Published on February 27, 2014
Av. Sierra 2 (Guadamonte) Villanueva, Madrid 28691 Spain Tel: +34 918 162 397 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bircham.edu Bircham International University English Study Guide * Effective learning methodology * Content-specific syllabi * Remarkable bibliographic selection * Required works completed at home * Without the stress of traditional exams
Pedagogy THIS STUDY GUIDE WILL EXPLAIN: 1. How to study at BIU. 2. The BIU pedagogical principles. 3. The use of published textbooks. 4. How to study in other languages. 5. The evaluation process and grades. 6. The BIU credits & hours of study 7. How to study the program. 8. How to study the textbooks. 9. How to do the assigned reports. 10. How to do the project & thesis. 11. Tutoring and organization 12. Tips for successful learning. How to study at Bircham University The BIU distance learning pedagogy does not imply painful memorization techniques. Instead, it teaches students to think critically thus increasing their intellectual capacity. It leads the student to a private and personal learning experience. What is assessed is the student’s thinking process and not data memorization. BIU’s innovative methodology makes studying achievable, time-effective and highly productive. It emphasizes quality and not quantity. Besides, BIU methodology draws its concept from real-life experiences and content-specific material, avoiding superfluous details. Thus, students efficiently achieve full command and real-life skills in different areas as well as practical application of the acquired know-how. The key to integrate the “know-how” of a certain area of knowledge in our mind lies in these two areas: WHAT and HOW we study. Bircham International University WHAT: Textbooks specifically selected and supervised by the members of BIU Academic Board constitute the core element of every course. These books are chosen for their clear, interesting and in-depth content development. They encourage critical thinking and practical application of knowledge. BIU suggests the best available published textbook list to meet the learning outcome of each program. HOW: In order to transform text raw material into useful processed information, it is necessary to structure the learning approach and apply it to the selected textbooks. This BIU study guide helps the student to achieve this goal. 1. Your program of study. BIU will validate your previous knowledge. You study the courses that you need to complete your degree program. 2. Certificate of Admission. This document shows the amount of credits validated from your previous education and experience and the REQUIRED COURSES for the degree program in your particular case. 3. Academic Assignments. The document Academic Assignment Control (AAC Form) shows the textbooks and the written reports (exams) required to complete the courses from your specific program of study. Note that one book does not necessarily correspond to one course. Each book may cover several course contents totally or partially. 4. Exams = Written reports. You will be required to write several reports. These reports are the exams, so after you submit all the required reports you will complete the program and will earn your degree. 5. Research Project. Postgraduate programs (Master & Doctor of Philosophy) always require the presentation of a final project or thesis.
We all have spent many years studying and memorizing... How much do we remember of high school or college subjects? Have we really learned much? The truth is: very little. Why? Pedagogy Teaching versus Learning Our mind cares for useful information only. Most schools’ pedagogical methods are based on memorization and testing. Unfortunately, these are actually teaching methods and not learning ones. We usually remember the pieces of information that we have expressed somehow: whether in arguments, speeches, exams, or in our own internal mental dialogs. Why is it so? Just because the human mind functions in a very efficient and practical way and it only stores the information to be used. The rest of the data is kept at what can be roughly called the vary “back” of the long-term memory, where it gradually falls in misuse. Had it been not this way, the human brain would be permanently overloaded with excessive information. Thinking would therefore be impossible. Thinking transforms information into knowledge. In order to transform any new bit of information into knowledge we have to activate the process of thinking. Thinking integrates data through synthesis, analogy and deduction thus generating the knowledge and enabling problem solving. All this newly acquired knowledge is stored in a kind of “operating system”. The more new information is processed by this “operating system”, the more efficient its functioning becomes. For this very reason the more we think, the more intelligent we become. It works like a muscle. How to turn data into useful & permanent mind files. Any new bit of data perceived goes initially to a temporary memory. Then we may decide to pass it to the long-term memory and fix it there creating emotional links, logical routes or practical applications. These associative relationships will help the mind to track and retrieve the processed data, so that it would not be lost or forgotten. Overloading the longterm memory with incredible amounts of information without strong associative tracks or links will lead to a messy and weak memory data file. Any data stored this way will be hard to retrieve, or in other words, very difficult to remember. Therefore, it is not a matter of how much we study, but rather what and how we study. Is it possible to increase the capacity of our mind? How BIU pedagogy works. The key to successful learning is in the type of mental process that takes place when we extract information from a text and how we have to reprocess and express it in the form of written work. Studying becomes an active phenomenon that enables comprehension (reading and search for data), new mental schemata (concepts hierarchy and interrelation) and input transformation (data reorganization and writing). The newly acquired thinking structures do not rely on classic memorization and help to increase our reasoning capacity and problem-solving skills. This intellectual improvement is permanent and ever expanding. Learning at BIU will not become just getting trained in our life, but should become a permanent absorption. Bircham International University Bircham International University The issue is not so simple. On the one hand, we must first create additional mental schemata that will allow us to process and store any new flows of new useful information. Such new mental pathways are generated with the sum of strong data associative links, as mentioned before. On the other hand, it is the intensity and frequency of the new data processing through the recently created pathways and schemata what will actually expand and fix a higher level of mental capacity.
