The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: Brandeis Online

Online learning: your questions, answered

According to a recent National Center for Education Statistics report on fall 2013 higher education enrollments, more than 670,000 students pursued a degree using online coursework. Where you one of them? If not, you likely have questions about how online learning works. Is it interactive enough? Do students learn in online classes? What are the benefits of online classes vs. traditional classes? What is the timing like?

Online Learning FAQs

We can’t speak for every accredited institution that offers online graduate programs, but we put together some frequently asked questions about the approach we take to online learning at Brandeis GPS:

 

How does online learning at GPS work?
All our courses take place on a Moodle-based platform called LATTE. You’ll log into LATTE to view and download all your readings and assignments; submit projects, papers and exams; receive grades and feedback from your instructors; and participate in class discussions. You’ll find that our approach to online learning is very flexible and convenient: while most GPS courses require you to meet certain assignment deadlines throughout the week, you can log in from any time zone or location to complete your work.

Does Graduate Professional Studies offer student visas to international students?
GPS is unable to issue student visas for its part-time programs, in accordance with U.S. immigration regulations.

What is the maximum number of courses I can take per term?
You can take up to two courses per term. Your student advisor will work with you to determine your bandwidth and schedule for each term.

Can I take a course before formally applying to a program?
Yes, you can to take up to two courses before you formally apply to a program. The completion of courses as a non-matriculated student does not guarantee acceptance into a program, nor does it guarantee courses will satisfy degree requirements.

Are Brandeis and GPS accredited?
Yes, Brandeis University and the Rabb School,Graduate Professional Studies are accredited by NEASC, New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  NEASC is recognized by the US Department of Education as an official accrediting body.

How many courses do the master’s degrees require?
Master’s programs at Graduate Professional Studies are comprised of ten 3-credit courses.

What is the average class size for GPS online classes?
There are generally 16 to 20 students per course. Courses are capped at 20 students.

How long do I have to complete my degree?
You have up to five years to complete a master’s degree from the time you take your first course.

How long do I have to complete a certificate program?
You have up to three years to complete a graduate certificate program.

How many terms are offered in each academic year?
Graduate Professional Studies offers three 10-week terms per academic year.

Can I meet GPS students or instructors in person?
Yes! We offer several on-campus networking events each year. We also hold a commencement ceremony on campus each May. You can find information about scheduled networking events by visiting the Mark Your Calendars page on our website.

What are the GPS application deadlines?
We offer rolling admissions, so you can apply and be accepted at any time. However, if you’re seeking admission for a specific term, please be mindful of the following deadlines for 2016-17 academic year:

Fall: Aug. 16
Spring: Dec. 13
Summer: April 25

Do you require the GRE or GMAT?
We do not! These exams do not test to what our programs are about. Because our degrees are geared toward students who are currently working and seeking to advance their careers in specific industries, we take a more holistic approach toward evaluating applicants. Some of the qualifications we look for include work experience, professional recommendations, and statements of goals. Read more about our application requirements here.

How can I finance my education? Do you offer financial aid?
Our dedicated financial aid counselor will work with you to find the best financial option for you. Many of our students receive tuition reimbursements from their employers. GPS students who have been accepted to a program are also eligible for federal students loans as long as they take two courses per term. Please visit our website for more information.

Inside Boston’s Ed-Tech Ecosystem: 8 Players to Watch

written by: Caroline Lyle, BostInno

To learn about our brand new Masters of Science in Online Instructional Design and Technology degree program, register for the next Virtual Open House this Wednesday, July 23rd at 7pm.  

The world doesn’t function as it did a decade ago. Everything from how we communicate, read articles, watch television, even how how we date, has been transformed by technology. It shouldn’t shock, then, that in this hyperconnected world where we walk around with encyclopedias in our pocket, how we learn is also evolving.

In recent years, online education has exploded, not only for the convenience it provides, but for the tremendous potential it presents. As a global source of knowledge and hub of connections, the web opens numerous opportunities to enhance learning. Emerging online programs and platforms have introduced new models for connecting teachers, students, and other stakeholders to optimize the learning experience.

The innovation is only beginning. Educational technology presents a goldmine of opportunity for both academics and entrepreneurs. For telltale evidence of ed-tech’s promising future, one need look no further than the astounding amount of capital being poured into the space. In just the last three months alone, investors have contributed more than $559 million into the ed-tech industry, and this past quarter, investments reached a record-breaking high.

