by Nathan Schiller on November 19, 2013 in Luminaria
IN THIS ISSUE
- Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson
- I Took A MOOC
- Interview: MCNY President Vinton Thompson
- Learning To Learn
- MOOCs At MCNY?
- Low MOOC Completion Rates
- A Brief Tour of MOOC Providers
- MOOCs And Math
- LEC Students on MOOCs
Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson
As the new Coordinator of the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC) and Mentor & Leadership Development Program (MLDP), I am excited to welcome you to another edition of Luminaria. This edition seeks to unfold the MOOC phenomenon. Recently, I have found myself thinking about my past professional experiences in non-conventional environments, which have given me an array of perspectives on education and learning. As the Education Center Coordinator for an adult basic education center, I analyzed issues ranging from the residual effects of a flawed K-12 system to the impositions of family life on the adult learner. As the Coordinator of a CUNY access program charged with getting young minorities involved in biomedical research and the world of STEM, I worked with students at the top of their undergraduate classes—students who didn’t need remedial intervention but who needed to be introduced to, and guided through, research opportunities, internships, and summer programs. And as Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion at a premier city high school, I promoted diversity within an intelligent and articulate but, from the perch of interpersonal engagement, socially and culturally uninformed student body.
In each of these situations—and in many more like them—MOOCs have the potential to fill an education gap by giving students the time and space to step in and out of the classroom experience without interrupting their work flow. Having seen early college students selflessly offer up their naivety in exchange for an introduction to different cultures, I imagine students will bring that same innocence and yearning to the global, virtual MOOC classroom. I like to think that, in the same ways my former students strung their life experiences outside the classroom into an applicable learning device when they worked with their tutors, students enrolled in MOOCs will use their experience to enhance the experience for all. And I also believe that the communal MOOC environment will foster an opportunity for students to chime in on topics they never imagined they could have anything of substance to offer.
I am not concerned, and do not think, that MOOCs will replace the traditional classroom. More likely, they will supplement the brick-and-mortar education system richly and robustly . . . with many hiccups along the way. And that brings me full circle, to my role with the LEC and MLDP here at MCNY. As online classes and MOOCs continue to expand throughout higher education, support services—where confused and introspective students converse with real, live human tutors and mentors—will become all the more vital. As you survey the perspectives of this issue, I hope you take a moment to consider how the digital MOOC model might add to the analog nature of your education and your life. Happy reading.
by Nathan Schiller on January 2, 2013 in Reflections
Plagiarism is the most serious offense in academia. Its definition—the undocumented use of another person’s work—is straightforward, and its maximum sentences for an offense are draconian: expulsion for students, termination for professors. If the stakes are so high, why would anyone risk plagiarizing another person’s work?
by Nathan Schiller on November 13, 2012 in Luminaria
IN THIS ISSUE
- Letter from the Editor
- Learning the Tricks to College Life
- Learning How to Learn: Academia’s Best Kept Secret
- Learners Who Inherit the Future
- Study Skills
Letter from the Editor
Sujey Batista, Writing Specialist
“The future belongs to those who are capable of being retrained again and again.”
Our latest issue discusses one of the most valuable skills one can possess as a student and working professional: the ability to learn. Lifelong learning is vital for those who seek success throughout their working lives. Those who can successfully acquire and apply this part skill, part survival tactic are more likely to thrive in today’s dynamic and fast-paced world. Lifelong learners embrace the idea of learning as a mechanism for improvement as professionals and human beings.
The submissions from our team explore this topic from a variety of angles. Aside from providing readers with a conceptual understanding of the skill, we discuss the relevance of this ability in correlation with current workforce trends and its connection to Purpose-Centered Education. The issue features an interactive piece that explores the benefits of study skills as an effective learning strategy. Another section, dedicated to the student reader, provides insight on skills that, when mastered, can ease the challenges of college life. We’ve provided our readers with valuable insight that, in combination with a self-directed attitude and open-mind, can help anyone accomplish their most valued goals. Enjoy!
by Sujey Batista on November 7, 2012 in Fresh From the Field
When I was growing up, there was no Dora the Explorer and no Ni-Hao Kai-Lan.