Pedagogy The use of Published Textbooks Thinking is free, not thinking may turn out quite expensive. BIU programs employ a remarkable bibliographic selection of published textbooks. BIU prefers to use published textbooks rather than self-designed course materials as the main source of knowledge to complete any academic program. BIU believes that in matter of contents, presentation, information structure, case studies, self-assessment, and diagrams, the quality of published textbooks is superior to any other option. Additionally, the resume of the selected textbooks’ authors cannot be easily challenged. The books assigned on BIU programs: The material for the academic program consists of a set of published textbooks specifically selected to ensure the expected learning outcomes of the student program. The student should follow the book reading order established in the Academic Assignment Control Form (ACC Form) as these books are assigned in a complementary or dialectical order. * The complementary order ensures a progressive in-depth knowledge acquisition. * The dialectical order presents different approaches to the study of the discipline so that the student has access to a complete and comprehensive perspective. Learning from the books: Is all the information of a text organized in a coherent way? Definitely not! There are poor writers, disorganized authors and inefficient editors. All BIU assigned textbooks are supervised by the members of the academic board and the department of pedagogy to make sure that they are truly functional, practical, and useful to the student. Best learning requires a sound foundation material in order to ensure the development of appropriate criteria about the subject. Textbooks versus Online Material: Bircham International University BIU has conducted a serious research about the efficiency of online teaching and textbooks. The conclusions are as follows. * Extension. Online material has proven to be efficient for short courses or seminars, usually under 40 hours of study. Online material is very motivating and pedagogical because of interactive charts and schemata, knowledge trees, etc., but not so efficient as a source of extensive amounts of content material. * Exhaustion. Computer screen reading and comprehension exhausts the mind and the eyes after one hour of continuos concentration. Book reading allows three times more continuous work before reaching the same level of mind and eyes exhaustion. * Versatility. Online study time is limited by the availability of a computer and Internet access. Textbook availability is more versatile. One may read a book on a train on the way home, sitting in a park, waiting for someone, etc... The ambiance surrounding the study time also plays an important role in the mind’s state of receptiveness. * Research. Concept search is conducted faster through the pages of a book than on a computer screen (for contents equivalent to a 600 pages book) except in the case of exact phrase or word search. Concept comprehension and interrelationship is more important than concrete data search when it comes to the efficiency of learning. * Comfort. Despite of the intensive use of computers, our mind feels more comfortable facing a book. Books allow note taking in the book itself, text marking, running through different sections and they are affordable, portable and can be read practically everywhere and under most circumstances. It does not matter how much technology or fancy environments is put around a student, actual learning will be the direct result of a mental effort and process that no one else can do for you. If you want to learn, you have to do it. And you do not need much except for good books, a good guidance, and, of course, your effort and mental process.
More than 180 BIU programs of study are offered in 4 languages English Spanish French Pedagogy How to study in other Languages Portuguese READ BOOKS IN ENGLISH & DO THE EXAMS IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE. You must request this option during the admission process. This option is subject to approval before each enrollment. If approved: You may study the BIU programs with English textbooks, and you may submit all the required written evaluation reports, project and or thesis in other language. You will always need a good reading English level. In this case, you do not need a high level of English writing or speaking skills. TIP: If you have problems understanding this English Study Guide, you will have a hard time to complete a BIU program of study reading textbooks in English. We are just an Email away. Bircham International University Bircham International University
Pedagogy The Evaluation Process & Grading The evaluation process involves three phases: 1. Evaluation: The Delegation carries out a fast format review to state whether the submitted work meets the format requirements. Then it is forwarded to the corresponding faculty teacher for content evaluation. The teacher should correct the work submitted within three to seven weeks. BIU will notify the student whether the report submitted has been approved or not. Final grade will appear in the transcript only. In the case of not qualifying for the minimum grade (2.0 - 50%), the paper has to be repeated. BIU teacher will always explain what has to be improved. 2. Supervision: This evaluation method encourages developing of thinking ability and information processing. The assessment committee and teachers, which depend on the Academic Board, base the evaluation of the material (reports, projects, and thesis) submitted by the students on the three criteria, accounting for one third of the final grade each: * 33% Format: The organization and presentation of the information. Evaluation of course data organization, hierarchy and interrelationships, and clarity of presentation. BIU Supervisor will review a second time the paper evaluated by the teacher. The supervisor will concentrate mostly on format and personal quality thinking criteria of the paper submitted. The supervisor will also assess the teacher’s criteria and will ensure that the paper has been properly corrected in agreement with BIU pedagogy. The supervisor may raise or lower a 20% the grade proposed by the teacher and, in case of major discrepancy, may also request a different teacher evaluation. * 33% Content: 3. Final Grade & Transcript: How the subject is mastered through the case study, comments and the application of the information learnt to the problem solving. Evaluation of student’s analysis criteria and critical thinking as well as they are reflected in writing and presentation style. Bircham International University The evaluation and supervision results of the papers submitted are presented to the Academic Board for the final review and elaboration of the grades certificate or transcript. The way the report corresponds to the bibliography and reflects it. Evaluation of contents comprehension, synthesis skills and concept interaction. Report contents are valued only a 33% of the final grade because BIU considers they should be correct given the fact that the textbook is available for the student during report elaboration. * 33% PQT- Personal Quality Thinking: BIU Grading system will reflect the learning outcome level achieved by the student through the assigned work. To earn any course credits a grade point average of E (2.0 - 50%) or higher is required. BIU follows the following grading scale: 4.0- Excellent 3.5- Very Good 3.0- Good 2.5- Satisfactory 2.0- Sufficient 1.5- Fail - 91-99% - 81-90% - 71-80% - 61-70% - 51-60% - <50% / A / B / C / D /E / F Level 1, 2, 3 & 4 outcomes achieved. Level 1, 2, 3 & 4 (partially) achieved. Level 1, 2 & 3 outcomes achieved. Level 1 & 2 outcomes achieved. Level 1 & 2 partially achieved. No learning outcome achieved.
