Education for Everyone Everywhere

Archive for the ‘Online’ Category

Quieting the Mind

“Education for Everyone Everywhere”

The slogan sits beneath the Horizons University banner on our official website, proclaiming the idea that education should be available for everyone, anywhere in the world. While of course Horizons University offers on-campus learning, we’re able to bring the classroom anywhere and everywhere through our online programs. The classroom is wherever the student wants it to be. Whether it’s the living room sofa, the corner table in the local coffee shop, the public library, or the aisle seat on a flight to Boston, online education releases the student from a regimented schedule and allows them to study at their own pace, in their environment of choice.

But, as much as we don’t want to admit it, this freedom comes with the burden of responsibility and self discipline.

Centering the mind and quieting the mind to focus in a non-traditional work environment takes time and practice. Working from home or completing a degree online has wonderful perks, but it’s important to stay organized and to stay aware of our time and space in order to stay creative and productive.

Here are some helpful tips to quiet our minds and decrease distraction when working:

  1. Meditate: Daily meditation may seem like it belongs in yoga class instead of the office, but meditation can be done by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Take a break during the day to recollect. It could be in the morning while your coffee is brewing, at lunch in the break room, at your desk or cubicle, or when you get home in the evening. Simply close your eyes and breathe. Meditation isn’t about trying to block your thoughts. The human brain will continue to think and process and worry no matter how hard you try to silence it. The point of meditation is to acknowledge these thoughts and gently move back to a central, calm, focal point. Meditating for 10 minutes before sitting down to write a paper or doing a project will allow your mind to focus more clearly on the task at hand.
  2. Clear Your Schedule: Clearing your schedule doesn’t necessarily mean canceling plans with friends or missing your favorite TV show because you’re stuck in the library studying. It’s important to balance studying or working with personal time for yourself, however when it is time to buckle down and write, make sure there is nothing hanging over your head. For example, before sitting down to write or begin your work for the day, make sure the bills are paid, the cat is fed, and the laundry is done. It’s incredibly difficult to focus wholly on a project when you are distracted by chores or other tasks you need to accomplish. If possible, set a time during the day that is devoted entirely to your online work or study, then, try to get as many chores accomplished beforehand so distractions are minimized. Hide your phone in the pantry, plug in your headphones, keep a snack next to your computer, and get to work.
  3. Find Your Ideal Environment: Some people can design, read, write, create, blog, edit, etc. while seated at a tiny table in a loud, bustling cafe. In fact, this may be the only environment they are able to work effectively in, or at least the environment in which they’re the most creative and focused. Others couldn’t read and comprehend a sentence amongst the music and clanking of coffee cups. While most of us think we know our ideal study environment, it’s important to think critically about how productive we’re being in the different places we choose to work. Ask yourself, “Do I get more work done at my kitchen table? Or at the library?” “Does the bookstore or cafe bring me much needed inspiration for my writing? Or is it ultimately a distraction?” Take time to find your space.

Comment below to share your personal study habits. What works well for you? How do you quiet your mind and focus?

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Why Time Is Of Essence

Time managment TIPS

One of the most recurring terms in our communication and conversations is “Time”. As we research for the next issue of our newsletter, HorizoNews, Chronos is depicted as an essential asset to have on your side, whether you are a faculty member, a student, a member of staff… In the latest newsletter issue, we underline the importance of planning as a way for online students to prepare for an efficient year of successful studies.We have also mentioned before in this blog, how crucial it is to take breaks, breathe, look around and come back recharged. So, how can we learn how to manage our time better, to preserve a “white space”, and what does free time mean (does it still mean something to you)? Time, over and over again, calls for our attention.

One way to go about time is to manage it through the very popular time-management set of skills. What may come naturally to some of us, may be slightly more problematic for others. If we look closer at the intervention of time in online courses, we can also rely on ECTS per course. According to the Bologna process, each ECTS stands for about 25 hours of work. Given the total number of ECTS for a given course, students will then be able to understand at a glance how many hours each course involves. These are then split between Engagement, Preparation and Independent study hours depending on the tasks and type of involvement they require. When courses are developed, it is essential that theres parameters are taken into consideration to offer quality and consistent content in compliance with the Bologna standards and learning outcomes.

