Marriage

first_img Previous Article Next Article An HR prescence at an early stage in negotiations may be the key to more successful mergersSamuel Beckett’s famous axiom about his life’s purpose being to “fail, fail again, fail better” is one that is apparently dear to many chief executives’ hearts. They merge, acquire and deal like never before.Boardroom confidence in mergers and acquisitions has taken the value of such transactions to an estimated global value of $2,200bn. In the UK alone, the DTI informs us, UK companies were involved in acquisitions and mergers worth some £53.8bn worldwide in 1998. That’s up on the £19bn of 1997 and the £13.4bn of 1996. And yet in over 80 per cent of the deals sealed, firms fail to produce any increase in value for shareholders. But despite all the talk of commercial logic and synergies, they are normally a disaster. According to a new study from KPMG, 80 per cent of senior executives believe the deals they have done furnished benefits for shareholders.Yet, in fact, in 83 per cent of cases, the merger failed to yield any benefits at all. Worse, in more than half of the 700 deals looked at by KPMG between 1996 and 1998, the deal actually destroyed value. In many instances, those executives are in no position to know either way, as almost half of the organisations never even bothered to find out if the merger had benefited anyone. Forgotten people factorAnd the reason a deal is usually doomed for M&A failure, personnel professionals will by now have guessed, is the forgotten people factor. As Sue Cartwright and Cary Cooper argue in a new IPD book, HR Know-how in Mergers and Acquisitions, most M&A decisions are based solely on projected earnings and economies of scale. The people involved are a matter for operational management after the glorious deal is done. In one of the classic instances, Royal and SunAlliance had duplicate boards for over a year – a fine example of leading from the front.“Too often the human resource management aspects are forgotten when firms engage in M&A activity,” the authors say. “In many ways the process of merger is much like a marriage. Whether two organisational cultures are compatible is not a question often asked by boards and chief executives intent on finalising a deal.”And yet many in the personnel field have been arguing this for a very long time. Is anyone listening?John Nicholson, chairman of business psychologists Nicholson McBride, says that counter-rational attitudes towards mergers are analogous to the universal conviction that interviews are the best way to recruit people. In the face of all the evidence, everyone likes to believe they are splendidly intuitive selectors of people. “Just look at the people around the top table when mergers are done – chief executives, aided and abetted by bankers, stockbrokers and lawyers. They are focused on getting the deal, and that alone – not the things that will ensure success.Psychological sense “There is so much going on in a merger, everyone is so busy and so much is happening that actually making things work is inevitably put back. It is not rational, but it makes good psychological sense.”Merger situations are drenched in adrenaline, back-slapping and bonhomie and, all too often, HR specialists are likely to be the killjoys, calmly pointing out culture differences and technicalities. But yet the gradual accumulation of data does suggest their presence early in negotiations might genuinely be the key to more successful mergers. In one major study from 1989, AF Buono and JL Bowditch concluded that even when, on paper, acquisitions made good business, strategic, financial, economic and operational sense, they still had a 50:50 chance of failure. So few companies are good at the dull and gritty business of meshing organisations. Andy Booth, research director of business performance consultancy Managing the Service Business (MSB), says, “It is very easy to get carried away by the synergies. Mergers do affect people. They can find themselves working with their sworn enemy, so inevitably, culturally, it is a very difficult step to take.”As a result, M&As are the proteinaceous hunting grounds for the gannets in the executive search business. Many valuable staff are likely to leave in the process of a merger. According to Chris Long, a director at Norman Broadbent, the exodus tends to work in two phases. The first is driven by the merger itself with posts duplicated and a redundancy plan often clumsily instituted. But there is a second phase, 18-20 months down the line, when raised expectations are dashed and people are disappointed with the results. “For us,” he says, “mergers are vital to our business and, yes, the basic reason is that senior HR people are not involved early enough in the due diligence process. Cultural differences and process realignment are simply not taken seriously enough, and as a result they often go wrong.” Culture clashHowever, Dr Michael Greenspan, M&A veteran and partner at organisational development consultancy Kiddy and Partners, argues there is a tendency to reach for the ubiquitous “culture clash” when carrying out inquests into the failure of mergers. Instead, he says a more likely explanation for failure is poor planning and bad management.“Culture clash tends to be dragged up and blamed as an excuse for things going wrong, when really so many companies pay unrealistic prices for their acquisitions with some premiums as high as 44 per cent. “They should look more at the robustness of some of the strategic thinking. Success is not directly linked to the similarity of the companies. If it was, companies with similar HR systems would do better, but that is not the case.” Greenspan agrees that early involvement of HR people and operational managers – both of whom should be prepared to point out pitfalls to dollar-eyed CEOs – is paramount. But he also counsels the importance of planning the post-acquisition strategy in advance of the deal being concluded. Strategy should be ready to be unveiled the day the deal is signed. “All too often,” he says, ” the change is not managed. Uncertainty is inevitable, but the negative effects can be controlled. Tough decisions should be made quickly and then support should be available to help people adapt.” For those not wishing to plunge head-first into the turbulence of a full-blown merger, fashion is on your side. Strategic alliancesAndy Booth, research director of MSB, believes strategic alliances are starting to catch on – especially in the airline, automotive and IT sectors.Alliances offer many of the advantages, but hardly any of the risks, he says. “Companies would do well to be thinking about an alliance before a merger. They can get the benefits of size and the pooling of experience and assets, but without the risk of long-term damage. “If two organisations have swapped equity, it is a relatively permanent form of arrangement. If an alliance founders, it is less important.”Key motivators for alliances include cost savings and improved operational efficiency through joint purchasing, shared distribution networks, joint training programmes, shared marketing campaigns, and combined research and development initiatives.But Booth says there are cultural problems with alliances too – of culture clash and employee suspicion of acquisition by stealth.“Just like a merger, a poorly considered alliance structure can alienate employees. If one side is suspected of gaining too much power, a whole raft of people will feel overlooked and undervalued.” MarriageOn 30 May 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Tougher background checks as CRB hits targets

