7 Psychology Tips to Boost Positivity For College Students

March 26th, 2017

7 Psychology Tips to Boost Positivity in Students

Obviously, when you are in college, you want to do well, make great grades, and go on to enjoy a wonderful and fulfilling career. But, there is a lot more than just hard work and studying involved in getting you to that point. You need to be happy with what you are doing. If you are miserable, you aren’t going to put your all into everything that you do, and you aren’t going to enjoy a successful college career. What you need to do is get out of the misery mindset. Let’s take a look at some of the things students can do to boost their positivity.


  1. Be Optimistic – This isn’t always the easiest thing, because there are inevitably going to be things that get us down. But, it is something you can practice and get better at. Find a goal, such as being more comfortable in public. Then, practice doing things that will help you to reach that goal. You will find that as you succeed, you will become more optimistic.
  2. Be Grateful – Start a journal where you write down all of the things that you are grateful for every day. Then, when you are feeling low, take a look at what you have written. It’s pretty hard to stay down when you see how much you have to be grateful for. Try to write down a couple of things each day that you are grateful for, and refer to this journal when you are down.
  3. Take a Time Out – You need to be able to sit back and enjoy some time for yourself. For example, get out and have a great meal with friends. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun and enjoy a good meal. Check out the deals at Golden Corral prices, and enjoy a night out with friends.
  4. Savor Life – Savor every positive experience you have in life, now and in the future. Enjoy the simple pleasures, and take time to smell the roses. It may sound clichéd, but the more you take time to savor every aspect of life, especially the good things, the happier and more positive you will be.
  5. Be Kind to Others – Keep a separate journal of all of the things that you do to help others, even if it is just holding a door open for someone. The more you write down, the more you will be able to see that you are a good person, and this is going to add to your positivity. This is not to pat yourself on the back. It is simply to show you how great you can feel by doing something nice.
  6. Write Down Funny Things – When funny things happen to you in your daily life, write them down. Do this even if you do something really ridiculous that you may have considered embarrassing. You will find that after reading about it, you are laughing because it is so funny. This is going to help you to be able to not take life so seriously all the time and enjoy life more.
  7. Have a Positive Outlook – While this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, it is something that you need to do in order to be happy and positive. Stop looking at things in a negative way. For instance, if you have made a bad grade, don’t look at it as a bad grade. Look at it as a sign that you have areas that you need to work on. Put that positivity to work for you to turn this into a good thing.

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.


10 Most Popular College Majors

March 24th, 2017

By Iggy Kay


Choosing a major that is right for you isn’t always easy. As young adults get ready for college, they often have an idea of what they want to do in life, but this idea doesn’t always correlate with what they will be happy with. People choose their college majors based on a variety of factors, including not just what they think they will enjoy doing, but also how much money they want to make. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 10 college majors that are most popular among college students.

Business Administration

Young adults who want to be entrepreneurs, those who think they have what it takes to be their own boss and to run their own business and those who simply want to be in the business field have chosen Business Administration as their major. With this major, you will be proficient in running, organizing, managing and controlling various types of businesses. This major is a great choice for those people who consider themselves leaders.


We live in a world where research and innovation is what moves the world forward. Being part of this field is something that can be both financially and personally gratifying.  Biology includes many different branches, such as studying the environment, animals, molecules, chemical processes and more. This major is an excellent choice for those who want to become biologists, as well as those who are considering the possibility of going to medical school after earning their Bachelor’s degree.


This major is a great choice for students who love math and who love to work with numbers. Everyone needs to do their taxes, as such accountants are always in demand. Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is something that can be very financially rewarding and will also allow you to start your own accounting business.


Nursing degree is something that is going to be more and more in demand as the years go by. The Department of Labor estimates that by the year 2024, the demand for nurses will grow by 16%. This is more than 2 times the average 7% estimated growth for all other professions. Those students who earn a nursing degree will have a variety of institutions to work at, such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, home health care companies and more.

English Language and Literature

Studying the English language turns student into great writers – and that can be applicable to many different career paths. Students with degrees in English Language and Literature can go on to become book writers, journalists, teachers and much more.


A degree in Economics will teach students about how organizations and governments make their choices when it comes to financial resources. This major teaches students how to be analytics thinkers and it is great for those who want to work in the financial sectors such as banking, financial planning and risk analysis.

Computer Science

A field that is constantly evolving, Computer Science is a great major for those students who love to solve problems. Computer Science is a vast field that can include artificial intelligence, robotics, bio-computation, graphic design and various programming languages. Computer science can be quite rewarding financially, with compensation of up to $118,417 for a Software Engineer.