Time management applied to online studies guarantees rhythm, helps define time blocks that allow for deep learning/deep work and infuse a sense of scope while also making sure that a course can be completed. We assist our online students in time-management by providing them with a Study Plan: this document helps them acknowledge their tasks and evaluate how much time they will need to perform them and reach their goals.

As with many other aspects of our lives, time control and management cannot go without winding down, and I would even say that one cannot grow stronger, be beneficial without the other. To better manage our time, we also need to take breaks: after a pause, our brain and body are fully recharged and ready to re-engage. Carving out a white space means accepting a shift in our routine which may feel unsettling for some of us prone to coordinate and manage every aspect of an overly busy life or of what feels like it for an entire addicted generation. The panic one may feel raising as the days grow slower and time opens up for ourselves and our thoughts is only normal. And, guess what? It requires time to adapt! But the process is a healthy one that helps fight stress and a very effective way to clear a creative and brainstorming block. You cannot find the right sentence for your conclusion? Your ideas are stuck? Try going for a walk, listening to some music, meeting with friends… According to marketing strategy consultant Dorie Clark, “We need to carve out blank space. (…) You don’t need time to have a great idea, what you need is space.” The goal is to find the right balance so that you can learn, teach, discover with pleasure and renewed motivation and strength.

What is your solution when it comes to letting go and learning to re-engage? Do you actually have to learn how to do this or does it come naturally to you? What are your favorite time-management tools or go-to activities when you need to step down a notch and “fill your mind and your soul with inspiration“? What are your favorite time-management tools? Let’s share our experiences here!

P.S. If you like this post, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up field to enjoy the FREE Horizons University newsletter, HorizoNews. Each month, receive 2 issues straight to your inbox!

Credits: DeathToTheStockPhoto (Edited by Horizons University)

Useful Tips for Online Learners

USEFUL TIPS

That’s it, you are enrolled and ready to embark on a new learning journey! This one will be slightly different from your previous experiences: you are now an online learner, with a mouse at your fingertips and a course on a remonte server at your virtual door. What we encourage you to do today is to embrace your online enrollment as a brand new opportunity to grow your skills and personality.

To help you on your way, we have a few tips to share based on our experience and our students’ valuable feedback over the years:

Tip #1: Cover the tech basics

First things first: to ensure that you can study whenever you want and access your courses smoothly, you have to be able to rely on your hardware and internet connection. Sure enough, there will be times when the provider will be down, times for LMS upgrades etc. But aside from the occasional glitch, upgrades and maintenance periods are announced in advance in order to  help you work around them. Do invest in an external hard drive if you can and – in any case – regularly back up your work in order to prevent dramatic computer crashes and data loss. You may also want to set up a GoogleDrive or Dropbox account: they are free (check out Dropbox plans for added storage capacity) and easy to set up in just a few steps.

Tip #2: Define your study space (and let others know)

At a time when multitasking is all the rage – not to mention the “I-am-busy” syndrome – it is capital that when you sit down to study, you fully ease yourself into the task. One way to achieve this is related to setting up your study area in a way that allows you to sit down and work whenever needed and with no outer/inner distractions. The size of the area is not important in this case: quality is what matters since it should be a quiet space, dedicated to your activity only and accessible to you only during your study time. Defining your study space also means ensuring that your entourage understands your academic project and respects it. As a former freelancer, I have mixed feelings and memories about having to remind family and friends that you are actually working, even if you are around and seem to be available for any type of questions!

Tip #3: Plan your studies

In a way planning your studies time wise is part of defining your study space too and is every bit as crucial as your study corner. Aside from the multiple calendars you can set up on any type of device, including your computer, Horizons University provides you with a Study Plan. You are invited to fill your Study Plan upstream under the guidance of your facilitator and Student Premier to make sure you set achievable and actionable goals. To reach those goals is the key to your structured progression and I suggest you read our goal-oriented post (and cheat sheet!) to find out how to set that up.

