Monthly Archives: December 2012

What Kind of Lectures Do Students in Canada Like?

In a world inundated with technology, educational institutions are turning their classrooms virtual.  That means that with the sophistication in communication tools, rather than going to campus to attend a lecture and study, you simply attend class at home over the Internet.  It means that your coursework may even be done online and the only time you need to go to campus is for study help, work in the library or write the exam.

Educational institutions see this as the future way to conduct a classroom lecture.  But is this what the majority of students studying in Canada or elsewhere want?  What do students like?

Concordia University in Canada did a major cross-country study of this issue.  Twelve universities in Canada, which included over 15,000 students and 2600 instructors, took part in this study.

The overwhelming result from the study showed that teachers thought that the use of interactive, discussion based activities was what students wanted and best learned from.  Conversely, students studying in Canada prefer the old fashion lecture over other teaching methodologies and regardless of technologies such as ICTs in the classroom.  Students studying at post-secondary institutions in Canada say that they prefer an engaging and stimulating lectures and this is what determines their appreciation of the courses they study.

Their lack of enthusiasm for inductive teaching methodologies and E-learning, on the part of students studying at major institutions in Canada, was a surprising result for the researchers conducting the study.  The results don’t say that educational institutions need to forsake E-learning applications, but what the study does indicate is that they need to incorporate engaging lectures into their methodologies and Internet teaching modules.

The adage, “the first impression is the last impression” is equally true when giving a lecture.  How the professor introduces himself in the first few minutes, how he talks, how he walks and how he says it; says more to the students than the actual words he speaks.  We speak with our words, but we communicate with our whole body.  Therefore the right balance of non-verbal cues and intonations must be worked into the lecture because these convey the message more powerfully then our words.  Every professor should consider his platform a show; entertainment, not study is the name of the game.  A good lecturer can move his students from the entertainment mode to the study mode.

Additionally the lecturer needs to work engaging aspects into his lectures; eye contact, rhetoric questions, sign posts, repetition, etc. Smiles and enthusiasm work well in providing an engaging and stimulating presentation.  Students do not learn from a boring lecture that is read – it is neither stimulating nor engaging.  A professor should prepare the lecture, study the discourse and then speak enthusiastically about the topic.  A lecturer, who is enthusiastic about his subject matter, will excite students about the topic as well.

If a professor wants to become a better lecturer, he should take a Presentation Skills Building course.  Lecturers can videotape their own lectures and then study them to learn what was done well and where improvement needs to be worked into the presentations.  There are also good lectures by great lecturers on the Internet that one can study to learn how these good lecturers presented result oriented lectures.

Having said all that, Canada does have excellent lecturers.  As a graduate from a major university in Canada, I can vouch for that.  While studying in Canada, I learned a lot from my professors and did not have to rely on self-study alone.  In fact, most of my professors were memorable in that they did provide interesting and engaging lectures.

So, if you are planning on studying in Canada, rest assured that we have some of the best lecturers in the world.  You will find a meaningful and enjoyable experience at any university or college you may study at.

 

Kings and Queens, or Just a Tutor?

Have you ever considered your tutor a king or a queen?  Probably not!  But if you lived in Hong Kong you might go to a “tutor queen” or “tutor king”.

Tutoring is a big business in Hong Kong and in a country where consumerism is premium, good looks and fashion is what sells.  If you happen to visit Hong Kong and you see faces of young, good-looking glamorous models on billboards, you are probably looking at the faces of tutors, not movie stars.  Yes, tutors.

You will find these tutor kings and queens everywhere.  Eye-catching posters in shopping malls, on the sides of buses or billboards, display attractive tutors who impress you first with their good looks and then with their ability to provide a quality tuition class in English, Maths, and Science; you name it.

This kind of advertising sells and students flock to tuition classes to be taught by beautiful idols cum tutors.  In a country where one exam can determine your future, the perceived need for a tutor is pressing and the most popular tutors are those that can sell their teaching ability by their supermodel appearances on posters.  Glamorised tutors mean big business in the tuition class market.