Criminal Justice

Those students who are thinking about law school as their next step often choose criminal justice as their major. A Criminal Justice degree will often lay the groundwork for students to finish law school and become prosecutors or defense attorneys. This degree is also an excellent choice for students who are thinking of becoming police officers, private detectives, probation officers and even Secret Service agents.

Teacher Education

Those students who want to become teachers will choose Teacher Education as their degree. This degree generally comes with a specific point of concentration, such as adult education, special education and elementary school. Frequently, students will also get a great feel of what it will be like to work as at teacher by working as a student-teacher while completing their degree.


Psychology degree is for those students who are curious by nature and who want to know how people think and why people act a certain way. Psychology degree also has a wide array of applications in the real world, such as human resources, marketing, counseling as well as teaching.

In summary, choosing a college degree that is right for you isn’t an easy task. Do your research before you start college, and you will find a degree that you are happy with – for life.

Bio: Iggy Kay is a freelance writer and a marketing consultant who enjoys writing about education and issues that affect both younger and older adults.

7 Tips for College Students to Be Peer Tutors

March 23rd, 2017



If you are looking for a great way to make extra money while studying at college, you can tutor others in the subjects that you excel in. Not only is this a good way for students to earn money, it can also be a highly rewarding experience. At most colleges, you will find a large number of peer tutors, and they are sharing their knowledge while making money. If you do exceptionally well at one or more subjects, and you are interested in becoming a peer tutor, check out the following tips that will help get you on your way.


  1. Put Yourself Out There – The first thing you need to do is get the word out that you are available to be a peer tutor. There are several ways you can do this. Start by visiting your student center, guidance office, resident advisor, etc., and ask them if there are students who are in need of your help. You can also advertise via bulletin boards around the campus, and of course, through the campus website, social media, and other websites like Tutor.com.
  2. Recognize Learning Diversity – Not everyone learns at the same pace, and not everyone learns with the same learning tools. You need to recognize this, and be able to adapt your tutoring style to each individual student that you are working with. In some cases, you may have to adapt to a lot of things, including where you study. Some students may not be as comfortable working in one area as they are another.
  3. Create the Right Resume – No matter what type of job you want to get, you should have the proper resume. Sure, you can offer your services as a tutor and hope to get a few students to work with. But, if you are able to produce a resume that shows the skills and experience you have that makes you a great tutor, you are likely going to get better results. Find clean resume templates that will highlight your skills.
  4. Be Yourself – If you are unsure about something yourself, don’t try to pretend that you have all of the answers. Let the students you are tutoring know that you need to learn as well, and you can learn together. This can often be just as effective as teaching, because you are working together to figure things out.
  5. Be on the Same Level – You are no better than the people you are tutoring, and you shouldn’t act like you are. This is not going to help you get a connection with them, and they are not going to be able to learn nearly as much from you as they could. Build a human connection with them, and let them know that you are all there for the same thing, to succeed in college and beyond.
  6. Use Many Teaching Tools – This tip kinds of goes right along with the above tip. Because not everyone learns in the same way, you will need to be able to use a variety of teaching tools. Take advantage of different types of media, get students to draw diagrams, etc. Do whatever it takes to make them remember the information and pass their courses.
  7. Don’t do the Work for Them – A lot of peer tutors make the mistake of doing the work for the students they are tutoring. This really isn’t helping them much. Yes, you need to help them, but you can’t just give them the answers. Instead, help them find ways to get the answers themselves. They will see their progress, and feel empowered to do even better.

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist. 



How to achieve your grades using the Feynman Technique

March 22nd, 2017


There’s a good chance you’re reading this in the last few days before your college exams. Most students leave their studies for the very last moment, so it’s no surprise they want to learn faster.

One of the best techniques to learn a lot of material quickly is known as the Feynman technique. Named after teacher, scientist, and physicist  Richard Feynman, this technique promises to unlock your potential for grasping new concepts at college. Here’s what you need to know:

The Basics

The Feynman technique is based on the student’s ability to understand a concept by teaching it to others. It’s based on the theory that to be able to teach something you need to understand it fully first. If you’re tasked with taking a class on a subject you’ll be more focused on getting the concept right. For example, you can’t explain all the nitty gritty details of sports journalism if you haven’t attentively studied it all yourself.

The basic Feynman technique plays out in four easy steps:


Step 1. Write down the topic

The most basic step is to write down the specific topic or theory that you need to revise. This could be anything from the theory of relativity to the concept of hyperinflation. Just write down the topic title and move onto the next step.


