Tag Archive | "APU"

NASA Takes 3D Printing into Space

satellite-3d-printingBy C. Tod Pingrey
Faculty Member, Space Studies at American Public University

The latest printing technology—3D printing—has gone out of this world. NASA will soon take printing to a whole new level. On Sept. 23, the first 3D printer arrived at the the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon capsule. .

3D printing is the process of building an object, layer by layer, out of many different types of material including metal, plastic, and composite material. There are high hopes that this new printing technology will expand the station’s manufacturing capabilities. Although having replacement parts sent to the ISS is costly and time consuming, this new capability is expected to decrease resupply efforts from Earth while cutting costs by creating the possibility of fixing station issues with just a switch of a button.

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Overcoming the Shock of Being a New College Student

shock-online-student-survivalNew students often arrive with the idea that earning a bachelor’s degree will be relatively easy because they have already earned a high school diploma. Some new students view earning a college degree to be much the same as their high school experience. However, once in a college program, the student realizes the commitment needed for an online course and the student goes through a series of shocks about undergraduate education. The first shock is about how much work must be done; the second shock is about the quality required of the work.

The first shock is about the amount of work required. College work is more than just attendance. Professors are going to expect work on time, week after week for four long years. After the initial shock, of the quantity of reading and work, they realize that college needs to be a priority in their life.  A standard week for an online university student would be to read multiple articles or chapters in the book, respond to one discussion question, complete one assignment, and to make two to four substantial participation posts in the forums.

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Monetizing MOOCs – When Is it Right to Switch to Self-Serving Classes?

MOOC-monetizingBy Dr. Patricia Campbell
Dean, Graduate Studies at American Public University

Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of discussion around whether MOOCs can become sustainable or even profitable. This post doesn’t set out to answer that specific question, but rather it explores why someone might want to pay for a MOOC. What can a student expect of a MOOC and is it really worth the time and/or money?

For starters, we know there are many free MOOCs out there. They constitute a risk free environment where people can explore a plethora of topics. One thing we know about MOOCs is that they tend to have very high dropout rates. This is probably to be expected. Someone can sign up for a MOOC with the best intention of completing it—especially if the topic is compelling. However with no monetary “skin in the game,” there is very little downside of not completing the course.

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Create a Reverse Lesson Plan for Class

reverse-lesson-plan-empower-onlinestudentsBeing an online student is an empowering position to be in. You choose when to start classes, you decide when to log in to work, and you decide on the program that best benefits your lifestyle and career purpose. There are times that you can even pick your instructor.  One thing you typically cannot control is the lesson plan for the class. This is something your instructor is supposed to create ahead of time during their course review.

Most instructors even have the discussion forums laid out in advance so you can get a sense for the path you will be taking throughout the class. In order to gain some sense of control during your class you can create a reverse lesson plan. You won’t need to submit this for review to your professor and the rest of your classmates. The goal here is to create your own plan for class and what you plan on getting out of the subject material. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t get as far as you liked on topic this is an opportunity to change that before it ends. Most schools will send out end of course surveys and that is also an opportunity to share what would have improved the course, but it is after the fact.

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Lifestyle Needs: When to Know If You’re Ready for an Accountant

lifestyle-needs-accountantBy Natasha Snow
Faculty Member, Accounting at American Public University

There is an old adage: “a business needs an accountant when the economy is bad to count the money and a business needs an accountant when the economy is good to count the money.” Accountants help business owners and people to make good financial decisions in a wide range of situations.

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What Does General Studies Prepare You For?

gen-studies-career-prepBy Dr. Kathryn A. Broyles
Associate Professor, Arts & Humanities, at American Public University

Journalist and writer H.L. Mencken insisted, “You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.” Deciding to pursue a degree in general studies and then doing something meaningful with that degree can translate into studying widely and then living deeply.

Pursuing a degree in general studies is deciding to embark on a challenging, yet flexible, college education that draws on a variety of courses from across the university. More often than not, degrees prepare students for a singular career path; pursuing a general studies degree allows students to hone the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills necessary to thrive in any professional setting.

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Writing in 3rd Person

student-writing-third-personBy Dr. Charles Johnson
Adjunct Professor, School of Business at American Public University

One of the challenges of academia in the cyber world is maintaining a formal atmosphere. Like many online programs, at American Public University (APU) we use a forum which is similar to Facebook or LinkedIn as part of the classroom. The tendency for many is to write papers for the forum or assignments like we do in social media, but this isn’t always the appropriate choice.

Even though the submissions are made in a social media platform, initial academic submissions are not a conversation and should not be considered as such. Professors should set clear expectations and students should have a clear understanding of social versus academic writing.

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Could You Earn College Credit for Prior Learning?

prior-learning-work-creditAdult learners with significant life experience may be able to earn college credit for what they have learned over the years. Many schools offer prior learning assessment (PLA) programs offering students an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of college level knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired outside a traditional classroom, in order to earn credit toward their degree.

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