Pedagogy The BIU Credits & Hours of Study The aim of education should be to teach us HOW to think, rather than WHAT to think. 1 BIU ACADEMIC CREDIT = 15 hours of Learning BIU degree programs merge the best of the two leading higher education systems of the world: Europe and the United States of America. BIU distance learning degree programs follow the current higher education guidelines set forth by the European Union (European Credit Transfer System [ECTS]) as well as the USA (Generally Accepted Accrediting Practices [GAAP]). The BIU Credit composition is the following: * 40% - Reading & comprehension * 30% - Data organization & writing * 20% - Review & formatting. Examples, case studies, etc. * 10% - Conclusion & opinion. Critical thinking. The BIU degree program requires that you read the selected textbooks listed in the Academic Assignment Control form and write reports about those books according to the study guide instructions. One report (20 to 35 pages) will usually account for 3 subject courses of 3 BIU credits each. One report is usually assigned to cover around 350 to 400 pages of a textbook. Thus, the following pedagogical effort is calculated: - 1 Report = 9 BIU credits = 135 hours of learning - 375 pages reading and comprehension = 54 hours (40%) - Comprehensive reading is assigned an average speed of 7 pages per hour - Comprehensive reading includes note taking time - Data organization and report draft writing = 40 hours (30%) - Notes and data organization is assigned around 10 hours per report - Report draft writing is assigned an average speed of 1 page per hour - Report review and formatting = 27 hours (20%) - Includes textbook review reading and final report writing and formatting - Critical thinking, conclusion and opinion = 14 hours (10%) - Personal quality thinking is considered to happen along the study process. - Conclusion and opinion is supposed to happen at the end of the process. BIU Credits Equivalency Chart: 1 BIU Credit = 1 USA Semester Credit = 15 hours of learning 1 ECTS Credit = 30 hours of study and/or work 1 hour of learning= 2 hours of study and/or work 1 BIU Earned Credit = 1 USA Semester Credit = 2 ECTS Credits Bircham International University Bircham International University
Studying How to study your Program You have received the textbooks and the assignments instructions. You are sitting at your desk... and then, what? 1. Start reading “Text 1”. Read the assigned textbooks carefully, concentrating on the topics that require more thinking and understanding. Start reading the book listed as “Text 1” without concentrating too much on the details. Get a general idea of its contents, and then apply the reading and comprehension techniques explained in this guide (for instance, highlighting central ideas). At times, if you find a concept hard to understand, keep reading – your doubts will probably clear up on following pages. 2. Index of concepts / Table of contents. While you read, take notes on the ideas that catch your attention, on the relationships between different concepts and the way they correspond with your own opinions. Instead of memorizing the goal is to end your reading with a written index of the main concepts. This written record should not just summarize or sketch the book’s main issues, but rather reflect the interaction between those concepts and your own thinking; in other words, a record of how you interpret the points of the book. As you read on and jot down your thoughts and opinions, consider how to match these key concepts to your own experience in order to improve the quality of your personal and professional life. Take a brief note of this as well. 3. Report draft writing of Text 1. Use the notes taken during step 2 and develop those key concepts in writing trying to explain them in a more coherent and organized style. Base your report on your notes and avoid opening the book as much as possible except for quick and specific reference or data (figures, dates, etc.) that you find hard to remember. 4. Review reading of Text 1. Bircham International University Now you have the books... how do you get started? Review Text 1 again, concentrating on the sections highlighted during the first reading. Contrast the explanations from your report draft with the explanations provided in the text. Analyze any differences found and sharpen your comprehension of each key point. Now you are ready to work out the final report and you have to decide what you will or will not include into it in order to meet the 20-35 pages limit. 5. Final report production for Text 1. Each author has different goals when writing a book, thus each text is different. It is your task to decide what is important and what is secondary in each book. At times the text will only need to be summarized, while at other times it will require a more elaborated conceptualization. After reading a very long and information-packed chapter you might just end up with a few important ideas, whereas reading an apparently simple chapter might trigger an elaborate report full of personal comments and ideas. In conclusion, what matters are the concepts you decide to develop, not the all data contained in the textbook. This is precisely what must be clearly shown in your report, what BIU most values, and what will imprint the key concepts permanently in your mind. 6. Repeat this process with Text 2 and so on... Continue with the succeeding texts and reports as they appear on the Academic Assignment Control Form. The established order is not open to discussion because each book complements the following one, and following this order, you will discard many of the doubts that might otherwise emerge along the way.