Step 2. Explain the concept in easy terms

Step 2 is where you’ll be spending the most time. Pretend you’re teaching someone the concept. Assume this imaginary person has no idea what you’re talking about and knows very little about the subject. Write down every little detail, draw diagrams, and read out the formulas. Make this step as detailed as possible. For the technique to work, you need to be able to clearly explain the concept in simple English. Avoid jargon and unwieldy words.


Step 3. Identify problem areas.

Once you’ve explained the topic and written all the finer details down on a piece of paper, take the time to analyze it. Search for words, phrases or concepts that you didn’t remember or weren’t able to explain. Look for formulas you have trouble understanding.



Step 4. Pinpoint problem terms and phrases.

Finally, go back to your notes and read through the phrases and concepts you couldn’t explain. Try to be more attentive this time and pretend as if you have another class on the subject shortly.

Repeat this process till you finally crack the subject.

Why not give the Feynman technique a try today? It is a simple and yet incredibly effective study tool. It’s a psychological trick that makes you more attentive and pushes your studies into high gear. This technique is one of the best techniques to use if you’re trying to master a topic quickly.

Bio: Marcus Danielson is a traveler and world-citizen,who believes in the power of education

and enjoys spreading it. He also takes pleasure in reading, watching old movies, and taking

How to Stay Focused on Studying In College: With So Many Other Distractions

March 21st, 2017



College is one of the most exciting periods in your life. It is a time of possibilities, new experiences and choices. Many college students have trouble focusing on what’s really important and lose their direction, which can lead to problems. In order to maintain your course, you need to stay sharp and never lose your target, the reason why you’ve joined the college.

In order to help you cope with all the distractions, we have been thinking about different ways to deal with the lack of concentration. Read carefully these following lines, as they might help you stay the course in the restless sea of college life.

How to keep your focus? 

Life is not all about commitments and working all day long, every person feels the need to socialize and relax from time to time. With social networks and various smart devices, it’s sometimes hard to stay away from people and events. It seems as if we’re all in a room that’s filled with people all the time, and there are only so many things you can do in such conditions. In order to improve your productivity and help you remain focused on studying, there are a few options available.

Stay offline  

Keep yourself away from all the social networks while you study. This simple action can save you hours as you will not be distracted by your friends or notifications. Just think of all the times you have started to work on an essay and then a sudden message or notification breaks your focus into pieces. It takes a lot of time to get back on that train of thoughts once you get thrown out. Next thing you know is you’re behind on your paper and you need to seek help on 123writings or similar sites.

Use power-ups  

There are so many things you could use in order to improve your concentration while studying. It all depends on your personality, so you might find all these “power ups” useful, or find use in just some of them. These are my personal favorites.

  • Music – You can find some great study music that will help you separate from everyone and everything else. There is a vast choice of study music on the internet, like this study music alpha waves compilation. Alpha waves reduce stress and cause your brain to be more relaxed and free from all the pressure. It’s like you are meditating and studying, at the same time. Other people prefer classical music, which is always a good choice.
  • Ginkgo biloba – This plant is used as a dietary supplement in many different forms. Most common forms are liquid extract and tablets. Ginkgo biloba is known to have a positive effect on memory, but don’t think of it as some kind of magic pill, it’s just something that will help you focus better. And of course, don’t use it without consulting your doctor first.


Stop multitasking 

Working on multiple tasks will not help you in the way you’d want it. Instead of doing the best you can, you will do the most you can, and that often leads to failure. If you’re focused on more than one thing, you will never be able to be fully focused as you’ll get distracted by other assignments that require your attention at the same time. Separate your work, and give your full attention to one commitment at the time. You will learn that you’ve been more productive and that the quality of your work is better. In case you don’t have the best planning skills, there are apps that can help you plan your schedule.


Life is fun, and we should enjoy it as much as we can, share our moments with friends and family and build our future along the way. Staying focused can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that’s easily surpassed if you have the proper tools and motivation. We hope that this article has helped you find your way to stay focused and lead an exciting college life. In case you have your own method, please share it with us in the comment section below, we’d love to read it.

About Author

Bria Pierce is freelance writer with a keep passion in traveling and personal development. She cannot imagine her life without writing so it’s her occupation, her hobby and her way of living. Follow her on twitter.


7 Ways to Save Money on Food In College

March 20th, 2017



There are lots of sacrifices you can make in college to avoid depleting your bank account. You don’t have to shell out for brand new textbooks. You can walk or ride a bike around town rather than maintain a car. You can reduce housing costs by splitting rent and utilities with roommates.

Unfortunately, there’s no alternative to eating. What’s a college student on a tight budget to do?

Here are seven ways to save money while staying healthy and satisfying your hunger.