The cartoons of my childhood communicated solely in English. Ren and Stimpy, Doug, and the Rugrats were not bilingual. I, on the other hand, had to jump between two languages and two cultures.
by Aleksandr Rusinov on October 16, 2012 in Reflections
Many recent high school graduates are experiencing certain difficulties in dealing with college undergraduate mathematics. A lot of researchers on students in college performance reveal that many first-year students are coming underprepared for college life and are frequently frustrated by sequential failure in remedial math sequence and drop out of college. “For some, it may be that their confidence has been severely dented by someone who taught them maths [sic] in a forceful or unsympathetic manner, so that they came to believe that they were ‘no good at maths [sic]’” (Fewings, 2011).
by Nathan Schiller on August 7, 2012 in Must Sees
The title of this post poses what seems to be an impossible question. Yet it results in some very objective answers.
by Parker Pracjek on July 25, 2012 in Fresh From the Field
This is a picture I took of a wheat-pasted poster in Manhattan in the early days of Occupy Wall Street.
Its phrase attests to the age-old struggle of the masses fighting for an equitable piece of the pie. And, though it references power struggles with which we are very familiar, it is linked to a new movement radically catalyzed by social media. Until recently, major changes in power came in part through the direction of a revolution’s leaders or figure-heads, but not so anymore; the world has borne witness to an incredible new era of power shifts.
“Bearing witness” to human struggle and social activism have been at the heart of MCNY’s vision since its founding. For this—and many reasons—I regularly use and talk about social media in my Critical Thinking classes. In our class discussions, we have found that as others’ realities become instantaneously available to us, we are met with the opportunity (and obligation, I feel) to be impacted in ways never before seen in human history. Each of our lives now becomes shaped, informed, called into question by the realities of others across the globe.
In a recent article, Revolutionizing Revolutions: Virtual Collective Consciousness and the Arab Spring, the authors discuss the “role social media play not only in igniting revolutions but also in modifying how regime change is achieved” (Marzouki and Oullier, 2011). The article considers the far-reaching impact of studies tracking the “bottom-up” approach in recent uprisings. The interpretation of these studies not only gives shape to complex systems of emergent behaviors (thousands mobilizing instantly for protests), but patterns of change that are necessarily accumulative.
What does this mean?
by Sujey Batista on July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
Students often find themselves on the verge of flunking a class, and having already lost the option to withdraw, the realization of the situation produces a panic that becomes debilitating. As a result, some students succumb to the frenzy and allow the rest of their semester to crash and burn.
Instead, “Keep calm and carry on”, as states the recently commercialized British government slogan. Don’t wave the white flag and don’t call off the troops. There’s still time to save your grade!
The following grade-saving strategies will help you make the most of the remaining semester:
1. Reach out to professors
Communicating with professors is an excellent grade-saving strategy. It’s never too late to speak to the instructor. Express your desire to improve your current standing and find out exactly what is expected of you. Professors are usually willing to work something out if you show that you’re serious and motivated. You can haggle for some extra credit, extensions on deadlines, and resubmissions for higher marks.
by Aleksandr Rusinov on June 29, 2012 in Reflections
The hottest discussion topic among mathematic educators within Metropolitan College of New York revolves around the idea of what mathematic skills our students should have. The biggest concern arises when students face failure with fraction concepts. The advancement from secondary to post-secondary education demands that students should have already mastered these skills in elementary school and demonstrated computational proficiency during the Accuplacer entry examination. However, newly admitted and even some continuing students continue to struggle with concepts of fraction addition and fraction subtraction. So, many students believe that mastery of fraction skills will never be achieved. This belief is a myth.
by Nathan Schiller on June 6, 2012 in Must Reads
The New York Times has always been good at coming up with intellectually relatable witty titles for the articles it posts to its website, and University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda’s recent post, “The Most Comma Mistakes,” is no exception. Now, before you do anything else, take a second look at the sentence you just read. You will notice that it is rather long (40 words) but that it contains only three commas. “How can that be?” you might wonder. “The longer a sentence is, the more commas it needs, right?” Well, that isn’t necessarily incorrect, but it’s not correct either. In fact, it’s one of those things people think is true when they don’t actually have any idea about what they’re talking about. For the truth is that if everyone took a moment to learn the basic rules of comma usage, they would find that it’s not all that difficult to master.