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Adapting online courses to ease burden on colleges

May 2nd, 2013 No comments

ipadRealizing the potential of free online college classes, and with an increasing interest to let more students access to college and help them graduate on time, educators are working on the measly task of harnessing online materials to meet the toughest challenges in American higher education.

To address issues on financial consequences along with the reducing the number of seats available in public institutions, and keep students on track to graduation, universities are beginning to experiment with adding the new “massive open online courses ”, created to deliver elite college instruction to anyone with an Internet connection.

While the courses, known as MOOCs, have enrolled millions of students around the world, most who enroll never start a single assignment, and very few complete the courses. Therefore, to reach students who are not ready for college-level work, or are struggling with introductory courses, universities are beginning to add extra supports to the online materials, in hope of improving success rates.

At San Jose State, for example, two pilot programs infuse material from online classes into the instructional mix and allow students to earn credit for them. Mohammad Qayoumi, the university’s president is enthusiastic about implementing this innovation, knowing that its failure can lead to finding out what went wrong and doing better the next time.

In one pilot program, the university is even working with Udacity, a company co-founded by a Stanford professor, to assess whether online mentors being hired and trained by the company, working round-the-clock, can help more students work  through three fully online basic math courses.

As early signs look promising, Udacity and San Jose State are planning to expand these classes to 1,000 students, and are adding new courses in psychology and computer programming, with tuition fee of only $150 a course. Such pilot courses for credit are open to both San Jose State students and local high school and community college students.

San Jose State has already achieved remarkable results, arranging circuits course with online materials from edX, a non-profit online provider, the subject being a struggle for would-be engineers. Ms. Ellen Junn, the provost believes that blending M.I.T.’s online materials with live classroom sessions will help more students to succeed. Dr. Anant Agarwal, the president of edX enthusiastically agreed to Ms. Junn’s request and arranged for San Jose State to offer the blended sessions to students, bringing out striking outcome being a success rate of 91 percent of those in the blended section, as compared with 59 percent in the traditional class. Dr. Junn says that, “We want to bring all the hyperbole around MOOCs down to reality, and really see at a granular level that’s never before been available, how well they work for undeserved students.”

San Jose State announced that next fall, it will pay a licensing fee to offer three to five more blended edX courses, probably including Harvard’s “Ancient Greek Heroes” and Berkeley’s”Artificial Intelligence.” And over the summer, it will train 11 other California State campuses to use the blended M.I.T. circuits course.

Josh Jarret, a higher education officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which in the past year has given grants to develop massive open online courses for basic and remedial courses, said “For us, 2012 was all about trying to tilt some of the MOOC attention towards the more novice learner, the low-income and first-generation students. And 2013 is about blending MOOCs into college courses where there is additional support, and students can get credit. While some low-income young adults can benefit from what I call the free-range MOOCs, the research suggests that most are going to need more scaffolding, more support.” Read more…

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10 Reasons to Hire an Online Tutor

May 1st, 2013 1 comment

In today’s blog we have shown an interesting info-graphic created by HWA, which depicts some good reasons to accentuate the need to hire an online tutor and solve the learning needs of students in today’s education scenario.


Image Credit: Help with Assignment.

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Teachers can find avenues for additional Income on the internet

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Teaching can be a very satisfying and rewarding career. Every single day in a teacher’s life is like a new lesson opened, as he has to think of innovative ways to bring forth his knowledge to teach his disciple. Being an educator fills a vital need in every child’s development. However, the pay that many teachers receive does not adequately reflect their efforts and contributions they make to the society, which has forced many to look for employment opportunities in addition to teaching. A good number of teaching professionals have thus realized that working online is profitable, convenient, and can be very easy to access with just a little knowledge about the Internet. Teachers already deal with many tasks online as they utilize the Internet to research information on a theme that they may want to cover in the class.

Earning for tutors

Today’s post covers some such avenues on the internet, that the teachers can look for, to make additional income.

  • Sell educational content on Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers pay Teachers is an online open marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational resources in downloadable formats. It is a unique site that allows interested teachers to sell their thematic lesson plans, teaching guides, research papers, worksheets etc online to other teachers. Any teacher from any discipline at any grade level can take up membership here. Basic membership is free while Premium members are charged a minimal registration fee.

TPTBasic Sellers earn 60% of their gross sales less the transaction fees, while Premium Sellers earn 85% of their gross sales and do not have to pay any transaction fees. Sellers get paid on a quarterly basis via Pay Pal. currently has about 300,000 items for sale in addition to more than 80,000 free resources. More than 1 million teachers have bought or sold items on since its inception. Site founder Paul Edelman confirmed that teachers have earned $5 million in sales during August and September. After paying for the site fees, teachers have collectively earned more than $20 million on the site since it was founded.