  1. If you’re required to purchase a meal plan, choose the right one.

It can be tricky, but it’s ridiculous to pay for three meals a day if you’re not likely to eat them all. Money magazine reports that students who eat every meal on campus spend around 85 percent more each day than students who cook at home.

Decide how you’ll use the plan. For example, if you like a big breakfast but prefer to eat light meals the rest of the day, buy the plan with the fewest meals. Enjoy breakfast each morning at school, but prepare everything else at home.
If, on the other hand, you don’t trust yourself to stay out of restaurants, go all out for the plan with the most meals.

  1. Take some time every few days to plan your meals.

Students who neglect to take this crucial first step are likely to go over their food budgets before the week is through. They may even gain unwanted pounds.

If you haven’t planned, shopped, packed lunch or stocked the fridge, you’ll be tempted to eat the wrong foods and spend too much money. That aroma of pepperoni wafting from the neighborhood pizza joint is hard to resist when the cupboard at home is bare.

Search online for weekly menus. The recipes should be healthy, inexpensive and easy to prepare. You’re not likely to stick to your plan if ingredients are numerous, difficult to find or a hassle to prepare.
For breakfast, hot or cold cereal is a great choice provided it doesn’t have too much sugar. You can break up the monotony with toppings like fruit or nuts. Eggs are nutritious and inexpensive. Boil a few at a time and store them in the fridge. When you buy bread for toast or sandwiches, freeze the unused slices to prevent them from spoiling.

Speaking of the freezer, it’s your best friend. Just about anything can be frozen for later if it’s allowed to cool first and stored in a safe container. Frozen fruits and vegetables save prep time and prevent spoilage. Just remove only the amount you’ll use for one meal.

Invest in a quality lunch bag or bento box that holds foods at safe temperatures. If you’re on the go, you won’t have to worry about giving in to fast-food temptation.

  1. Learn to shop.

After you’ve chosen a few days’ worth of recipes, make a shopping list. Before you leave the house, take a quick inventory to make sure that you’re not buying items you already have. Calculate what you expect to spend, and make adjustments if necessary.

A couple of academics from New Zealand, Art Thomas and Ron Garland, have done extensive research into grocery shopping habits. They found that people who adhere strictly to a shopping list spend significantly less money than those who don’t. Sticking to a list eliminates impulsive spending. Shoppers with lists also finish up a lot faster.

You should also know that grocers tend to place more expensive brands at eye level. The higher or lower you have to reach for a can of black beans, the less you’re likely to pay. The quality is often very comparable.

In general, no item is a bargain if it’s not on your list. The only exception is a sale or buy-one-get-one-free offer on something that you eat frequently. The same is true for coupons. Just because there’s a coupon for something doesn’t mean that the product is a smart buy or especially good for you.

Don’t go to the store on an empty stomach. No one can make good decisions when everything from frozen egg rolls to chocolate layer cake sounds delicious.

Stock up on staples, like rice and boxed pasta that keep for a long time and go with everything.

Avert your eyes at the checkout counter. Those candy bars, lip balms, and tabloid magazines are placed there for a reason, and it’s easy to double your grocery tab in a matter of minutes.

There are several grocery shopping apps, such as AnyList and Grocery IQ, that can help you budget and plan.

  1. Cook with a buddy.

Ask one or more friends to share grocery costs and cook with you once or twice a week. Search for recipes that make several servings. Pot roasts, casseroles, enchiladas and pasta dishes are ideal for sharing.

Versatile entrees that can easily be used another way are also good picks. A roasted or store-bought rotisserie chicken, for instance, will provide plenty of leftovers for chicken salad, fajitas or soup the next day.

  1. Get a slow cooker.

For convenience, food quality and energy savings, slow cookers can’t be beaten. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Since all of the ingredients go into one pot, you’ll save significant time on cleanup.
  • Slow cookers are so versatile that a variety of meals can be prepared in
  • Your meal will be ready and smell wonderful when you get home from school.
  • You can cook a lot of food at once, so there will be plenty of leftovers, freezing or sharing.
  • The long, low-temperature cooking process tenderizes even inexpensive cuts of meat and enhances food flavor.
  • You can use a slow cooker any time of year. Hot soups and stews will be welcome in the winter, and using it in the summer instead of the oven will keep the kitchen cooler.
  • Slow cookers use far less energy than gas or electric ovens.
  • They also tend to be fairly inexpensive, but you should do some research before buying one. To find the best one for your needs and within your budget, check out this list of the five best slow cookers reviewed and other lists like it.
  1. Kick the latte habit.

