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Monday, February 29, 2016

New Issue Published: International Journal of Online Engineering Volume 12, Issue 2 (2016)

International Journal of Online Engineering (iJOE) has just published its latest issue at
Have a look at the Table of Contents.

Review the Table of Contents here and then visit the website to review articles and items of interest. 

iJOE is an Open Access Journal. Readers don't have to pay any fee. Only registration is necessary.  

Table of Contents 

Guest Editoria

From the AME2014 Organizers
(Zhenyu Du)



The Design and Implementation of Photoelectric Sensor for Yarn Color
Fault Detection
(Fenhua Sheng, Zujue Chen)

The Application and Practice of the Voltage Reactive Power Optimization
Automatic Control System (AVC)in the Power Grid of Wuhu Region
(Liang Sun, Xusheng Jian, Wenqiang Yuan)

Application and Realization of Improved Apriori Algorism in Hadoop
Simulation Platform for Mass Data Process
(Ya-ni Sun, Xinhua Chen)

Research on Design of Management System for Power Source Equalizing
Charge based on FPGA control
(Haifeng Lin, Ruili Mao)

***Computer Network Simulation Modeling Based on Object Oriented Petri Net
(Xinhua Chen, Ya-ni Sun)

Fault Diagnosis Based on Multi-sensor Data Fusion for Numerical Control
(Yan Wen, Ji-wen Tan, Hong Zhan, Xian-bin Sun)

Dynamic Simulation of Crank-group Driving Mechanism with Clearance
(Yansong Liu, Jujiang Cao)

The Design and Implementation of Network Simulated Virtual Laboratory
Based on Dynamips
(Guocui Jiang)

Research of Multifunctional Fitness Equipment Monitor Based on
Photoelectric Sensor
(Qiang Fu)

Embedded QR Code Intelligent Recognition Platform Based on Team Progress
(Yuehong Wu)

The Intelligent Remote Control System Based on the Wireless Sensor
(Kaibin Wei)

Motion Simulation in Virtual Basketball Shooting Teaching System
(Gong Chen, Ning Chen)

Study on an improved algorithm for optimization of PID parameters
(Shaofei Wu)

Enjoy your reading!   
Souce: International Journal of Online Engineering (iJOE)

‘Son of Saul,’ Kierkegaard and the Holocaust

Photo: Katalin Balog
"The Oscars’s best foreign language film delivers a moral imperative as well as an aesthetic choice." according to Katalin Balog, associate professor of philosophy at Rutgers University-Newark.  

Christian Harting, left, and Geza Rohrig in a scene from “Son of Saul.”
Credit Sony Pictures Classics, via Associated Press
Art is often the subject of philosophy. But every now and then, a work of art — something other than a lecture or words on a page — can function as philosophy. “Son of Saul,” a film set in Auschwitz-Birkenau during the Holocaust, is such a work of art. It engages with a profound set of problems that also occupied the 19th-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.

Written and directed by the Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes, “Son of Saul” won awards at Cannes, the Golden Globes and elsewhere before making its way to the Oscars to win the award for best foreign language film. It follows a day in the life of Saul, a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of mostly Jewish prisoners the Nazis forced to assist with herding people to the gas chambers, burning the bodies and collecting gold and valuables from the corpses. The film creates a direct, experiential and visceral engagement with these events by maintaining a relentless focus on the minute-to-minute unfolding of Saul’s world... 

Much of Kierkegaard’s philosophy is a warning against the tendency — greatly accelerated in modern times — to take an increasingly objective, abstract perspective on the world. While the paradigm example of this is science, it is most problematic when applied to one’s own life and existence. To identify life with its abstractions is, in Kierkegaard’s view, a dangerous but all too common error.

Photo: Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are generally two, radically different ways to relate to the world: objective and subjective. Objectivity is an orientation towards reality based on abstracting away, in various degrees, from subjective experience, and from individual points of view. A subjective orientation, on the other hand, is based on an attunement to the inner experience of feeling, sensing, thinking and valuing that unfolds in our day-to-day living. This distinction has been brought into contemporary philosophical discourse most notably by Thomas Nagel, in a number of his essays, most famously inWhat Is It Like to Be a Bat?

