The Brandeis GPS blog

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

Tag: Online Learning (page 1 of 8)

Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Disease

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations are increasingly viewing bioinformatics as an integral part of their research processes. Biomedical industries are seeking to make use of vast amounts of genomic data to produce complex and accurate biological models.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Disease  as a part-time, fully online course this October. The 10-week course will introduce students to the basic concepts of molecular, cell, and developmental biology. It will cover classic genetics, from Mendelian inheritance to quantitative and complex traits, associations and population genetics. It will address the anatomy and function of genomes from humans and model organisms. Using the Human Genome Projects as an example, students will learn sequencing and mapping technologies. Basic sequence analysis methods will be introduced, along with techniques to navigate genome browsers and other relevant databases.

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

  • Navigate genome browsers and databases relevant to genetics and genomics.
  • Analyze pedigrees and apply genetics to identify disease associations.
  • Use techniques of physical and genetic mapping and sequencing.
  • Use comparative genomics to detect homologous sequences within and between organisms and to define evolutionary relationships.
  • Predict possible consequences of mutations and genetic variation within and outside of genes.
  • Use examples from developmental biology, human disease and immunology to illustrate genetic control mechanisms and mutations.

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 Bioinformatics, or would like to explore molecular biology to fill a bioinformatics skills gap, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

The influence of laws and ethics on digital learning

Woman and man looking at computerDigital learning is becoming increasingly common in classrooms of all ages. As K-12 and higher ed classrooms explore innovative online learning technologies and techniques, the modern workplace can also adapt instructional content to online and mobile platforms for learning and development. According to eLogic Learning, in 2015 the Learning Management System market was worth somewhere around $165 billion. At a 5% increase every year, that puts it on track to hit almost $240 billion by 2023.

Instructional designers work to use design thinking, evidence-based science, and pedagogical principles to develop adaptive and accessible digital learning experiences. Nowadays, that includes navigating the evolving legal landscape and ethical code that goes along with it.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Digital Ethics & The Legal Landscape of Instructional Design during our 10-week long Fall 2 session, starting in October. The fully online course will explore the legal issues arising from intellectual property, copyright law (including the fair use exception), the TEACH Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It will also look at federal laws related to learners with disabilities and help students to develop strategies to ensure accessibility for these online learners.

During the course, students will also examine how to best protect online learner privacy rights of education records in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Students will apply these laws to realistic scenarios that may arise in the design setting and develop best practices to minimize risk of liability.

After examining the laws in place, students will explore the ethical challenges that arise in practice, including the creation of instructional materials that support a diverse learner audience, implications of the “digital divide,” and conflicts of interest stemming from opportunities for personal gain outside of the employment relationship. They will compare and contrast legal standards with ethical values with respect to the development and implementation of online instructional materials and use their knowledge to design their own ethical code relevant to their professional goals.

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 Instructional Design and Technology or would like to learn more about digital ethics 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 keep the peace and move projects forward in the workplace

Conflicts of interest are common, both in professional environments and daily life. It is important to know how to handle them, in order to get along with and move forward with the people around you – especially as a project or program manager. The ability to accommodate others is a vital skill that all successful business professionals should possess.

Resolving conflicts has become increasingly complex with an increase in virtual teams and the globalization of project management. Virtual teams must approach conflict resolution differently as cultural differences, interests, and values can all influence negotiation strategy and tactics.

Conflict Resolution Word CloudBrandeis GPS will be offering Negotiating and Conflict Resolution during our Fall 2 session, starting in October. The fully online, 10-week course will provide students with a framework to understand the basis of conflict, select an appropriate conflict resolution strategy, and employ tactics that optimize results for both individuals and organizations. During the course, students will explore different characteristics of negotiation including the two fundamental strategies, frames of reference, value creation, value claiming, and the impact of both tangible and intangible factors on the negotiation process.

The course will highlight the challenges that virtual teams present at each stage of the conflict resolution process. Negotiation is a soft skill that benefits from practice of the concepts in addition to learning the theory, so extensive role play of virtual group negotiations are incorporated into the course.

