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Instructor Blog: The Value of Textbook and Supplemental Reading

In high school, you may have had to lug textbooks home every day and submit assignments straight out of the textbook. Our backs are all better off not carrying those back and forth, and I don’t know anyone who misses the textbook assignments that can feel like busywork. However, even with attending college online and in the age of e-books and e-readers, there is still an advantage of sitting down with a big textbook and a highlighter. Read More…

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Best Online Midterm Study Tips

Your midterm is likely your first comprehensive assessment in class and may count for a significant portion of your grade—something that is always nerve-wracking. If 30 percent of your overall grade relies on the results of a single test, it can be the source of some anxiety, which may be amplified in an online course. If you are worried about how to prepare for your first midterm in an online course, follow the advice below to ensure you’re using the best study practices in your midterm prep.

Take advantage of any materials available

Often, professors of online courses will provide you with some resources to use in order to prepare for any major test. Perhaps your professor has provided sample questions or a practice exam for you to work on. The professor posts these materials for a reason—they’re a great tool for studying. Take advantage of any of these resources available to you. Even if sample questions or practice tests aren’t made available to you, you can search for studying resources online, or ask your professor if he or she can recommend some.

Reach out to the professor for advice

Your professor is there to assist you in the learning process. Even if your professor has already made materials available, it’s a good idea to contact the professor for advice anyway. Tell your professor if it’s your first online course, and ask if he or she has any advice on how you can best prepare. Even if it isn’t your first online course, asking about the structure, format, and breadth of content that will be covered on the midterm can give you useful information you need to prepare.

Find a midterm study partner

Your professor isn’t the only person who can be helpful resource—you can utilize your classmates for midterm prep, as well. Just because your classroom isn’t brick and mortar, doesn’t mean you can’t find a study buddy. Utilize your course’s ListServ to reach out to potential study partners. You can easily study together online, and even share study materials, such as digital flashcards. Having another set of eyes on the material may help you identify areas that you may have overlooked in your own studies and give you a fresh perspective.

Disconnect from social media, email, and other digital distractions

While connecting with classmates to study is great, make sure your Internet connection isn’t a source of distraction during study time. Disconnect from social media and email not related to the course to ensure you’re focused on your class material. There are even site blockers you can use to temporarily enforce productivity. You can study for hours, but that time could be wasted if you aren’t dedicating your full attention to preparing for the exam. The best method to keep you on track is to log out while you study.

Pace yourself

Your midterm prep shouldn’t consist of one cram session the night before the test. Instead, dedicate a little bit of time each day to studying in the days or even weeks leading up to the test. Breaking your study time into “chunks” is more effective than longer study sessions, and you’re more likely to recall the information you’ve reviewed. Go through any reading material that was previously assigned, and skim it again for important information. Look through your notes to brush up on and identify areas you’re struggling with. Manage your time well, and take short breaks to help you stay focused. When it comes time to take the exam, make sure you have a quiet space available that is free from distractions to mimic a traditional testing environment as closely as possible.

Although online courses may offer more independence and less structure, they are not less challenging. Your online course (and midterm) is just as important as any other course—treat it as such. Even if you’re taking your midterm in your PJs, it is still a test that has important implications for your future. Keep that in mind as you study, and be sure to dedicate as much as time and effort to your online midterms as you would for any other course.

Catherine Martin is a contributing writer for, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.

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Around the Web – Tips and Tricks for the College Student

Because sometimes there’s just too much good information to share in one post, we are back with another set of articles from around the web offering up college tips, job search advice and more.

Take a look at some of the great resources below and keep them in mind as classes are set to begin next week. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: The Keys of Information & Technological Literacy

My four-year-old asked me how snakes hear. When I said I didn’t know, she said “Can we look it up on the internet?” I was proud of her question, even though I have no interest in learning about snakes, because it showed information literacy.

Many people think the term literacy refers only to the ability to read. However, literacy means knowledge. Another way to think of it is competency. Therefore, information literacy means knowing how to access information. My daughter, at four, already knows that we can look things up on the internet that we don’t know. She even guessed that there would be a video about it. Read More…

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Do Military Credits Earned on Active Duty Count Toward My Degree?

Do the courses you took during military training count toward your civilian degree?

The short answer is, maybe.

For military members who are working toward earning a degree, the first step to transfer military classwork is to request a joint service transcript. Members of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines can visit this DOD site and follow the step by step process to order their transcript.