The spectacular success of science in the past 300 years has raised hopes that it also holds the key to guiding human beings towards a good life. Psychology and neuroscience has become a main source of life advice in the popular media. But philosophers have long held reservations about this scientific orientation to how to live life. The 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume, for instance, famously pointed out, no amount of fact can legislate value, moral or otherwise. You cannot derive ought from is. But there is another, in some way more radical concern, expressed in Western philosophy most forcefully by Kierkegaard, and in literature by Dostoyevsky — two religiously inspired thinkers — namely that our experience of life matters in ineffable ways that no objective understanding of the world can capture...

One does not have to agree with Kierkegaard’s single-minded, hostile rejection of objective thought and objectivity to still consider what he has to say about the cultivation of subjectivity, because that is where his major insights lie. So what about his exhortation to become subjective? Why is there even a need for this? Isn’t it true that, given our experience of life, we already are? It seems that one cannot fail to be a subject, to be subjective. However, as Kierkegaard points out, the mind can flee its own subjectivity; instead of dwelling in the presence of one’s experience, one can escape into alienation; into theorizing about needs, goals and happiness, and live by abstract principles and objective measures. As Freud has described, there are various ways of doing this: by repressing experience, dissociating from it, numbing it, turning away from it.
Read more... 

Source: New York Times (blog)

The ‘logic test’

Photo: Terry Mejdrich
"In the philosophy of science, ‘logical argument’ is not a shouting match between people with emotionally charged opposing views, as the everyday use of the word argument might imply." summarizes Terry Mejdrich, Columnist - Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

Rather it describes a discussion based on a carefully determined set of guiding principles by which one might determine the validity of a proposition, and is especially useful in science and ‘truth telling.’ Political discourse, however, has never been accused of being a rational discussion, and fails the ‘logic test’ miserably. Why? People, in general, are driven mostly by emotion and so ‘logic’ is not the most useful means of political persuasion.

Our ‘base’ emotions come from the deepest, most ancient, part of the human brain, while the ‘logic center’ is a relatively new and still developing adaptation. Therefore, there is a human tendency toward emotion-based decision making. One might decide that this is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but the point is that those who wish to influence opinion will almost always taint their arguments with an appeal to emotion.

The most common errors in human discourse are called ‘fallacies of argument’. There are dozens. Some are quite technical and involve sentence and argument ‘structure’. But others, with a little bit of thought, are easily understandable. A few of these are listed below with a brief explanation. One might, as an experiment, think of the recent political debates and decide which of the following fallacies the candidates employed.

Source: Herald Review

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Social Capital and Learning by Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger

Photo: Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger
Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger, BellaOnline's Distance Learning Editor writes, "If you use social media, you realize the instant access to knowledge you have, particularly in connection with social groups. Nevertheless, there is a misconception that social media is a waste of time, a bad habit that contributes to social isolation." 


The reality is that social media adds value to your life. But just as with anything else you indulge in, moderation must be practiced. The two-way communication that social media offers affords individuals the opportunity to connect and communicate with others around the globe. All social media users can research information, learn from others, advertise their brands, join groups of like-minded people, and stay in touch with friends and family who are geographically dispersed. Social media delivers a centralized environment in which individuals of different ages and from various cultures can collaborate. The higher your social capital, the more information you are exposed to, which ultimately increases your learning.

Learning via a distance-learning environment or in an on-campus classroom is a great way to gain knowledge along with a degree. Yet once you leave the classroom or training facility, learning and retention begins to decrease if you do not continue to foster or apply what you’ve learned within a few weeks. Social media extends knowledge by encouraging peer-to-peer learning by doing. Students are instinctually drawn to their mobile devices to satisfy their immediate needs to connect with their peers—it’s almost a form of instant gratification. Instructors can utilize this attraction students have to social media as a teaching opportunity. 

Related link 

Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger is a self-proclaimed geek girl leading an information technology web team for a research and technology organization at the Boeing Company.  She is a doctoral candidate researching internal corporate social media strategies and contributing editor for the distance-learning channel at BellaOnline – The Voice of Women.  