By the end of the course, students will have the skills to develop a systematic plan to negotiate with colleagues, bosses, clients, other stakeholders, and external groups of all kinds. They will be able to:

  • Analyze the characteristics of a negotiation situation and develop strategies for conflict management
  • Execute the fundamental strategies of distributive bargaining
  • Analyze different positions taken during a negotiation and handle hardball tactics
  • Prepare for communications in negotiations and analyze the opponent’s communication tactics
  • Identify frames in negotiation, managing emotions and perspectives, and identifying cognitive bias
  • Apply power to strengthen negotiation and manage influence during a negotiation process
  • Evaluate ethical and unethical tactics
  • Execute culturally responsive negotiation strategies

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 Project and Program Management, or would like to learn more about negotiations and conflict resolution 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.

Protecting privacy: securing your organization from cyber-crime

Woman standing in front of teamAs technology continues to change the way we experience sectors of our daily life, it’s not surprising that cyber-security risk and vulnerabilities are also on the rise. From popular fitness tracking apps to university data systems, there have been dozens of high profile security breaches in the first half of 2018 alone.

According to Trustwave, $600 billion is lost to cyber-crime globally every year. In 2016, 53% percent of IT security professionals felt more pressured to secure their organizations than in 2015, demonstrating a growing need for information security management of businesses, government agencies, and other enterprises. Now more than ever, companies need leaders who can establish teams, processes and policies to secure their data.

Brandeis GPS offers a course in Information Security Management that explores security concepts, infrastructures, standards, protocols, and best practices. that are necessary for today’s information security professionals. The course focuses on management and governance, assessing and communicating risk, law (compliance) and ethics, policies, planning (strategy and operations), contingency planning (disaster recovery and incident response), and testing. These concepts are applied and discussed in the context of common enterprise scenarios.

Throughout the course, students acquire an understanding of the fundamentals of information assurance solutions and learn to establish a comprehensive security strategy and execution plan. By the end of the session, students will be able to apply the concepts, principles, and vocabulary of IT and information security within the context of their own organizations.

Information Security Management is a fully online, 10-week course that will next run in October 2018.

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 Information Security Leadership, or would like to learn more about information security management 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.

The ABCs of SEM

According to Internet Live Stats, Google currently processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, which amounts to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Digital marketers know that web users arriving on Google’s search engine results page are looking for specific information based on the keywords they searched for. Search engine marketing (SEM) is a tactic marketers can use to get their products or services in front  of these users as searches are happening in real-time.

People looking at chartsThe idea behind SEM (also known as paid search, or pay-per-click marketing) is to anticipate the types of keywords a target market is going to search for, and strategically optimize a paid search budget to bid on those keywords. By also including the keywords in Google ads and on landing pages, marketers can earn one of Google’s top ad spots on the search engine results page, placing an ad among users who have already expressed an interest in searching for a product or service.

For professionals looking to build their search engine marketing skills, Brandeis GPS will be offering Principles of Search Engine Marketing during our October 2018 session. The fully online, 10-week course will explore ad creation, keyword expansion, landing page optimization, monitoring, bid management, and analysis. It will also explore search engine optimization, and how that strategy can enhance and complement paid search campaigns.

Students will learn the back-end technology behind search engines and how people use search engines to find information, and will then explore ways to position relevant content within those searches so that their products or services become part of the searcher’s decision process. Students learn about and evaluate SEM methods including content creation, keyword strategies, website programming, pay-per-click advertising, digital marketing optimization, and social media. As part of the course, students use Simbound, a digital marketing simulation, to create their own SEM campaign including forming objectives, strategy, budget allocation, tactics, and measurements to monitor progress.

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 Master’s degree programs. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Digital Marketing and Design, or would like to explore paid search 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.

Online learning tools that foster interactive coursework

Woman typing on computerThere is a common misconception that online learning cannot be as interactive as in-classroom learning. With today’s instructional design technology however, this is simply no longer the case.

The Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017, produced by Digital Learning Compass, in partnership with OLC, Pearson and Tyton Partners, indicates that online participation in graduate-level coursework is on the rise. The report found that the number of total students taking at least one online course increased by 11 percent between 2012 and 2015.

To meet this demand, graduate programs are responding by developing tools and technologies to keep their online classrooms interactive.

All Brandeis GPS programs are fully online and asynchronous, allowing a lot of flexibility for students throughout each week. Instructors use a number of digital tools to enhance their students online learning experience. These are some of the new tools that Brandeis GPS is using this year:

Mahara ePortfolio

Mahara ePortfolioThis fall, Brandeis GPS is adopting Mahara as it’s new ePortfolio tool. ePortfolios allow students to compile and preserve their submitted assignments from course-to-course and create a web-based collection of their work products and program accomplishments. The inclusion of ePortfolio assignments within GPS courses will allow students to learn more deeply through self-reflection and to illustrate the skills they acquire through their participation in the program to current and prospective employers.