You don’t have to be a math major to tally up the cost of visiting your local barista every morning. If you can’t resist the convenience, consider buying a small single-cup coffee machine. A wide variety of coffees and other drinks are sold for brewing in them. They’re often on sale, and they pay for themselves in a few weeks.

  1. Avoid vending machines.

Compare the price of vending machine pretzels to the price of a large bag sold at the grocery store. As you’ll see, it makes better sense to buy from the store. Just portion snacks into small plastic bags when you get home. You may have noticed that skipping meals to save money wasn’t recommended. Don’t do it. It’s unhealthy, especially for breakfast.

According to the Food Research & Action Center, going without breakfast affects your ability to learn, concentrate and retain information. Any amount of money that you save by skipping meals is a mere pittance compared to the cost of tuition for repeating courses.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she  is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.




Top 12 Apps and Tools for Teaching Creative Writing

March 17th, 2017


Want to improve your storytelling craft? Where there’s a will there’s a way!  The educational software provides you with a large number of insights.

Creative writing requires both ideation and estimation skills. Need a brainstorm? The smart use of kickstarter apps will give rise to your inspiration flow and assist in organizing ideas.

The other tools are developed to improve the quality of writing. They help to develop your penmanship, wind up grammar, level up text readability and uniqueness.

Let’s consider top 12 writer’s’ helper-outers!

99 Words

  • Free
  • Let the inspiration flow! 99 Words approach is based on the collaboration between e-learners. Each of them should create a chapter which has no less than 99 words. The story is passed from one author to another until it’s finished. An app sparks creativity, encourages users to improvise and work in a team. Write on!

Note Everything

  • Free
    • If you are mulling over a notion even when not actually writing, use this free app. Note Everything helps you to organize sketches, voice notes and even drawings. There’s no limit to your imagination! All you have to do is catch an idea – and note it down.



  • Keeping a diary can be a major asset to develop your penmanship. If you are the documenting type and enjoy describing the events from your life, use RedNotebook.
    • This tool provides you with open-source journaling option for Windows and Linux. You will be pleasantly surprised with RedNotebook usability. It lets you quickly search through old entries and find specific dates. You can export entries in PDF, Latex HTML or plain text format. Add images, links and templates – as you wish. Be imaginative and enjoy writing for yourself!


  • Free
  • The concept of the online editor is based on the American preeminent author’s approach. Hemingway is irreplaceable when you get down to the heart of writing process. The tool helps to edit text making it skimmable. The editor marks the passive voice and adverbs green and blue. When a word or phrase has a simpler alternative, it’s shown purple. Hemingway helps you to improve text readability. Make every single phrase clear!


  • Free or Premium from $11.66 / month
    • The free online tool is writer’s magic wand. After registration, you can download a document or copy paste text and check it for grammatical errors. Mistakes related to articles, spelling, punctuation and the sequence of tenses are indicated as critical issues. The service also offers advanced options of correcting stylistic errors or inappropriate words order. Grammarly can be installed as web extension at your browser to make emails and social media posts orthographic. Create airtight stories only!

Readability Score

  • Free or Premium from $3/ month
    • Text scoring tool helps creative writers to optimize their phrases and make the text easy to read. The grade level depends on the length of the sentences, words’ length, the number of adverbs, passive voice and cliche count. The concerned criteria of text quality are indicated with different colors so that a writer could alter phrases and make amendments. Readability-score suggests free checking three pages of unlimited length for each day. Develop your penmanship and have the guts to cut!


  • Free or Premium for $4,91
    • This free website assists you in organizing the thought-starter. Are you beginning a novel or narrative essay, us helps you to create the map of your ideas. Customize the bubble color, text size and formatting including hyperlinks. Even the registration is not required unless you want to save data. Brainstorm quickly with the online easy-to-navigate platform!

The Brainstormer

  • $1.99


An app is responsible for the writers’ moment of inspiration. The wheel randomly combines plot, subject and style so that authors can make their conscious choices. Brainstormer has the thought-out and user-friendly interface which makes the process fun. Say goodbye to the writers’ block!

Story Skeleton

  • $8.99

The tool for iPhone and iPad helps to structure the storytelling process. The electronic index cards jot down the ideas to construct the narration of plot elements and abstracts from the text. Story Skeleton is effective for creating outlines and structuring the narration. Download a text file or use index cards within the app — as you wish. Remember, even a ridiculous idea can be of use!


Writing Prompts

  • $1.99

Here’s another effective source of lead for e-learners. Words, images, sketches, colors and current events combine billions of prompts to develop your imagination. You can store your favorite prompts as you wish. The tool is multitasking-friendly. When switching to another app, Writing Prompts works away right where you left off. Writing process is fun!