What will the workplace of 2026 look like?

"What will the workplace of 2026 look like?" reports Kathryn Cave, Editor at IDG Connect.

Source: IDG Connect

“I was very surprised by what she demanded…” said my friend from across the pint-glass-strewn pub table: “Her own desk… and a window!”

He was talking about a colleague who has left his company for pastures new. And the real draw of her new role was not pay, or career opportunities – but where she physically sat. Because, although it is increasingly normal to hot desk in a huge windowless bunker, some people just hate it. “Flexibility” isn’t for everyone.

Over the last decade, a lot of things have changed around offices. Back then, most people worked on a fixed desktop. Now, many do everything on mobile or a laptop. And it is increasingly normal to work from home, in a coffee shop or on a train. Yet at present, we’re still clearly in a state of transition.

So, what is the workplace likely to look like by 2026? Well, to find out, we asked experts to step forward and present their views. We have collated the results together into this short online report.

What will the workplace of 2026 look like?
In total just over 30 different individuals offered their opinions on the workplace in ten years’ time. Obviously, the majority – although not all – had a vested interest in the technologies they were tipping for success, which makes their feedback not entirely reliable. But even so, most of the results were a clear continuation of what we’re seeing today, and proved remarkably consistent. In fact, two main things emerged.

Firstly, the physical office itself will become even more irrelevant than it is today. More than half the people we spoke to told us the main thing we’d notice was people would be working everywhere.

The implications suggested include a move towards “work life integration”, a work environment that is better suited to our “emotional needs” and a working week which is more focused on results than hours. This in turn would help us move away from big, congested cities. 

The second thing people told us is that the physical office that does remain will become even more high-tech with highly automated applications that help employees perform better. This could mean offices that understand your light and heat preferences – and potentially – biometric readings, which use body data to produce better environments. The upshot of all this would be technology which is so seamless and invisible that most people will never think about it anymore.

Other ideas presented include: hand-writing will die out, we’ll be probably working alongside robots and, more subtly, the technology we use at work will be better than the stuff we have at home...

What other predictions did people make?Several people feel that as technology becomes more sophisticated it will become more of a silent partner in our lives. “The awareness of the technology behind a product will become much more discreet,” says David Quantrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager, EMEA at Box.

“Instead, the focus will be on usability and functionality.”

While Daniel Model, Manager of Sales Engineering Europe at Acronis says by then “technology will be completely integrated and nearly invisible in all aspects of life that we will have difficulties to imagine how pre-digital life was even possible. Data is becoming the new oil of today’s world already, in 2026, we would cease to exist without data.”

Photo: Leslie Willcocks
Professor Leslie Willcocks of the London School of Economics believes that, by 2026 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will be commonplace and essential in the workplace, and that humans will be working alongside robots.

Source: IDG Connect

Perspective: A woman in tech in Palestine

Kathryn Cave, Editor at IDG Connect notes, "We catch-up with Palestinian One Young World Ambassador and technology entrepreneur Abeer Abu Ghaith"

Photo: IDG Connect

“I grew up knowing nothing but war and conflict,” says 31-year old Abeer Abu Ghaith, who has set-up several businesses to help young women in her local Palestine and MENA region. This began with online network, StayLinked in 2013, while last November she launched the MENA Alliances Group Inc. Described by AP News as “the first female high-tech entrepreneur in the West Bank” she also represented Palestine as One Young World Ambassador in Bangkok last year.

“I lived in refugee camp in Jordan for 12 years,” she tells IDG Connect. “I learned firsthand the reality of the lack of resources for living and education at a very young age. Then I moved to live in a small village [in Palestine]. I have experienced three wars so far in my life along with occupation, settlements and hostile settlers, checkpoints, blockades, raids, and incursions.”

Ghaith tells us how checkpoints restrict free movement on a daily basis. “It takes an average of two hours to reach my work 15km from my home – instead of 15 minutes – because of movement restrictions,” she says. “Restriction of movement is the key cause of high rates of unemployment and poverty in Palestine, especially among women.”

