Tips On How Design Thinking Positively Impacts Creativity

Design Thinking positively impacts creativity. Design Thinking workshops empower business owners and staff in different ways to find new and creative solutions to problems. Let’s start by explaining what Design Thinking is.

What is Design Thinking

According to IDEO’s definition, Design Thinking is a human-centered, iterative approach for creative problem solving and innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate what’s desirable from a human point of view, technologically feasible, and economically viable.

According to Wikipedia, Design Thinking is a term used to represent a set of cognitive, strategic, and practical processes by which design concepts such as proposals for products, buildings, machines, and communications are developed.

Design Thinking includes context analysis, problem-solving and framing, creativity and solution generating, creative thinking, sketching and drawing, modeling and prototyping, testing and evaluating. Basic features of Design Thinking include the abilities to:

  • Manage and resolve ill-defined or ‘wicked’ problems
  • Find and implement solution-focused strategies
  • Utilise abductive and productive reasoning
  • Use non-verbal, graphic or spatial modelling media like sketching and prototyping.

How can you impact creativity with Design Thinking?

First of all, Design Thinking will help you discover that all people are creative. Design Thinking will help you acknowledge the inside voice that says “you’re not creative”.

It is often said, almost 90% of people genuinely believe they don’t have a creative bone in their body. They also think that matters related to creativity or innovation are someone else’s job.

Therefore, Design Thinking will help you discover your abundant resources of creativity. With Design Thinking, you will design, create, test, experiment, connect with real people, and most importantly, stretch yourself to do things differently and embrace your very human traits of imagination, creativity, and curiosity. That leads to creative solutions to real-world problems.

One way to awaken the creativity within your team is through collaboration. Each team member can develop creative confidence and be comfortable in bringing their ideas to life. One of the ways is to understand the importance of and rebuild the human skills of creativity, curiosity, and imagination.

Design Thinking focuses highly on interaction and collaboration. It quickly builds skills like empathy, rapid prototyping, and iteration—igniting curiosity about the problems you need to solve and taking your creativity and imagination to the next level.

Over time as you build your creative confidence, you can nurture others and help them develop their creativity and enthusiasm to explore, develop and express their Design Thinking skill set.

Design Thinking Positively Impacts Creativity

Key benefits of Design Thinking

Design Thinking gives you a process to solve problems creatively. It’s a way of solving problems with a mix of rational, data and research, emotions, feelings, and intuition that data can’t measure. Design Thinking considers the user front and center, driving a completely different way of thinking rather than looking at everything through your perception and judgment.

Why are people fearful of being creative?  Simon’s creativity workshops address the number one problem teams face that obstructs their own Creative Ogre.  The inner voice promotes doubt and tells you how uncreative you are.

Creativity should flow in all aspects of someone’s life, not just at work. When you live a more creative and open personal life, you will apply that same approach to work. To truly fulfill your creative potential, learn how to use your creativity at all times in your personal life or career as constant use will positively shift your thinking.

The world’s leading brands such as Google, Samsung, Apple, and GE all use the Design Thinking process and are adopted by top universities such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and d.school.

The phases of Design Thinking

According to d.school, the five phases of Design Thinking are:

•          Empathise with users

•          Define the end-user needs, problems, and find insights

•          Challenge assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions

•          Prototype–transform your ideas into solutions

•          Test solutions

Conclusion

The core of Design Thinking is its ability to improve products or systems by analyzing and understanding how users interact with them through research, reiteration, and fine-tuning to meet the needs of your client or target audience.

Who is Simon Banks?

Simon Banks is not your ordinary keynote speaker. Simon is an international keynote speaker that has delivered over 1300 events across the globe. Simon speaks at and emcees conferences and events and facilitates many innovations and design programs, including innovation hackathons, visual storytelling programs, design sprints, and creativity and Design Thinking workshops.

Positive Words Research – How Design Thinking Positively Impacts Creativity

Universities Are Adapting Admissions For Coronavirus Pandemic

The pandemic that unfolded in full force was not at all appropriate. After all, spring is in full swing. This means that there are only a few days left before the large-scale wave of final exams and admissions to educational institutions. How are things with entrance examinations, admission of documents, and passing of other tests today? Sorted this out in our material.