Tip #4: Get familiar with the rules

Studying online requires structure and motivation as well as the skills to learn the policies and rules that will make it easier for you to access your LMS, understand how it works and establish efficient communication channels with our staff and your student community. When starting your program with Horizons University you will first go through the introduction courses: these self-paced online courses are meant to help you get familiar with our LMS but also our policies, such as plagiarism and academic honesty. In the end, you start the program fully aware of your environment, both technical and intellectual, which we believe is a significant asset!

Tip #5: Engage!

The term “motivation” appears higher up in this post – and is a key term when you are studying online. Feeling isolated in the midst of tons of conversations and social media exchanges – as paradoxical as it may sound – is common nowadays. We do encourage you to join us throughout social media channels, but also and above all to turn to your Student Premier whenever you have questions about your learning experience; or to your facilitator for curriculum content related queries; or to the Administrative Officer for administrative questions. Horizons University students are part of a community of professionals. There is the social community out there, but it is also backed up by experts who know your profile, academic history prior to Horizons University and at our institution. They are here to listen to you and provide customized assistance wherever and whenever needed.

What other tips would you like to share with your fellow students or our prospects? What makes online studies easy or difficult for you? What could we implement to make your online learning process smoother?

Credits: DeathToTheStockPhoto (edited by Horizons University)

Horizons University on Youtube

YouTube channel

Videos are the go-to solution for an ever increasing amount of brands, businesses and schools. They are a great tool to foster engagement and show what happens behind-the-scenes in a lively way. In 2014 alone, Facebook averaged over a billion video views per day, not to mention that “in just one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US.”

Videos have become a creative way to reach out to audiences around the world. Horizons University has followed the trend with great enthusiasm in order to keep in touch and reach out to its students from all over the world. When you think about it, how could it be otherwise when we offer an MFA in Filmmaking?!

Our dedicated video channel features a series of presentations ranging from the uniqueness of studies at Horizons University and our accreditations to testimonials from our online and on-campus students, giving you an overview of the institution, its stakeholders and their experience with us.

Come and find out about Horizons University in action thanks to our YouTube channel and do not hesitate to let us know should you wish us to focus our video on a given topic!

Credits: Horizons University

5 raisons de vous inscrire aux cours en ligne

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L’éducation en ligne a beaucoup évolué ces dernières années, ce qui montre que le défi a été relevé avec succès. Etudiants du monde entier, pourquoi vous inscrire aux cours en ligne ? Vous trouverez les 5 meilleures raisons ci-dessous, définies à partir des témoignages de nos étudiants et des échanges informels  avec eux :

1 – Flexibilité

Les plate-formes d’apprentissage en ligne facilitent l’apprentissage : grâce à un simple clic, les étudiants ont accès à leur page étudiante et aux cours auxquels ils sont inscrits, et ce à tout moment et en tous lieux. Cela signifie qu’ils peuvent profiter d’une grande flexibilité en dehors des heures de service habituelles, des heures de présence et des emplois du temps fixes. Ils peuvent préparer leur propre plan d’étude au rythme qu’ils souhaitent et le partager avec leur professeur, et ainsi l’adapter à leur train de vie. Chez Horizons University, nous acceptons les candidatures en ligne tout au long de l’année et les étudiants peuvent commencer les cours n’importe quel jour de l’année et progresser à leur propre cadence !

2 – A la portée de tous

Nous sommes à une époque où les frais de scolarité montent en flèche, et cela semble être une des meilleures raisons pour les étudiants de chercher de nouvelles options d’études, plus abordables. Les frais des cours en ligne de Horizons University sont clairement indiqués sur le site Internet officiel de l’institution. Les étudiants qui assistent à ces cours réduisent leur consommation en transport, babysitting, essence. De plus, la plupart de nos cours en ligne ne requièrent pas de manuels scolaires : les e-ressources sont facilement disponibles et peuvent être trouvées dans chaque cours ou via nos partenariats avec les e-librairies et autres éditeurs numériques.