One of the core issues as she sees it is that jobs are available in the larger cities but it is not an option for a woman to live alone or be out late at night. “As a result, Palestinian women have one of the lowest rates of workforce participation in the world. Despite this challenge, Palestinian women make up a majority of students in many universities in Palestine,” she says.

“I was often told growing up that ‘a woman’s future is in her husband’s kitchen,” she adds. “But, I believe as a woman I can help change the world in my own way, even in tough situations. This motivated me to finish school with high grades. Then I earned a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering and graduated with honors.”

Despite this, she describes a period of two years where she was completely unemployed with no job prospects. “During my unemployment period, I kept taking online courses in my technical area to improve my skills. This helped me to get my first job as an instructor in computer networking at a university.”

Source: IDG Connect

CSUS statistics professor coached daughters to spelling championships

"Geetha Ramachandran taught statistics for three decades" summarizes Cathy Locke, Online Reporter - Sacramento Bee.
Photo: Geetha Ramachandran © 2010 Heather Parker

Geetha Ramachandran taught three decades of students as a professor of statistics at California State University, Sacramento, but she was perhaps best known in the Sacramento region as mother and coach of the 1988 National Spelling Bee champion.

Her eldest daughter, Rageshree Ramachandran, became the first California resident to win the national contest. Seven years later, her younger daughter, Sohini, won the Central Valley Spelling Bee and also advanced to the national competition.

“She sought perfection,” Doraiswamy “Chandra” Ramachandran, said of his wife of 41 years. “She wanted you to try to do things to the best of your ability.”

Geetha Ramachandran, a Gold River resident, died Feb. 18 of lymphoma, said her husband. She was 67.

Although Ramachandran’s name typically was linked to her daughters’ achievements in news stories, she was their role model, Chandra Ramachandran said.

As a father, he said, he could mentor his daughters, “but a mother who had a Ph.D. had a lot of impact,” he said.

Geetha Ramachandran was born Jan. 12, 1949, to A.S. Krishnan and Saraswathy Krishnan in Madras, India. She was the second of four children.

She excelled academically and was ranked “First Class First” in statistics – the equivalent of summa cum laude, her husband said – as a teenager in 1966. She also was the debate champion of Presidency College, an honor earlier achieved by former Indian President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Ramachandran entered the graduate program at the Indian Statistical Institute, where she met her future husband and fellow mathematician. After earning her doctoral degree, she was a visiting faculty member at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the University of the Philippines, before coming to the United States in 1980. She served on the faculty at Rutgers University, Rider College (now Rider University) in Princeton, N.J. Elon College in North Carolina and the University of Georgia at Athens before moving to California.

In 1984, she joined the faculty at CSUS, where she and her husband were professors in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She retired in January 2015.

Edward Bradley, a professor and former chairman of the department, said he and Ramachandran joined the CSUS faculty about the same time. She came to the university with outstanding credentials, he said, noting the Indian Statistical Institute has one of the world’s top statistics program. Ramachandran was particularly known for her upper-division statistics courses. Many of her students, he said, went on to graduate programs and professions in the actuarial field. 

Source: Sacramento Bee

The Wrong Way to Teach Math

"Think about numbers as a language; we need to learn to be fluent in it." according to Andrew Hacker, teaches political science and mathematics at Queens College and is the author of the forthcoming book The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions,” from which this article below was adapted.

Photo: Laurie Rollitt

HERE’S an apparent paradox: Most Americans have taken high school mathematics, including geometry and algebra, yet a national survey found that 82 percent of adults could not compute the cost of a carpet when told its dimensions and square-yard price. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently tested adults in 24 countries on basic “numeracy” skills. Typical questions involved odometer readings and produce sell-by tags. The United States ended an embarrassing 22nd, behind Estonia and Cyprus. We should be doing better. Is more mathematics the answer?

In fact, what’s needed is a different kind of proficiency, one that is hardly taught at all. The Mathematical Association of America calls it “quantitative literacy.” I prefer the O.E.C.D.’s “numeracy,” suggesting an affinity with reading and writing.