The Current Situation

A new dangerous and poorly understood viral infection has already made our world the way it was not before. Almost a million infected, tens of thousands of lost lives, the strictest quarantine regimes in almost all countries, the most powerful economic collapse, and thousands of canceled (or postponed) events, including:

  • All national championships and international tournaments in football and other sports;
  • Summer Olympics;
  • Cannes Film Festival;
  • Eurovision;
  • ExoMars Mission;
  • E3 Annual Gaming Conference;
  • The World Economic Forum;
  • Numerous premieres in the world of cinema;
  • Concert tours and music festivals;
  • Fashion weeks and shows.

The educational process is no exception. The coronavirus has made its own major adjustments. Now, most schoolchildren and students are homeschooled (thanks to modern technology). All educational institutions are closed. Each university or school can introduce its own additional precautions. For example, Harvard asked all students to vacate their dorms back in mid-March. And China, where the infection came from, developed a national educational online platform in a short time. Exams, tests, and even the defense of diplomas are also planned to be transferred online. While trapped at home, it’s possible to learn quite a lot, and not only your university program. Online courses open doors to a range of exciting career options (marketing course, for example).

In some countries, they have introduced long-term vacations and stopped the educational process altogether – Kuwait schoolchildren back to their desks only on October 4 (with the exception of graduates).

Admission to universities during a pandemic: entrance exams and admission to universities

COVID-19 also affected higher education institutions. All universities in the world have been quarantined and are trying to introduce new remote learning systems. As for the final and entrance exams, at the moment improvisation is read in almost all addresses to students. Administrations do not know how long the quarantine will last. Therefore, they are trying to come up with some convenient date on which all exams can be postponed.

The problem is that such a system fails since all events are clearly timed. All this action stretches for about three months. And now all this needs to be either postponed or greatly reduced in terms of time. Therefore, each university chooses its own model of overcoming the crisis. At the moment, 1 billion people in the world have switched to a remote learning system.

USA

Entrance exams in American universities were moved from April to June. The country’s most advanced universities, such as the Massachusetts University of Technology (MIT), are organizing full-length remote classes and, when the general quarantine is extended, are ready to conduct entrance exams over the Internet.

Otherwise, American higher education institutions are not yet worried about the cancellation or postponement of entrance exams, believing that the COVID-19 epidemic will end earlier. For example, Harvard University did not devote a single paragraph in its large-scale FAQ, which deals with the situation with the coronavirus. But they, along with Stanford University, announced that they would forgive students for any delay in tuition payments. And the president of the country, in turn, said that for students the interest on student loans…

How Universities Are Adapting Their Admissions During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Special exams

GRE

Graduate Record Examination is testing conducted in the US and UK for students entering postgraduate programs in all areas. Distinguish between General GRE and Subject GRE. The former is usually included in university-wide charters, while the latter is valid for specific specialties and faculties. The purpose of the GRE is to assess the general level of knowledge and to fairly compare different curricula around the world. The test is conducted entirely in English. The admissions offices of different universities are lukewarm about the GRE. However, his average score is taken into account if it is too low or too high.

In connection with the outbreak of the coronavirus, the development company GRE – ETS has launched an online format for its testing. To take the test at home, you will need to install two special programs on your computer: ETS Test Browser and ProctorU Systems Check. In one, you will take the test. The other will make sure you don’t cheat.

GMAT

Graduate Management Admission Test is a test for students wishing to study at a master’s degree or business school in finance, economics, business, and management programs. Typically used when enrolling in an MBA program. The test was developed in the middle of the last century. Its structure is undergoing massive changes up to the present day. For example, in 2012 a big new section (Integrated reasoning) was added.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most tests around the world have been canceled. At the moment, on the official page of the GMAC organization on Facebook, it is noted that an online version of the GMAT test is being developed.

LSAT

The Law School Admission Test is a special test for law applicants created by Harvard and Yale graduates in 1943. Its results are used by admissions committees of higher education institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, and several other countries. Hosted by LSAC. About 200,000 people undergo this testing every year.

