• The Art of Being a Good Student . . .

    Jaime Dalbke

    How to Beef Up Your Study Skills Once upon a time, educators believed that people were either "good students" or "bad students." Good students found it easy to absorb information and pass tests about it. Bad students found it hard to soak up information and pass tests about it. Some educators foolishly believed that the ability to study efficiently was an indicator of intelligence - that good students were smarter than bad students. Then all that changed. Psychologists realized that studying wasn't directly tied to intelligence. They started to understand that some very intelligent people simply lacked specific study skills that could be taught. So, what are good study skills? Here are some simple approaches that we recomm ...

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  • The Other SAT (StraighterLine Aptitude Test)

    Jaime Dalbke

    If you've been paying attention to the posts on this blog, you know that we took a swipe recently - a BIG swipe - at the stranglehold that the Scholastic Aptitude Test has on American higher education. What can we offer as an alternative? In the interest of fair play, we are offering up an SAT of our own - the StraighterLine Aptitude Test. So sharpen up your pencil, put fresh AAA's in your calculator and here we go . . . MATH SECTION 1. A small state college charges $250 per credit hour and requires you to take a minimum of four courses a semester, each carrying three credit hours. At StraighterLine, you can take those same four courses for $39 apiece*. Your total savings for taking those four courses at StraighterLine would be: a) $1 ...

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  • The Final Four: Why It Costs More to Sit in the Stands than it Costs to Earn College Credits

    Jaime Dalbke

    Which costs less - attending college basketball games or earning college credits? Okay, that's a trick question. But before you answer it, here's some perspective. Let's say that you'd like to head out to Indianapolis to watch the men's NCAA Final Four, or off to San Antonio to watch the women's. Good for you, but you'd better bring suitcases full of money. If you visit the NCAA's Website and click on the "buy tickets now" tab, you will find a variety of packages that let you reserve game tickets and hotel rooms. (These packages are not sold by the NCAA, but by sports travel packagers.) And guess what? If you are traveling alone, you will have to pay about $2,500 for a package that includes a five day/four night stay in a hotel and ti ...

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  • Breaking the SAT's Choke Hold on American Education

    Jaime Dalbke

    Did you know that the first Scholastic Aptitude Test was administered way back in 1901? Fewer than 1,000 students took it that year. Over the years, the SAT grown from a psychological experiment into a test that is taken by between 1.5 and 2 million students every year, at $45 a pop. Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization that administers the SAT, doesn't like to tell how many students line up to take the test annually. The SAT has become a staggering money-maker for ETS, and for dozens of other businesses that swim alongside it like those remora fish that swim next to sharks, scavenging the dollars that ETS has somehow let slip through its jagged teeth. These hangers-on include tutoring companies that charge jumbo fees t ...

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  • 3 Classic Study Strategies that Speed Online Learning

    Jaime Dalbke

    If you want to get some perspective about the power of computers as teaching machines, think about Socrates. That's right - Socrates, the dude who did himself in by drinking hemlock juice. History tells us that every day, Athenian students would gather in a circle around Socrates while he gave long talks and engaged them in spirited conversations. That's a pretty inefficient way to learn. Today, we can fire up our computers and review page after page of information, all presented in an engaging, interactive format. If Socrates saw the teaching power of computers, he would probably drop his toga and run for the nearest Best Buy to get one of his own. Yes, computers are powerful learning tools. But the problem is, they are also capable ...

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