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Tougher background checks are being introduced on people working with theelderly and adults with learning disabilities to prevent abuse and neglect. New plans will see Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on existing carehome staff done at the highest level – using information held by the police todetermine if people are suitable for work with vulnerable adults. Improvements to the CRB’s performance and capacity means the Government canalso use enhanced checks on new and existing home help staff and new agencynursing staff. Announcing the more rigorous checks, community care minister Stephen Ladymansaid: “Care home providers, organisations representing vulnerable people,local councils and many individuals were among those who said that older peopleand those with learning disabilities or other needs should have the maximumlevel of protection from dangerous or unscrupulous individuals.” The introduction of the checks is now possible following the substantialimprovement in the CRB’s performance since last summer. In the past two months, it has issued an average of 44,000 disclosures aweek, compared with 24,500 a week in August 2002 and is now meeting its servicestandards for turnaround times. Weblink www.crb.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Tougher background checks as CRB hits targetsOn 16 Sep 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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HMAS Anzac completes MRH90 trials

first_img Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac has recently completed MRH90 trials off the east coast of Australia enhancing multi-role helicopter support to the navy fleet.In a joint activity conducted during the months of May and June, HMAS Anzac embarked an MRH90 flight from 808 Squadron for a trial designed to expand the capability of Anzac class frigates to include day and night flight deck operations in a range of weather conditions.An aviation medical officer, a meteorologist and a flight deck marshaller also joined Anzac for the period.Until now, the helicopter has only conducted utility evolutions such as vertical replenishment and light winch transfers to Anzac frigates.The test aircraft – callsign Cobra 22 – undertook landings and take-offs in a variety of conditions while at its maximum embarked operating weight of 10,600 kilograms.Commanding Officer Anzac Commander Michael Devine said his team was energised by their part in the successful trials.“It was a professionally rewarding experience to have participated in trials that will inform the development of significant capability that will have an immediate and enduring benefit to the fleet,” he said.Anzac received a night vision lighting upgrade in 2016 which allowed the test team to safely perform landings in even the darkest conditions.Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit Test Director Lieutenant Commander Andrew Rohrsheim said he was impressed with the aircraft’s performance and features which were well suited to the frigate flight deck.“The MRH90 is a wonderful aircraft to fly and the helmet-mounted sight and display provides great situational awareness for the aircrew in night and day conditions.”The aircraft remained on the flight deck for the period of the flight trial and was exposed to the elements day and night.To ensure the aircraft was exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions, the embarked meteorologist Lieutenant Tim Forge worked closely with the ship’s navigator to position the ship correctly in preparation for each flying serial.As a result, the ship operated as far north as Cooktown to find warm weather, then repositioned hundreds of nautical miles away the next day to find the required environmental conditions. Four weeks were necessary to explore the full spectrum of weather conditions.As a result of the trial, MRH90s will soon be available to perform the full spectrum of helicopter logistics support to the Anzac class. As a multi-role helicopter, the MRH90 can undertake personnel transport, search and rescue and replenishment activities. Back to overview,Home naval-today Australian Navy completes MRH90 multi-role helicopter trials View post tag: Royal Australian Navy Authorities Share this articlecenter_img View post tag: MRH90 Australian Navy completes MRH90 multi-role helicopter trials June 20, 2017last_img read more

