The Brandeis GPS blog

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

Tag: online course

Avoiding black hat marketing

From healthcare to insurance to local boutiques, most companies today use digital marketing to drive business. As organizations find new ways to target users online and face increased access to customer data, digital marketers often find themselves at an ethical crossroads.

Black hat marketing techniques

“Black hat marketing” most often refers to certain SEO techniques. According to Omnicore, search engines drive 93% of all website traffic. To get ahead, companies will sometimes use black hat marketing to trick search engines into awarding their website a higher ranking, and getting it on the front page of search results. Other types of black hat marketing really fall into more of a grey area, and today’s digital marketers should have a plan for mitigating the risk of inadvertently executing unethical marketing strategies.

Ethics in Digital Marketing and Design

Brandeis GPS will be offering Ethics in Digital Design and Marketing as a part-time, fully online course during our Spring 2 session beginning in April. During the 10-week course, students will be presented with ethical dilemmas in digital marketing and work through the implications of various actions, including tricking search engines, posing as customers in social media, making false or exaggerated claims and using questionable or sneaky channels. Throughout the course, students will develop a set of principles and values through dialogue examining multiple perspectives.

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online master’s degrees. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Digital Marketing and Design, or would like to learn more about ethics in digital marketing for professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

Cloud Computing

Data hubs are becoming increasingly virtual. According to the most recent annual cloud computing survey by North Bridge venture partners, 50 percent of organizations had either a cloud-first or cloud-only policy and 90 percent used the cloud in some way. As the cloud continues to grow, it is essential that software engineers looking to advance in their field have a working knowledge of cloud-based services.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Cloud Computing as a part-time, fully online course this October. During the 10-week course, students will explore cloud-based services, using internet-based software suites such as Google Docs or Salesforce.com, through platform-based systems (PaaS), such as Microsoft’s Azure environment, that make it easy to focus on developing new apps or services, to complete cloud-based infrastructure (IaaS), such as Amazon’s Web Services.

The course also explores how use of the cloud changes how we “do” IT. Cloud-based services are especially well-suited to Agile development and Lean Startup thinking. This leads to new ideas such as DevOps and “continuous deployment.” In addition, use of SaaS security systems changes how we integrate systems, how we handle identity and access management (IAM), opening up new threats and new opportunities to keep data secure. Finally, the course looks at how the cloud enables us to work with more data than ever before, “Big Data”— NoSQL databases and scalable infrastructure (e.g., Hadoop).

Throughout the course, students will learn how to evaluate the various cloud-based services and how to communicate that evaluation to decision-makers in the organization.

It also includes a hands-on practicum using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Students will explore the most common features of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and how IaaS, overall, differs from older paradigms of systems management and program architecture.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the major categories of cloud-based services and the major trends in cloud computing and be able to explain the impact of cloud computing on the role of corporate IT;
  • Describe new roles and approaches to software development tuned to the cloud, starting with DevOps and the idea of continuous development;
  • Assess specific services, evaluate whether or not they are appropriate to specific challenges, and plan their implementation, where relevant;
  • Describe how the cloud has enabled enterprises to rethink how data are gathered, analyzed, and processed, using NoSQL databases, and scalable infrastructure such as Hadoop;
  • Evaluate security challenges in the cloud and understand current best practices;
  • Successfully carry out backup, system imaging and disaster recovery;
  • Successfully set up, monitor, and maintain a reasonably complex web-based service on Amazon Web Services (the course practicum).

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online master’s degrees. If you’re interested in exploring the Master of Software Engineering, or would like to learn more about cloud computing for professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

Healthcare Delivery in the U.S.

The healthcare system in the U.S. is made up of both public and private programs. Clinicians, hospitals, patients, insurance plans, and regulators intersect to form a complex, interconnected network. To navigate the U.S. healthcare system successfully, health and medical stakeholders must have a fundamental understanding of the events and policies that have shaped the current environment in which they operate.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Healthcare Delivery in the U.S. during our upcoming October session. The fully online, 10-week course will provide an overview of how the U.S. system has developed, and place a substantial focus on how healthcare data has developed over time and informed changes to the delivery system.