The March LSAT test has been canceled worldwide due to the coronavirus epidemic. All those who registered for the test in March were automatically registered on April 25th. This is a new tentative testing date. 

By the way, after the February 2021 exam, more states plan to offer the bar exam remotely again (Connecticut Bar Exam, for example).

MCAT

Medical College Admission Test is a standardized exam for medical students who wish to study in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Caribbean. Hosted by the AAMC, the Association of American Medical Colleges. It is one of the most difficult and longest examinations in the world. The last major changes to the test were made in 2015 to reflect all modern medical advances.

In connection with the coronavirus, the April MCAT exam has been completely canceled. The association has eliminated all additional cancellation and postponement fees until the situation stabilizes. The next testing date has not yet been determined. It is recommended to stay tuned for updates on this page.

TOEFL

Test of English as a Foreign Language is a well-known test of English language proficiency. Like GRE, TOEFL is developed by ETS. During the COVID-19 epidemic, it is possible to take the test online.

IELTS

The International English Language Testing System is the main competitor of TOEFL. Created mainly for admission to higher education institutions in the UK. Often used by various companies during hiring. At the moment, the IELTS test continues in some regions, if the admissions committees manage to create a competent isolation environment. But in most countries, the IELTS exam has been officially canceled. Its renewal depends on the quarantine rules of other states.

Final thoughts

The situation in the world in connection with the virus is changing not only every day but every minute. That is why everything, including studying in schools and entering universities, can change more than once. Follow the news on the websites of the educational institution you are interested in and on the news portals of the country where you are already studying or just planning to study. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!

Positive Words Research – How Universities Are Adapting Their Admissions During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Order of Arithmetic Operations – What is the PEMDAS Rule

A simple arithmetic expression consisting of two numbers connected through a single arithmetic operation is easy to solve. But when it comes to solving expressions with several numbers and multiple operation symbols, it becomes necessary to solve them in some sequence. But to know which particular operation to solve first, we need some rules. PEMDAS rule is the order of operations used to solve complex arithmetic operations. PEMDAS is an acronym used to specify the order of operations to be followed while solving expressions having multiple operations.

PEMDAS is an operation order sequence that is used to solve expressions with two or more operations. The acronym PEMDAS stands for parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. The order of operation guided by this is in the same sequence as the order of letters in PEMDAS.

PEMDAS stands for:

  • P- Parentheses
  • E- Exponents
  • M- Multiplication
  • D- Division
  • A- Addition
  • S- Subtraction

Orders of operations are essential to understanding the operational sequence to follow while solving complex expressions. There are many different names and acronyms used to specify the orders of operation in different parts of the world. In Canada, the acronym used for the order of operation is BEDMAS, which stands for Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction. Other acronyms for the same order of operation are GEMDAS, where G stands for grouping, and BODMAS, where B stands for Brackets, and O for Order or Off.

Learning order of operation provides a guideline to evaluate the expression, so we always have the same solution for any expression. Both Mathematics and Computers use these order or operation guidelines. Understanding the concept of order of operations rules such as PEMDAS is vital for all the students as it forms the basis of understanding maths at every level in life and students must establish a clear understanding of this concept from an elementary stage.

For students to gain the fluency of solving mathematical problems involving multiple operations it is important that they do a thorough practice of this concept. If they fail to implement the basic knowledge of the order of arithmetic operations, it becomes difficult for them to learn maths. There are several ways to teach students this important concept, interestingly, like fun classroom activities, games, puzzles, and interactive math worksheets. These additional activities and resources are an effective means of teaching kids in elementary stages.

Children in their early-stage learn better through various activities and games. Combining fun with learning can be very beneficial for teaching kids the order of operations. Conducting quizzes or fun activities which involve the kids working in teams to solve certain clues can be a great way to teach kids. Such activities help students better understand the order of operation and develop their cognitive and team-building skills. You can conduct quizzes in the form of games also.

