The Brandeis GPS blog

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

Tag: success

How to be a Productive Online Student

Online master’s degrees at accredited universities have become increasingly popular over recent years. Many programs, like the ones offered at Brandeis GPS, cater to professionals who are working full time and are seeking a degree to move the needle on their career. Truly asynchronous programs – where students aren’t required to log into a class at a certain time – allow students to set their own schedule when it comes to their academic study.  But for some online learners, the lack of structure can be a challenge. Below are some tips to help you achieve the perfect work-life-school balance while pursuing an online degree.

Schedule Your Time
Schedule your school time just like you would schedule an appointment or meeting. Consistency can be key. And don’t forget to get creative with your study time. Have a long train ride as part of your commute? Take care of your weekly readings while you ride. Drive to work? See if your text book has an audio version and listen in the car. Find a regular time to do your coursework, and soon it will become a part of your daily routine.

Find Your Place of Productivity
Ask yourself when you are most productive. Perhaps it’s on that long train ride where you easily focus. Are you most productive on Sunday afternoons while sitting in your local library? Do you enjoy staying in your pajamas and doing work from your kitchen table? There is no right answer as everyone has different zones of productivity. Make sure the space where you want to work is available and distraction-free in advance. You will get everything done a lot faster if you go in knowing this is your time and place for coursework.

Take a Break
If you have an assignment deadline approaching, you may be tempted to come home after a long day of work and open your computer to get your schoolwork done as quickly as you can. Don’t do that – you want to put your best foot forward! Separate your job from your coursework, take some time to relax, go to the gym, or eat a snack. Keep your brain power focused on what you’re doing so you can achieve results that make you proud.

Participate and Stay Engaged
In an online classroom, it is easy to keep quiet and only participate when necessary. Don’t take that approach: you’re here to learn, after all! Schools like GPS intentionally offer small classes to foster engagement and collaboration among your peers and instructors.

Stay tuned for more tips on how to be a productive online student, and don’t forget to reach out to your advisor or instructor for guidance.

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.

One mistake presenters should never make and 8 strategies to avoid it

by: Lisa Nielsen

Whether workshops, panels, keynotes, or classes there is one mistake presenters should never make. It is a mistake I learned to never ever do from a wise lady early in my career. I’ve heeded this advice and seen the negative ramifications of those who do not. Ramifications such as a frustrated, unsatisfied, and anxious audience as well as less than favorable reviews and feedback. Additionally, when presenters, don’t heed this advice, the chances of their audience incorporating what they’ve learned into their work, decreases.

Fortunately, if you remember this one piece of advice, your future presentations will be brighter and your audience will leave more satisfied.

The advice is…

Always make sure your audience feel “they have everything they need to be successful.”

Presenters fail when they say things like:

  • “We have a lot to get through today.”
  • “I am speaking quickly so we have time to cover everything.”
  • “We’re already behind schedule.”
  • “In the interest of time…”

Or do thinks like:

  • Require participants to take down everything you say, because you haven’t provided it to them. They’re focused on the low level task of copying, instead of the higher level thinking of making meaning.
  • Not provide a detailed, timed agenda that could be turn-keyed.
  • Not tell up front and remind participants in the middle and end what goals are and that they are making strides in accomplishing the goals of the session.
  1. Build in extra time at the beginning
    Start out by putting your audience at ease. Create a collegial atmosphere as folks arrive. Perhaps a simple do/now ice breaker where you ask participants to talk to the people around them and find out what they hoped to get out of the day. This gets minds flowing and allows for a relaxed start with a networked room.
  2. Plan for latecomers  
    Latecomers can throw off and delay a presentation. When you address the audience ask them to be the ones to fill in a latecomer should they sit next to them and let them know what to share.
  3. Provide ALL materials
    Speaking of what to share, keep it simple. Create a link where participants can access EVERYTHING you’ve shared. This way they don’t worry about missing anything and you don’t have to worry if they didn’t get something down.
  4. Ensure Materials Can Be Re-purposed Don’t share materials in PDF. Don’t give access without copy ability. Provide materials to participants so that it is easy for them to make their own, customize, and bring back to their work. This is a wonderful gift for teachers (time!) and students (great new learning materials).
  5. Smart Name Tags
    You know that link I mentioned above? Don’t worry about saying it over and over or having to keep putting it back on the projector. Provide name tags or cards with all the information participants will need i.e. a link to the presentation, Twitter hashtag, how to connect to the internet, etc. This way, the answer to every question is “It’s on your name tag.”
  6. Sum up the learning
    At the end of your time share all the new things participants will be able to do as a result of your time together. This way you’re focusing on what they have learned. The audience is assured that they got what they came for out of your time together.
  7. Take backs
    Ask participants to share (verbally or via Twitter, text, post it) in 140 characters or less one thing they’ll take back to their work. This reinforces their learning.
  8. Use reassuring statements
    Let the audience you know you are right on track with statements like:
    • “After our time together you’ll know exactly how to…”
    • “We are right on time.”
  9. Have two plans
    Have one plan if the class moves slowly. Have an additional plan if they move quickly. If they do, let them know that they were so on point they get bonus learning. If they move slowly, they’ll still know exactly what you told them they would learn.