Calculus and higher math have a place, of course, but it’s not in most people’s everyday lives. What citizens do need is to be comfortable reading graphs and charts and adept at calculating simple figures in their heads. Ours has become a quantitative century, and we must master its language. Decimals and ratios are now as crucial as nouns and verbs.

It sounds simple but it’s not easy. I teach these skills in an undergraduate class I call Numeracy 101, for which the only prerequisite is middle school arithmetic. Even so, students tell me they find the assignments as demanding as rational exponents and linear inequalities.

I’m sometimes told that what I’m proposing is already being covered in statistics courses, which have growing enrollments both in high schools and colleges. In 2015, nearly 200,000 students were taking advanced placement classes in statistics, over three times the number a dozen years ago. This might suggest we are on the way to creating a statistically sophisticated citizenry.

So I sat in on several advanced placement classes, in Michigan and New York. I thought they would focus on what could be called “citizen statistics.” By this I mean coping with the numbers that suffuse our personal and public lives — like figures cited on income distribution, climate change or whether cellphones can damage your brain. What’s needed is a facility for sensing symptoms of bias, questionable samples and dubious sources of data.

My expectations were wholly misplaced. The A.P. syllabus is practically a research seminar for dissertation candidates. Some typical assignments: binomial random variables, least-square regression lines, pooled sample standard errors. Many students fall by the wayside. It’s not just the difficulty of the classes. They can’t see how such formulas connect with the lives they’ll be leading. Fewer than a third of those enrolled in 2015 got grades high enough to receive credit at selective colleges.

Something similar occurred when the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching created a statistics course for 19 community colleges in 2012. It was advertised as an alternative to remedial algebra, with its sadistic attrition rates. In Statways, as it was called, here is some of what students were asked to master: chi-square test for homogeneity in two-way tables, line multiple representation of exponential models. Even with small classes and extra support, almost half of the students got D’s or F’s or dropped the class.

The Carnegie and A.P. courses were designed by research professors, who seem to take the view that statistics must be done at their level or not at all. They also know that citizen statistics is not the route to promotions. In the same vein, mathematics faculties at both high schools and colleges dismiss numeracy as dumbing down or demeaning. In fact, figuring out the real world — deciphering corporate profits or what a health plan will cost — isn’t all that easy.

So what kinds of questions do I ask my students?
Read more... 

Additional resources

The Math Myth:
And Other STEM Delusions
"The Math Myth expands Hacker’s scrutiny of many widely held assumptions, like the notions that mathematics broadens our minds, that mastery of azimuths and asymptotes will be needed for most jobs, that the entire Common Core syllabus should be required of every student. He worries that a frenzied emphasis on STEM is diverting attention from other pursuits and subverting the spirit of the country." writes Amazon.

Publisher: The New Press (March 1, 2016). 

Source: New York Times

Saturday, February 27, 2016

How can we infuse innovation in language education?

In a special project commissioned by the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (LFTIC) at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the NMC is releasing Innovating Language Education: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief.  

This report aims to inform an unprecedented strategic planning effort to devise technology-supported activities and programs for LFTIC, as well as to aid in decision-making and policymaking across the higher education sector.

Download the report (PDF)

The project launched in August 2015 with the goal of providing input to the LFTIC team regarding sustainable technological innovations catalyzed by smart collaborations, research, and forward-thinking pedagogy -- with the help of an editorial board of field thought leaders. In the process, the NMC's research has underscored the need to cultivate a community of language, technology, and private sector professionals that can collectively build upon successful models of technology-enhanced learning while also developing new partnerships to push the frontiers of digitally-mediated learning environments. The ultimate goal is to scale up LFTIC's programs in order for participating students to achieve superior levels of world language proficiency while also becoming more culturally aware, global citizens.

"This report combines the forward-looking vision we have come to expect from of the NMC with the insights from language learning professionals who have a long track record of respected work in various areas of technology and world language education," said Julio Rodriguez, Co-Director of LFTIC and co-author of the report. "The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center sees the collaboration with the NMC that produced this report as an example of the power of partnerships and critical views that move the profession forward."