Clean Writer

  • $0.99

A text editor hides away extra options and favors inspiration. The unique concept of Clean Writer is focusing on the plot instead of extra formatting and design options. An App is implemented on MacWorld, PCWorld and TheNextWeb.com. It handles only plain text files.

Clean Writer is perfect on the brainstorming stage and working on drafts. Focus on the score!


  • Packages from $5.99

Forget about the risk of composing nonunique text. The plagiarism detection tool is based on the advanced algorithm solutions. PlagiarismCheck analyzes the text of an unlimited length. It indicates even the altered words order or machine translation of another piece of writing.

The service offers to check three first pages for free. Find the calm of mind! Be sure that your piece of writing is original!

You may also find the following list of apps and tools helpful:













Author’s Bio: Nancy Christinovich is the independent writer specializing in freelance, social media, and marketing. Nancy’s personal interests apply across psychology, education and art. Сonnect her on facebook, twitter or Linkedin.

How to Calculate Professors Weights In College Grades

March 16th, 2017


As a college student, it isn’t enough to just sit back and wait for your grades to come in. It is important to know how to calculate your grades ahead of time. That way, if there are any problem areas, you can figure out how to correct the problems, and work harder to get the grades you really want. There are various types of grading systems, and various ways to figure them out. If your professors use a weighted grade, you should understand what that means, how to calculate it yourself, and how to make changes in your study habits to make your grades even better. Let’s take a look at how to calculate weighted grade in college.

  1. Determine if Assignments are Weighted – If your teachers are using a weighted grading system, your work will have points that are based on each category, and these categories all play together to give you a final grade. Categories can include homework, tests, class participation, lab work, quizzes, and of course, your final exam. Each category is worth a specific percentage of your final grade, and in order to get great grades, you need to score high in all categories. But, it isn’t going to affect your grade too much if you were to make few less points in one category, especially if you are scoring really high in others. To simplify things for the sake of this article, let’s say that each category is worth a number that is equal to its percentage weight (ie 20% equals 20 points). The categories will add up to a total of 100, or 100%.
  2. Calculate Category Percentages – Once you have figured out each category and what they are worth, it is time to calculate the category percentages. You have the points for the categories figured out, so now you have to convert those percentages into real numbers. For example, if you received a 95% in a category that is weighted at 20%, you would multiply .95 by 20, for a total of 19. So, you have 19 points for that particular category.
  3. Convert Percentages to Decimals – It is important that when calculating a weighted grade that you always change percentages into decimals, making it easier to multiply. You may even want to check out a grade calculator to make sure that you are getting the right numbers.
  4. Multiply by Weight – You will now need to multiply each number by its weight. You have the option to do this at the end of your chart, or to do it on one line in a formula. For instance, you might enter 0.9(0.25) to show a 90% grade, multiplied by 25% of the total grade. This is how you weigh out each score to get to your overall grade. There is just one more step in the process.
  5. Add Weighted Scores Together – Now that you have the weighted scores figured out, you will need to add them together. For example, 0.9(0.25) + 0.75(0.50) + 0.87(0.25). The total weighted class score would be 0.8175. Multiply this number by 100 to figure out the percentage, which in this case would be 81.75%.

Are Your Grades Where they Should Be?

If you have done these calculations, and have figured out that your grades are not where they should be, you can fix them before it is too late. The first thing to do is to talk to your teachers about getting help with weighted grades. Find out what you need to do to raise your weighted grade, and then work on it. It may be that there is just one area that is bringing the grade down, and that grade will go up once you fix the problem.

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.



Boosting E-Learning Efficiency through Virtual Reality

March 15th, 2017



As a concept, virtual reality and its derivatives have been around for decades –the term itself was first introduced as long ago as the 80’s. However, It was only in recent years that they started becoming truly mainstream thanks to the advancements in a number of key areas and emergence of multiple software and hardware platforms that finally made the technology less of a sci-fi term and more of something that you can buy on Amazon with a couple of clicks. Originally intended almost exclusively for entertainment, VR is now viewed as a flexible and versatile technology that can be adapted to many spheres of life where visual content presentation is essential, and education seems to be a very natural candidate for quick and truly purposeful adoption of VR.

 Benefits of using VR in education

The key question here is: “How can education, in all of its diverse forms, benefit from these technologies?” The answer is surprisingly simple: in nearly every way you can think of.