  • Build and sell courses on Udemy

Udemy is an online platform that gives instructors a place to design courses on any topic they want to teach. Instructors can use video, PowerPoint, PDF, audio, zip files and live classes to conveniently build a course and share their expertise with anyone across the world, with an internet connection. Udemy brings to the Internet real opportunities for passionate people as it allows not only instructors affiliated with educational institutions, but anyone with a common objective, to potentially earn money for teaching audiences across all kinds of categories and subjects. Paid instructors receive 70% of the revenue from course sales, while 30% is retained by Udemy.

According to Udemy, teaching is the new way to make six figures on the Web . The 2-year-old, San Francisco based start-up claims that their top 10 instructors have individually made more than $50,000 in revenue last year, while the top instructor has earned $200,000. Udemy has 6,000 courses created since its launch in 2010 and there are more than 70,000 lecture views every month. Taking a look at the salaries of top 10 instructors on Udemy confirms success in their objective. Read more…

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How Can Students take advantage of Online Tutoring?

March 29th, 2013 No comments

Learning from online tutors has become a much sought after method . Today’s competitive and swiftly paced life, steeped with stress, has forced many parents to consider online tutorials as an additional tool to meet their children’s educational needs. Massive growth in the use of Internet based technology has accelerated the popularity of online teaching. Teaching today’s youth is no longer encumbered by borders. Online tutoring implies imparting education through the means of computer, high-speed broadband connection and other technological inputs. With the help of web interface, the student and the tutor indulge in the process of interactive learning.

Online tutoring

Before investing significantly in a dedicated online tuition, both the student and the parents have to measure the effectiveness of online tuition and identify the benefits of using internet as a tutoring platform, over the traditional method. Today’s blog details some pros and cons of taking online tuition to promote academic excellence in students.

Advantages of online tutoring to Students:

  • Online tutoring connects the student with a skilled tutor, which relieves parents of the challenge to find someone locally. A good tutorial service provider allows the student to choose his/her own tutor. Parents can be convinced about the quality of tuition the tutor may provide by having a thorough look at his profile and credentials.
  • Lesson plans, comments from tutors, diagnostic tests, and instructional content for learners are defined by the tutors. Parents can also access the same to check on the progress of their child.
  • Highly qualified teachers from remote locations can cater to demands of students in widespread areas. For e.g.: A tutor in mid west can teach a student in New York even with a 2 hour difference in their time zones. Tutors from remote areas may even offer competitive pricing as compared to tutors in New York.
  • Students can choose to take lessons at their own convenient timings and pace.
  • Tutorial services also offer one tutor per student. This is immensely helpful, since some students lack certain competence that can be positively concentrated on, when individual attention is paid to them. Through dialogue with parents, diagnostic tests, and a personalized learning plan, students can receive the type of instruction they particularly need even in advanced subjects like Maths, Statistics, Science..etc.
  • Tuition is provided by the same qualified tutor just as in regular one-to-one tuition but there is no geographic boundary. Neither the student nor the tutor spends valuable time traveling to reach each other.
  • Online tutoring is often more affordable than hiring someone to come home  to teach or work with the child at school. Private tutoring for a student in US can cost anywhere from $100 an hour or even more, while an online session with an online tutor would cost $30 an hour on an average. Registering for a monthly plan may prove more economical.
  • Schools and Universities are increasingly using online tools as teaching resources. Children become familiar with this style of learning for the future. Read more…
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Colleges to give Credits for Online courses

March 14th, 2013 1 comment


A bill in California’s Legislature, likely to be passed on Wednesday, would make it mandatory for public colleges and universities to award students with credit for taking some faculty-approved online courses which are oversubscribed on campus. As it seems likely to pass, it will have a significantly positive impact on the higher education scenario in America.

If this bill can win approval by state lawmakers, California would become the first state in the country to require public universities to grant credit for courses not taught by their own instructors.

The legislation would call for some of the eligible courses likely to be offered free under the banner of “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, i.e.; If students cannot take a certain class the traditional way, they can turn to offerings from companies such as Coursera, Udacity and StraighterLine, or the nonprofit EdX, a joint project of Harvard and MIT or even Pearson, the educational publishing and testing company. These companies offer affordable online courses.

“We want to be the first state in the nation to make this promise: No college student in California will be denied the right to move through their education because they cannot get a seat in the course they needed,” said Darrell Steinberg, the president pro tem of the Senate, who will introduce this bill.  Governor Jerry Brown has also been a strong advocate for online education as a means to reduce college costs.

Mr. Steinberg worked with Dean Florez, a former California Senate majority leader, in putting together this new legislative proposal. Mr. Florez was quoted as saying that the online courses would only supplement the classes taught at California’s public colleges, so that students would not be affected by delay in enrollments. He added that his own son had to wait for three semesters at Santa Monica Community College to get into a math class he needed.

Currently, over enrollment accounts for the major reason why only 16% of the students in the California State University (CSU) system graduate within four years. According to Senator Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento, the state’s 112 community colleges each had an average of 7,000 enrolled students who were on waiting lists. Parents and students have a reason to cheer with the bill being passed.

Read more…

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Get Credit for Free Online Classes by Public Universities

January 29th, 2013 No comments

In a view to attract degree students worldwide, many public universities have come together with a commercial company, in a plan to offer online courses free for credit to anyone across the globe. This decision primarily relies on the hope that those who take this up seriously will eventually pay the tuition to complete a degree program and this could be a great revenue stream for public universities hit hard by declining financial support from states.

The program is based on massive open online course (MOOC). The first plan under the new program, to be called MOOC2Degree, is to offer select courses in professional-development programs, like those leading to a master’s in education or a bachelor of science. The success of this will further add courses to the bucket; while the program is expected to expand to a wide range of associate, bachelor’s and graduate programs.

Under the arrangement, Academic Partnerships, a company that helps public universities move their courses online; will take care of the recruitment for MOOC2Degree. An undisclosed share of the tuition fees that the universities will eventually get from students who continue into a degree program will be given to Academic Partnerships.

Mr. Michael Tanner, vice president for academic affairs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities feels that this is a bold strategy on part of the institutions and added that “In some sense, it is a new recruitment strategy: give them a free sample, and maybe they will find they have an appetite for it. It’s hard to say how well it will work. The MOOC business will become crowded over time.”

Read more…

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Character data type conversion when using SQL Server JDBC drivers

May 3rd, 2011 No comments

We have a existing old portal in asp with Sql server and now trying to get new features in new site developing in grails,java & same sql server.

Sometime ago, I was working on a login page so that the same old portal credentials could be used.   One issue I had to address was that the web app captures the password in clear text but sends an encoded password to the database (where the password is also stored in our encoded format).

Now I was trying to implement a simple logic for encryption; add 20 to each character’s int value and convert it to char and store the encrypted password.

For example the java code-

StringBuffer t = new StringBuffer(“”);

String test = “sviadha”;for ( int i = 0; i < test.length(); ++i ) {

char c = test.charAt( i );

int k = (int) c ;

int kk = k +20;

char ss = (char)kk;

t = t.append(ss);


System.out.println(“original password =”+ test);

System.out.println(“encrypted password ==”+ t);

Now when I tried to match the stored password using new UI it was failed all the time.

No matter what I tried, in the Java-tier I could not get past the fact that by the time the password was received in the SQL-tier, there was an encoded password mismatch.   So I worked around the problem, but passing the clear text password to the database and the stored procedure did the encoding and finally the validation.

After digging it found the  real problem; it turns out that this is a MS SQL Server JDBC driver configuration.  By default MS JDBC driver is sent to pass all strings as NVARCHAR, not VARCHAR.  This forced a Unicode conversion on the way to the database.

That’s why the same encoding logic was working fine for asp-sql server based old site but not on java based new site.

Here’s the magic to change this behavior so VARCHAR are sent and received…


jdbc:jtds:sqlserver://mac1.temp.test:1434;DatabaseName=MyDatabase;tds=8.0;lastupdatecount=false; sendStringParametersAsUnicode=false


. . .
Read more…

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Beginning-Compare Java Vs Microsoft( ASP.NET)

November 1st, 2010 4 comments

When I first started working in project of ASP.NET , I compared everything with my existing java world and summarized the following-

Solution and project files

Solutions and project files are VS.Net-specific thing with is similar to eclipse web/java project.


Nearest equivalent to java’s jar files are DLL(assemblies) Assemblies provide versioning, security, resource packaging etc. (but no compression like jar files).
you do not need to create them explicitly ;A build creates the compiler output which is either an exe or a dll file&  They are stored in a subdicrtory.


.vb is in place of .class files and After i do a build i see a solution file, how to generate a dll?


If I compare the above thing as  java/groovy developer then aspx/asp is in place of jsp/jsf/gsp  pages

I would write details about each with similarity and differences as I go deeper into it while working

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