The course examines how health informatics supports, influences, and is influenced by the business side of health care. It is an introduction to health care business systems and models with a particular emphasis on the value of health information technology (HIT) to the organization. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss knowledgeably the state of health care in the United States
  • Evaluate options for measuring health status and financing health care and examine options for
    providing health care both acute and chronic
  • Examine public health care and the role of the government in the delivery of health care
  • Explain the role of information systems in providing health care and measuring health care quality

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online Master’s degree programs. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Health and Medical Informatics or would like to learn more about healthcare delivery in the U.S. to fill a skills gap, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design

For those who build things designed for human use, the understanding of human behavior is critical, and the design and development of digital properties is no exception. More and more designers are working to produce technologies that adapt to the user rather than attempt to force behavioral change. It is important for these designers to apply social and psychological principles to predict user responses.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design as a part-time, full online course this October. The 10-week course will  explore the behavioral, cognitive and social aspects of human activity. Throughout the course, students will examine the psychological and social aspects that impact human interface interaction in both physical and virtual environments. Topics will include Signal Detection Theory, Gestalt Theory, Cognitive Load Theory, and various motivational theories as well as the cultural and social implications of design.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the cognitive and social psychology principles that impact the use of a particular design, and offer design solutions that will ensure effective user experience
  • Explain Cognitive Load Theory, apply the theory to designs, and explain the whys and hows of reaching optimal cognitive load
  • Explain Signal Detection Theory and apply the theory effectively to designs
  • Make reasonable predictions of human behavior with regards to a user interface and/or design by applying their knowledge of perception, attention, and cognition
  • Apply knowledge of emotion and motivation theories to designs in order to make them more effective, and explain the choices and applications
  • Identify where a particular design may create a cognitive error, or why a particular design may have caused a cognitive error, and offer solutions to reduce error
  • Effectively communicate design solutions to stakeholders

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online master’s degrees. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in User-Centered Design, or would like to learn more about cognitive and social psychology as part of your own professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

How to be a successful leader

Word Cloud of RMGT descriptionThere are many factors that determine the success of an organizational leader, from personal attributes such as leadership style and emotional intelligence to communication, decision making, and conflict resolution skills. Then you have external factors, including organizational structure and the influence of corporate culture. Regardless of external influences, successful leaders have a strong moral code, are able to motivate a team, and can provide effective feedback when necessary.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Organizational Leadership and Decision Making during our Fall 2 session, starting in October. The fully online, 10-week course will focus on leadership as a process by which one person influences the attitudes and behaviors of others. Topics covered include various leadership theories and models, differences across cultures, ethics and attributes, organizational change and development, and the role of the leader in establishing organizational culture and facilitating change. Students will deepen their understanding of these concepts through group projects and leadership simulations.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Gain insight into their own strengths and weaknesses as a leader and create a plan for continued introspection and improvement
  • Describe the nature of leadership and assess the basic functions of management and the complexities of leadership
  • Analyze the role of moral reasoning and ethics in organizational and team decisions
  • Examine multiple viewpoints for differing frames of reference, perspectives, and orientations to the same situation
  • Employ leadership, team-building and decision-making concepts; examine how teams make high-stakes decisions in stressful situations, why individuals and teams make flawed choices and how leaders shape the context and the process through which teams make decisions
  • Critically reflect on leadership style and their own experience within a team and its leadership
  • Understand the role of leaders in setting strategic focus and direction

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online Master’s degree programs. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Technology Management or would like to learn more about leadership and decision making as part of your own professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

How psychology can change user behavior

In a world where websites and digital ad networks serve us nearly one million marketing messages each year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of web users going about their daily business. As content consumers, we tend to be task-oriented and ignore the things around us. “Banner blindness” occurs when users automatically ignore the ad-heavy right side of web pages.

As most of us tend to skim web content quickly, bulleted lists and short paragraphs to break up text are considerably effective at keeping users engaged. When it comes to online marketing, understanding the psychology behind web user activity is crucial to successfully promoting a product or running a business.

These topics are furthered explored in Brandeis University’s Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design spring 2017 course. As part of the MS in User-Centered Design  graduate program, this part-time, fully online course will examine the psychological and social aspects that impact human interface interaction in both physical and virtual environments. Topics will include:

  • Signal Detection Theory, Gestalt Theory, Cognitive Load Theory and various motivational theories
  • The cultural and social implications of design
  • Cognitive and social psychology principles that will impact the use of a particular design

By the end of the course, students will be able to make reasonable predictions of human behavior with regards to a user interface and/or design and offer design solutions that will ensure effective user experience based on these principles.

Those interested in the course who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still participate. At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two online courses without officially enrolling in a program. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. View our full course catalog here, and preview our spring 2017 courses here.

Questions? Questions? Contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) is dedicated to developing innovative programs for working professionals. GPS offers 11 fully online, part-time master’s degrees and one online graduate certificate. With three 10-week terms each year, Brandeis GPS provides exceptional programs with a convenient and flexible online approach. Courses are small by design and led by industry experts who deliver individualized support and professional insights. For more information on our programs visit the Brandeis GPS website.

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