Select courses within the Strategic Analytics, Information Security Leadership, Health & Medical Informatics, and Software Engineering programs will feature ePortfolio assignments this fall. Then throughout the year, Mahara will be rolled-out more broadly to all GPS programs.

VoiceThread

Voicethread Online ToolVoiceThread allows instructors and students to engage in voice and video based asynchronous discussions. Users can post discussion responses that include webcam video, images, audio, and text uploaded from their browser or mobile devices and can reply to classmates’ or instructors’ posts with voice, video, image-based, and/or text responses. VoiceThread creates an opportunity for students to engage in rich audio-visual discussions and group activities, and allows instructors to provide voice and video based feedback on students posts and assignments in an asynchronous setting.

VoiceThread has officially been adopted as a university-supported teaching tool following a successful Teaching Innovation Grant supported pilot spearheaded by GPS Instructors Kim Round, Carrie Miller, and Carol Damm and Brandeis Arts & Sciences professor Kathrin Seidl last year.

For more information on GPS courses or graduate programs, contact gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787 or check out our website.

Meet Theo Groh: Founding Partner of Wheelhouse Web and Student of Brandeis GPS

Business owner and matriculated student at Brandeis GPS uses knowledge from Master’s program to grow his business and help achieve long-term professional goals.

Theo Groh is a matriculated student in the Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design. Theo was hesitant to go back to school while working full-time growing his business, Wheelhouse Web – a web, communications, and marketing solutions company based in New Hampshire. Theo is three classes into his degree, and is already seeing GPS help with his long-term professional goals:

  • To build his new company into a thriving and financially stable company that can provide full time employment, benefits, and a growing return to himself and his business partners.
  • To develop his marketing skills to truly have his company be a one stop shop for digital marketing.
  • To grow his company to the point that allows them to take only the clients they absolutely want to take and allows them to work with clients promoting social or environmental change.

Headshot of Theo GrohTheo is among many students who are full-time professionals that are looking to enhance their careers with the benefits of a high-quality graduate education in niche fields with the convenience and flexibility of online learning designed for working professionals.

He has already made progress toward his professional goals, and says that, “So far, GPS has helped me expand the range of digital marketing services I offer and boost my confidence in my skill set. I believe it has also helped strengthen my professional resume, which has helped attract and retain clients.”

What first caught Theo’s attention about GPS was that it is completely online, allowing him to work full-time, is practical and relevant to the work he wants to do, and doesn’t require GRE or standardized test scores.

“I really liked that the degree was specifically in Digital Marketing and Design, not just in Marketing or an MBA with a marketing focus,” said Groh. “That was important because if I was going to go back to school, I wanted a degree that was very specific to the field I was in, very relevant to the work I was doing, and could help me in my business by helping certify to clients that I knew what I was doing.”

GPS offers 13 different master’s Programs in professional fields:

Theo says, “I think what I value the most about GPS is that I am in a class full of working professionals in my field being taught by an expert working professional in my field.”

GPS instructors are industry leaders who also work full-time outside of GPS, bringing real-world experiences and knowledge to their classrooms. And because class sizes are capped at 20 for GPS classes, students like Theo can network within their classes to build connections within their fields.

Before founding his new company in July 2017, Theo worked in New Hampshire politics, independent school admissions, outreach, and marketing. His education at Brandeis GPS has also enriched his political volunteer commitments and outside hobbies. Since starting his most recent class, Writing for Digital Environments, Theo has taken on a long-term personal goal of online food writing, committing to do a monthly blog post on local New Hampshire food and drinks for Stay-Work-Play New Hampshire.

Theo’s experiences in politics, which may seem unrelated to Digital Marketing and Design, informed his work ethic and gave him experiences that help him bring diverse experience to his business and his classes. He says of his time working in politics,

“During that time, I was working 14-18-hour days 7 days a week for months on end during campaign season… I learned that I had it in me to do that kind of work. Like doing endurance training, my experience working in politics showed me what I was made of and taught me what my capabilities and limits were. If I could work long hours in an extremely high-pressure environment for low pay in politics, often for challenging bosses, I knew I was capable of working hard and succeeding in almost any environment. It taught me not to be afraid of hard work and gave me the confidence I needed to start my own business.”