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Commentary: OK, Boomer, 5 Things To Get Ready For In 2020

first_imgmichael OK, Boomer, 5 Things To Get Ready For In 2020 By Michael LeppertMichaelLeppert.comI am not a baby boomer. Not technically. All four of my older siblings are though, which I enjoy pointing out. I am just young enough to say “OK Boomer” to people who need to hear it and am clearly old enough for people to say it to me.Don’t know what “OK Boomer” means? Then you probably are one. Because I’m a good sport, I’ll clarify it. “OK Boomer” is a catchphrase, sometimes a meme, that younger generations use to dismiss attitudes stereotypically attributed to the baby boomer generation. It is also an expression used toward an older person, say about my age, who just might not be as with it as he should be.We used to call it the generation gap. Today, it is more often generically referred to as “ageism.” I don’t care for today’s whiny perspective much. I am, and always have been, a believer that older generations certainly have an obligation to teach, but they also have one to learn. And the “ism” part of this one is as snowflakey as just about anything.2019 was the OK Boomer year. In 2020, it will likely continue.Here’s a shortlist of exactly how.1. Climate change. For those of you claiming that it is a hoax, OK Boomer. Seriously, who under the age of 55 actually still needs convinced that our planet’s climate is changing and human behavior is the reason? If you are the one, contact me and I will give you a smidgen of the evidence–assuming you have a truck to haul it away. Let the fantasy of this being someone else’s fault and responsibility to try and fix have it’s funeral in 2020, because trust me, this fantasy is dead.2. Transit options are a waste. Indianapolis had a setback in the world of transit this week, when Blue Indy, the electric car rental service, announced it would discontinue service in the state capital. Resolving the use of its controversial parking spaces and charging stations will take a while to figure out. However, only a Boomer would use this failure to dissuade us from the next legitimate idea to find a more modern, efficient and sustainable way to move people. Our dependence on car ownership and driving our own cars everywhere we go is getting old. Sort of like fighting better transportation ideas is. Like it or not, Boomer, 2020 will only see growing support for new ideas here.3. Your iPhone’s flashlight is on, Boomer. Admit it, nine out of 10 times a person is spotted obliviously walking around with their flashlight on, it is someone born before 1980. Now, that includes me and my much younger wife, but I almost never see a young person doing this. I spotted a teenage girl on the sidewalk committing this faux pas yesterday.  Saying “hey Boomer, your flashlight is on,” to her was a holiday treat for me.4. Gun rules and laws will get stricter. That’s right, Boomer, America is turning a corner on this one. The school shooting generation has grown in number and age, their patience has shrunk, and younger people simply disagree with the thought that more guns make anyone safer. The National Rifle Association ironically seems like a wounded duck, and 2020 will continue this trend. Congress passed a spending bill that will finally fund the study of gun violence, and science will find that a different course is necessary. Science trumps propaganda every time, eventually.5. Religion is struggling. Data is bringing bad news to all kinds of churches, temples, and mosques: fewer and fewer Americans are active there. While this is a troubling sign for the spiritual health of our nation, only those who lack faith would be overly pessimistic about the future of our individual souls. Boomer, we need you on this one. We need you to encourage your religion to set a better example for the youngsters. No religion I know condones cruelty. The rift caused by the Christianity Today editorial last week is not the greatest recruitment tool.Baby boomers are most commonly referred to as Americans who were born between 1946 and 1965. Thankfully, it does not include me (barely). Even if it did, I would find the group difficult to defend, as a group. Boomers really need to show more of an interest in tomorrow than yesterday.But this really isn’t about that sharp definition though. It is more about the state of mind of older people who don’t understand new perspectives on a much longer list than I give you today. OK Boomer, does any of that sound familiar?FOOTNOTE: Michael Leppert is a public and governmental affairs consultant in Indianapolis and writes his thoughts about politics, government and anything else that strikes him at MichaelLeppert.com.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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WHEN DO WE GROW UP By Jim Redwine

