Education for Everyone Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘student life’

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)

How to make commuting valuable

Commuting time final

Horizons University’s students can study online or on-campus. In order to meet the hectic way of life and working of our on-campus students and to make a new type of offer in the very traditional learning market, Horizons University has opted for the intensive seminar approach: 1-2-day seminars ensure that our students can plan in advance, get the required permissions from work and fully focus on the high impact and quality content of their courses.

Given the specific format of our seminars, our students and professors come from all over the country and sometimes even from abroad! They do know what the term “commuting” means, whether they cover the distance by car, public transportation – or by plane; today we are going to encourage you to turn what is often perceived as negative time (or wasted time) into a more enjoyable moment you can actually decide to turn into valuable time. In other words, let us think positively and grow stronger from the experience. In this post we share some practical tips to make the commuting time as pleasurable and enriching as possible.

1 – Keep learning

Depending on what your family or professional life look like, you may find out that commuting time is the best (if not the only) opportunity to focus on some activity requiring quiet and concentration while the miles fly by. What about preparing for your next course then? What about doing some extra research and reading? In all our courses, whether online or on-campus, students are encouraged to add personal reads to the suggested ones available in the syllabi, while some professors upload into the online course shell the course material before the actual seminar, so that students can already tune in, read in advance, do some personal research work and step int the class fully prepared. Should you have managed to gather articles, books, magazines over the previous couple of days, you may want to dig into those resources while the train/bus/tram is bringing you to your final destination. The extra reading will help you cover new areas of your study topic and start class with fresh ideas you can share with your professor and peers.

Suggested readings:

Le Média du Cross Canal ECommerce

Courrier International

Capital

Management

Le Journal de la Logistique

The Economist

Time Magazine

(Note: most of these offer both the paper-based and online option.)

2 – Buffer time

For some of you, commuting time might be the perfect opportunity to take time off, shut down your professional and academic files and get creative in different areas: read your favorite author’s latest book (to avoid extra weight, a reader like a Kindle would be a great option), listen to the latest episode of your podcasts, tune in with the day’s news and your favorite radio station to unwind at the end of the day or to get ready the energy flowing before a new one. You may also combine the two options by listening to audio books. Listening to some great stories is a great way to get our brain down to work, triggering functions that would otherwise remain idle. The bravest can even do some needle work (as seen on my train last week…), sketch or write ideas down in a notebook (grocery list, blissful thoughts for the day…), following the current trend of the notebook comeback!

Suggested audio programs:

The Moment with Brian Koppelman

Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin

TED Radio Hour: the list and topics are endless

The Busy Marketer with BJ Smith

France Inter

France Culture

3 – The Driver’s Options

Should you be used to commuting by car, it might be a good idea to skip the reading and needle work altogether. We would advise you to get the full audio option: audio books, podcasts, music, elearning courses… The options are endless, as long as you keep your eyes on the road!

Suggested audio resources:

iTunesU

Udemy

SkillShare

(Note: even though some of the courses do feature videos, you may simply start by listening – it works out just fine, tried and tested!)

What are your favorite activities during your commute? What solutions have you found to turn this time into a pleasurable and invigorating moment of your day? Let us know which resources and activities we should add to the list – I am sure we would all be happy to tune in!

Credits: DeathToTheStockPhoto

5 tips to a successful student fair visit

Student Fair

Student fairs are a very accessible way to reach out to the schools you are interesting in applying to and also gather precious information and contacts that may turn out to be helpful in more than one way – including your dissertation. Like many things in student and professional life though, visiting a student fair requires a bit of upstream preparation in order to turn it into a successful adventure.

Today we would like to share with you 5 useful tips that will help you make the most out of your student fair:

1 – Location, location

Let’s start with some essential geographical and chronological planning: organize your trip to the fair and schedule ahead to make sure you have a full day to dedicate to your school search. Should the fair be held far away, you may want to contemplate car sharing, booking your train tickets  in advance, etc.

While you are at it, it would be advisable to check the list of participants and try as much as possible to select the schools you would like to approach. This will help you schedule your day efficiently and put your energy to good use.

2 – Team up!

It might be a good idea to team up with a friend sharing your same interests and motivation. You can prepare the fair visit together, share your impressions, exchange questions and answers, and debrief at the end of the fair (and see point #5 below).

3 – Prepare tools of the trade and questions

Let’s get practical here for a minute: bring along a bottle of water, some snacks (this might help you avoid the über long line at the local snack bar or take away), your phone (make sure you have a full battery for the day, or take the juice pack with you too), your agenda, a couple of pens, and a notebook.

Inevitably, some questions will come to you as you exchange with the schools’ representatives and students at the school booth. Still, we would advise you to prepare a list of questions you really would like to see answered:

What is the timeline for the application/enrollment process?

What are the required documents?

Is there a financial plan?

What accreditations does the school have?

These are just a few suggestions to get your ideas flowing…

4 – Write those visit days down in your agenda

Schools usually plan visit days to allow prospective students and families to visit their premises. The rules vary enormously from one country to the other, so make sure you familiarise yourself with the common practice in your country (does the school have a campus, can you visit classes, can you attend classes on the visit day…).

 Make sure you have your agenda (see point #3) or phone calendar, favorite app, etc. at hand and write down the visit days planned at the schools you are interested in seeing. Back home, you will be able to go through them, make your choices, plan head (again) to make sure you get a 360° picture of the school, and the student life it offers.

5 – Cross-investigate

Time to wear your Sherlock Holmes hat and cross-check the information gathered during the fair. To do so: exchange with your partner in crime mentioned in point #2 and spot any inconsistencies or holes in information that call for your attention.