Another efficient way to teach the children anything is using visual aids as children are quite curious to learn new things and retain information through visualized learning. Visual tools such as engaging games, interactive worksheets, and apps make it easier for kids to visualize the concepts and understand them better. Learning and visualizing the concepts with the help of programming is another effective visual tool where kids can learn new concepts by writing code to visualize.

Arithmetic Operations

CONCLUSION

Learning the mathematical skill of arithmetic operations is very important and vital for any child’s math learning. Making children learn this concept by understanding and visualization is important. Interactive teaching methods can help students to understand this concept without any problem. It is also helpful in making math learning fun and interesting for children.

Clear Your Thoughts and Get Better Focus For Studying Steps

The process of studying is an integral part of everybody’s life and personal development work. We spend at least a dozen hours each day on improving our skills in learning, professional career, and even individual hobbies. How to focus on the cognitive process and improve concentration?

One has to be rather tricky with himself to keep a constant focus while studying, clearing his thoughts from all distracting sources. It is the key to better productivity and considerable progress. What helpful tips can advance your cognition?

What is Essential to Prepare Yourself for Studying?

The particular emphasis in any approach should be put on the right organization of a functional place to study. Furniture manufacturers are trying hard to overcome the problem of a proper workspace arrangement. The successful ones, such as Progressive Desk, have already achieved significant results to provide people with highly innovative desk designs. Their goal is to offer you the best quality products ensuring comfort, the flexibility of movement, and energy-saving support.

How to Prepare an Effective Place for Studying to Ensure Better Concentration?

  • Make a proper order at your room or office. Clean the dust;
  • Air the room. The oxygen will provide enough energy to study;
  • Take care of a comfortable chair ensuring maximum comfort and a healthy body position;
  • Provide yourself with the possibility to work standing. Let whole your body keep the energy up by moving muscles. This will add activeness and raise mental capacity;
  • Remove all unnecessary things from the workplace, but keep the needed supplies where you can easily reach them;
  • Get rid of all moving objects and distracting sounds that may disturb your attention. Close the door, ask people not to bother you when it is not urgent.

When the studying environment is ready, let’s figure out how to prepare your mind.

How to Clear Your Thoughts and Focus Better?

Even if you are a hard-working person and love to study, sometimes you face the problem of low focusing. What can be done?

  • To hold off on other disturbing thoughts, define a specific time to think of them later;
  • Make a schedule. Keeping the deadline in your mind will raise your productivity;
  • Prepare a clear plan to fulfil your tasks. Without a structure, the whole process may have an undesired snowball effect;
  • Forget about social networks while you study;
  • When you need to think especially hard or analyze anything, turn off the gadgets and “stay alone” with your challenge;
  • Make small breaks if you feel your mind is getting tensed, tired, or confused by the think tank. Stand, stretch legs, drink a glass of water;
  • Always remember your goal. Imagine the satisfaction you will achieve after it is reached.

Although you cannot make the whole outer world disappear to enable your high concentration on studying, the mentioned efficient steps can be followed to control the situation.

About the Author: Hayley Mann is a technology enthusiast specializing in automation methods of ergonomics devices. Her engineering background helps her to create interesting articles on technical topics, making them understandable for all readers.

Positive Words Research – Clear Your Thoughts and Get Better Focus while Studying Following These Steps

Get Better Focus

What Shift to Virtual Learning is for Future of Classroom Learning

“We are living in the 21st century, and technology is everywhere around us. Even before the global pandemic, virtual learning tools were implemented by both college professors and experts conducting business courses”, says an expert that wrote best TOEFL preparation reviews. However, it seems that COVID-19 has put a major focus on e-learning and conducting classes online. 

According to the data provided by the World Economic Forum, over 1.2 billion children aren’t available to attend classrooms due to the coronavirus outbreak. The statistics do not exist for employees who were in the process of attending courses to learn skills. However, it is presumable there are millions of them throughout the world, and the pandemic hit them hard, too.

It seems that technology has already motivated (or forced) those involved in organizing the learning process to adapt. Now, everyone is forced to move to a virtual environment. Even when the pandemic is over, will we be able to return to the classroom learning we know from the past? Will this shift to virtual learning adjust the conduction of classes in organizations and business environments?

