Learn@NUS

The NUS Education and Learning Blog

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 3)

Leveraging online learning to get ahead in life

Microlearning-resized.jpg

Online courses have become viable alternatives for people unable to pay the prohibitive costs of higher education degrees or those needing to upgrade their job skill sets. The digital revolution has given us new ways of learning, imbibing and retaining knowledge.

A quick internet search will throw up many options from online academies such as edX, Coursera, Udemy and Khan Academy offering customized open-ended courses allowing flexibility and with prices ranging from zero to a few dollars. In 2017, the online learning market was worth $255-billion, a growth of nearly 200 percent from 2015, when it was worth $107 billion.

Innovations in the way education and technology adapt to each other are inevitable, but what should be kept in mind is the way this collaboration is utilized to impart knowledge. There is a glut of information out in the ether– an information overload. There are myriad “How to” listicles, YouTube videos, blogs, vlogs and articles on any subject under the sun.

But online learning comes with its own set of challenges. It is difficult to replicate the classroom teaching and learning experience in an online environment. The course curriculum needs to be informative and knowledge enhancing to keep the learners engaged and connected.

Online learning still has to overcome certain biases and skepticism despite the plethora of classes offered in LMS and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A recent study estimates the average completion for MOOCs to be as low as 15 percent. The reason is that despite evolved edu-tech, the pedagogies are antiquated and limited to button mashing and easy hint-driven tests.

This is not to suggest that there are no takers for the online courses. The industry is still growing but what analysts suggest is that the way the information is disseminated should be changed. They believe that instead of offering information the courses should offer transformation, i.e. the courses should be tailored to offer results, the change that the learners are seeking.

A study by the Mayo Clinic found that millennials responded better to an education environment made up of collaboration, feedback, technology and mentorship.

This can be achieved by value addition, quality, gamification and engagement, and a focus on achievement.

Nicholas Kusmich, the world’s leading Facebook Advertising strategist, elaborates on the information glut that he suffered from. “For so long I was like an information-holic, and I have what I now call infobesity”, Kusmich explained. “I was literally going from event to event, conference to conference, podcast to podcast, book to book, and I was reading one or two books a week, thinking and tapping myself on the back, like look at all this progress you made when in reality I wasn’t making any progress. I was just filling my head with knowledge that I wasn’t even using.” Kusmich then decided to go on an information fast for a full year. Instead, he decided to apply what he had learned into his business and achieved tremendous results.

Online courses need to emphasise on application and gainful execution of knowledge imparted to succeed.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

5 things you need to know about the CPA Exam

SATs1-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqZgEkZX3M936N5BQK4Va8Re0Jyi0jPPD6Zx1hiwTPhlc

So you’ve decided to become a certified public accountant – that’s great! You’ve worked hard, took all the undergraduate and graduate-level courses for accounting and business law that you’re required to take and you’ve even managed to get some work experience in the field. With all this behind you, you feel that you’re now ready to take the CPA examination. Though it sounds like a simple exam, there’s a lot in it that is riding on you becoming a certified public accountant. So, let’s take a deep look into what you need to know about the CPA exam.

  1. It’s a heavy exam

Just because you completed all your courses, don’t think that the exam is going to be easy. In fact, it’s quite a bulky exam. The CPA exam has 324 multiple-choice questions, 20 task-based simulation questions and three writing portions. These are all divided into four main sections which are Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG) and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC).

  1. Candidates have a choice

Now, after reading the sections you may be panicking – don’t worry. Each part of the exam is taken individually and candidates have the choice to select the order of the sections they’re going to write. You’re not going to be able to do all four sections in one examination block, but instead, space them out over a series of months. Once you complete one section, you have 18 months to complete and pass the remaining three.

  1. What score do you need to pass?

Good question. First of all, it’s important to know how the examination is graded. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) grade exams on a scale from zero to 99. In order for you to pass the examination, you must receive 75 on each section. The Multiple-choice questions cunt for 70% of the exam, simulations count for 20% and written questions count for 10%. Though, the written questions are weighted differently than the multiple-choice, so, just because you scored 100% on the multiple-choice section doesn’t mean you’re going to pass the exam.

