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 10)

Learning Experience Design

Learning experience design is the new frontier in instructional design. Designers take a holistic and learner-centered approach to designing educational experiences, one that considers learning outcomes, motivation and learning environment efficacy. 

The MS in Learning Experience Design at GPS provides students with a hands-on experience utilizing the User-Experience (UX), User Interface (UI) and Instructional Design (ID) principles and techniques needed to advance in the field. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Design and curate learning resources that enhance learner retention and application while aligning to principles of universal design for learning and accessibility standards.
  • Create and deliver high-quality programs and interactive learning experiences in a variety of industry and educational settings.
  • Use data analytics, learner and contextual analysis and interface design assessment to evaluate learning experience and resolve educational challenges.

When we asked Dharini Parthasarathy, an MS in Learning Experience Design student, about the program, she said,

“Brandeis GPS aligned perfectly with my needs and goals. In addition, the Brandeis GPS Learning Experience Design program connects directly to my current work and future professional goals.

I’ve been able to take many courses with the same set of students, developing a sense of community. My advisor has been an amazing resource and support, working with my idea of an academic plan. The professors and courses have been extraordinary, with plenty of application- and project-oriented experiences.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information about the Learning Experience Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Defining My Career Goals with Brandeis GPS

Contributed by: Rachel McAllister, MS in Digital Marketing and Design Candidate (2022)

During my time as an undergraduate at Brandeis, I majored in Film, TV and Interactive Media. Through that major, I became exposed to the technical aspects of film and became interested in visual storytelling. As I looked into options for a post-grad program, I steered my search into the Brandeis GPS programs.

The Rabb school was offering seniors the option of taking two GPS courses during their senior year to accelerate their path to a potential master’s degree. Excited about this opportunity, I decided to take two courses in the M.S. in Digital Marketing and Design program. Digital marketing is a large part of today’s social and business climates, as it uses digital technologies for storytelling, communication and to market products and services. So, the program appealed to me as both a creator and a soon-to-be Brandeis alum.

It was then that it became clear to me that the Digital Marketing and Design Program was the best fit for my needs. Not only was I able to complete two of the required courses as an undergrad, but I also had schedule autonomy as the program is fully online. Due to the acceleration options I was offered as a Brandeis undergrad, I have the opportunity to complete the program in just three, 3-month sessions.

As a Brandeis student who went straight from undergrad to the master’s program, I advise all students who are looking to do the same or who are just interested in trying out new classes, to take advantage of this unique opportunity! My career goals to work in digital marketing for media have been more clearly defined since taking my first two GPS courses.

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Rachel McAllister is a candidate for her Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design (2022) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film, TV and Interactive Media from Brandeis (2021).

Designing, Developing and Maintaining Software Systems

Software engineers enjoy profound flexibility in the global job market. There are ample opportunities in banking, health care, insurance, defense, finance, education and countless other industries that use computing technology in its endeavors. As companies experience the rapid expansion of technology and the impact on all aspects of their businesses, software engineers with a unique set of technology skills are in high demand.

The Master of Software Engineering at Brandeis GPS is designed to help professionals in robotics build advanced skills in various robotic software engineering technologies and develop hands-on experience with the technology stack. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Apply software engineering best practices to design, develop, operate and maintain software systems.
  • Build software solutions using different technologies, architects and life-cycle approaches in the context of different organizational structures, with demonstrated programming expertise in Java.
  • Collaborate and communicate with team members and other stakeholders to achieve software development project goals.

When we asked Joshua, a Master of Software Engineering Graduate, about the program, this is what he said,

“Many of the courses in the program provided me with incredible skills that would have been difficult to learn on my own. I was able to learn multiple different programming languages and apply them through required projects and assignments. In doing so, I feel I have improved my marketability and my value to my company and provided me with opportunities going forward in my life.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information on the Software Engineering program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Leaders in Fintech are in High Demand and Highly Valued

Leaders in FinTech — a rapidly growing field that focuses on a hybrid of finance, software, analytics and the user experience — are in high demand and highly valued. More and more organizations rely on blockchain and other new technologies to streamline financial and reporting systems. For that reason, Brandeis GPS created the Master of Science in Digital Innovation for FinTech, the first FinTech master’s degree in the country. The 30-credit fully online graduate program explores how to create innovative technology solutions for the fast-paced world of financial services. The program helps professionals combine innovation and entrepreneurship to develop financial solutions that use technology in innovative ways.