Starting from the most basic and almost static “virtual tours” based on 360-degree panoramic photos or videos and all the way to fully 3-dimensional interactive worlds revealing the full potential of VR, these technologies efficiently solve the following problems:


  • Allow students from any part of the world to interact on a much deeper level by partaking in immersive virtual activities;
  • Make for better and more efficient teamwork;
  • Let students enjoy the benefits of detailed and often fully interactive visualization of complex processes, which is especially important in such sciences as medicine, physics, engineering and many others;
  • Help obtain profound knowledge about a particular piece of equipment, process or location even before they are actually completed or made available for;
  • Add a fresh incentive for students to attend courses offering a lot more than just descriptions of the object of study and some multimedia materials.

The most important trend observed in this area is the gamification of the learning process and emergence of the game-based learning (GBL), which capitalizes on our intrinsic motivation to win and achieve success. This is clearly seen in computer games as we know them, and now the same basic principles are being superimposed onto the learning domain to provide students with an impetus to face challenges and overcome them – yet in a visual and highly engaging environment with a great degree of interactivity.

Integration with existing e-learning solutions and LMS products

Modern LMS’s come bundled with a wealth of tools for creating online courses of any complexity, offering rich content with audio and video elements, live A/V interaction between students and teachers, screen sharing and other possibilities that bring the course-takers’ experience as close to a real classroom as possible. However, VR is capable of adding an extra dimension to the learning process by allowing students to take virtual tours, collaborate in simulated environments and learn complex processes through interactive visualizations.

The simplest form of VR integration is the embedding of 360-degree videos and photos into course pages. This type of content can be viewed with the help of affordable phone accessories, such as Google Cardboard, or more expensive devices like Samsung Gear VR.  At the very minimum, these VR elements allow course-takers to travel to places they have never been to and get a better understanding of the object of study. There are dozens or even hundreds of embeddable video players with VR functionality on the market, from the most generic ones to flexible and versatile products with extended functionality, which can be implemented and even customized to your needs by a competent company with corresponding domain expertise.

The next step is the creation of mobile apps with AR functionality that can be downloaded to students’ mobile devices along with optional printable trackers. These apps are a perfect means of demonstrating the work of complex mechanisms, objects and processes that can be observed from any angle – and they don’t cost a fortune to create. A good example of this approach would be Compedia’s AR platform that aims to dramatically enrich the learning and collaboration experience at schools, universities, medical institutions and companies of different types taking steps towards improving the quality of their internal trainings.

Finally, the most impressive, and yet the most expensive VR option is the development of specialized VR applications that will require either a top-of-the-line mobile phone or an expensive VR headset. These apps, like the ones developed by Immersive VR Education, to name just one company, offer the highest degree of interactivity, but the cost of development currently makes them a viable option almost exclusively for narrowly-specialized professional courses.


Widespread proliferation of VR/AR technologies in education and e-learning is just a matter of time. The industry is currently preparing for a quantum leap in VR by testing various technologies in labs and on the consumer market, but it won’t be long before the cost of high-quality VR equipment drops to an acceptable level and its sales go up exponentially. When it happens and a VR headset becomes as commonplace as a set-top-box or game console, content will start pouring in – and education will be on the forefront of this process.

Byline: Eugene Rudenko is a senior online marketing manager for Oxagile, a software development company providing custom eLearning solutions with V0R/AR integration.

5 Ways to Fund Your College Costs

March 14th, 2017

By Malia Keirsey


$1.3 trillion. No, this is not the amount that the federal deficit has grown over the past year. It is the amount of student loan debt that Americans shoulder right now. And it continues to grow.

$37,172. This is the average amount of student loan debt for students who graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in 2016. And for those who go on to grad school, it only gets worse.

It’s a crisis, and many economists say it will be the next major financial crisis America faces. With this amount of debt, homes and new cars are not purchased; there is no money to invest in their futures. The impact on the general economy is potentially devastating.

As you consider financing your education, you have to look at types of aid with an eye toward your future. The goal, of course, is to minimize the debt you accumulate and must pay off. Here are the options you have.

Sources of Financial Aid – Public and Private

  1. The Federal Government

You already know that the feds are the biggest source – loans, grants and even through funding of some work-study programs, particularly those involving important research.

  1. Your State

There is also money available in many states – grants, scholarships, tuition assistance for those who qualify, and loans. This pre-supposes that you attend a public university in your state, however. Still, it is worth checking out. Lots of students don’t and they lose out.

  1. Aid from the Institution

This is common among private colleges and universities, as they are able to use endowments meant for this purpose. This is in the form of grants, scholarships, and work-study programs, and do not have to be paid back. If you can get as much as possible in this form, you can really reduce your final debt amount.

  1. Private Aid

If you can qualify for this type of aid, you are in luck. These are grants and scholarships that come from private, usually non-profit organizations, although corporations are getting in on this act too. The best source for these is now a google search. You would be surprised to learn how much funding is available, often related to your ethnic background, your religious affiliation, other heritage factors (e.g., children of Iraq and Afghanistan military killed in service), your financial situation, etc. Exploring these opportunities takes times but can be well worth it.

