Brandeis GPS Blog

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

Tag: student experience (page 2 of 2)

Are you fall ready?

As the weather cools down and the days get shorter, there’s no denying it,  fall term is right around the corner. Are you ready to put away your beach chair and get your nose back into your textbooks? Here are a few tips to start a smooth transition back into classes and to make this your most successful term yet!

  1. Get organized earProjectManagement_03ly

Staying organized is an important component of success in academics. Start by reviewing your course syllabi early. Instead of waiting until the first week of classes to familiarize yourself with your schedule, get a jump on things by reading through course syllabi before classes begin. Enter dates of exams and assignments for all your classes into a calendar so you can visually see which weeks will have heavier workloads. This will come in handy when you need to figure out planning your studies in advance and will keep you overall more organized.

  1. Master time management skills

Time management canresource-scheduling make or break your academic journey. Learning to master this valuable skill is essential. Begin by making to do lists each day and setting realistic goals of what should get accomplished. Plan your studies in advance and do not wait until the last minute to cram for studying for an exam or completing a project. Chipping away at studies day by day when planned in advance will be much more beneficial than overloading your brain the night before a due date. Breaks and leisure time should also be included in your schedule! When studying for long hours be sure to give yourself a short break or reward for completing a goal in order to prevent burnout.

 

3. Ditch Distractions

With all the technology that surrounds us, there are plenty of opportunities for distraction and procrastination. Make sure to get out of the habit of utilizing these distractions during study time. Turn ID-10041416off your phone and put it away and delete social media from your taskbar. Without the constant interruption of a buzz from a text or a notification from Facebook, completing tasks and staying focused will become much easier and you will find yourself being much more efficient. Sometimes this can be easier said than done so if you’re still itching to check your phone, use that as a reward for completing a task or schedule it into your allotted break time.

Overall, it is important to try to stay ahead rather than fall behind. Hopefully these tips can be helpful for the upcoming semester! Enjoy your studies! And of course, do not forget to register for your Brandeis GPS course, registration is open now!

 

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My Student Experience

By: Ingah Davis-Crawford, Student in the M.S. in Instructional Design & Technology program

The fall semester 2014, was my first semester at Brandeis GPS.  The last time I had attended grad school was in 2009, when working on my Master’s in Distance Education from the University of Maryland University College.

Believe me when I say that I had no plans to return to school.  But, in the five intervening years I began to think that maybe I should advance my knowledge explorerof instructional design. At the same time I did very much enjoy not having to spend time studying.  I had gotten back into the swing of having a social life and just being able to watch television or read when I wanted was great and let’s not even mention sleep.  Still, every now and again I would surf the net looking for an online grad instructional design program.

That’s what I was doing when I found the Online Instructional Design and Technology program at Brandeis.  I saw it was a new program and that the first cohort would begin studies in the fall.  It was one of those “now you don’t have any excuses” moments for me. If I didn’t apply who could I blame?  My friends and family would understand.  I could dvr my favorite TV shows.  And sleep, well I have gone without it before and survived.

I enrolled in two courses, Principles of Online Instructional Design and Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. I was beginning to get the hang of things when real life intervened.  During the third and fe-Learning Concept. Computer Keyboardourth weeks of the semester , our father, who had been sick for quite some time, was taken into hospice care and began his journey home.  Needless to say that meant I had to put my classes on the back burner, Dad was the priority.  Of course, I messaged my professors to inform them of my circumstances and they were both very understanding. However professor Salerno was particularly kind and encouraging.  In the end after returning my attention to studying, I made the decision to drop Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in favor of concentrating on Principles of Online Instructional Design (ID).

I really enjoyed the ID course, and it was no walk in the park either.  The course offered an education on two levels – first, it was a thorough overview of the methodology behind instructional design.  Second, it was very enlightening to be able to observe and experience professor Salerno’s teaching method and how he structured the course, respectively.  For instance with respect to teaching method, I noticed that he would use the discussion forum topics to get us to think about or practice a specific instructional design technique prior to the assigning a task that would incorporate that technique on a broader scale.  This I found to be quite useful for my own development throughout the course and I also view it as a practical example of best practices.  The course layout within the classroom was very easy to follow.  Course materials for the weekly modules were clearly placed.  Instructions for discussion forum topics and course assignments were clear and concise.  And, professor Salerno was always available to answer questions or offer feedback on a timely basis.  So, there again he was teaching by example.

In closing, I found the course to be challenging, but I know that I learned a lot and I’m glad to have had the experience.  Overall, I’m very satisfied with the learning experience I have had so far at Brandeis GPS, and I’m looking forward to next semester.

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My Journey in Online Learning

The M.S. in Project and Program Management program at Brandeis GPS through the eyes of a recent graduate, Thomas Gratiano.

ProjectManagement_03Three years ago as the manager of the Program Management Group within the Manufacturing and Global Supply Chain (MGSC) Division, my manager challenged me to build my business acumen. To meet this challenge, I started researching: certifications, certificates, and degree programs.

Eventually I came across the Brandeis program, the curriculum was exactly what I was looking for to build on my existing Program Management skills. During the pursuit of my degree at Brandeis I took four classes on campus and six online.  Although I was hesitant at first about taking online classes, the online option provided an increased level of flexibility.  This proved to be a key feature of the program as I ended up Program Managing two projects with our team in Belgium while attending classes online. I was able to travel as often as required with no impact to my ability to participate in class. e-Learning Concept. Computer Keyboard

Upon completion of my degree, I was promoted to senior manager in charge of Framingham manufacturing operations and the MGSC Program Management group. The Brandeis degree built my business acumen and provided me the opportunity to continue to grow with my company. 

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