3 – Enseignement individuel

Les étudiants n’apprécient guère d’être considérés comme un simple matricule, baladés d’un bureau ou standard à un autre… Ils préfèrent recevoir toute l’attention qu’ils méritent durant leurs études et tâches administratives. Chez Horizons University, les étudiants se voient attribuer un membre du corps enseignant pour chaque cours, leur guide attitré qui les aide à progresser et garantit un enseignement personnalisé et adapté. Nos membres du corps enseignant viennent du monde entier, apportant ainsi une véritable expérience internationale !

De plus, une fois inscrits, un Conseiller Pédagogique les accompagne, les soutient et reste à leur disposition tout au long de leurs études pour répondre à toutes leurs questions concernant leur orientation, la structure des cours, l’emploi du temps…

 4 – Utilisation facile

De quoi les étudiants ont-ils besoin pour étudier en ligne ? Un ordinateur et une connexion internet. Il est possible de se connecter n’importe où, n’importe quand, 24h sur 24, 7 jours sur 7. Nos cours d’introduction sont là pour guider les étudiants pas à pas tout au long des procédures applicables à notre plate-forme et web-mail : fastoche !

5 – Enseignement de qualité

Pour assurer la reconnaissance des diplômes de Horizons University à travers le monde, nous sommes constamment en recherche d’habilitations et de ré-habilitations.  Pour le moment, nous sommes les heureux détenteurs de l’habilitation de ASIC, de l’ECBE et de l’ACBSP, et ce n’est que le début !

Pour nous, la qualité de l’éducation ne devrait pas être un privilège mais un droit. Nous avons conçu nos diplômes de façon ascendante donc nous pouvons les offrir aux étudiants à des prix abordables.

Et vous, pourquoi avez-vous choisi les cours en ligne ? Partagez votre expérience avec nous, ainsi nous pourrons les ajouter à la liste et envisager l’avenir ensemble !

TOP News: Martial Arts Festival in Paris

On March 7, 2015, Paris welcomed the Martial Arts Festival (Festival des Arts Martiaux). The event celebrated the variety and richness of martial arts in the French capital, in the prestigious Palais des Congrès venue. Every year since 1985 now, the festival has gathered over 15,000 spectators, from professionals to amateurs, who gather to share their passion and knowledge, and are ready to dive into the unique, magic and energy-filled atmosphere of the event.

The festival was the perfect opportunity for Horizons University to present its Martial Arts programs (MBA and Master’s) and to introduce the audience to the groundbreaking international honorary society TauOmegaPi (TOP), the only one fully dedicated to martial arts in the world.

Booth

The three letters are “Tau” for Talent, “Omega” for Encouragement and “Pi” for Passion. Founded in 2012 by Horizons University, TOP Honor Society is a global network of the top and brightest individuals studying and practicing a wide array of Martial Arts disciplines.

During the festival held in Paris, Horizons University had the great opportunity to meet martial artists and aficionados from all over the world, talented and motivated sports advocates who are ready to promote the martial arts values around the world.

Should you wish to join this community and learn more about Horizons University Martial Arts Management MBA and Martial Arts Master’s degrees, do contact our Admissions office; in order to request an application form to join the TOP Honor Society Chapter, please contact the TOP Applications office.

The Paris Martial Arts Festival hits the headlines on the current issue of our newsletter HorizoNews! Subscribe now by filling out the Newsletter Sign Up field with your email address – as simple as that.

Credits:

#1 Festival des Arts Martiaux
#2 Horizons University

How to Write a Paper: A step by step guide to getting started

coffee

Sitting down to write a paper, thesis, or dissertation can be a really intimidating experience. First you have to choose a topic, a thesis, gather information, cite your information and then write the entire thing. It’s not the easiest task, but it doesn’t have to crush your soul either. In fact, there are simple steps you can take to make your writing experience precise, productive, and dare I say, entertaining. At Horizons University, we also have a commitment to producing written works in accordance with the APA style formatting for papers. Here are some tips to get you started with your professional writing endeavors!

For example purposes we’re going to write a paper about coffee.