As startup founders, financial services innovators and active working professionals, our faculty structure their curriculum to draw on real-world expertise and connections. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to: 

  • Design leading-edge financial solutions using emerging technologies.
  • Measure and communicate the ROI of FinTech solutions to stakeholders.
  • Apply financial theories to solve investor problems and design technology solutions.

The interactive seminar-style classes, with an average class size of 12, enhance the student experience, along with access to networking events, webinars and conference opportunities. The MS in Digital Innovation for FinTech gives FinTech professionals an opportunity to advance their careers in one of the most promising industries in today’s job market. When we asked Jake, a 2020 MS In Digital Innovation for Fintech Graduate, about the program, he said,

“The MS in Digital Innovation for FinTech has been excellent. I regularly speak to new contacts in the Fintech space and we have really amazing conversations. The materials have absolutely benefited my abilities to connect with all kinds of contacts in digital innovation spaces that perhaps in the past I would not have been able to have deep discussions with.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information on the Digital Innovation for FinTech program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

 

Why Patient Care and Health Informatics Matter Now More Than Ever

The lines between technology, computer science, communications, and healthcare are blurring as information systems within the health and medical industry continue to grow more complex. According to a case study coming out of Belgium, medical and health informatics services during and after the COVID-19 pandemic should be virtual, tailored, responsive and interactive. More and more, organizations are turning to health informatics to improve efficiency and cut costs while delivering better healthcare to individuals and populations. Organizations need leaders who can manage healthcare delivery with new information technology standards in mind. These individuals must possess a deep knowledge of regulations around medical data; the capacity to use information systems to support strategic decision making; and the ability to develop and implement efficient IT solutions to improve patient care. 

The Master of Science in Health Informatics at GPS prepares professionals to improve patient and healthcare outcomes as well as organizational performance. The fully online master’s degree provides professionals with the skills to develop, manage, and evaluate information technology systems in order to improve the quality of care. When we asked Christina, an MS in Health Informatics Graduate, about the program, this is what she said,

“The Health Informatics program was deeply helpful in providing me with an understanding of how and why the field of medical informatics emerged. It provides an excellent foundation of the field, the issues to be solved within the field, and the methodologies and existing theories on achieving better healthcare outcomes, at scale, through strategic implementation of technology.”

It’s clear that health informatics students are learning directly from faculty working in the field, staying ahead of the evolving industry. Our program prepares students to improve patient and healthcare outcomes as well as organizational performance. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Build and implement IT data solutions for clinicians and administrators.
  • Work with data systems developers, user communities and other stakeholders to design safe and effective data governance policies that ensure the privacy and security of patient data.
  • Lead and manage projects that advance change to ensure quality processes meet industry standards and enable the development of innovative practices.

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information on the Health Informatics program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Explore the Latest Design and Development Processes for Effective UX Leadership

When product development and design processes are user-centric, they become more refined and accessible to users. For that reason, companies are integrating user-centered design in their business operations to improve the user experience and engagement across company sectors. As a result, professionals specializing in user-centered design are in high demand. In fact, Glassdoor has identified UX Designer as #27 on their current list of best jobs in America. Professionals who enjoy working at the intersection of creativity, psychology and technology, and who are curious about how design affects learning and behavior, are discovering ways to set themselves apart from their fellow user-centered designed peers. Our MS in User-Centered Design program is an option.

The fully online master’s degree at Brandeis GPS is designed to strike a balance of theory and practice in applying psychological principles and user research to create useful and innovative user experiences. Students explore the latest design and development processes while building the management and collaboration skills essential for effective UX leadership. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Master interaction design and information architecture tools and techniques, including design ideation and prototyping.
  • Understand and apply the physical and psychological human factors that impact how users interact with digital products and technology.
  • Hone your skills in design thinking, qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation, and leadership.

When we asked Theresa, a User-Centered Design graduate, about the program, this is what she said,

“While a student at Brandeis, I discovered new opportunities and pathways for professional growth that I never realized existed.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments. We will also offer a full-time learning option for our MS in User-Centered Design program. You’ll have the opportunity to complete your graduate degree in one year. 