Studying How to study your Books 1- Exploratory reading and its goals: Begin familiarizing yourself with the text by first assessing the length of the chapter, going through titles, charts, bold text, and so on. Try to determine what the structure of the book is and then calculate how much time it will take you to read it in order to establish weekly study goals. Remember: be realistic in your assessment of time and goals. If you set up objectives that are impossible to reach, you will be frustrated and discouraged. 2- Differentiate what you know from what you do not know: Take notes about what you already know about the subject of the text and about what you can learn by reading it. This exercise will prepare you to better associate the new concepts you will acquire with those you already do know. Maintaining clear study objectives will increase your memory and comprehension capacity. Always explore the chapters that come before and after the one being studied. If you develop a broader perspective of the context of the chapter under study, your brain will assimilate concepts faster and more efficiently. If you still have doubts, keep reading. They will surely clear up in the pages to come. 3- Analytic reading: Once you have finished the quickly exploratory reading of the text, read it paragraph by paragraph classifying them according to their degree of difficulty. If a paragraph has been easy to understand write an exclamation mark ( ! ) on its margin; if you have understood it evenly but it seems a little dense, write an “X” on its margin. Finally, if you have not understood what you have read because the paragraph is too complex, write instead a question mark ( ? ) on the margin. Once you have classified all the paragraphs in the chapter, approach the text again in the following way: First, read all the “X” paragraphs, and then read all the “?” paragraphs: you will then realize all the “?” paragraphs do not seem as difficult or complex as they did previously. You may even wonder why you did not understand them in your first reading. 4- Review reading: 5- Draw up a summary chart: Focus on organizing ideas, concepts, and formulas in chart form. This will give you the basic structure for the table of contents you will have to present on the first pages of your required academic work. 6- Apply and review what you learned: While studying and reading, it is important to develop one’s own criteria. Integrate those ideas and review all your summaries before going to bed. Serotonin is released during sleep, so you will assimilate concepts better. 1- Creating a study routine. Make yourself follow it by striking a balance between comfort and sacrifice. Do not push yourself too hard, but do not procrastinate either. If at some point you lack the energy or motivation to fulfill the day’s of study goal, try just reading for ten minutes. You will probably not get much accomplished in those ten minutes, but it will help you to reinforce the habit of reading and to create a study routine. 2. Setting weekly goals. Two and a half hours four days a week is a reasonable amount of time to complete your degree program successfully. Three days can be devoted to the reading and note taking for around two hours followed by a quick conclusions draft writing based on your notes. Use the fourth day in full for in depth review reading and/or final academic work production. 3. Being persistent. Sometimes there will be personal or professional situations in the course of your study that will prevent you from meeting the weekly goals. In such cases try to make up for it another day without falling behind in the study goals for the program. Do not worry about how long the whole program will take. Just meet your weekly goals and keep your motivation alive. The key to success is finishing the program, not beginning it. 4. Turning studying into a pleasant experience. Learning should become a pleasant and enriching process. Life should not be just working and studying. It is very important to enjoy your free time while completing your program so you will not feel that studying is taking up your life. There is no hurry; the time it will take to complete the program will not affect the university’s appreciation of your work. Do study in a comfortable and well-illuminated environment. There will be no teachers asking you to turn in homework or to meet study goals unless you request so. Bircham International University Bircham International University Reread everything and write an asterisk ( * ) on the margin of more relevant paragraphs; write “V” in those paragraphs in which you have encountered new terms and vocabulary. It is always easier to remember a word in its context. When you underline words and parts of the text, you are preparing it for summary and memorization, not for assimilation and understanding. How to organize your studies
Studying How to do the Assessment Reports The degree program you are admitted to requires that you read the selected textbooks listed in the Academic Assignment Control form and write reports in English about those books according to the attached instructions. Some textbooks may be provided for support only and, therefore, do not require any reports. This information will be confirmed in the Academic Assignment Control form. Reports can be sent to BIU by regular mail or by email PDF Attcahment. The composition of the reports must follow format requirements such as the title page, table of contents, minimum and maximum length, numbered pages, etc. The instructions and requirements for writing reports are not open to discussion. They correspond to the careful and pedagogical plan of BIU in order to maximize capacity of learning and to facilitate academic work assessment. Report Structure Examination Unit = Report The exam consists in writing reports. Just as anybody would do in their professional life. Format of the written Report Front Page: Report ranges from a minimum of 20 pages to a maximum of 35 pages and should be worked out in the following way: I. Table of contents. The student is required to extract from the read text a list of main concepts or key ideas. These key ideas must be systematize in a table of contents ranging from 2 to 5 pages. II. Analytic Summary. A comprehensive synopsis has to be developed according to the organization and hierarchy established by the table of contents. This essay must range from 15 to 25 pages. III. Case study. Bircham International University One to three case studies from the assigned textbook have to be critically analyzed by the student. The student may choose one single complex case study with several interrelated issues or three simple ones depending on its own preference. The