Step One: Shake It Off, Line It Up

Before getting started jump around, shake your body, do some jumping jacks. Have you done them? Good. Now, sit down. We’re going to talk about how to outline your paper before beginning. A typical paper has an introduction (depending on the length of the paper it can be anywhere from a paragraph to a page or two). The introduction serves to introduce the topic to the reader. What are the main points you want to touch on and what is some background you can provide someone who isn’t well versed on your topic? Always write as if the reader is someone who knows nothing about your subject. Then organize the main points or chapters you’ll have in your paper to line up in a fluid order. Each sub-topic/chapter of your paper so have its own list of bullet points. Finishing with a conclusion (serving as a summary of what you’ve discussed as well as ). Having an outline will help you with structure, as well as where to insert your citations throughout the paper (make your reference/works cited document as you go! It’s a pain to go back and try to make sure you’ve included everyone when the paper is written!!!). Don’t forget to mark where you’ll be adding tables and charts!

Example/ Intro: Coffee

  • Coffee is a drink coming from many parts of the world
  • popular social culture
  • has physical effects on the body
  • Thesis: It can be proven that coffee is the greatest drink in the world, with amazing business potential.

History of Coffee:

  • origin of coffee
  • first ever coffee shops
  • starbucks
  • coffee in everyday life

Dive deeper into physical effects

  • chemical makeup of coffee
  • how it works
  • caffeine intake/effects
  • Addictive tendencies

Ways to make coffee

  • grinding the beans
  • french press
  • filtered coffee
  • spanish coffee maker

Top Grossing Coffee Companies* (according to: http://www.therichest.com/business/companies-business/the-five-largest-coffee-shop-chains-on-earth/)

  • McCafé (insert table)
  • Costa Coffee
  • Tim Hortons
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Starbucks (chart of success rate and production, as well as how often chains open)

Conclusion

  • Lot of competition in the coffee industry
  • reiterate why people like it so much (the benefits)
  • While it should be consumed in moderation, it’s still the greatest in the world.

Step Two: Research
It’s important that throughout the writing process you are constantly researching. While researching, it is important that you consistently record where you read information. Whether it be an article online, or from a book it is imperative that with every citation, quote, table, or fact you want to use in your paper that you know exactly where the information came from and “when” for validity purposes of the data. My suggestion is to be keeping a dedicated recording space for all citations (there are plenty of sources online including Zotero, and Noodlebib among others). This will make the final editing easier so you don’t have to go back once you’ve quoted something and try to rediscover where you read it the first time (a good way to do this is by tagging your files, keeping a general document of sources, and the date you accessed them-if they are online.)
Step Three: Just write

There is no such thing as a perfect first draft. In fact, more often than not there are ONLY pretty awful first drafts. But that isn’t a reason to be discouraged! By getting all of your ideas flowing and onto the page you rid yourself of the pressure to be perfect the first time. Anything worth reading has been editted and altered many times. So, follow that timeline and get all of your thoughts out of your head and onto your computer screen! See our previous newsletter on “Writer’s Block” if you’re having trouble getting your creative juices flowing! Here’s a link so you can subscribe at the bottom of the page, if you haven’t done so already!
http://www.horizonsuniversity.org/

Step Four: Proofread

Proofread section by section. That will make the overall task of revising your paper less daunting. Be sure look out for any grammar mistakes. Including the use of commas, colons, semi-colons, quotes and parentheses. This is also an excellent opportunity to check to see if your citations are accurate. Do you reference where you’re supposed to? Do your paragraphs flow together with easy-to-follow transitions?

Step Five: APA Format!

  • To get you started on the right foot here are a few simple formatting tips
  • Font: Times New Roman 12 pt. font (exception made for tables and figures 8pt.-14 pt.)
  • Double Space. Not extra space after headings.
  • A margin of 1inch (2.54cm)
  • ½ inch (5 spaces) indentation at the beginning of paragraphs
  • SPACE TWICE AFTER PUNCTUATION MARKS AT THE END OF A SENTENCE!*** Make sure you are doing this as you go along!
  • Include Headings for each section/chapter, as well as a running heading that goes across the top of each page. It is a short header, an abbreviated version of the title of your paper.

Hopefully this gets you started with writing your papers! Remember any questions can be referred to me, Danielle, as the Chief Editor of the writing center. I’d be happy to send you any further documents to help you get started!

-Danielle Carney
Chief Editor of the Writing Center
danielle.carney@huparis.eu