by Nathan Schiller on November 19, 2013 in Luminaria
IN THIS ISSUE
- Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson
- I Took A MOOC
- Interview: MCNY President Vinton Thompson
- Learning To Learn
- MOOCs At MCNY?
- Low MOOC Completion Rates
- A Brief Tour of MOOC Providers
- MOOCs And Math
- LEC Students on MOOCs
Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson
As the new Coordinator of the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC) and Mentor & Leadership Development Program (MLDP), I am excited to welcome you to another edition of Luminaria. This edition seeks to unfold the MOOC phenomenon. Recently, I have found myself thinking about my past professional experiences in non-conventional environments, which have given me an array of perspectives on education and learning. As the Education Center Coordinator for an adult basic education center, I analyzed issues ranging from the residual effects of a flawed K-12 system to the impositions of family life on the adult learner. As the Coordinator of a CUNY access program charged with getting young minorities involved in biomedical research and the world of STEM, I worked with students at the top of their undergraduate classes—students who didn’t need remedial intervention but who needed to be introduced to, and guided through, research opportunities, internships, and summer programs. And as Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion at a premier city high school, I promoted diversity within an intelligent and articulate but, from the perch of interpersonal engagement, socially and culturally uninformed student body.
In each of these situations—and in many more like them—MOOCs have the potential to fill an education gap by giving students the time and space to step in and out of the classroom experience without interrupting their work flow. Having seen early college students selflessly offer up their naivety in exchange for an introduction to different cultures, I imagine students will bring that same innocence and yearning to the global, virtual MOOC classroom. I like to think that, in the same ways my former students strung their life experiences outside the classroom into an applicable learning device when they worked with their tutors, students enrolled in MOOCs will use their experience to enhance the experience for all. And I also believe that the communal MOOC environment will foster an opportunity for students to chime in on topics they never imagined they could have anything of substance to offer.
I am not concerned, and do not think, that MOOCs will replace the traditional classroom. More likely, they will supplement the brick-and-mortar education system richly and robustly . . . with many hiccups along the way. And that brings me full circle, to my role with the LEC and MLDP here at MCNY. As online classes and MOOCs continue to expand throughout higher education, support services—where confused and introspective students converse with real, live human tutors and mentors—will become all the more vital. As you survey the perspectives of this issue, I hope you take a moment to consider how the digital MOOC model might add to the analog nature of your education and your life. Happy reading.
by Nathan Schiller on January 2, 2013 in Reflections
Plagiarism is the most serious offense in academia. Its definition—the undocumented use of another person’s work—is straightforward, and its maximum sentences for an offense are draconian: expulsion for students, termination for professors. If the stakes are so high, why would anyone risk plagiarizing another person’s work?
by Nathan Schiller on November 13, 2012 in Luminaria
IN THIS ISSUE
- Letter from the Editor
- Learning the Tricks to College Life
- Learning How to Learn: Academia’s Best Kept Secret
- Learners Who Inherit the Future
- Study Skills
Letter from the Editor
Sujey Batista, Writing Specialist
“The future belongs to those who are capable of being retrained again and again.”
Our latest issue discusses one of the most valuable skills one can possess as a student and working professional: the ability to learn. Lifelong learning is vital for those who seek success throughout their working lives. Those who can successfully acquire and apply this part skill, part survival tactic are more likely to thrive in today’s dynamic and fast-paced world. Lifelong learners embrace the idea of learning as a mechanism for improvement as professionals and human beings.
The submissions from our team explore this topic from a variety of angles. Aside from providing readers with a conceptual understanding of the skill, we discuss the relevance of this ability in correlation with current workforce trends and its connection to Purpose-Centered Education. The issue features an interactive piece that explores the benefits of study skills as an effective learning strategy. Another section, dedicated to the student reader, provides insight on skills that, when mastered, can ease the challenges of college life. We’ve provided our readers with valuable insight that, in combination with a self-directed attitude and open-mind, can help anyone accomplish their most valued goals. Enjoy!
by Nathan Schiller on August 7, 2012 in Must Sees
The title of this post poses what seems to be an impossible question. Yet it results in some very objective answers.
by Nathan Schiller on June 6, 2012 in Must Reads
The New York Times has always been good at coming up with intellectually relatable witty titles for the articles it posts to its website, and University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda’s recent post, “The Most Comma Mistakes,” is no exception. Now, before you do anything else, take a second look at the sentence you just read. You will notice that it is rather long (40 words) but that it contains only three commas. “How can that be?” you might wonder. “The longer a sentence is, the more commas it needs, right?” Well, that isn’t necessarily incorrect, but it’s not correct either. In fact, it’s one of those things people think is true when they don’t actually have any idea about what they’re talking about. For the truth is that if everyone took a moment to learn the basic rules of comma usage, they would find that it’s not all that difficult to master.
by Nathan Schiller on April 3, 2012 in Reflections
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about two sisters with divergent academic paths has made me think about the question “What is the point of attending college?” Is the answer: to acquire a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics that scholars and administrators have determined are worth exploring? To meet eager and like-minded learners with whom you will mesh on a personal and intellectual level and start the Next Great Company? Or is it to obtain a certificate that by its sheer existence proves you are qualified for a higher position—and thus a higher paycheck—at your current job?
by Nathan Schiller on February 2, 2012 in Must Reads
One of the things I stress to all my students is the importance of reading outside of the classroom. Typically, we connote “pleasure” (or “leisure”) reading, as it’s so often referred to, with reading something simple and easy, like the sports page or a detective thriller. And while there is nothing wrong with catching up on the latest Girl with the Dragon Tattoo installment or getting some critical commentary about the Knicks’ woes, it is imminently possible to enjoy—or, dare I say, be entertained by—a somewhat more intellectual/educational reading. On that note, allow me to suggest Stanley Fish’s blog on the New York Times website.
by Nathan Schiller on October 13, 2011 in Luminaria
IN THIS ISSUE
- Q&A: Self-Directed Learning
- Short Story: “Zombies of the Big Apple”
- Special Feature: A Film on Self-Directed Learning
The Editor Speaks
Letter from Nathan Schiller, Writing Specialist, LEC
The theme for this issue of Luminaria, the LEC newsletter, is the guiding concept of the LEC: self-directed learning. This may seem like an obvious term—Q: What is self-directed learning? A: It’s when you learn by directing yourself!—but it is actually much more layered, complex, and interesting. And because it is an idea crucial to MCNY, it is, therefore, an idea worth exploring.