Of course these idols need to be qualified, competent teachers.  They need to be able to have the students in their tuition classes understand the subject matter.  The lure is their ability to advertise their good looks; the staying power is their ability to teach the students well.

So next time you look at your tutor, maybe you will see a king or a queen in them. Maybe the next billboard in Lahore will be the faces of different tutors/teachers in the city.  It works in Hong Kong; would it work here as well?

 

Enjoying the Holidays While Studying in Canada

Most students in Canada have now written their final exams for the first semester, packed their bags and headed for home; that is if you are a Canadian student studying at a Canadian university or college.  But what if you are an international student?  Where do you go for the Christmas holidays?  What do you do for those 10 to 15 days when all studying has stopped until January, when there are no classes and the study halls and dorms are lonely places devoid of chattering students?  The silence is almost eerie, the loneliness deafening.

For an international student studying in Canada, the Christmas holidays can be a lonely and boring time.  The weather in Canada is also cold with minus temperatures, lots of snow and chilling winds.  So what can you do?

There are a number of things that international students studying in Canada can do to beat the humdrum of idle boredom in your dorm.

International Centres:  Each International Centre has specific programs geared to the international student studying in Canada at their university to get them integrated into the community and university life.  For example, Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton has an International Student Partnership Program whereby a domestic student is matched with an international student studying at the university.  In this way the international student can learn about the city, community and university and the general way of life.  The domestic student explains shopping, bus systems and etc and may well make sure they are hosted and entertained during those Christmas holidays when studying is finished for the semester and nights in Canada as dark, lonely and cold.  The International Centre at the University of Alberta has a program where a local family can apply to have an international student studying at the University of Alberta come to their home for Christmas dinner.  This is a fun way to spend the holidays and learn about Christmas traditions.  Every International Centre will have a Christmas party on campus sometimes just prior to Christmas day, perhaps as early as the 15th but usually around the 22nd.

Campus Groups:  Different campus student groups also have activities for international students during the holidays.  Some will organise a winter retreat out at a ranch where students can go horseback riding, get a horse sleigh ride, go tobogganing or just sing carols and songs around a winter campfire.  Along with this, there are cups of hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows to ward off the cold weather we have in Canada.  It sure is a great break from studying and is a fun way of meeting other students and learning more Canadian traditions.  Another example is a group called IFG that takes international students on a trip to Candy Cane Lane.  This is a must see sight with all the houses in the area lit up in colourfully lighted scenes of winter and Christmas.  The homeowners work hard to display this spectacular light show.  It is well worth the chill of walking through the snowy lanes to see this bonfire of Christmas lights.

Working during the Holidays:  If you are able to get the appropriate work permit to work in Canada while studying you can always work.  Christmas is a time of year when retail sales are high so there is always a need for retail seasonal workers in Canada for the full month of December.  You will be giving those Canadians who want time off to celebrate Christmas, a chance to take a day off to observe one of the most celebrated holidays in Canada.

Winter Sports:  There are plenty of winter sports to engage in; tobogganing, skating, skiing and etc.  So check out different groups, find a Canadian friend who lives in the city and go skating.  You will enjoy learning these winter sports and get plenty of fresh air to boot.  Just make sure to wear warm winter clothing.  Canadians are doing it and if you are studying in Canada, you will want to experience these fun-filled winter sports that Canadians engage in.

 

The Value of Work Experience for Studying in Canada

When talking to students who want to study in Canada, I hear these words so many times, “I don’t want to waste my time.”  There is this concept that working between degrees is a waste of time.  The idea is that one should step immediately from one degree into another.

If you are planning on studying in Canada, work experience is never a waste of time.  In fact working before studying in Canada is probably to your advantage.  The fact is that if you want to take an MBA in Canada, you must have a minimum of 2 years work experience in a managerial position prior to being accepted to an MBA study program in Canada.