"The task of innovating language education goes far beyond bolstering students' grammar and vocabulary skills," said Samantha Adams Becker, Senior Director of the NMC Horizon Project and lead writer of the report. "We're excited to work with LFTIC because we live in an increasingly global society, and they emphasize the need to foster professionals that have a deep understanding of the cultural, business, and other contexts associated with world languages. The report draws from progressive ideas and practices materializing across education -- even other disciplines -- to pinpoint recommendations for language education. In turn, other disciplines can benefit greatly from the progress being made in this field."

Recommendations from the report include:
  • Integrate Design Thinking into Curricula
  • Build Smart Partnerships
  • Enhance the User Experience        
  • Foster More Authentic Exchanges Through Collaborative Tools
  • Adopt Data-Driven Approaches
These recommendations are framed by discussions of major trends, challenges, and technology developments in language education, along with key definitions and proofs of concept.

Innovating Language Education is being presented at the second of three symposia hosted by the LFTIC, convening language and design thinking leaders in higher education to explore creative, collaborative strategies to address specific challenges in the area of technology in foreign language programs in conjunction with businesses, government, and academia.

The first symposium took place in Honolulu, Hawaii in November 2015 and brought together an esteemed and diverse group of individuals representing government, the private sector, and academia from around the country to lay the groundwork to review new technologies and approaches. The second symposium, taking place February 26-27, will focus on rapid prototyping possible solutions to design challenges through a human-centered design process. At the final symposium in March 2016 in Palo Alto, California, participants will move the ideas and solutions into reality.  Innovating Language Education will inform all of these activities.

Innovating Language Education is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution. 

About the New Media Consortium (NMC)
Founded in 1993, the NMC is an international community of experts in educational technology - from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers; to its staff and board of directors; to the expert panels and others helping the NMC conduct cutting edge research. The role of the NMC is to help hundreds of member universities, colleges, museums, and organizations drive innovation across their campuses. This is accomplished by the NMC performing research that catalyzes discussion, convening people around new ideas, and building communities that encourage exploration and experimentation. 
To learn more, visit

About the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (LFTIC)
The main goal of the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (LFTIC) is to identify and develop best practices for effective technology-enhanced language teaching and learning. In order to do so, the LFTIC will create a comprehensive plan to integrate technology through The Language Flagship, a national initiative to change the way Americans learn languages through a groundbreaking approach to language education for students from kindergarten through college. Students of The Language Flagship program develop linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy, becoming the next generation of global professionals. The LFTIC will better foreign language education and technology initiatives at all levels, expanding beyond those at universities or those impacted by The Language Flagship program, by convening relevant expertise from the private and public sectors. 
For more information about LFTIC initiatives, visit

Digital Math Instruction: New Spotlights From Education Week

Spotlight on Digital Math Instruction - Education Week

Digital Math Instruction
Rapid changes in technology have inspired schools to adopt digital tools in the classroom. In this Spotlight, learn how educators are using technology to personalize instruction, facilitate hands-on learning, and boost student engagement in math.

Please complete the form to register for this FREE Spotlight.

Note: Education Week Spotlights contain essential news and commentary on the big issues. These Spotlights provide the information you need to understand the most talked-about topics. For a limited time, download these Spotlights for free. 
Please complete the form to register for this FREE Spotlight.

Source: Education Week 

Juggling data, dropout prevention, and academic preparedness by Laura Devaney, Director of News, K-12 and Higher Education.

Follow on Twitter as @eSN_Laura
"In this week's news, using grants to stem dropout rates; preparing students for success in community college; managing data with 3 tips; and how the STEM crisis is impacting IT." writes

Catch up on the most compelling higher-ed news stories you may have missed this week. 

Each Friday, Laura Devaney will be bringing you a recap of some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments that occurred over the week. 

I can’t fit all of our news stories here, though, so feel free to visit and read up on other news you may have missed.

