February 2013

  • How to Splat on Courses and Not Really Care

    Barry Lenson

    Did you ever splat on a course? I sure did . . . I splatted in both Algebra I and Algebra II. By the time I was three lesson units into each of them, I was far behind because I hadn’t grasped what was happening in the earlier weeks of class. I never caught up, and I got a D in each of them. SPLAT! I had to repeat both of those courses in summer school. I waited too long to drop a language course. I forgot the drop date, walked into the Registrar’s office, said I wanted to drop the course, and SPLAT. I was too late. So I failed it, and my GPA dropped nearly half a point. As you can tell, I was a splat-prone student. Too bad that I went to school before StraighterLine came along. If StraighterLine had been around in those days, I ...

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  • How to Write a Killer College Application Essay

    How to Write a Killer College Application Essay
    Barry Lenson

    In future posts, we’ll cover strategies for writing different kinds of essays – SAT essays, essays on tests, and more. Today, we’ll cover the college application essay. There are actually two kinds of college application essays . . . 1)      The writing sample that you include in the common application online. 2)      An essay that is required as part of the application for colleges where you are applying. Today, we’ll cover the second kind of essay. Here are some strategies to apply. Ready to get started? Sign up for a free trial today! First, understand why the college wants you to write an essay. The purpose of application essays is to determine what you would bring to the college community. That presen ...

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  • College for America: Recent Changes in American Higher Education Create New Opportunities for You

    Barry Lenson

    A few decades ago, the word “college” meant pretty much one thing for students who were attending college in America. If you were a born-and-bred American student, you graduated high school and then headed off to live on a college campus and complete your degree in four years. Even if you were a non-U.S. student who wanted to earn a degree at an American college or university, you followed pretty much the same path as well. You applied for a student visa and came to America to complete your college degree in four years. Today, there are many other options.  Here are just a few of the trends that have changed what it means to go to college in America today . . . More and more working adults have gone back to complete college, ear ...

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  • MOOCs - Greatest Online Distractions, Ever?

    Beth Dumbauld

    By Beth Dumbauld What are MOOCs? MOOCs are massive open online courses. MOOCs are free lecture-based courses available online from some of the world’s most well-known colleges and universities. These free college courses are distributed without limit online and are available to any person, anywhere in the world. MOOCs are free and we all know that free is a good thing, right? Well let’s think this concept through. Free educational access is certainly a noble thing; we all deserve access to a college education no matter where we live or our economic circumstance. Yet, free access to online classes doesn’t necessarily translate into the achievement of academic goals, particularly if your goal is earning your college degree. MOOC ...

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  • Four Questions to Ask a MOOC

    Barry Lenson

    What is a MOOC? (Hint: It’s not a large animal with antlers that ambles across highways in Maine.) A MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course. In other words, a course that anyone can sign up for any time. Today, MOOCs are being offered by many universities, including Stanford, Vanderbilt, Wesleyan, and more. For an overview of more than 100 MOOCs, check out a list that was published on OpenCulture.com. When you read that list, you will find some interesting notations in the fine print. You’ll discover that some of the MOOCs listed will give you a Certificate of Completion after you have finished your course. Others will give you a Certificate of Mastery.  Others will give you nothing. So the message seems to be that it is a good ide ...

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