So what do you think? Have you experienced presenters who try to rush through information? Have any of these strategies worked for you? Are these strategies you would try when you present?

 LisaNielsonPic
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How to Think Like the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Original Post: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/05/06/how-to-be-a-successful-entrepreneur/

From Steve Jobs to Ariana Huffington, entrepreneurs are the movers and shakers of our modern world, transforming ideas into empires and concepts into cultures. While anyone can claim to have “the next great business idea,” an extraordinary few can translate those ideas into a viable business. That requires much more than a single stroke of brilliance; it takes a unique blend of boldness, passion, and business know-how that not too many possess.

There is no step-by-step formula to successfully launching and leading your own venture. Every entrepreneur has his or her own unique business philosophy and strategies for success. But, it seems there are a few overarching hallmarks of a great entrepreneur.

If you’re itching to start your own company and create game-changing innovations, start taking notes. Here are seven habits of successful entrepreneurs. Adopt these habits, and hopefully, you’ll start thinking (and earning) like a successful entrepreneur.

1. Act first, think second

1. Act first, think second

Successful entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. They are quick to act even in face of great uncertainty. Rather than spending exorbitant time analyzing, planning, and predicting; they take action. Sure, sometimes the outcome of this speedy decision-making isn’t exactly ideal, but quite often, boldly seizing the moment before it’s too late pays off. If they do make mistakes, the best entrepreneurs learn from them, pick themselves up, and continue to innovate.

“They act, learn from what they find, and act again,” Paul B. Brown said in Forbes.

2. Be a lifelong learner

2. Be a lifelong learner

Great entrepreneurs are constantly curious. They deeply desire to know how products work, how people think and endlessly ask, “why?” This thirst for knowledge not only keeps them well-informed about their industry and the larger world, it enables them to detect opportunity early and innovate breakthrough products.

3. Delegate

3. Delegate

Even the greatest geniuses of our time did not achieve fame and fortune all on their own. The best entrepreneurs know how to build a team whom they can trust to help them realize their vision. Recruiting the right people and delegating effectively is a hallmark of a great CEO. This empowers you to achieve more than you ever could alone. Plus, collaboration is the seed of innovation.

4. Tune into market needs

4. Tune into market needs

Plenty of people can spout brilliant, forward-thinking ideas, but if they are unable to match these schemes with a need in the market, they’re useless. Successful entrepreneurs start with a market need. They don’t let arrogance about their “genius” ideas dictate their actions. The market is their master.

 

5. See the silver linings

5. See the silver linings

When unexpected complications and dilemmas obstruct the path to success, great entrepreneurs don’t see problems, they see opportunity. Armed with this positive attitude, they do not waste time stressing over setbacks. Instead, they find the silver lining in negative situations and discover unexpected opportunities. While they do not wear rose-colored glasses, the best business owners are not bogged down by failure. They continue to be agile innovators and remain ahead of the game.

6. Put people first

6. Put people first

The best entrepreneurs put people first both internally within their organization and externally, when serving customers. Successful ventures are led by those with an immense capacity for empathy and are able to understand other people’s perspectives. Being able to step beyond your limited viewpoint and truly observe, listen, and understand those around you is a crucial asset. It enables entrepreneurs to let the customer’s needs – not their own ideas – dictate strategy. It also helps them encourage loyalty, productivity, and camaraderie among their employees.

7. Never be satisfied

7. Never be satisfied

The best entrepreneurs are never “done” with a project. They would continue to iterate and improve a product for all eternity if time and money permitted.

“Great entrepreneurs are fanatical about improving their products and services…They’ll spend extraordinary time and effort simply to get things right,” said Geoffrey James in Inc.

And if they do complete one project, they waste no time before diving into a new venture, building upon the success of their most recent product. This quest to always be better is what enables successful entrepreneurs to create industry-leading products and be endless sources of innovation.

 

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