  1. You’re not alone

You may be sweating in your chair right now after reading this, but don’t. You have multiple avenues of support to help you study and pass the CPA exam. There are online forums, study groups and CPA review courses which all help you during the preparation period prior to the exam. For example, CPA review courses provide you with lectures, memorization tactics, practice multiple-choice questions, and some even offer a personalized learning system specifically for you to target your weak areas.

  1. Take your time

With each exam, you’re given 14 hours to complete it. This is an ample amount of time. What you need to do is relax and focus yourself, making sure that you allow yourself an appropriate amount of time per question. Through your practice exams, you’ll be able to see your weak areas, so give yourself more time during the exam for those questions.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Career-Related Services at University Most Students Are Not Taking Advantage Of

There is no doubt that the job market is becoming more complicated than before. Factors like technological advancements and the relatively unpredictable nature of global economy have brought in a shift in how companies operate and look for prospective employees.

For fresh graduates, the situation is even worse. Reports have shown that the number of graduates from major universities in Singapore who managed to secure full-time permanent work was significantly low in the recent years.

Quite often, the issue boils down to the age-old conundrum, employers look for candidates with work experience but you cannot gain such experience without a job! On the other hand, as expert opinion from financial website points out how, early in your career, you should be willing to take bold decisions.

What students can do, in this context, is make use of the resources that their universities provide to help in the process of finding a job. Here is a brief look at some of them.

Services at the Career Centre

Most major educational institutions these days have a dedicated career centre to help their students prepare for the job market. These centres will be able to provide students advice on finding their strengths and weaknesses and connect them with potential employers.

Some of these centres might even offer certain modules as part of the university curriculum. The career centre at the National University of Singapore (NUS), for instance, recently began a 11-week career support programme named Career Catalyst aimed at helping students forge their own career paths based on their interests and aptitude.

The advisers at career centres can help you learn how to market yourself in ways that would impress employers. They can also assist in improving your resume and prepare you for job interviews.

Mentorship

A mentor who shares interests similar to yours will be able to guide and support you in finding and choosing a career path that would suit you. You could begin looking for a mentor as early as in your first year of undergrad. Ideally, this person should be interested in your professional interests and be willing to invest time and effort in it.

Enquire if your educational institution has any programmes that would allow you to connect with potential mentors. The Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Alumni Mentoring Programme is a great example for this. Some universities try to assign students mentors from within the academic staff itself.

You could also make use of professional social media networks like LinkedIn or look up alumni associations to find individuals in various fields.

Career Fests and Fairs

Career events are an excellent opportunity for you to directly meet representatives from various industries and get job leads. These could be organised by educational institutions themselves or third-party organisations.

Make sure you turn up prepared for an interview. This might mean you suit up, depending on your industry, and carry a proper resume. Companies may make job offers or traineeship posts at the fair itself. Even if you are not able to land a job, attending fairs will help you become aware of what employers are looking for.

In short, hunting for a job immediately after you graduate is difficult but with proper planning and strategies, you can find a method to the madness. With the help of your educational institution’s career support programme, some effort to find mentors and connect with people from the industry, you could make the process a whole lot easier.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Aviation Research That Changed History

retro-passenger-plane-stands-on-the-meadow-before-the-flight.png

Private jet charter specialist, Air Charter Service (ACS), have just launched a new programme to fund research into aviation. The student grants are being offered to students who are currently enrolled on a full-time course within the United States. Aviation Scholarship and Research Support will be awarded to those who want to undertake groundbreaking research for a scientific journal. Successful applicants will be selected by considering the potential impact that the findings could have on the future of aviation. Aviation Scholarships will also be open to students that want to publish research on the ACS website and to those who have existing research for publication. To celebrate the launch of this new initiative, let’s take a look back at some of the aviation research that has changed history.