In many instances, you will be required to write essays as a part of the application process. Do not blow these off. If you are not a skilled and creative writer, you will want to find some help. Find a writing service that specializes in helping students with application and gives a college essay help. Your piece must be amazing and must stand out among some stiff competition.

Types of financial Aid

Now that we have talked about sources of financial aid, let’s look a little closer at the types. Your goal is to come out of college with as little loan debt as possible. So, before you dive headlong into huge loan obligations, consider all of the possibilities that are open to you.

  1. Grants

The lovely thing about grants is that they don’t have to be paid back. Grants can come from public sources (federal and state governments) or from private sources. Grants can be based upon need, upon merit, or upon specific student type (e.g., minority, women, disabilities). Competition for grants can be fierce but that should not deter anyone from going after them. Here are some examples of grants that students can get:

  • Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government, usually at the undergraduate level, and amounts are based upon the student’s financial situation, the tuition costs of the chosen school.
  • FSEOG are federal grants for students with high financial need. The letters stand for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. These are usually awarded by the school that has a specific amount of money to grant.
  • TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education): If you are pursuing a degree in education, and if you are in a high-demand field or willing to work in low-income urban areas, you should pursue this grant. You must commit to a specific number of years in teaching to prevent having to pay it back.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service: Students who parents/guardians died while in service in these two wars are eligible for amounts of grant money.


  1. Scholarships

Scholarships are actually like grants, and most are provided by institutions themselves or by private organizations or enterprises. These are usually based upon academic performance, ethnic background, athletic or another talent, religious affiliation, or other criteria. The larger the scholarship amount, the greater is the competition. If you go for many of these types of awards, you may be required to write an essay as a part of the application process.

  1. Loans

Now, this is the area in which students must proceed with caution. Loans must be paid back, and the amount a student borrows will impact his/her life upon graduation. While loans provide you with quick access to the money you need for your education, they do come with interest. There are several types of loans:

  • Federal Loans: these are the most common type and are divided into categories of subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are given to students who can show financial need, and the repayment terms are a bit better. Interest on these loans is paid by the government while you are in school. Unsubsidized loans do not come with such a benefit. Interest accumulates while you are in school and is added to the loan amount, even though you don’t have to begin paying back until after you graduate.
  • PLUS: These loans go primarily to students in graduate and professional programs. They come with interest, so be sure to check out the details.
  • Perkins Loans: these are loans given to students in both undergraduate and graduate programs, and are based solely on financial need.
  • Private Loans: These should be a last resort. They are loans provided by banks and other lending institutions. Generally, they come with a higher interest rate, and there are no provisions for lowering the rates or any forgiveness for certain conditions, as government loans may provide.

Speaking of loan forgiveness, you should do the research. There are some career paths which will give government loan forgiveness or reduction. Some positions in education and health care, for example, are eligible, under conditions of specific employment.

  1. Work-Study/Assistantships

There are some on-campus positions which are funded by the federal government, specifically so that students may earn a portion of their college costs through work. Jobs at off-campus locations are also sometimes available. The larger the student body, the more positions, but also the more competition. Pay can also vary widely.

Particularly at the graduate level, there are assistantships available which will help pay for tuition costs. These involve providing help to professors, teaching lower level classes and a variety of other tasks. These are valuable positions, and the competition is high.

  1. Fellowships

These are also opportunities for graduate and professional students and do not have to be paid back. Usually, these are provided by private enterprises and are used for students engaged in education or research. They are given in the form of stipends which students can then use as they choose. There are some fellowships awarded directly by schools, but these are not as common. And some come with strings attached regarding post-graduate employment.

Some General Advice

Here are some tips as you think about student aid, especially accumulating that loan debt.

  • Borrow only what you need, not what you can. It’s tempting to have that extra cash on hand, but you will pay dearly for it later on.
  • Graduate on time. If you are working on a Bachelor’s, make sure that you get out in four years, even if you have to take some overload semesters. Every semester adds cost and debt.
  • Be realistic. Take a look at the employment prospects in your chosen field, especially the salary forecasts. A good “rule of thumb” is this: Do not borrow more than the forecasted annual salary of an entry-level position in your field.

About author:

Malia Keirsey is an enthusiastic writer and guest contributor. She has finished the University of Chicago with master’s degree in Sociology. Now she’s working as freelance web designer and blogger. Her main topics of interest are writing, digital marketing and education. Follow @MaliaKeirsey on Twitter.