This is also a good time to make all your social media networks do some of the work for you: join groups, follow the schools’ Twitter accounts, subscribe to those RSS feeds, contact alumni associations via LinkedIn, etc. The list is endless, really, in the age of social transparency and open exchange. Take advantage of it!

Have you participated in a school fair recently? Do you have additional tips you would like to share with us?

Credits: here

Think BIG!

We are thinking

Horizons University is thinking BIG!

Horizons University is introducing a new student and faculty resourceBusiness Insights: Global (BIG)The business intelligence service is now part of the resources offered to our enrolled business students and faculty

What is it, exactly, and how does it work?

BIG is a highly performant database designed especially for business oriented researchers. It is now readily available via our online learning portal, Moodle. You simply need to log into your Moodle account using your dedicated Username and Password and click on e-libraries. 

BIG stands out thanks to its user-friendly interface and minimalistic design. It will help you reach the requested contents quickly and navigate just as smoothly, suggesting linked terms and articles, helping you see the big picture, relate, analyze and assess the information. BIG interconnects facts and figures, bringing to you premium and authoritative resources you can use in a memoir or dissertation, or in that new course you are passionately designing!

Whether you are a business student or a faculty member, you have now access to a whole range of documents: news, reports, interactive charts, case studies, statistics and data sets.

We are thinking BIG and hope that you will too thanks to this new resource!

Image

Call for Papers: Extended Deadline!

Call for Papers - HU NEW

First Word: Resolutions

Resolutions

If there is one single word blooming out there at the moment despite the wave of cold sweeping over our countries, it has got to be this one: resolutions.

As we happily step into the new year, this word is inevitable both in real and virtual life. Truth be told, I have never liked it, and possibly this is one of the reasons I will now face it, embrace it and see what possible tips I can share with you to do the same and stick to those resolutions. It cannot hurt, right?

Stop procrastinating. I would start by stopping procrastinating giving resolutions a bit of space in our lives. Maybe we could just rename them to turn them into more friendly beings: objectives, projects, dreams? What do you think? Procrastinating is possibly what’s holding you back. You have always wanted to enroll in the program of your dreams, got this close to doing it by then started fiddling around with your transcripts, forms to fill out etc. Stop. Fill those out and just focus to achieve what you always wanted to achieve. Now!

Drop your fears. Will I be able to teach this class? I have never done this before? How will I make this course engaging? Will the students like and be responsive to the material I have prepared? I guess there is only one way of finding out: drop the fear cloak, show who you really are and what you are made of and go for it! Fearing one’s entourage or environment is a healthy thing; kids go through fears to grow, it is inevitable. It is part of our development pattern. At some point finding the courage and means to overcome them represents the next level. Let the game begin!

Set specific goals. Sometimes it can be difficult to see clearly among the flurry of tasks to accomplish on a daily basis. To get your feet back to the ground and let go of clutter and unnecessary or time-consuming processes, it might help to set yourselves specific goals. You said you were going to finish the Horizons University course within the 15-week study period? Then a zillion things came into the picture and distracted you? Time to refocus. Set two or three goals you can reach simultaneously, reschedule, contemplate priorities and other options to help you get there. I find that when setting goals that visualising them and the process to reach them is extremely helpful: why not start making bullet lists or to-do lists or jotting down a mindmap?

Take the holistic approach. We all live in an intricate environment where the professional and personal lives are intertwined and work (or should work) together hand in hand. To allow yourself to work and study in sound conditions and a sound, supportive environment, take the holistic approach: think about ways to learn better – maybe improving your diet, or exercising more?

Track your progression. The final tip to keep all this together is another organizational suggestion: to actually see how you are doing, whether you are going forward and reaching your goals (finances, food, fitness, projects…), follow your progression by keeping track of it. There are countless apps and tools out there to help you manage your own development, among them, we can suggest Trello (project management), Things (task management), MyFitnessPal and Waterlogged (health) because, remember, drinking is key to your brain, eating well too and being just a workaholic might not help your efficiency.

Tips to manage and hold on tight to those helpful resolutions depend largely on everyone’s experience, so feel free to share your feedback and suggestions so that we can all plan our successful year ahead in the best way possible! If you had to pick one word for the start of the year, which one would it be and why?

Credits: Background freebie via SubtlePatterns.

Our Top 5 Christmas Songs

Merry Christmas

It is this time of the year again, when Christmas carols can be heard all around: homes, shops, offices (did we say “offices”?), train stations, schools… And Christmas lights and garlands are making our environment look brighter! The snow is all that is missing at this stage on our side of the pond, but we know that for some of you the landscape has already turned dreamingly white. We thought it would be fun to do an office roundup of our favorite Christmas songs to give you a taste of the celebrations ahead and of who we are, and what we like around here based on our backgrounds, countries of origin and cherished memories… We deliver you the musical results of our office survey.

Roll the drums and sing along:

White Christmas, Bing Crosby

Holy Night, Kings College, Cambridge

The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole

Tu Scendi dalle Stelle, Luciano Pavarotti

We Have Heard On High, Andrea Bocelli

Since many Christmas carols actually started their life as poems, sometimes as old as 14th century compositions, we would like to end this special Christmassy blog post with a poetic note, wishing you all joy and peaceful anticipation for the festive season ahead!

Ministrels a Christmas Poem by William Wordsworth

The minstrels played their Christmas tune

To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;

While, smitten by a lofty moon,

The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,

Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,

That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze

Had sunk to rest with folded wings:

Keen was the air, but could not freeze,

Nor check, the music of the strings;

So stout and hardy were the band

That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?–till was paid

Respect to every inmate’s claim,

The greeting given, the music played

In honour of each household name,

Duly pronounced with lusty call,

And “Merry Christmas” wished to all.

Credits: Invisible Studio