Groundbreaking research

white-passenger-airplane-on-the-airport-runway-against-a-colorful-sunset.png

 Things have come a long way since Leonardo Da Vinci first drew designs of a flying model based on the flight of birds. These are three of the most game-changing developments in the history of aviation, which were created as a result of research that was groundbreaking for its time.

  • On December 17, 1903, after years of research, the Wright brothers, from Ohio, U.S.A, managed the first successful heavier-than-air flight. The Wright Flyer, which was made out of wood, traveled 120 feet over the course of 12 seconds. The Wright brothers are credited with inventing the first airplane, that had power and could be controlled. Within five years the flight time had increased to over an hour.
  • Frank Whittle is a British-born RAF officer who is credited with inventing the jet engine. As a young cadet, Whittle wrote a thesis stating that future airplanes would need to fly at higher altitudes, in order to be able to fly further and at higher speeds. He stated that piston engines and propellers would not be able to fly high enough and new rocket or gas turbines with propellers would be needed. In 1935, Whittle secured financial backing for his research into jet engines and gained approval from the Royal Air Force to create the company Power Jets Ltd. After one failed attempt, a second jet engine was built, which took flight on May 15, 1941.
  • Radar systems are essential in aviation to detect the presence, direction, and speed of other surrounding objects, and work by sending out pulses of radio waves that are reflected off the object back to the source. By 1935, the British physicist, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, had already built the first working radar system. In 1940, John Randall and Harry Boot invented the cavity magnetron, a high-powered vacuum tube that generates microwaves through the interaction of a stream of electrons with a magnetic field, using a series of open metal cavities. The device was the size of a small plate and could easily be taken on-board an aircraft. The small 10 cm wavelength meant that the antenna could also be small and were suitable to be installed onto the aircraft. The development of the cavity magnetron allowed high quality radars to be installed on all future aircraft.

New research to be funded by ACS Aviation Scholarships

If you’ve been inspired to create your own research study and your topic is aviation-related, you could benefit from an ACS Aviation Scholarship. Student grants on offer include:

  • Aviation Scholarships of up to $5,000 are available to students creating groundbreaking research for a scientific journal.
  • There is up to $500 in support on offer to students who wish to publish their research on the ACS website.
  • Up to $500 will be awarded to support existing research for publication.

What other benefits are there of the Aviation Scholarships?

white-passenger-plane-climbs-through-the-clouds-and-flies-high-above-the-city.png

  • As well as the financial support there are other intangible benefits. Students who are awarded the student grants will have access to data and intelligence on aviation, compiled by ACS, that could be helpful to your study. This may be particularly useful if your research is focused on aviation traffic, on which ACS has a wealth of data.
  • Many of the managing team at the company, including CEO, Justin Bowman, started as interns at ACS. Nurturing fresh talent is a cause that the company is passionate about, and as part of the scholarship, students will benefit from the expertise and advice of experienced aviation specialists, who can pass on their expertise.
  • The ACS name is highly respected in the industry and an aviation scholarship will look great on the CV, and sound even better at interview.
  • Aviation Scholarships are an opportunity to form connections and build up a business network before graduating. Finding a job in the aviation industry will be easier if you’ve already got one foot in the door.

Apply for ACS Aviation Scholarships

If you have an idea for research that could hold the key to the future of aviation, or know someone who might, applications for the scholarships can be submitted here. Submissions are being accepted by ACS for consideration up until December 31, 2018.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

The rise of mental health issues in higher education

We often think of university and college life as the golden years of youth, but statistics emerging over the past few years have revealed a darker side to student life, and evidence has shown there is a growing mental health crisis on campuses worldwide.

In just the past 18 months, eight students from the UK’s prestigious Bristol University have taken their own lives, fuelling growing concern about student mental health globally, and calling into question the capacity of universities to provide adequate care and support for students suffering from mental health issues.

