girls aren’t allowed in Internet cafes and computers are prohibitively expensive in Afghanistan, the only time the ACCC students have Internet access is when they are at the center. I also once tried to talk about going shopping — something we take for granted in the West — but it turned out that she only went shopping once last month because she can’t go alone.”

Every teacher’s dream: motivated students

The girls and women in AIWR’s program and the others at the ACCC have a lot of catching up to do and, despite all the odds stacked against them, are highly motivated, as Pamela explains: “School buildings were destroyed and education was disrupted during the war with the ex-USSR, many teachers had to leave the country and the Taliban then prohibited education for girls and women. Even though since 2001 girls and women have the right to an education, there’s a shortage of female teachers in Afghanistan, and female students at the ACCC and their families also face the ever-present, very real threat of reprisals from the Taliban; some have received death threats nailed to their doors at night.”

Pamela’s student is no different: In addition to her English classes, she’s also got a scholarship, like many others enrolled at the center, for an online degree course with an international university. Other women there are also benefiting from the AIWR’s mentoring program for professionals.

What Pamela and the other volunteer teachers are doing is greatly appreciated, as feedback from the Afghan women and girls shows: “It is very helpful for the Afghan students — especially in the current situation it is very necessary, and we are in great need of the classes. Kindly please continue and never stop these classes.”

“My teacher brings me into another life; she brings hope to my life and changes my life completely.”

“It is the first organization in Kandahar province in which we can study abroad from our own city — and we can learn about different cultures as well as improve our English skills.”

“Learning English is like water, food and breath — vital for me.”

“I will always be thankful to all of you for helping in such a proper way and I don’t know how to thank you for all you have done for all Afghan girls.”

“My classes give me confidence and courage…”

“The classes give me courage to speak English … and to seek out information about everything. It is a wonderful opportunity to attend such great classes with such nice people.”

Volunteering from home

Even though like many Pamela would like to volunteer for and contribute to a number of causes, time and commitments make it impractical. So why did Pamela volunteer for the AIWR’s English program? “First it’s about women’s rights and, after reading their mission statements, I realized that they are a professional organization with a noble cause,” she underlines.

“Being able to speak English is a hurdle for professional women in underdeveloped countries, and I have the skills and experience to help them achieve that. It’s a minimum three-month commitment, which is doable, and, above all, I can help make a difference from home. It’s also a chance for both my student and me to broaden our horizons. On a personal level, the feel good factor is high, and it’s a good introduction to online teaching. I would definitely recommend this to other teachers.”

So can anyone apply? Firstly, due to safety and cultural considerations for the Afghan women and girls in the program, they can only work with female volunteers. Volunteers must have a near-native fluency in English with TESOL certification or teaching experience. They also need to have a reliable computer with high-speed Internet, Skype (which you can download free) and a headset and be able to commit to two lessons a week for a minimum of three months.

You can find out more about the AIWR and the ACCC, by visiting www.aiwr.org and www.theafghanschool.org.

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Friday, April 29th, 2011

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Monday, April 18th, 2011

All those who are interested in sports activities can strive to make a unique career out of it by deciding to become a sports management professional. Such career choices may not require many academic qualifications, but having minimal educational degree can help you to have an edge over others. To start with, you have to procure a sports management degree certificate from any reputed U.S university that provides the same.
A sports management professional is also known as a sports manager, who manages the administration duties and other activities related with sports. According to experts, the sporting industry is prosperous and thriving. Those aiming to get into U.S sporting business may find numerous opportunities coming their way.
You can also apply for an international sports management online degree course through reputed universities in United States. The main advantage, doing such online courses being the flexible nature and the valuable time and money saved in traveling. Most people applying for such sporting certificates are professional sportsmen or are related to sports in some way or other. And they may not have the time to attend land based college campus, but needing a sports qualification for career boost. Online education proves ideal in such situations, for individuals who want them desperately.
And rest assured, online students get the same footage and study course curriculums like the campus going students. Actually, all top class universities in America are providing quality online education for students all over the globe. In fact, you can decide study timings according to your own convenience and even continue with any vocational job offers, while continuing your online degree course.
Sports management professionals are people who are qualified to conduct or supervise the financial aspects, marketing gimmicks of sportsmen, game clubs and various sports agencies. These managers usually work out sports issues- between two teams or individuals. Sports managers are also sought out by sports personalities for their sporting requirements.
Those scouring online web sites for information about employment opportunities and monetary benefits can find numerous web portals and online directories dedicated to sports related careers.

All those who are interested in sports activities can strive to make a unique career out of it by deciding to become a sports management professional. Such career choices may not require many academic qualifications, but having minimal educational degree can help you to have an edge over others. To start with, you have to procure a sports management degree certificate from any reputed U.S university that provides the same.
A sports management professional is also known as a sports manager, who manages the administration duties and other activities related with sports. According to experts, the sporting industry is prosperous and thriving. Those aiming to get into U.S sporting business may find numerous opportunities coming their way.
You can also apply for an international sports management online degree course through reputed universities in United States. The main advantage, doing such online courses being the flexible nature and the valuable time and money saved in traveling. Most people applying for such sporting certificates are professional sportsmen or are related to sports in some way or other. And they may not have the time to attend land based college campus, but needing a sports qualification for career boost. Online education proves ideal in such situations, for individuals who want them desperately.
And rest assured, online students get the same footage and study course curriculums like the campus going students. Actually, all top class universities in America are providing quality online education for students all over the globe. In fact, you can decide study timings according to your own convenience and even continue with any vocational job offers, while continuing your online degree course.
Sports management professionals are people who are qualified to conduct or supervise the financial aspects, marketing gimmicks of sportsmen, game clubs and various sports agencies. These managers usually work out sports issues- between two teams or individuals. Sports managers are also sought out by sports personalities for their sporting requirements.
Those scouring online web sites for information about employment opportunities and monetary benefits can find numerous web portals and online directories dedicated to sports related careers.

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