student is encouraged to provide his own solution or opinion based not only on the principles learned from the textbook but also on his/her own criteria such as personal conclusions or professional application of the theoretical concepts. The case study section should range from 5 to 10 pages. FINAL VERSION The student has to submit for final evaluation a report ranging from 20 to 35 pages that must integrate in a harmonic way the previous steps described: the table of contents, analytic summary and case study. It might be necessary to re-write the work to match the format and length requirements, to improve the style, content flow and continuity. Each report should be written in English (unless another language is authorized by BIU) on white paper and typed or legibly handwritten on one side of the page only. The front page should include the student’s first and last name, degree program and field of study, title of the book and date. The student’s signature and the following statement must appear at the bottom of the front page: “I do hereby attest that I am the sole author of this report and that its contents are only the result of my reading of the above mentioned textbook.” Table of Contents: Following the front page, please include a table of contents detailing the structure of the report and listing its main concepts. This index should not be over three pages long. Body of the Report: The report’s length is limited between 20 pages (minimum) and 35 pages (maximum). Your report may fail if the length limits are not respected. Students have to understand that the length limitations set forth to serve a very important purpose. Fitting the report’s content within these limits obligates the student to process the information several times. In certain cases a summary reaches the maximum number of pages allowed; in other cases, the key concepts are developed to meet the minimum number of pages. Either way, the active processing of the textbook information to meet the report requirements will definitely consolidate the knowledge without the need of excessive memory effort. This is one of the learning keys of BIU. A report that exceeds the length limits required above will not be accepted by BIU. The report will be mailed back to the student for rewriting until the format requirements are met. Only then will the report be considered for resubmission. The report usually consists of a summary or synthesis of each of the textbooks studied. In addition, the student is encouraged to add his/her own comments, thoughts, or opinions about the contents. Reference to the cases studied and professional experience provide good illustrations of the application of the concepts learned. The report has to reveal the student’s level of understanding and knowledge. Any personal conclusion or demonstration of knowledge applicability will be highly appreciated. For scientific disciplines: charts, formulas, figures, and exercises may be included in a report, but only as a complement to the written text. The report must always be elaborated in full written form; an outline will not be accepted. The only section that will be accepted in outline format is the table of contents.
In order to complete your degree syllabus, you are required to submit the following: * One final project of at least 50 pages for Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. * One thesis of at least 75 pages for Doctorate program. Studying How to do the Project & Thesis In both cases, this paper must be typed in English, on white paper (standard size), and on one side of the page only. Two copies have to be submitted to BIU. One of these copies may be forwarded by email on PDF format. Once the project or thesis is corrected, one of the copies stamped by the university will be mailed back to you. Your paper will not be accepted if it does not fulfill the requirements set below. It may also be sent by email in PDF format. Format of the Project or Thesis Front page: Contact us if you have any questions. We are only a phone call away. This first page contains the title of the project or thesis, the student’s first and last name, the name of the program and the date. The student’s signature and the following statement must follow the above mentioned information: “I do hereby attest that I am the sole author of this project/thesis and that its contents are only the result of the readings and research I have done”. Of the two copies required by BIU, only one will be filed at BIU and should contain the above statement. The second copy will be stamped and returned to you and does not require the authenticity statement. Table of Contents / Bibliography: Following the front page, you need to include the Table of Contents and the complete list of bibliographic material consulted, including books, journal articles, conference papers, etc. Abstract or Synopsis: Following the table of contents, you need to include the synopsis of one to three pages to provide a brief explanation of the content and objectives of the paper. Body of the Paper: In this section you should develop the core content of the project or thesis. The information contained in the body of the work must be organized as follows: chapters, sections, parts, and/or case studies. This structure is to be reflected in the table of contents and all pages must be numbered. As part of your discussion, you can include graphs, photographs, drawings, charts, photocopies of articles, and any other material that you consider relevant. The body of the project or thesis should fulfill the minimum length requirement without exceeding the limit of 200 pages. Please note that quality of content is priorized over quantity. Content of the Research Work You are free to choose the title and content of your project or thesis. Take advantage of this opportunity to explore in depth the topics that interest you, both personally and professionally. Once you have reached your decision, you may submit a one to three page proposal containing a synopsis of your project/ thesis and the title of the paper to BIU. This preliminary procedure is optional, since all submissions will be approved as long as they relate directly to the field of interest. With prior approval from BIU, you may also submit published material, such as books, journal or magazine article compilations, research, etc. Of course, these items will not need to fulfill the above format requirements. They can be submitted to BIU in their original format. BIU requires that you submit two copies of each publication. Bircham International University Bircham International University Reports, projects and thesis may be sent to BIU by regular mail or by email PDF Attachment.