A recent study from Ulster University in Ireland found that more than half of students surveyed had suffered from mental health issues. These figures are in addition to a study from the Guardian in 2016, which indicated the number of students seeking help for mental health issues had skyrocketed by over 50% in the last five years. In the USA, campus counselling centres saw a 30 percent jump in the number of students seeking treatment or counselling for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

According to the experts, more than 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin before the age of 24, which makes support in those college and university years absolutely vital. But despite the cracks appearing in the system, workloads at universities and colleges are rising steadily, all while students are juggling their studies alongside a part-time job, an internship and the regular gamut of social and familial obligations.

Perfectionism can play a role in the problem too. Many students who were high achievers during their high school years are unable to maintain the same results at the tertiary level. The pressure to continue to excel can often become unbearable, after all nobody wants to fall from the top of the class to the bottom. Often these students have little experience with the sting of failure, and when they start to fall behind the anxiety and fear can overwhelm them as well as preventing them from speaking out or seeking help. One student who suffers from anxiety said that seeking the help of a writing service to complete their assignments was preferable to the thought of facing their professors or peers and admitting they needed additional help.

And then there is the financial stress, a recent comparison of studies from 2012 and 2015 found that more students were regularly going without necessities including medications and food. Is it a really a surprise that mental health issues are becoming more common amongst students in higher education?

The current generation of undergraduates are under greater pressure than any before thanks to an increasingly competitive job market, and increased costs to study. The current status-quo of lip service and ignoring the problem comes at the cost of young lives. If tertiary institutions want to stanch the increase in mental health issues amongst students they need to ensure they’re providing prompt access to qualified mental health professionals, and design effective interventions to bring campus communities together to battle the stigma surrounding mental health.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Learn@NUS Top Tips for Composing a Quality Essay – Part 3

Essays are an important part of our education system. It helps student nurture their research skills and come up with some unique idea in their content.  However, with changing times more importance is given sometimes to short questions. A student’s life is busier than ever and writing long essays only adds to her list of woes. Grammarly explains in a very concise way what exactly is needed when writing an essay. Here are a few tips that might help students take it easy.

Make sure it has original ideas

One of the main aims of essay writing is to enable the students to come up with their own ideas. The skill that you need for this is researching. Knowing more about the subject will help you with your brainstorming.

Have a solid logic behind your conclusion

An essay should be written in such a way so that both the sides are represented well. If there is a debate it should be backed up by strong evidence. Same goes for the conclusion you draw.

Avoid Fluffy language

Do not use fluffy language or unimportant information for the sake of lengthening the article. If you include points that are not relevant to the topic at all, it will only show your lack of expertise in the particular subject.

Support your findings with facts

Facts will make your essay a lot more convincing than anything else. Hence, if you are writing an essay that might need facts, go for it. Use the facts to form the base of your argument. Quotations are great too. Include them wherever possible.

Use clear, simple and lucid language devoid of grammatical errors

You can use as many short forms and weird grammar while texting but you need to completely delete them from your mind when writing an essay. Short, simple, precise sentences work best. Make sure you do not make grammatical mistakes and avoid typos.

Write a storyboard before starting

A storyboard is nothing but the essay that you are about to write only in short concise points. Start with the introduction, and go on to the conclusion. Write down what you plan to include in those sections, from where you are going to take help, how many words it will be – everything. This way when you start writing in real, it will be a lot easier.  Here are some more tips from experts in this article from The Guardian.

Depending on your urgency take help

The above-mentioned points might help, but it might not if you have to submit an essay very soon and you are clueless as what you should be doing. In these situations, write custom essays with help from others. Reliable, proficient writers can help you with your work.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

5 ways to get free assignment help for NUS students

We’ve all been there, the due date on that assignment is getting closer, and you’re still staring at a blank page. There’s no need to suffer the existential dread of looming deadlines on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for assignment help if you’re struggling with a project, or even just trying to understand a certain concept. Instead try one of these 5 free ways to get some help with your assignments.