“Investments exceeded $1.25 billion, marking the second straight year the ed-tech sector crossed the billion-dollar line,” BostInno reported.

Leading the ed-tech revolution is Boston. The city’s booming tech scene and renowned institutions of higher education have made Boston an incubator for ed-tech startups, many of which have expanded to reach students and teachers around the globe.

Go inside Boston’s ed-tech ecosystem and meet some of the most influential disruptors born here in the Hub. Some are fledgling startups; others established companies, but all are agents of change, leveraging technology to transform education as we know it.

1. edX

edX

Founded by Harvard and MIT ,edX is a massive online learning platform striving to increase access to education for everyone, everywhere. EdX makes Ivy League learning available to all by partnering with 32 higher education institutions including Stanford, Wellesley, UC Berkeley, and several schools outside the United States. Most recently, the company partnered with Facebook for the new initiative SocialEDU, bringing online education to the unconnected world starting with Rwanda. EdX also expanded the platform to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

2. Boundless

Boundless

Most students are all too familiar with the exorbitant price of textbooks. Quite often, it’s an expense many simply can’t afford. Boundless believes the materials needed to learn should never be a luxury. In 2011, Boundless launched to democratize education by making textbooks affordable for all. Originally offering online textbooks, Boundless has expanded to offer a vast suite of cloud-powered educational resources for both teachers and students. A recent partnership will integrate Boundless’ content library into Top Hat’s cutting-edge, collaborative teaching platform, allowing teachers to edit and curate content in real-time. The company has raised a total of $10 million in venture funding and reaches more than 3 million students and educators.

3. LearnLaunch

LearnLaunch

LearnLaunch is a key catalyst driving Boston’s booming ed-tech scene. The nonprofit strives to support local ed-tech startups in New England, mostly through their accelerator program,LearnLaunchX, which graduated a fresh class of ed-tech startups in May. When visiting LearnLaunchX, Mayor Marty Walsh commented,”the future really is here in this room.”

4. Lexia Learning

While Boston’s edLexia Learning-tech boom is only a couple years old, one company was a pioneer in educational technology decades before the recent wave of startups. Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts,Lexia Learning is a globally renowned reading technology company focused on improving students’ literacy. Since it was founded 29 years ago with private funding and grants obtained from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Lexia Learning has continually evolved, innovating the most cutting-edge ways to use technology to build students’ reading skills. In 2008, Lexia earned the EdNet Impact Award for outstanding contributions in education industry. In 2013, it was acquired by Rosetta Stone.

5. Panorama Education

Panorama Education leverages the power of Big Data to help schPanorama Educationools address pressing problems. Panorama provides a survey and analytics platform to conduct surveys either online or on paper and collect constructive feedback. Over 4,000 school districts, charter networks, and state governments use the platform to solve such issues as parent involvement, bullying prevention, school safety and student engagement. Last October, Panorama received $4 million from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s organization Startup:Education and is using the funds to grow their team.

6. EverTrueEverTrue

EverTrue provides a better way for the educational community to connect. Their mobile platform not only serves as an alumni networking hub, but also enables institutions to tap into donor databases and easily fundraise. Following EverTrue’s graduation from Boston Techstars, the company raised $1.3 million, plus an additional $5.25 million in March of 2013. The growing company set up shop in a new office in the Seaport at the end of last year, and continues to show promising growth.

7. peerTransfer

peerTransfer is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Hub. The company saw 400 percent growth last year, expects 200 percent growth in 2014, and has raised a total of $21.2 million.

peerTransfer is on a mission topeerTransfer fix the unfair and broken international tuition payments system. Using peerTransfer, students can simply and securely pay for tuition and fees using their home currency. With so many students getting ripped off, peerTransfer fulfills an urgent need for both students and schools. The company now works with over 350 schools and is on track to process $1 billion this year.

8. Flashnotes

Flashnotes is an online peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling class study materials. After raising $1.5 million last year, Flashnotes has Flashnotesexpanded to include live video tutorials, offering another medium for students to improve their grades and/or make money. In the past year, the company has acquired Moolguides, NoteUtopia, and raised an additional $3.6 million. Over 200 schools are on Flashnotes platform and the company continues to experience high growth month after month

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