Studying Free schedule of assignments BIU believes on self organization of the learning process. BIU student’s profile is that of a skilled highly motivated learner and professional. Thus BIU assumes that such students have a sufficient level of responsibility and motivation to work out their own learning schedule and do not need detailed tutoring and guiding to meet the requirements of academic work. There are plenty of personal and professional commitments that may interfere with the study time of a fixed schedule of assignments. BIU does not consider it fair to establish academic penalties if a fixed schedule of assignments is not met. BIU believes that self organization is undoubtedly the best option for mature students because it provides timing freedom and reduces stress during the progress of study. Free schedule is automatically assumed by BIU. Unless you request in writing to comply with a fixed schedule of assignments, BIU will consider that you prefer to feel free to organize yourself or, in other words, a free schedule of assignment submission. Monitoring and follow up are personalized and immediate. BIU will not be contacting you unless you request advice, tutoring or submit any academic work for correction. In this case your corresponding BIU office will keep track and find the best way to deal with your request. The free schedule of assignments is meant to help you organize yourself the way you consider best, however BIU’s intention is not to develop an impersonal and detached distance learning experience so we do encourage you to contact us any time to resolve any questions, comments or feelings related to the progress of your study. BIU offers you several communication channels during free self organization schedule. Minimum requirements and student file inactivation. Fixed schedule of assignments Bircham International University BIU does not stipulate a minimum or maximum time for completion of any academic assignments. However, you should submit at least one report per year in order to keep your student file active. If you do not submit any work or notice over this period of 12 months, your student status at BIU may be inactivated and canceled. Once your student file has been canceled, you will lose your student rights as well as all the tuition fees paid. Although free schedule proves to be the best choice, BIU may provide you with a fixed schedule of assignments in order to help you organize your studies through the establishment of weekly goals. You may request the fixed schedule of assignments anytime, although if you do not meet the schedule goals on three occasions you will be automatically reassigned to a free schedule. The schedule of assignments is set per report required by your program of study. You have the freedom to follow the free schedule for some of the reports assigned and the fixed schedule for the others. Choose always whatever suits your needs best. Week Hours Pedagogy Sequence of Instruction 1 15 1 1 Reading Key concepts Advice Start reading. Comprehensive reading of the assigned textbook. E-mail submission of the key concepts of the first 150 pages aprox. Teacher’s feedback. Teacher’s guidance upon request (E-mail or phone) along the weekly reading process. 2 15 1 1 Reading Key concepts Advice Continue reading. Comprehensive reading of the assigned textbook. E-mail submission of the key concepts up to page 300 aprox. Teacher’s feedback. Teacher’s guidance upon request (E-mail or phone) along the weekly reading process. 3 15 1 1 Reading Key concepts Advice Continue reading. Comprehensive reading of the assigned textbook. E-mail submission of the key concepts up to page 450 aprox. Teacher’s feedback. Teacher’s guidance upon request (E-mail or phone) along the weekly reading process. 4 15 1 1 Reading Key concepts Guidance Finish reading. Comprehensive reading of the assigned textbook. E-mail submission of the key ideas of the subject (table of contents). Teacher’s feedback. Teacher/student set up of the synopsis objectives and development of the key ideas. 5 5 2 Writing Guidance First synopsis without textbook assistance. E-mail submission of synopsis draft. Teacher’s guidelines to ensure student comprehension and detect understanding errors. 6 4 1 Writing Monitoring Synopsis review with textbook assistance and teacher’s guidelines. Teacher’s monitoring to ensure student comprehension and progress. 7 4 1 Writing Final synopsis writing with textbook assistance. Text review to ensure summary accuracy. Evaluation E-mail submission of the reviewed summary. Teacher’s evaluation of the synopsis. 8 1 2 Guidance Teacher’s feedback and final comprehension guidelines about the textbook contents. Discussion Teacher/student selection of the appropriate case study or an illustrative example. 9 5 2 Writing Analysis of the case study. E-mail submission of the case study conclusions. Discussion Teacher’s advise and E-mail discussion about the student arguments and criteria. 10 4 1 Writing Advice Writing of the final report integrating key concepts, synopsis and conclusions. Teacher’s guidance upon request (E-mail or phone) along the report writing process. 11 4 1 Writing Advice Final formatting, production and submission of the report. Teacher’s guidance upon request (E-mail or phone) along the report formatting process. 12 3 Evaluation Teacher’s evaluation of the submitted report. First correction results. 13 3 1 Evaluation Supervisor evaluation of the submitted report. Second correction results. Feedback Final grade. Improvement and assessment comments about the evaluated report.