While there are no limits to the number of transcripts you can order and have delivered to schools electronically, transcripts printed and delivered by the postal service are limited to two every 30 days.

Air Force members must request their transcript from the Community College of the Air Force. You can find that request form at this official site.

Individual schools do not determine what credits on those transcripts transfer to a civilian degree.

Instead, the American Council on Education evaluates every single course offered by every branch of the military. The organization sends professors from different colleges to sit through the military course and evaluate it. Read More…

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Carefully Consider the Decision to Change Your Major

Did you just finish your first year of college, only to realize that you do not enjoy your major?

Thinking about changing to a new course of study?

You better be sure.

Did you just not happen to like these classes? Did you and your professor not hit it off? Were you bored with the first year of requirements because you want to get to the meatier classes the seniors are taking?

If you are going to change your major, you better darn well despise it, because it may take a lot of work to earn back that year. Read More…

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Staff Spotlight: Associate Dean of Student Services, Don Lando

Most Bryant & Stratton College classes have at least 13 students in them these days as our manageable class sizes promote a healthy student-to-teacher ratio. However, there was a time that an incoming class of students didn’t number much higher than 13.

At one point, there were only two Admissions Representatives working with Bryant & Stratton College Online who were responsible for enrolling 13 students for a new semester.

Things have changed a bit in the 11-plus years Associate Dean of Student Services Don Lando has been with the school. He started as one of two admissions representatives working in a small office in a Buffalo, NY suburb. During Don’s early days with Bryant & Stratton College, the entire office teamed with the bookstore to ensure every student’s book orders were properly packaged. Students were required to fax in each of their completed admissions steps as opposed to the convenience of emailing steps in as they can do now.

Don’s responsibilities grew as his tenure with Bryant & Stratton grew. He spent a total of nine years with the admissions department, eventually becoming the Associate Director of Admissions. Now, as the Associate Dean of Student Services, Don assists new and current students as they work through each step of their degree programs. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: Tips on Preparing for Midterms

Part of being successful academically and professionally is tackling major assignments and projects early.  While midterms can seem daunting, a thorough approach can help you feel more confident in the expectations for the assessment. The first step to preparing for midterms is to figure out what information is available about the midterm for your particular course. Some midterms are available at least a week early, and there should be at least a basic description of the midterm in your tracking calendar. If you would like to know more about your midterm, ask your instructor. He or she may be able to provide you with the material early. However, if you are not able to obtain further information, I recommend viewing the midterm on Sunday so you can see if it is a timed assessment or essay. This allows you to look over the material and email your instructors any questions you might have.success

It’s also useful to think about the purpose of a major assessment overall. A major assessment is designed to test your knowledge of the course material, and possibly to apply the knowledge to a work-related scenario. With this in mind, consider your progress in the course. Do you thoroughly understand the lecture and textbook reading? How are you performing on the weekly activities? Has your instructor indicated an area you might need to improve or an idea you might not understand correctly? A great way to make sure you really understand a concept is to explain it to a friend, and think about how you will use the knowledge in the workplace. Take the initiative to read the supplemental reading provided by your instructor (located in the tracking calendar) as well as your own research. Read More…

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Four Practices for Prioritizing Your To-Do-List

When you’re enrolled in online school or working at your job (or maybe both), one of the key tenets to good time management is being organized. Typically this means creating a to-do list. But, if you’re like most people your ongoing to-do list can get to be multiple pages (or screens) long. Sometimes it can be long enough that you simply throw in the towel and decide to catch up on you DVR full of The Bachelorette instead.Work Life Balance

But a tiny twist to your approach could help. Making your list is step one, but learning how to prioritize that list is just as important. Try out some of the ideas below and you’ll be surprised how much you get done in one day. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: Tips for Succeeding in English Courses

Some students may feel as if they need to just simply survive English courses. As an instructor who teaches four different English courses at Bryant & Stratton, I wanted to share some tips for not just passing, but thriving in courses essential to your life-long learning and professional development.   Most assignments in your English courses are focused on research and writing. This means that, to succeed, you will need to communicate an idea clearly and support it with research.  Thinking about how you can improve in those areas will help you in each English course.

One common error I see is students not proofreading carefully.  Almost all assignments in your English courses include a category in the rubric for grammar, including discussion. Taking the time to not only run spell-check (even in discussion) but proofread can be the difference between an “A” and a “B.” Creating even short assignments such as the initial posts for discussion and reflections in Word can ensure that you meet the word count requirement and have the opportunity to proofread carefully. Read More…

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