It seems that the number one challenge of virtual teaching is ensuring that every person attending the course needs to have the same conditions and experiences during the learning process. Those are the two sides of the equality coin when it comes to virtual learning environments.

Online courses might seem more accessible to everyone, and short courses are a great way to upskill yourself. Whether the companies or the employees are paying for these classes, the price for online-only courses is more affordable. Additionally, you don’t have to waste time and money to get to the classroom location, and all resources should be available in the electronic format, too.

But what about the hardware and software employees work with when attending the course? What if companies didn’t secure laptops for their employees? What if some attendees have outdated laptops that are slow, which affects their overall experience? How will they follow classes streamed live if their internet connection is not reliable? What if they don’t have the software required to open specific files? They might use free tools, which are not as good as premium apps used by others. Does that put them at a direct disadvantage?

Another challenge for virtual learning environments is keeping your concentration. It might be convenient if you can go through the course at your own pace, and at the time of day and night when it suits your schedule. But it takes more focus than many think to follow an entire online learning session, especially if it’s not interactive or entertaining. The online attention span is traditionally low, and the fact you are alone in the room with no one watching will only make it easier to reach for your phone or take a look at the TV. Ultimately, the pace of going through the classes will end up being slower than with classroom learning.

An article in Tomorrow’s Professor Postings asks the question if it is possible to accurately evaluate a person who attends a course in the virtual world. How certain can you be that a person you might not have talked to or seen at all understood what you were teaching?

It is not much different in a business environment. Many tutors love the fact that they can communicate face to face with the people attending their course. They feel like they understand better if they crossed the message successfully.

The social factor is imperative, too. Not only it adds to the motivation of competing one against the other, but it is also easier to enter a discussion regarding a topic in a classroom. That improves the focus of each attendee and allows them to adopt new information quickly. On top of that, you have topics and vocations ideal for distance learning, but some topics are extremely hard to teach in a virtual environment.

It would be foolish to refuse tech assets when they could help you in classroom learning. The approaches might vary, but some ways to use technology in the classroom can be applied from elementary school to business courses.

Here is how you can use technology to your advantage in the classroom:

  • Add new elements to presentations – most business courses these days utilize presentations, but the trick is in making them as engaging as possible. Use videos for particular segments, and implement moments where you will stop the presentation from having a discussion with the attendees.
  • Secure laptops for all attendees – it might be tricky if employees are forced to bring their own laptops because not all of them are identical. If you can afford it, it would be great to add a laptop for each attendee to use during the course.
  • Make all resources easily accessible – you can consider placing presentations or live course recordings on a particular platform after the class. Every attendee should find it easy to access all resources at home or whenever desired.
  • Add self-assessment tools – simple tests with questions to answer about the topics taught at the course is an excellent way for attendees to assess how well they understood the course. If the teacher has access to the results, it could inform them about which of the attendees could use extra help with a specific topic

Hybrid Learning – Is It Our Future?

It doesn’t have to be the battle between classroom learning and virtual teaching environments. It seems that hybrid learning could be our future, which implies incorporating both virtual and classroom learning elements. HR managers, directors, companies, providers offering courses, and other relevant parties need to work together to find the balance between the two. That is why the ultimate thing to consider is the goal that you are trying to achieve. Based on that, it will be easy for an organization to determine the best method to reach that objective!

Positive Words Research – What the Shift to Virtual Learning Means for Future of Classroom Learning

Future of Classroom Learning

How to Better Get Prepared for Studying Abroad Today

We truly live amazing times, now more than ever – we can easily notice this even when looking at how accessible it is for young people to relocate from one country to another for their studies. To this end, studying abroad can be one of the most enriching and thrilling experiences of your entire life. It’s an experience that broadens your horizons, facilitates meeting new people and understanding new cultures, while at the same time helping you develop like never before. 

However, if you jump on board this experience without knowing what to expect, you may encounter some struggles that can take away from the blissful feelings brought on by newness. So here’s how you need to prepare and what to expect when traveling abroad.