BIU has a complex international network of teachers and academicians plus a worldwide interrelation with faculties of other educational institutions. Due to this international nature of BIU, the student is obligated to channel any questions or concerns about the program through the corresponding BIU Delegation. This office has the responsibility to search within the BIU structure and find out the best way to deal with the student request. BIU has developed several ways to provide the student with academic support and advice during the learning process. Studying Tutoring & Advice * Formal advising. Questions concerning the completion of the assignments (reports, project or thesis), work format and presentation, as well as any concerns about administrative procedures should be addressed to the delegation. Answer time: Immediate to 24 hours. * Teacher interview and interaction. The delegation may set up a telephone interview with a teacher to provide guidance to the student on very specific issues. The assigned teacher and the student may also interact by E-mail any time. Telephone interviews are usually scheduled and coordinated with both parties by the delegation. BIU teachers should not just be academically qualified but they must be sound and updated professionals as well. This is the reason why often teacher availability is not immediate. Time to schedule an interview: 1 to 7 days. E-mail interaction timing: 12 to 48 hours. * Support books. Sometimes the questions posed by the student in regard to the comprehension of the assigned textbooks may reveal a knowledge gap that may not be filled with the usual teacher’s answers by E-mail or telephone interviews. In such cases the BIU Faculty will assign some support textbooks to assist the student in filling up that knowledge gap. No reports are required on the texts assigned for support purposes. Time for support text assignation: 1 to 3 weeks. * Project & thesis mentoring. The instructions on how to elaborate a research work have been summarized to meet different cultural backgrounds worldwide. For example, BIU research format allows some students to use footnotes, others may just add a final appendix containing research references, some may decide not to provide notes, but all of them must display the proper bibliography. BIU allows certain format freedom. The student also proposes the title and content of his research subject for Academic Board approval. The student may ask the delegation to set up an interview with a mentor for guidance in focusing the content of the research. Besides, BIU may provide support textbooks to ensure a sound academic foundation of the student work. Time for support text assignation: 1 to 3 weeks. Time to schedule a mentor interview: 1 to 7 days. Time for research content proposal approval: 1 to 2 weeks. * Feedback & Improvement. BIU teachers will provide feedback comments about the work submitted whenever relevant and helpful for the student. These comments are intended to pinpoint any specific issues that need improvement. The student may raise the work grade by resubmitting the same work considering the improvement comments pinpointed by the teacher. Time for report first evaluation & feedback: 1 to 3 weeks from reception time. Time for project/thesis first evaluation & feedback: 3 to 5 weeks from reception time. * Emphasis on specific course contents. * Program reassignment. Seldom the assigned program might present some level of inconsistency. In other words, the suggested textbooks assignment could be too easy or too hard for the student. This unusual situation occurs when there is some lack of information or resume misinterpretation during the admission process. In this case, BIU will assume the responsibility and the cost of reassigning a whole new set of suggested textbooks, but first the student must provide accurate information of his expected learning goals and precise the deficiencies of the initial assignment. BIU may also request further and detailed verification of the student resume before producing the new assignment. The Academic Board is the only authority that may modify, add, or delete any bibliography and/or assignments. Time for new program reassignment: 1 to 3 weeks. Bircham International University Bircham International University BIU diplomas display one major and one optional minor. Additionally, the student may propose the inclusion in his/her program of some subjects apart from the major and minor courses that particularly attract his/her interest. These subjects will be shown on the final transcript but will not appear on the diploma. Such proposal must be formally addressed in writing to the delegation and is always subject to approval from the Academic Board. Time for additional courses proposal approval: 1 to 2 weeks.