Form a Study Group

One of the most obvious ways to get some free help on your assignment is to form a study group with your class mates. Now days, with apps like Socratic, or online communities like Cramster, you can even study together from the comfort of your bedroom (no need to hang out in the library for your whole Saturday afternoon.) Having the additional perspective and input of your peers can help you see things you might have otherwise missed, and they can serve as a second pair of eyes for editing too. 

Ask an expert online

Sometimes you need help from someone who’s a full bottle on your topic. Luckily there are plenty of services that let you ask an expert for help online, so you don’t even have to close that word document. Websites such as Quora, Fluther and Stack Exchange all provide a great place to get both general and specific advice about any topic, but there are also websites specific to academic studies, like PrestoExperts, where you can submit your question to experts trained in a particular field like law or medicine.

Sign up for some On-Campus Tutoring or get a Mentor

On-Campus tutoring or mentoring are some great ways to get additional help and guidance on your assignments from your peers or professors. Joining a tutoring group or finding a mentor in your area of study can offer help across all your studies, not just one particular class or assignment. While on-campus tutoring or mentoring might be a little more formal in structure and expectations than an informal study group, you still reap a lot of the benefits of social learning.

Check out example assignments for inspiration

When homework is needed to be done, a little bit of extra inspiration can go a long what when you’re writing a paper or putting the finishing touches on a critique. There are plenty of websites, like academia.edu, where people post their essays and assignments for others to read over and draw from. There are also organizations and groups dedicated to providing sample essays on a wide range of topics. Just remember to paraphrase, and not plagiarize.

Ask your librarian for help

Many public and academic libraries now offer an online homework help or ask a librarian service. These platforms let you speak directly with a librarian, in real-time, to get direction and assistance on your assignment. A librarian can not only direct you to the best places for your research, they can also answer your referencing questions, something that will definitely come in handy once you finish writing everything down.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

The Rise of Online Training Courses

Online training is becoming increasingly more popular for mainstream education. From elementary school to post graduate educational training, there are many resources that are available.  That is because the need for online training brings to focus how this type of training matches the needs of every student with every type of learning ability, regardless of age.

Historically, if a person wanted to re-educate, or make a professional move to another employment position, there was a process that needed to be followed. Usually, that began with deciding what you wanted to learn. This decision was then followed by finding the location where you wanted to learn.

Next, you had to inform your boss that you wanted to re-educate. The issue with this process was you usually had to go to a library to learn some basic background about any variety of topics. Then you had to conduct additional research to find answers such as what is a good school, how can you attend, or who can you talk to if you have more questions.

These issues were only confounded by the fact that you had to approach a boss to inform them of your intentions. This meant, that it was likely you may have to work additional hours to ensure your position was secure, or worry you could be restructured or replaced. This all changed with the invention of online training.

Now, the idea of searching for a new education plan is as easy as opening the door to your home. With a few keystrokes, there is a whole network of information that is necessary to answer any question that may arise when searching for an education plan. Not only is that information within easy reach, there are frequently online chat rooms where questions can be easily answered.

No more waiting for letters or phone calls to be returned, the internet allows for people to search and quickly find what is needed to move forward. The process of re-education also means that the ability to learning is easily done while a full-time position is saved from the worry of boos retaliation.

Finally, being able to search the internet for online training opportunities does not just stop there. Sure, most classes are still offered within the traditional setting of an instructor and people seated in uncomfortable chairs. However, the digital world also allows classes to be taken in a varied structured environment.

That means, depending on which program you have chosen, you may have one of three ways to learn: 1) traditional learning environment with an instructor, 2) online learning at a set time, sometimes with a trainer to visually guide a student, or 3) an open-ended opportunity that allows students to learn at their own pace, in their own time.

Online learning has changed the way people are educated, but it also has broadened the scope of what people can learn and from whom. Distance education is no longer a thing of the past, because it is possible, right at home.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

5 ways to get free assignment help for NUS students

We’ve all been there, the due date on that assignment is getting closer, and you’re still staring at a blank page. There’s no need to suffer the existential dread of looming deadlines on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you’re struggling with a project, or even just trying to understand a certain concept. Instead try one of these 5 free ways to get some help with your assignments.