For more information on the User-Centered Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Project and Program Management

Project and program management can make or break the success of any initiative, and leaders in the field know there are proven ways to get the job done right. According to the Project and Program Management Institute and the Anderson Economic Group, by 2027 employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles. Project and program managers are valuable to any business as they utilize methodologies and practices that are efficient and cost-effective.

The Master of Science in Project and Program Management at GPS prepares professionals to strengthen their skills and employment credentials in the actual application of cutting-edge project management best practices, going beyond a singular focus on the theoretical concepts required by PMI testing. The fully online master’s degree, which is consistent with (though not bound by) the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), helps provide students with a competitive edge in the field of project management. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Successfully lead and manage projects across all phases of the project lifecycle.
  • Align project objectives with strategic goals while managing risks.
  • Manage communications and expectations of project stakeholders.

When we asked Amyntrah, an MS in Project and Program Management Graduate, about the program, this is what she said,

“Obtaining a master’s degree in Project and Program Management at Brandeis University was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The structure of the online courses was quite flexible and fit into my crazy work schedule. I found each class very valuable not only to my profession, but I’m also able to use the skills acquired from the courses outside of work.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information on the Project and Program Management program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Analyze the Big Data of Bioinformatics Research

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations are increasingly viewing bioinformatics as an integral part of their research processes. They make use of vast amounts of genomic data and produce more complex and accurate biological models. Essentially, they are relying more and more on bioinformatics’ mathematical, statistical and computational methods. With the big data being generated across sectors, there is high demand for professionals versed in bioinformatics. In fact, professionals specializing in bioinformatics excel in applying information technology and complex computational approaches to the particular problems of contemporary biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations.

The Master of Science in Bioinformatics at GPS prepares professionals to analyze the big data of bioinformatics research. Students are equipped to:

  • Process, store, analyze and model large volumes of biological data from multiple sources.
  • Independently provide insights into complex biological systems through data synthesis and application of a wide range of computational biology approaches.
  • Effectively communicate and present bioinformatics analyses to multidisciplinary project teams.

When we asked Kristina, an MS in Bioinformatics graduate, about the program, this is what she had to say,

“I have become a more well-rounded bioinformatician with exposure to other areas of the field. I learned to challenge myself to produce better code and present and communicate more effectively.”

Our program empowers professionals in the field to be innovative leaders. They take their expanded invaluable knowledge to biomedical organizations that are experiencing an increase in computational technology needs and make sense of the big data. As a result, these particular biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations have employees who drive innovation and growth while simultaneously impacting the company mission.

For more information on the Bioinformatics program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

An open source education program that suits your availability and learning style

Brandeis University and the Open Source Initiative® (OSI) announced at OSCON 2019 that they would be partnering to provide new educational offerings for the open source community. The OSI-Brandeis partnership aims to help address the growing demand for expertise within organizations seeking to authentically collaborate with, and productively manage, open source resources.

Now, more than ever, OSI and Brandeis University understand that providing options that align with individuals’ lifestyle and learning style ensures a positive learning experience. The fully-online Open Source Technology Management program that was initially launched in January has been redesigned to empower professionals in the open source community to pursue a valuable and needs-specific professional development opportunity. In fact, there are no prerequisites for the program.

The first micro-course of the program begins on June 1, 2020. Students have the choice to select one of four learning options. Participation in the program provides the opportunity to obtain open source skills that will set open source professionals apart from their colleagues, collaborate with fellow open source community members, and have access to quality coursework that is endorsed by OSI.

Option 1
Take a single 4-week micro-course. The upcoming course that will be offered is Cultivate an Open Course Community. Other courses in the program include:

  • Integrate the Open Source Community (launches July 6, 2020)
  • Open Source Business Practices
  • Establish an Open Source Program Office
  • Open Source Workflow and Infrastructure
  • Production of Distributed Open Source Software

Option 2
Complete two micro-courses in a given topic area, and earn a digital badge in one of these three areas: The Business of Open Source, Open Source Community Development, or Open Source Development Fundamentals.

Option 3
Complete all six micro-courses, and receive a certificate in Open Source Technology Management.

Option 4
Complete a capstone assignment at the conclusion of two micro-courses, and earn 3 graduate-level credits.