first_img Gavel Gamut By Jim RedwineWHEN DO WE GROW UP?Our two most recent presidential candidates often provided mirrors for us to see ourselves as others see us. If you are like me the experience was not always positive.My friends and family who supported Clinton often reacted with pity or chagrin when I questioned whether she had the character to lead. Those who supported Trump often reacted angrily if I wondered out loud if his campaign rhetoric disqualified him.What I found most puzzling was the reaction from members of both camps if I voiced no opinion. Whether they were Clintonians or Trumpers they invariably assumed my reticence meant I was for the candidate they were against or, at least, was not for the candidate they supported. Such projection upon me of their insecurities made me wonder what they really thought about their candidate.Were they afraid the opposition research or Fox News or CNN might have some actual validity when their candidate was exposed? Was that experience a little like an attendee at a church revival might feel when some modern day Elmer Gantry begins to cast out demons or a contemporary Cotton Mather hunts witches to burn?Or, have Americans fallen so far under the spell of Wolf Blitzer and Sean Hannity we do not care what is true but only care that bad things be aired about those we despise? About thirty wasted seconds watching Jerry Springer should give us our answer.Even after five hundred years of non-native influence we Americans still think of ourselves as a young country. Maybe that volksgeist is why we engage in childish diatribes instead of mature analysis. Now, I do not know if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are either, both or neither the Devil’s gifts to the national media. However, I do know that if we and our representatives continue to engage in this food fight we call debate, our plates will always be filled with garbage.For more Gavel Gamut articles go to:www.jamesmredwine.comFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Men’s basketball set for Challenge in Music City

first_imgMen’s basketball Set For Challenge In Music CityUE To Play Three Games in Three DaysThe Challenge in Music City is on tap for the University of Evansville men’s basketball team as they will take on three strong opponents in the tournament this weekend at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.Friday will mark the opening day of the event as the Purple Aces will take on Toledo before a Saturday match-up against UNC Wilmington.  Both of those games begin at 5 p.m.  On Sunday, the Aces wrap up the tournament with a 5:30 p.m. game against Middle Tennessee State.  There will be no live streaming during the tournament, but each game can be head on 91.5 WUEV and online at WUEV.org.Behind 25 points from senior Jaylon Brown, the Purple Aces earned a 69-56 win over Morehead State on Saturday.  UE shot 61.9% for the game and 78.9% in the second half on their way to the win.  For the first time in three games this season, UE won the rebounding battle, 31-24.  Ryan Taylor registered 13 points in the game while Dalen Traore set his career mark with nine.Entering Saturday’s game against Morehead State, Jaylon Brown’s career-high in scoring was 19 points, a mark he hit on five occasions.  He was finally able to eclipse that against Morehead State, posting 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting and pushed his season average to 21 points per game, second in the MVC.  Brown has also been logging minutes at an unbelievable rate, playing 36.3 per game, tops in the Valley and 2.5 minutes more than anyone else.  A 50.8% shooter last season, Brown stands at an even 58.5% through the opening three games.Junior transfer Dalen Traore became a crowd favorite with his efforts against Morehead State.  The forward scored nine points and hauled in four rebounds in 22 minutes of work.  His efforts helped the Aces overcome the MSU rally on its way to the second win of the season.Since going 2-14 from the field against Louisville, Ryan Taylor has kicked it into high gear in the last two games.  In two home outings, Taylor has hit 10-of-15 shots overall and is 7/11 from outside.  For the season, Taylor is second on the team, averaging 13 points per contest.Evansville opens up the Challenge in Music City on Friday against Toledo.  The Rockets are 2-1 on the young season, dropping their opener at Saint Joseph’s before defeating Youngstown State and Wright State; they play at Middle Tennessee on Tuesday evening.  Jonathan Williams has been their top performer, leading the Rockets with 21.7 points per game; Steve Taylor Jr. is just behind him at 16.7.  Toledo has averaged an impressive 87.0 points per game, tied for 44th in the nation.  UE and Toledo have met on four occasions with the Aces having a 3-1 lead in the series; the last meeting was an 89-72 Aces win in 1989.On Saturday, Evansville takes on UNC Wilmington in the first meeting between the schools.  The Seahawks come to Nashville with a 3-0 mark, earning wins over Claflin, Eastern Kentucky and East Tennessee State.  Chris Flemmings is the leading scorer for UNCW, standings at 20.3 PPG with C.J. Bryce just behind at 19 points.In the final match-up of the weekend, the Aces face Middle Tennessee State.  The squads have met just twice in their histories with each team winning on their home floor, including an 81-79 UE win in 2010.  MTSU is 2-1 with wins over Milligan College and Murray State; they play host to Toledo on Tuesday night.  Their leading scorer is JaCorey Williams, who has recorded 20.3 PPG.The series between Evansville and Middle Tennessee State is always an emotional one as MTSU was the scheduled opponent when the plane carrying the Aces team to the game crashed shortly after takeoff at Dress Regional Airport in Evansville on Dec. 13, 1977.  All aboard the plane were killed and are honored in the UE Athletics Hall of Fame as well as an on-campus memorial at UEFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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California Raisins and Waterfields team up