Form a Study Group

One of the most obvious ways to get some free help on your assignment is to form a study group with your class mates. Now days, with apps like Socratic, or online communities like Cramster, you can even study together from the comfort of your bedroom (no need to hang out in the library for your whole Saturday afternoon!) Having the additional perspective and input of your peers can help you see things you might have otherwise missed, and they can serve as a second pair of eyes for editing too.

Ask an expert online

Sometimes you need help from someone who’s a full bottle on your topic. Luckily there are plenty of services that let you ask an expert for help online, so you don’t even have to close that word document. Websites such as Quora, Fluther and Stack Exchange all provide a great place to get both general and specific advice about any topic, but there are also websites specific to academic studies, like PrestoExperts, where you can submit your question to experts trained in a particular field like law or medicine.

Sign up for some On-Campus Tutoring or get a Mentor

On-Campus tutoring or mentoring are some great ways to get additional help and guidance on your assignments from your peers or professors. Joining a tutoring group or finding a mentor in your area of study can offer help across all your studies, not just one particular class or assignment. While on-campus tutoring or mentoring might be a little more formal in structure and expectations than an informal study group, you still reap a lot of the benefits of social learning.

Check out example assignments for inspiration

A little bit of extra inspiration can go a long what when you’re writing a paper or putting the finishing touches on a critique. Try to not use a “write my paper for me” service. There are plenty of websites, like academia.edu, where people post their essays and assignments for others to read over and draw from. There are also organizations and groups dedicated to providing sample essays on a wide range of topics. Just remember to paraphrase, not plagiarize.

Ask your librarian for help

Many public and academic libraries now offer an online homework help or ask a librarian service. These platforms let you speak directly with a librarian, in real-time, to get direction and assistance on your assignment. A librarian can not only direct you to the best places for your research, they can also answer your referencing questions, something that will definitely come in handy once you finish writing everything down.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Technologies Helping International Students Learn English

The arrival of digital technologies in the education sector has given students tremendous help in learning the English language. Programmes, student services and many other aspects of the learning experience for students have been greatly enhanced due to these innovations. Take E-learning for example, which has become a buzz in the industry, and for good reason. Although it has its limitations, online learning provides millions of International students with the opportunity to learn regardless of geography and allow those who need flexibility and a student-centered learning environment. This will help those who live in non-English speaking countries increase their chance of pursuing further education at the best institutions abroad in the United States or Europe. Many in these rural or district areas where there is a shortage of English teachers put themselves at a disadvantage when they establish their own study circles without any formal support.

E-learning also allows for students to complete courses at their own pace. Most universities in the country now have online programs available, allowing those with full-time jobs access to accredited academic programs from an essay writer and learn the English language from qualified teachers. These programs teach students to become more fluent in English by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with subtitles and assigning them to various assignments such as writing a book report and essays. In addition, there are plenty of educational websites and online learning platforms that exist to support students. English learners can use Quizlet as a memorization tool to strengthen their vocabulary and grammar topics like gender or verb conugation. The website is based on the flash card method, giving users sets of digital cards that they can create and organize. Students also have access to a huge archive of sets under different topics. When it comes to mobile apps, more than 350 are listed on the Apple App Store alone. One of the most popular free language-learning apps is DuoLingo, which uses text, pictures, and audio to help students learn and practice a language. The sections increase in difficulty and helps users build on their vocabulary and sentence structure. Memrise is another app which functions similarly, while apps like Busuu teaches users with interactive courses coupled with a social network of native speakers.

With the vastness of the language learning industry, these language-learning startups and technology will continue to adapt and thrive. Language schools overseas can apply these online, digital and mobile technologies in ways that will be most helpful and beneficial to students. By supporting more independent and personalised learning for students, technology holds great promise in increasing English proficiency and literacy of International students — a valuable asset that will help more students internationalise themselves and participate in global opportunities.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.
Older posts Newer posts

© 2018 Learn@NUS

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar