Showing posts from November, 2018

Why Students Don't Like to Read in Online Classrooms and How to Improve It?

Students are like everyone else and see to balance their time and energy between the various aspects of their lives. Reading is slow and clunky and takes considerable cognitive energy and time. They must cut out distractions in their environment and spend time focusing. That is a tough thing to do in a world of sound bites and fast paced streaming information. There are a few things professors can do to help the student when designing their class. 1. Refer to the Reading: Make sure that discussion and assignments require a level of reading and referral. 2. Use Video and Recordings: You can break up the reading by using video and other voice recordings. 3. Use Smaller Articles and Text: Not everything needs to be 20 pages long. Consider shorter text. 4. Use Weekly Reading Summary: Instead of a DQ the student discusses the weekly reading summary. Reading is a part of higher education but it isn't the main point. The main focus in education, of which reading is important,

Continuing to Improve on Painting

Today I get to bring a few paintings up to a coffee shop in Marquette. It is nice because it may be the first establishment that is willing to post them. It feels a little like recognition that you are now "good enough" to put something in public. That doesn't mean I don't have a lot to learn but that I can display some of these and try gain some money for charity. This picture is just of a beach with some foliage to the right. Dropped them off but the owner wasn't available but will check back another day once he had a chance to review.  You can purchase at

The Diligent Students that Make Tomorrow's Leaders

Students will develop into tomorrow's economic drivers. Leadership is part internal and part external in its selection of those it hopes to advance. The external environment may be social drivers and financial influences that are outside the control of future leaders. However, the right personality can create its own solutions to influencing the market. Tomorrows leaders are being incubated in schools today and discovered through diligence! Diligence separates those who are likely to be successful from those who are not based on their ability to keep going despite the odds. They don't allow the world around them, or its circumstances to derail them from where they want to go. You can find these students working on their programs day in and day out without missing work or skipping class. They push toward their goals every day as though it is the most important thing on the planet. They have emotional intelligence and know how to work on their goals without allowing their e

Creating Customer Feedback Loops

Customer information should feed and sustain your business like a bright star navigating an open ocean. Attracting new customers is vitally important in much the say way as retaining current customers. By researching your existing customers you can important knowledge about your product/service and how to improve upon your offerings in a way that leads to more sales. Customer feedback loops can come in many forms but surveys, reviews and customer complaints are some of the most common methods. Lets look at each one and see what the advantage or disadvantage of each may be. Surveys: Asking purposeful questions from a sample that represents your target market. Customer Reviews: Scanning online for your product in virtual marketplaces like Amazon will often provide customer reviews companies can investigate. Complaints: Angry and upset customers will call in and offer opportunities to learn from them. Companies should seek to create loops that take in information, put it togethe

Is it Possible to Have Economic Growth While Slowing Global Warming?

People view economic growth and environmental protection as opposed to each other. While this is true when we discuss the cost of pollution, regulations, and limitations on natural exploitation it doesn't need to be true in the development of sustainable cities. Developing stronger economic hubs we have greater ability to understand and manage the entire supply chain network leading for less pollution. With economic hubs we can better concentrate on developing "clean living" within cities. A government report on CNN says hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives will be destroyed without some large scale action. Here is the link to the report released I'm conducting some research and review on the process of creating global economic hubs that lead to perpetual and sustainable economic growth. One of the ways in which they can do that is through implementing efficient green technology in growing cities through underst

North Woods Painting for Fun and Charity

Painting is a great hobby that leads to tangible benefits such as memory, creativity, emotional mastery, community, and stress. As a hobby I occasionally sell some and donate proceeds to a charity or two. Other times I might give them away to friends.

Why Should All Research Keep the End User in Mind?

Research is the process of discovery based on the ability to utilize that information in some practical way. Well....sort of! The goal of research isn't truly the end user and there are lots of research that isn't useful today but may be useful tomorrow. However, having research of interest with the end user in mind often means you have an audience, will have a more practical solution that helps industry/society in some way, and are more likely to gain funding. There is research and there is practical research that has immediate use because it solves some problem. Working on questions and issues that help the nation advance, industry move forward, or help people is important for relevance. It does something beyond collecting dust in an academic library. Industry and government stakeholders are more likely to support practical research that they can lead to either advancement or profit. This make sense considering inventing new technologies and resolving medical issues seems

Firewood and Utility Vehicles

You would think living in a small town in the woods you would have plenty of firewood. Apparently people don't enjoy going out in the woods and cutting it up. While I have got wood into smaller vehicles the little SUV Chevy Equinox did a pretty good job taking in half a face cord. A little more needed to to in the back seat but I did get my wood for the snowy winter! Hauling it to various stashing places around the house I start thinking I'm more of a squirrel hiding nuts than an actual person. You have to sort of think about ease of obtaining as well as how far you have to walk. Sometimes a sled can help but.....without kids in the house....I got none of those. I'm always looking around for more wood anyplace I can get it. It should of course be hardwood as pine burns way too fast. I'm in a place surrounded by trees but not enough firewood.

Additional Benefits from Cold Weather Fitness

While hiking at a good pace I realize there may be some additional benefits of working out in cold weather. 1. Body Temp must be maintained do additional calories must be expended. 2. More layers of clothing means more resistance. 3. Getting out and enjoying nature with a purpose.

Why is it Important to Update Content Regularly?

People scan the Internet looking for information that helps them understand something, solve a problem or engage in an activity. Stale websites don't have many visitors because there isn't dynamic content that draws people to the table. Writing and posting new content keeps people coming back over and over in a way that encourages them to be engaged. What does updating content mean? It means putting interesting things on your site that draw people's attention. It could be posts, sayings, videos, just about anything that attracts people to come back over and over. Why is it important? People will come back if they like the content. This can lead to greater sales and influence through repeat visits. How does it help Search Rankings? Search rankings improve with fresh content. Search engines will spider and place strong content above information. How does it draw people to products or ideas? People who are interested in a particular topic will be attracted to t

Three Things Students Should Think of When Writing

Three things students can think of when writing are helpful for providing thorough answers to questions. It doesn't matter if we are discussing papers or class questions because professors are looking for well thought out answers. Higher education does support specific knowledge but it is more about a way of thinking than anything else. 1. Critical Thinking and Evaluation-The person has evaluated alternatives and thought critically about the information. 2. Logical Discussion and Connection-The logic used to create that conclusion is consistent. 3. Substantive Reference that Supports Conclusion-There are non-biased details that support the conclusion (theory). 

What is the Difference Between Preferences in Work Style and Performance?

Managers should be aware that there are differences between work style and work performance. Not all people will work the same, have the same personalities, or have the same approaches to problems. Diversity of approaches is an advantage to organizations but sometimes managers may want to stifle differences without being truly aware of why they are doing it. Performance is the ability to completed items, conduct work, and finish projects. It is the total completion of the end product (at least for that work function) and its value to the organization. If the workers is completing what is required of them and doing well then they are "doing their job" as far as an contractual obligations are concerned. Work style is how they do that work. Unless you are in manufacturing where there is one major way to complete tasks people of high intelligence and capacity prefer to use their own abilities and methods to get things done. Pushing them down specific paths limits their potent

The Advantage of Compartmentalizing Non-Core Business

Businesses change and adjust over time. Sometimes we know a section of our business is not our core business and could be managed in-house or through outsourcing. There are other times the function may become irrelevant in the market (i.e. dvds in the age of streaming) and be sold or closed in the future. Compartmentalizing these business aspects may be helpful. If they are integrated into your other core operations it will become increasingly complex to untangle as the business adjust course. There is a fundamental difference between having these non-core operations responsive to business needs and integrating them fully. This means they have management that works within a particular cost center that nearly functions as a separate entity except for at the very top of the organization. It is the creation of an intentional silo so that decision making and expenses are different from the rest of the organization. Sometimes it is helpful to bill different departments so that there i

First Day of Snow in the U.P.


Are Students Preferring Faster and More Media Rich Learning Environments?

A few colleagues and I worked on some research as it associates to online student learning. The research was relatively simple but basically asked a series of questions to students in a number of classes. The end result was students wanted more technology. What did they want? 1.) More Interaction: They liked to engage with their classmates and learn from each other. 2.) More Videos and Recordings: Students enjoyed listening to videos and podcasts more than actual reading. 3.) Critical Thinking: Students enjoyed critical thinking and problem solving. The process of creating solutions excited them. What they didn't like..... 1. Reading: Students didn't like reading large text books. 2. DQ: They didn't necessarily enjoy DQ unless there was a problem solving aspect to it and some social interaction. What we should do..... It would make sense for us to consider the option of breaking up large books into smaller reading integrated throughout the course. In additio