Category Archives: academics

Optimization of Academic Assignment Preparation: Using Behavioral Economics to Effect Positive Student Outcomes

How assignments are presented to college students may affect the students’ performance. One of the elements under students’ control is the schedule that they follow when preparing and presenting their work for evaluation. Procrastination affects students’ academic performance. Faculty may use findings from behavioral economics, such as loss aversion theory, to encourage positive student behaviors. Students, when seeking to complete their academic work and meet their academic responsibilities, must make choices that require evaluating tradeoffs (e.g., complete the assignment or join friends at a social gathering, submit an assignment response on time even though the submission does not reflect best work or complete the assignment but accept a grade sanction for late submission). Improving students’ ability to make choices that best serve their academic interests, particularly in regard to the organization of their time and effort, may lead to the students to more fully meeting academic requirements.
Keywords: academic, behavioral economics, loss aversion, procrastination

optimization of academic assignment presentation (print)

The Books That All College Students Should Have Read

By the time a student enters college, he or she must have attained a degree of literacy that demonstrates preparation for the rigors of post secondary academic study. One of the markers of this preparation is the list of books that have been read. I have noticed that few undergraduate students are fully prepared for the reading, writing, and critical thinking requirements of their first few years of college work. To help rectify this problem, I offer my list of the books that all Americans should read before entering college. If you are already in college and have not read all of these books, waste no time in getting up to speed.

Peter Kump, Breakthrough Rapid Reading: A Reading Text For All Scholars

A number of students have commented on the amount of reading that is required in our graduate business program. I agree, there is quite a bit of reading, sometimes well over 1,000 pages of densely-packed text in a single course.

I suggest that you read Peter Kump’s book, Breakthrough Rapid Reading. I have been recommending this book to students for many years, and I receive more hugs of thank you at commencements for having made this recommendation than I receive for my teaching abilities. ;-(


Developing Writing Skills By Listening to Podcasts

I agree with the process, write as we speak. I frequently recommend to writers that they aurally record their thoughts and then write their comments down, as they play back the recording. I have a microtape transcription machine (it was the only gift that I wanted for my 35th birthday), and I used it for many years, documenting my spoken lecture. Now, I use a digital voice recorder; however, the outcome is the same: I speak first, and then I write. I found that this process of speaking, then writing has helped my podcasting. I am now speaking, writing, speaking. 😉


Using Computer Clock Skew to Crack Anonymity Networks

At the recent Chaos Communications Congress, Steven J. Murdoch, a researcher in the security group at the University of Cambridge, discussed how clock skew can be used to facilitate a digital attack against anonymity networks. Clock skew, the tendency for a computer’s clock to become less precise when heated, can reduce the efficacy of anonymizers, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Tor network.


Knowledge is Power

I challenge us to consider the common phrase, knowledge is power.

Knowledge is power, when it is wielded to advantage. I came to consider this caveat a few months ago, when my wife challenged me with the question, “What are you going to do with all of the books that you read?” What was left unsaid in her question was, what would I do with the knowledge that I gained from reading the books?

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


Having a Wealth of Research Material at Hand

I hope that I do not sound like a wet blanket with my next comment; it is not my intention to do so. One of the skills that we must learn, as graduate students, is the ability to quickly locate appropriate reference material that leads us to making an informed, logical decision. One of the distractions of having a broad and deep reference set available to us is that we can easily be lead down a primrose path, interesting though it may be, it is still not leading us to an informed, logical conclusion.


Virtual Offices: How to Make Them Work for Your Company

Creating a geographically-flexible workspace* has always been my dream. It took me ten years from the time that I first added this goal to my business plan to finally implement it. Since April 1, 2000, I have been working from a home office, a suite of 1,400 square feet that includes a private conference and reading room, office space, and a work room with a long bench upon which I can repair computers and assemble books. I even have my own kitchen and lavatory. If my refrigerator were a little larger, I could comfortably live here!

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.