Theo’s business “aims to be the trusted web design and digital marketing choice of dynamic small businesses, striving non-profits, and thriving schools.”

In order to help him reach his goals and the goals of his company, his MS in Digital Marketing and Design at GPS offers the following program outcomes:

  • Build and actively manage digital marketing campaigns across social media, website and mobile platforms.
  • Have a comprehensive working knowledge of digital and social media platforms.
  • Write appropriate content for online and digital audiences.
  • Develop thorough digital marketing campaigns that integrate multiple channels.
  • Track results of digital advertising through analytics tools and use the data to inform future marketing decisions.
  • Use advanced media tools to enhance digital strategies.
  • Communicate the value of digital marketing as it relates to an organization’s overall marketing strategy.

Theo has found that his class assignments help his real-world experiences in business, and says, “I really love the assignments where we have to pick existing companies and talk about how they do on a particular aspect of marketing. I think it’s a great way to learn, and it helps me with my company because a big part of what we do with our small business clients is going in and analyzing what they are currently doing for digital marketing and providing them with advice and services to improve their marketing. I also like the assignment we have in [Writing for Digital Environments] of picking an organization or business that needs help with their marketing. I think it’s a great challenge, something I love to do in my business, and this assignment is helping me think about the best ways of doing that.”

Not only have his GPS classes enhanced his professional life already, but Theo’s professional experiences have enhanced his learning. In his GPS classes, he engages in discussions with professionals at varying levels of their careers in the Digital Marketing and Design field, allowing for rich learning from instructors and peers.

Content contributed by Digital Marketing and Design student Lily Gardner with permission.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

How to “master” online graduate school over the summer

From kindergarten through undergrad (and even some graduate programs), students around the world look forward to getting outside and enjoying the summer sun.  For part-time, online graduate students however, “school’s out for summer” doesn’t necessarily apply — and this can be a very good thing.

Non-traditional graduate programs will often offer summer terms in addition to the standard fall and spring semesters. These options allow students who are working full-time the opportunity to complete their graduate programs even more quickly.

Brandeis GPS offers four 10-week sessions each year, with classes beginning in July, October, January and April. The upcoming July 2018 session, which is technically called Fall 1, runs from July 18 through Sept. 25.

Computer and drink at the beach

Some students may balk at a course that overlaps with scheduled vacation and travel, but taking classes from July to September doesn’t have to hinder any of your exciting summer plans. GPS courses are fully online and asynchronous, meaning that students can access their coursework from any location and timezone. Here are some tips for balancing your course load with your summer beach trips, European excursions and mountain views:

  • Plan as far in advance as you can and be realistic. Read through the course’s syllabus right away to take note of your big assignments, final projects, and exams. Check your calendar to see if you have any important events or travel coming up during the term so you can manage your time around them. If you know you’re spending a week away or have a particularly busy weekend coming up, plan to complete your readings or discussion posts as early as you can. Be honest with yourself about how much time you’ll need for your coursework each week, and build a schedule that’s feasible for you.Sunset over the water
  • Take advantage of technology. Your online courses are mobile-friendly. Keep your mobile devices charged, and take advantage of courses that offer textbooks you can download to your favorite e-reader.
  • Don’t be afraid to disconnect. Summer travel will often involve long plane, train, and car rides with little to no WiFi access. With some advanced planning and downloading, you can take advantage of these long blocks of time to catch up on your coursework, so when you arrive at your destination, you can relax and enjoy yourself.

Good luck to everyone taking our Fall 1 courses, starting in July! For more information on GPS courses or graduate programs, contact gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787 or check out our website.

Set Your GPS, the Next Stop is Your Dream Job

A Boston-area native finds Brandeis GPS Digital Marketing and Design program course offerings align best with her professional goals.

Brittany Sullivan grew up in Norwood, MA about 25 minutes outside of Boston. It’s also about 17 minutes from the Reebok International Headquarters, a place Brittany has wanted to work at for as long as she can remember.

Brittany Sullivan Brittany set her sights on becoming the next digital marketing manager at Reebok, something she would need to work very hard for. But that hard work is not without its rewards, including better job prospects and a higher annual salary. According to a 2015 Georgetown University study called “The Economic Value of College Majors”: “College graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn an average annual salary of $61,000 over the course of their career, while those with a graduate degree earn $78,000 annually.” With undergraduate degrees becoming more common, a master’s degree can really give you added skills and more confidence to pursue and land your dream job.