first_imgThe California Raisin Administrative Committee has teamed up with Waterfields bakers on a meal deal promotion. As part of the promotion, which will run throughout June, Waterfield’s new product development team have produced a California Raisin Fruity Nut bar, which will be offered with a fruited Californian Raisin roll filled with Lancashire cheese plus a bottle of spa water, for £2.25. Customers will also be given a packet of California Raisins and a scratchcard.The scratchcard will give customers the opportunity to win a major prize of a £1,000 holiday voucher plus many other smaller prizes from £2.50 off their next shopping bill to free cold drinks and fruity nut bars.California Raisins’ marketing manager Dee Cassey said: “We are delighted to be working together with such an established family business as Waterfields. We are very excited about this pilot scheme and are hoping for a great result to take this further.”last_img read more

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Press release: Clean up work completed in Salisbury as area continues recovery

first_imgThe government has committed over £13-million since March 2018 to support businesses, boost tourism and meet unexpected costs of the incidents. £9.6-million of that is special grant police funding. It is good news that the site at Christie Miller Road has been handed back following extensive cleaning by specialist teams. This is a significant moment for Salisbury, Amesbury and south Wiltshire as this property is the final site to be completed as part of the complex and extensive clean-up operation. South Wiltshire can look to the future now the short-term recovery work has been completed Work will begin shortly to reconstruct and refurbish the house so it can return to being a home again. We are continuing to talk to the residents on the future of the property as it is important their views are taken into account on how it is used in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Christie Miller Road, and the wider community, for their resilience and stoicism during what has been an extremely difficult and challenging time for them and their families. Since March 2018, we have been working closely to support residents and we will continue to do so for as long as that support is required. I would also like to thank our partners for their skills and expertise and the diligence they have shown in dealing with this unprecedented situation. This clean-up operation has been a shining example of partnership working in extremely testing circumstances. Salisbury has proved it is resilient, positive and looking forward and we are working on a range of regeneration projects and events to focus on an even better future for the city and south Wiltshire. In my capacity as Ministerial Champion for Salisbury I am continuing to champion the city and lead efforts to ensure this great city of culture and character continues to thrive, now and in the future. The final site of decontamination in Salisbury being confirmed as safe is a significant moment for the area and the Government is working hand-in-hand with local leaders to deliver an ambitious local Industrial Strategy for the area. We are committed to ensuring Salisbury not only recovers, but leads the way in some of the industries of the future. The incredibly complex decontamination work carried out by the armed forces over the past twelve months, in collaboration with their multi-agency partners, reflects the expertise, courage and selfless commitment of our Servicemen and women in getting the job done and done well. The handover of the site at Christie Miller Road effectively now concludes the significant military contribution to support Salisbury and Amesbury following the novichok nerve agent attack on 4 March 2018. Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: While decontamination may be complete, government support for the region will not end and we continue to do all we can to help Salisbury and Amesbury thrive.Earlier this month, Business Minister Lord Henley was appointed Ministerial Champion for Salisbury, providing local leaders with a single point of contact in the heart of government as the local area focusses on boosting business in the wake of the attack. As Salisbury gets back to business, the government is working hand-in-hand with local leaders to deliver an ambitious local Industrial Strategy for the area, ensuring Salisbury not only recovers, but leads the way in some of the industries of the future.Business Minister Lord Henley said: Over the last 11 months, around 190 military personnel from the Royal Air Force and British Army, supported by specialist contractors, have undertaken highly specialised decontamination work as part of our precautionary approach to the clean-up across the twelve sites identified in Salisbury and Amesbury. In recognition of their painstaking work, the CBRN Task Force were awarded the ‘Hero at Home – Unit’ at the Sun’s The Sun Military Awards ceremony in December.Brigadier David Southall, Chief of Staff of Standing Joint Command, said: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today (Friday, 1 March) announced that the final site of decontamination in Salisbury is safe, and has been handed to the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group.The completion of clean-up work at Christie Miller Road, Salisbury marks a significant milestone in South Wiltshire’s return to normality following the sickening novichok nerve agent attack last year.The property was declared safe following extensive cleaning and testing by specialist teams. Wiltshire Council will shortly begin to coordinate work to refurbish the property, with residents of Christie Miller Road consulted on its future use.Alistair Cunningham, chair of the South Wiltshire recovery coordinating group, said: I want to thank all involved in the decontamination process in what has been a challenging year. Their professionalism, expertise and thoroughness have been exemplary.last_img read more