If you are planning on studying at the Master’s level in Applied Computer Engineering, some universities also ask that you have some work experience prior to applying for admission to study in their programs.

Even if work experience is not required for admission to your study program in Canada, work experience is still valuable.  Your work experience can give you insight into the theories and materials you study while in Canada. If you are doing a Master’s or PhD it also gives you added depth to your thesis or helps you contribute to the general academic milieu of studying at the graduate level.

After you graduate from a study program in Canada, if you have work experience to add to your resume along with your degree or certificate, then that only increases your employability.

Therefore do not underestimate the value of work experience prior to continuing your studies.  It might be the very ticket you need to get accepted to a study program in your desired field.  If you have finished your study program and are waiting to get accepted to a study program in Canada, go out and get a job, working for a few months can only help you and is never a waste of time.

Study in Canada! Free Information Seminar

Free Information Seminar, Saturday, December 15, 2012

 Curious what kinds of programs exist at Canadian colleges and universities?  Want to know if Canada is the right option for you?  Not sure if Canada is the best choice for you?  Get all your questions answered, and learn how you can study in Canada!  Alberta Rose Education Centre is hosting a free information session that will be held December 15, 2012 and is open to anyone interested in studying in Canada.  Please bring your parents to this event.

Features of the Seminar:

  • A Presentation will be given highlighting the benefits of studying in Canada including information on different universities and colleges.
  • A Question and Answer period will follow where students and parents may inquire about various universities/colleges and life in Canada, etc.
  • Appointment Bookings for students who want to apply to a Canadian college/university

Meet Helen Khan, a Canadian who is your Canada Representative living in Lahore.

Where:  Alberta Rose Education Centre, 82G, 2nd Floor, Phase 1, DHA, Lahore

When:   5 PM to 7 PM, December 15, 2012

Contact Info:  042-35743158, info@busisenseenglish.com

The Top 10 Corrupt Countries in the World

The subject of national corruption is a hot topic no matter where you live.  But let’s take an educational course today in Political Science and learn that we might not be as corrupt as we think.  Here is something your tuition teacher probably never taught you.

Do you think that corruption abounds in Pakistan?  Well let’s learn the statistics and take a brief course in which countries rank highest in the corruption business.

First of all let’s determine what is corruption?  Corruption, according to Transparency International is ‘the abuse of entrusted powers for private gain’.  So, this organisation looks specifically at corruption in the public sector.  They target politicians, civil servants and public officials; using expert assessments and opinion surveys to determine the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for almost 200 countries in the world.  Some of the activities that Transparency International looks at are kickbacks, bribery and embezzlement.

According to the 2011 rankings Transparency International:  global coalition against corruption; Somalia ranks No. 1 as the most corrupt country in the world.  Flanked right next to it is North Korea and Myanmar.

Where does Pakistan fall in the top 10?  Well surprise!  It didn’t even make the charts.  Pakistan is something like number 42 out of 183.  That means that there are 41 countries that are perceived to be more corrupt than Pakistan.

What country is perceived to be the least corrupt country out of the 183 countries indexed?  New Zealand seems to be the least corrupt followed by Denmark.

You may question why the index uses ‘perceived’ rather than actual.  Well, the actual fact is that corruption is illegal activity and therefore hidden from public view; consequently it is hard to do the math on the actual amount of corruption.  Any corrupt politician that has been taught well the science of corruption keeps his/her illegal activities a secret.  Hard empirical facts are hard to come by in a corrupt nation.  Therefore, one gauge used for testing corruption is the effectiveness of the judicial system and the media in exposing corruption in the country.

So how was that for a brief Political Science course?  Pakistan is not as corrupt as you think!  We are not high on the charts, but we aren’t the lowest either.  Next time your tutor or Pak Studies teacher brings up the subject of corruption in the public sector, you can give them the facts.  Or if you are just chilling with friends; here is a piece of information they may not know.  It will guarantee to spark a good conversation.