Photo: eCampus News
In this week’s news: 

Can small grants can help retain dropouts?
Awarding small grants to students on the verge of dropping out could boost graduation rates.
Read more... 

Community college students not prepared
A new report examines remedial course rates and national movements to reduce remedial enrollment. 

Read more... 

3 trends for better data management
In response to the data explosion in higher ed—and the value to be gleaned from it—institutions are rethinking data management and the traditional data center. 

Read more... 

STEM crisis quickly becoming an IT problem
Most of today’s digital native generation has no interest in having an IT career. So who, exactly, will provide the technology and support needed to satisfy the future generation? 

Read more... 

Source: eCampus News 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Which education systems lead to success in science?

Photo: NFER
Analysis carried out in 2015 explored the characteristics of seven education systems which outperformed Northern Ireland in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).  

Exploring the characteristics of education systems which are successful in science (PDF)
Burdett, N., Burge, B., Kathrecha, P. and Sargent, C. (2015). Exploring the Characteristics of Education Systems which are Successful in Science. Slough: NFER.

This research, for the Department of Education in Northern Ireland (DENI), explores the characteristics of education systems that are successful in science through secondary analysis of data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011, and from the TIMSS encyclopaedia.

Northern Ireland participated in TIMSS for the first time in 2011. Although the performance of the country’s nine- and ten-year-olds in maths was strong, with pupils from Northern Ireland significantly outperforming 44 of the 50 participating countries, their performance in science was not as strong, with 17 countries doing significantly better. In March 2015, DENI commissioned NFER to conduct secondary analysis of the TIMSS 2011 data and encyclopaedia to explore the characteristics of seven education systems (Czech Republic, England, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Slovak Republic) which outperformed Northern Ireland in the TIMSS 2011 science assessment. 
Exploring the characteristics of education systems which are successful in science (PDF)
Burdett, N., Burge, B., Kathrecha, P. and Sargent, C. (2015). Exploring the Characteristics of Education Systems which are Successful in Science. Slough: NFER. 

Key Findings:
  • There is no single model for successful science education. However, in Northern Ireland, science seems to have less prominence in the classroom than in a number of education systems that were more successful in science.
  • Primary pupils in Northern Ireland are at least three times less likely to be taught science as a separate subject, compared to the comparator education systems that were more successful in science in TIMSS 2011. 
  • Primary teachers in Northern Ireland are much less likely to assign science homework or administer written tests or quizzes in science and place much less emphasis on monitoring pupil progress in science than their counterparts in the comparator countries.
Research briefing (PDF)

Source: National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

The 13th Annual Teaching Professor Conference

You only have one week left to save on your registration to The Teaching Professor Conference. Secure your spot now to avoid paying full price. 

At the 13th annual Teaching Professor Conference, you’ll learn about the latest research, catch up on best practices, and enjoy a unique opportunity to network with like-minded educators from a wide range of disciplines and institutions. 

You will come away with a wealth of ideas for enhancing your pedagogy, valuable insights on the critical issues facing educators today, and an expanded network of colleagues from campuses nationwide. 

In addition to highly engaging plenary presentations, poster presentations, and preconference workshops, the conference features more than 75 concurrent sessions on: 
  • Instructional Design 
  • Activities that Engage Students 
  • Teaching Specific Types of Students 
  • Instructional Vitality 
  • Teaching and Learning with Technology 
  • Creating Climates for Learning 
  • Faculty Development 
Educate, engage, inspire 
The Teaching Professor Conference packs a lot of professional development in three days.  Your registration includes plenary presentations, poster presentations, concurrent sessions, materials, and session handouts, a reception, two breakfasts, and two lunches.  Sign up by March 4 to take advantage of our early registration pricing.  Better yet, consider sending a team and save even more with group discounts.  

Watch the Video

Register online using a credit card or select “bill me” and we’ll send you an invoice. 
Register Now 

Download the 2016 Teaching Professor Conference brochure. (PDF) 

This conference has sold out for the past four of the past five years, and the 2016 registration numbers are ahead of those of previous years. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the kind of collegial exchange that supports and inspires college faculty.
Source: Magna Publications