Pedagogy Expected Learning Outcomes levels These learning outcomes levels are achieved following the BIU Distance Learning System, academic assignment instructions and through the presentation of the required evaluation units: Reports (20-35 pages), Project (over 50 pages) & Thesis (over 70 pages) LEVEL 1. Knowledge and comprehension. Comprehensive reading and preparation of index (Table of Contents). Through reading of the assigned textbooks for the program the student will identify and sort the program’s key ideas. The selected concepts will have to be classified and rearranged in order to prepare a coherent index or table of contents. This index will become the skeleton to develop the work required. Thus this index will demonstrate the student’s ability to grasp the interrelationships, hierarchy and overall meaning of the program’s key elements. LEVEL 2. Analysis, synthesis and development. Material analysis, textbook content selection and first draft writing. The student will examine the assigned textbook and integrate selected extracts of the text contents according to the previously defined index (table of contents). The selected text extracts will need to meet the format requirements. Consequently, the student will have to search throughout the textbook several times in order to expand the information when needed, or in other cases will have to summarize the information found because it will be too lengthy. This recurrent adjustment of the text contents will lead the student to categorize the information read in order to produce a suitable first draft of the work required. In other words, the read material must be rearranged and fit into a new written format. This may involve transformation of the information: graphic and numeric data into verbal and vice versa; its interpreting, explaining and summarizing. Bircham International University LEVEL 3. Production, style and self-assessment / Final assignment. Reports (20-35 pages), Project (over 50 pages), Thesis (over 70 pages). Once the first draft of the academic work required is completed, the student will need to reread the work thoroughly in order to detect possible mistakes. The material should be developed in such way that its style, content and structure would be logical and revealing the knowledge of the subject. The student’s ability to combine the parts of the text and to form a new coherent and harmonic whole will determine the final grading of the work submitted. Diagrams, charts and examples may be added to illustrate the contents. LEVEL 4. Knowledge application and critical thinking. Case study analysis, conclusions, problem solving and applicability to professional experience. The university expects the student to contrast the learned material with his/her own knowledge and experience to express his/her opinion on the subject, to consider practical application of the theoretical concepts and to show the conclusions along the written assignment. All the personal judgments should be based on sound criteria and must be clearly argued. Critical thinking learning outcomes are usually achieved at projects and thesis level of research work. Some reports may also reflect conscious judgment based on clearly defined criteria when they render relevant conclusions or profound case study analysis.
How to improve your Understanding Intelligence is the faculty that allows us to assimilate new concepts and find relationships between different ideas, to adapt to new situations by resorting to our cognitive skills, such as reading, calculating, memorizing, imagining, and so on. Establishing associations, relating ideas and assimilating concepts is much more important than pure memory work. If we first develop these cognitive skills, piecing together memories by associating ideas becomes easier. Understanding any text. The majority of the texts are organized according to several structural patterns. In order to understand and remember what we read, first we need to recognize the organization of the information in the text. The best way to achieve this is to identify the structural pattern of the text we will be working with. This will be also of a great help in the development and presentation of any academic work required. When we are reading with the purpose in mind to comprehend, assimilate, and remember concepts, we need to organize them in a structured way, or otherwise we will probably end up with a cluster of disorganized ideas. Sense of Responsibility. You are encouraged to follow our pedagogical guidelines. We consider you mature enough to feel free to follow BIU study guidelines or decide your own method of study as long as you fulfill the requirements outlined in the degree program. A degree is not just a piece of paper; it is the representation of certain qualified skills that you are expected to have. How to improve your Memory Understanding is not memorizing. You may study and feel quite comfortable because you easily understand and assimilate your readings perfectly. But after several hours you realize that you understood something that you have nearly forgotten. The human brain has an infinite capacity of understanding and assimilation but its memorization capacity is extremely limited. As a consequence, your memory should be administered efficiently, unless you wish to devote extra time to absorb more concepts. Study maximum 3 hours per day Your memory’s capacity gradually drops down to a 50% after two hours of study, down to a 30% after three hours... Use strategic breaks to improve performance. If, however, the list of topics you have to study requires more than three hours a day, you must then counter the memorization level problems during prolonged study. This can be done by giving your mind some strategic breaks. If this is not done, the brain will force those breaks on you and you may suddenly find yourself thinking about completely unrelated things; it becomes harder and harder to concentrate on the subject. This dissipation of the mind is used by our brain to get some rest. Give your mind strategic breaks If for every 30-40 minutes of study you rest between 5 and 10 minutes, your mind will be able to recover the initial levels of memorization. Long term reviews should be carried out regularly. There is another important factor that is usually disregarded by most students and professionals: short-term and long-term memory. Reviewing is a very important part of the process of studying, since 80% of what we have studied will be lost after 24 hours. Carry out a strategic 10 minute review in the following two days. Repeat review after one week, then after a month, and then after six months for maximum memory efficiency. Bircham International University Bircham International University BIU pedagogy is not effective for everybody. It is quite efficient for students and professionals with a certain level of responsibility, people who wish to learn, to improve, and to excel. Nobody but yourself will monitor the way you study. You are allowed to use textbooks for reference when producing reports, but you should be careful not to overdo it. Pedagogy Tips for successful learning
Bircham University An alternative to traditional education. The best distance learning higher education for adults. If you have questions... ? We are just an email or call away. 1- Application for Admission 2- Official Admission Certificate Tell us = What do you want to study? Your previous education and experience. We answer = How many credits required to complete the BIU degree program. 3- Enroll = Books & Assignments 4- You submit Reports (exams) Any time in the year & anywhere in the world. Payment plans... up to 24 installments. Required works completed at home without the stress of traditional exams. 5- BIU sends Evaluation Results 6- You eran your degree How far do you want to go? A sound education may take you anywhere An investment in education always pays the best interest.
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