True to open source software process and principles, the educational offerings coming out of the partnership are crowd-sourced and jointly developed by an advisory board comprised of university curriculum development experts and senior open source advocates from Amazon, Red Hat, Bloomberg, Twitter and other leading companies.

Sign up to receive more information about the program. Specific questions can be emailed to Kathryn Wight, Director of Partnership Engagement.

Marketing 101: What’s Push versus Pull?

By Steven Dupree

Fishing on Ashumet Pond is one of the most relaxing things in the world. But good luck catching anything! Unless you’re Kevin. Kevin loves fish, he wears fish shirts, he puts fish bumper stickers on his car. Kevin once researched whether a surplus of carbon dioxide causes cataracts in fish. And Kevin catches fish when he wants to.

The way I see it, there are two ways I can someday snag fish like Kevin (besides trading in my Brandeis mathematics degree for marine biology, of course):

  1. Improve fishing skill
  2. Add fish to pond

Step One: Pull

Hopefully, your product or service already has an audience out there. They’re looking for you. It’s your responsibility to make customer value as available as possible. Find prospects wherever they are and meet their demand.

When I worked at LogMeIn, we coined the term “active seekers” to describe this population. These are the hungry folk. The old lawnmower broke and they’re searching for “John Deere riding mower” so they don’t have to collect and dump lawn clippings.

Pull marketing starts with search-based advertising (Google Ads) but it doesn’t end there. If you offer a niche consumer product or a B2B product, there may be digital marketplaces or directories where you want to be. Signs for bananas where the monkeys are famished.

Pull marketing (alternatively known as inbound marketing, demand harvesting) has two advantages: it’s relatively cheap and it converts quickly. The primary drawback? You can do a limited amount of pull marketing before you hit some invisible wall.

Ok, let’s suppose I’ve practiced casting my fishing rod. I know how to tie a fly. But the fish still don’t bite! What now?

Step Two: Push

You may need to stock the pond.

If you’re solving a pain point that customers don’t even know they have, then you may not have much of an audience (yet). And even if they know the pain point all too well, your audience may have trouble discovering you if they are not searching.

Push marketing (alternatively known as outbound marketing, demand generation) includes the vast majority of online and offline media: newsletters, display advertising, Facebook ads, most social media, billboards, door hangers, and sides of buses…to name a few.

Why are there so many more channels for push advertising? After all, the unit economics are typically more expensive than pull advertising. It takes longer to convert dollars into customers due to that nuisance of “educating” the customer. Why not invest 100% in paid search? Well, you simply may not be able to.

Push marketing, in contrast to pull, is virtually unlimited. Advertisers desperately need customers, publishers will gladly take your money, and all the while your target audience will do whatever they feel like. Success depends on delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time. Good push marketing does just that.

One year, they stocked Ashumet Pond with extra trout. I’m still a novice fisherman but I managed to catch one or two.

If Pull and Push Don’t Work?

Even if your audience doesn’t know or care about your product or service, you mustn’t lose hope. It may be costly to acquire customers and difficult to demonstrate positive return-on-investment “ROI” in the early days. But it won’t always be this way.

Ask yourself: can an “active seeker” population develop as your early customers share their experiences with your product or service–thus enabling you to add pull marketing to your mix? Rising demand for your product or service generates inbound interest. This enables pull marketing and defrays your acquisition costs. 

Or: will it become prohibitively expensive to rise above the noise–as competitors enter and your target market evolves? Customer education is always an option, but it’s expensive. You can do as much push marketing as you need if only you have an unlimited budget. Success still depends upon how receptive customers are to the value you provide.

Rule of Thumb:

In marketing and fishing, as in skeet shooting: pull first, then push!

Steven Dupree is chair of the MS in Digital Marketing and Design program at Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies. In his day job, Steven is VP, Marketing at Amava, a platform helping active retirees find opportunities to earn, learn, travel and more. He has previously held investing and operating roles including VP, Marketing at SoFi, the first and largest provider of student loan refinancing, and VP, Online Marketing Operations at LogMeIn, an early software-as-a-service provider of remote access and collaboration tools. He mentors entrepreneurs for Endeavor Global and Reforge, and serves on the board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies is committed to creating programs and courses that keep today’s professionals at the forefront of their industries. To learn more, visit www.brandeis.edu/gps.

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