Some of the subjects Brittany felt passionate about weren’t offered during her undergraduate degree in marketing. Her college offered more generic marketing classes that didn’t focus on digital media. She researched a few different programs, but found the list of courses offered by Brandeis GPS to be the most focused on her professional goals.

Why Enroll at Brandeis GPS?

Brandeis GPS works around your schedule. There are many students currently enrolled who also work a full-time job, just like Brittany. Because Brandeis GPS offers part-time online classes, students can work full time and study when it’s convenient for them. Not sure if a master’s program is for you? Or are you worried about the increased workload? Brandeis GPS will let you take two classes as a trial before officially applying to the program. This can help a potential student gauge if he/she will be able to continue working a full-time job and attend class in-person or online. Recent college grads who are new to the workforce might not be ready to work and take classes at the same time.

Brittany knew she was interested in marketing, but things can change. Brandeis GPS offers 12 master’s degrees, from software engineering to project management. Brittany had the freedom to change and not have to leave the GPS program. But she was concerned about working a full-time job and going to school. In fact, she was all set to take two classes, but after meeting with her student adviser, she decided to start with one and see how it went.

Need Directions?

Everyone learns in different ways and at different speeds. There are a lot of questions to ask yourself before getting a master’s degree at any school, like how long you intend on working in your chosen field, or if there are any financial concerns. Student advisers can help answer these questions and more. Let them be your guide through this exciting transition into higher education.

The GPS program offers small classes, giving the instructor more time for 1-on-1 interaction. Every instructor has virtual office hours or can meet virtually by appointment.

For students who have never taken an online class, the structure can seem foreign at first and maybe a little intimidating. Brittany could continue working at her job, thanks to the flexibility that online classes offer.  GPS faculty are trained to teach online, so that you can focus on learning. In addition to extra training, professors are active professionals in their fields to ensure you are receiving the most up-to-date information and instruction. Even during online classes, students are encouraged to comment on their peers’ work, some assignments also will require students to work as a group.

The Road Ahead

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”
― Henry Ward Beecher

By the end of Brittany’s graduate program, she will be one step closer to her dream job at Reebok. She will be a valuable employee because she invested in her future.

This is Brittany’s first course at Brandeis and there will be many more. She knows she is on the right path with the Brandeis GPS program.

Content contributed by Digital Marketing and Design student Andrew Scarella with permission.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

Brandeis GPS to Participate in the RoboBusiness AI Summit

Several Brandeis GPS staff members will be representing the division at next week’s Robotics and AI Summit: Advancing Manufacturing Competitiveness event. Special sessions include a round table on “Creating tomorrow’s Robotics leaders,” featuring Nancy Deangelis, Director of Program Development, and Brian Salerno, Director of Online Learning and Instructional Design. The conversation will focus on topics such as what academia can do to support innovation. Let us know if you’ll be attending! You can follow the Summit on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin and register here.

Brandeis GPS offers fully online, top-tier master’s degrees for professionals in today’s most in-demand fields. The Master of Science in Robotic Software Engineering program aims to help students develop an advanced understanding of robotic engineering concepts as they learn from leading software engineers and roboticists. While benefiting from the flexibility of a part-time fully online program, students also gain hands-on experience through the incorporation of robot kits into the curriculum. All courses are ten weeks long, and students can complete the 30-credit degree in as few as 18 months. Samples of our Robotics courses include Modern C++ and Robotics Frameworks, Design and Architectural Patterns for Robotics, and Robot Sensing and Perception.

If you’re interested in applying to the MS in Robotic Software Engineering, you should submit your application by June 20 for fall 1 admission with courses starting in July. Those interested in the program who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still enroll in courses. At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two online courses without officially enrolling. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. Learn more about our MS in Robotic Software Engineering, and preview our Robotic Software Engineering courses here. You can also contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) offers fully online, part-time master’s degrees and professional development courses in today’s most in-demand fields. With four 10-week sessions each year, students can complete their degree in as little as 18 months. Courses are led by industry experts who deliver professional insights and individualized support. Brandeis GPS is dedicated to extending the rigorous academic standards that make Brandeis University one of the top institutions in the country to a diverse population seeking to advance their careers through continuing studies. Brandeis is a medium-sized private research university with a global reach, dedicated to first-rate undergraduate education and the making of groundbreaking discoveries. The university’s 5,700 undergraduate and graduate students are motivated, compassionate, curious, and open to exploring new and challenging experiences. 

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