How to Better Get Prepared for Studying Abroad

1. Choose Wisely, You’re In Charge of Your Future

Since this is so much more than just a weekend getaway and you’ll spend years studying in a completely new country, you’ll need to make an informed decision regarding two aspects. The first one should consider the field of study you’d like to be in for the next years of your life. Would you see yourself continuing a career in that field of work? Is it something you’d actually be passionate about studying? If so, would these classes be acknowledged in your country? The last thing you’d like to go through is to look back and see if you’ve spent your time in vain.

The second aspect you need to do careful research on is the actual country’s culture and how it fits your own personality. Learn about the country’s local traditions, the way its people interact with one another and see if they naturally resonate with your soul‍. By overlooking this aspect, you can easily end up spending your time feeling disconnected, jaded and longing to get home faster.

2. Create a Well-Established Itinerary

If you want to enjoy your new experience from the very first moments, you will need to ensure your itinerary is up-to-date and all your connections are booked from the get-go. Sacrificing a bit of time while you’re still at home means you don’t need to sacrifice time while you’re traveling and you also don’t need to spend the extra cash you could actually put to better use.

Another great way to get around and avoid negative feelings is to actually carry a printed map of the new location with you at all times. This will allow you to not depend on your phone and an internet connection, in case anything doesn’t go according to plan. 

3. You Can’t Avoid Homesickness By Studying Abroad

No matter how well prepared you to travel to your new country, homesickness is a universal phenomenon that without a doubt everyone who’s relocated to a new country eventually experiences. This can happen within two months of your stay there or even after the first six months. And when you think you’ve managed these feelings and are getting better, you can start missing home even more than you did the previous time.

So remember how powerful words can be in regards to your well-being and understand that it’s okay to reach out whenever you’re feeling down. Keep an open mind and let yourself assimilate your new environment as it comes to you since the path of least resistance is always the most rewarding in the end. Practice gratitude every day and remember your reason for having chosen this experience in the first place. This is the only way you can create and consolidate a truly positive study environment.

4. Be Prepared for the Differences in the Financial System when studying abroad

When it comes to the financial and administrative tasks of relocation, everyone faces some hurdles in their process and most of the time they’re pretty exhausting. This is why it’s best to contact your bank before leaving the country in order to ensure you can use your card in the new country. You should also find out what fees there are when withdrawing from foreign ATM’s or when paying by card abroad. These small steps can save you from a whirlwind of negative emotions down the road and not mention, a lot of misspent cash.

5. You’ll Discover Yourself and the World

Perhaps this is the most rewarding aspect of them all when it comes to studying abroad. Each person going through this adventure will have different experiences, but one thing is certain. No one returns from studying abroad the same people they were when they began. This is because the entire experience propels you from your comfort zone straight into the unknown and that is the best foundation for self-development. You’ll learn how to live on your own, how to make connections with people that don’t even speak your language, how to get by in a foreign country and how to live without an immediately accessible emotional support system. 

All in all, the beauty of studying abroad is that you can never really predict the unpredictable, regardless of how well you prepare for it. However, by following these basic tips, you may find yourself adjusting quicker to your environment and truly enjoying what this new chapter of your life has to offer.

About the Author

‘Claudia Spataru is a free spirit located in Bucharest, Romania and always in search of answers to life’s greatest questions. She loves to understand how people work, what makes them tick and find ways to help them reach higher grounds. She adores the sea, traveling and laughing.’

How to Better Get Prepared for Studying Abroad

A Short History and Future of Online Learning Today

About 125 years ago, students could earn the correspondence degree. Correspondence programs were initiated in higher education by the Universality of London in the mid of 19th century. In the next century, different universities played with other modalities including radio and television-based learning. Most notably in the UK—with the Open University. Correspondence degrees in the U.S. remained solidly ground on paper and the U.S. Postal Service.

There was little sense among traditional universities before the 1990s that students should generate a profit or be in any way central to the institution. These programs operate on cost-recover bases, and they were demoted to the outskirts. Lack of profit was sarcastic considering one of the pioneers of corresponding degrees.
International correspondence schools enrolled a total of 900,000 students by 1906, driven by a sales force of 1,200. It made sense given the view that correspondence degrees should serve educational outreach missions of the university. In the middle of the 20th century, the University of Maryland College and the University of Wisconsin Extension led the market.

Internet era

The Internet has proved itself as a game changer for correspondence degrees by enabling three forms of interactivity.

  • interaction with content,
  • interaction with the instructor,
  • the interaction with other learners.

People closest to the correspondence were the last to see it. Extension and ongoing education programs viewed the internet as yet other in a long line of non-revolutionary technologies like two-way video.

Market leaders

Market leaders like University of Maryland (UMUC), Wisconsin, Washington, and University of California Los Angeles were caught unaware as for-profit entrants nurtured the market for distance degrees.
For-profit entrants were not afraid of UMUC, and for-profit domination did not happen overnight. In 2000, Sloan Asynchronous Learning Network estimated that for-profits occupied less than 5% of the market for distance degrees. For-profits like the University of Phoenix grew rapidly over the prior decade by making higher education more accessible.

Duke University, an elite university which initiated its global executive MBA in the late 90s, and Cornell University which started e-Cornell as the university’s vehicle for online certificate programs seemed to grab the potential of online delivery better than other universities.

Development of for-profit universities for a decade was powered by online degrees. These degrees entered into the huge market of nearly 40 million Americans. By 2010, students enrolled in online programs were 3 million.
70% of those students attended for-profit institutions. From 2000 to 2010, most of the potential customers were targeted with the opportunity to go back to college.

Experience

The experience of the for-profits in the last 5 years has been, in part a calamity of the commons. Too many fishermen fishing in a diminishing pool. It has also been a failure of investment. For-profit organizations focused investment in the areas of marketing and enrollment.

Consequently, enrollment growth slowed and reversed over the last 5 years. The immediate reaction was to redouble the focus on marketing rather than thinking about the development of a product.

Programs in 2015 were easily recognized by online students from the year 2000. Many for-profits institutes use the same learning management system that was used a decade ago. None of them have attempted to reinvent online learning based on the current technology. It is a failure of investment that is coupled with the failure of imagination.

Online Degree

Online degree programs in popular subjects like Business, Technology, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Health, and Education are very popular commodity programs today.

We saw no growth in the market for online degrees last year. That’s because commodity programs are declining as the time is passing by. This decline is offset by growth in differentiated online programs.

What is a differentiated online program?

Institutions can differentiate their programs in three ways.

First way is through branding

Recognizing that there is a limited number of prestigious brands in higher education. Non-elite brands like Bridgepoint’s Ashford University has partnered with elite and recognizable brands like Forbes for Ashford’s business school.
Consequently, Ashford’s business programs continue to grow.

The second method is through specialized programs

There are many splendid examples of triumph specialized online programs although there is a ‘tail’ to online education curve. The tail for 100% online programs is not nearly long enough to make a real contribution to the growth of the overall market.
The real tail is blended programs—a subject for another day.

Third one is by connecting students to a job

How to do this thing effectively is still a puzzle. One company, ProSky has hit upon a fascinating model by providing on-ground universities the opportunity to enroll their students in a 10-week project-based online course in discrete skills areas such as digital marketing, SEO, and Sales.
Employers contribute projects to the course, monitor the work of students, and directly recruit students.

Strong brands

Ivy League Schools like Yale are now entering the market for online degrees via a partnership with online project management companies such as Pearson Embanet and Synergis Education. The growth of online project management companies and the brands that they have enabled have significantly contributed to for-profit enrollment decline.

Online project management companies now have the opportunity to lead the market for online degrees in the U.S. and internationally. They also have the luxury to work with stronger brands. Though they need to avoid making the same mistakes as their for-profit university predecessors.
Undifferentiated online degree programs will become commodities. Online project management companies should ensure that students enroll in online programs will get the job that they want. Also get a reasonable return on their investment in a pricey online degree.

Author’s Bio

Alina Olive is a senior content writer. She has experience of long-term in the marketing field as a content writer. She often creates articles on online education. Alina works in a Do My Homework company and writes an essay for students.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

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