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Spafford Extends 2018 ‘For Amusement Only’ Winter Tour

first_imgEarlier in the fall, Arizona’s Spafford announced seventeen dates for a headlining winter tour dubbed For Amusement Only. Today, the band expanded upon these previously announced shows, adding twelve new stops into the mix. Spafford’s newest dates will see the band hitting the West Coast at the end of February through mid-March, with multiple dates across California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. The West Coast leg of For Amusement Only 2018 Winter Tour will terminate in a three-night run in Colorado, with dates in the mountain towns of Aspen, Frisco, and Winter Park from March 14th through 17th.Spafford Welcomes Perpetual Groove’s Brock Butler In L.A. [Videos] Tickets for the newly announced dates go on sale on Spafford’s website on Friday, December 1st at 10 am PST/1 pm EST.Spafford Welcomes Greensky Bluegrass’ Dave Bruzza For RHCP Cover [Full Show Audio]SPAFFORD ‘For Amusement Only’ Tour Dates1/11 – Minneapolis,​ ​MN​ – 7th Street Entry1/12 – Milwaukee,​ ​WI​ – Miramar Theatre1/13 – Detroit,​ ​MI​ – El Club1/14 – Cleveland​ ​Heights,​ ​OH​ – Grog Shop1/17 -​ ​Pittsburgh,​ ​PA​ – Club Café1/18 -​ ​Buffalo,​ ​NY​ – Iron Works1/19 – Syracuse,​ ​NY​ – Westcott Theater1/20 -​ ​Lancaster,​ ​PA​ – Chameleon Club1/23 – Pawtucket,​ ​RI​ – The Met1/24 – Asbury​ ​Park,​ ​NJ​ – Wonder Bar1/25 – Washington,​ ​D.C​. – Union Stage1/26 – Raleigh,​ ​NC​ – The Pour House Music Hall –1/27 – Atlanta,​ ​GA​ – Terminal West1/31 -​ ​Ft.​ ​Lauderdale,​ ​FL​ – Culture Room2/1 -​ ​Tampa,​ ​FL​ – The Crowbar2/2 – Orlando,​ ​FL​ – The Social2/3 – Jacksonville,​ ​F​L – Jack Rabbits2/28 -​ ​Solana​ ​Beach,​ ​CA​ – Belly Up3/1 – Santa​ ​Barbara,​ ​CA​ – Soho3/2 – Crystal​ ​Bay,​ ​NV​ – Crystal Bay Club Casino3/3 – San​ ​Rafael,​ ​CA​ – Terrapin Crossroads3/7 – Bend,​ ​OR​ – Volcanic Theatre Pub3/8 -​ ​Bellingham,​ ​WA​ – The Shakedown3/9 – Missoula,​ ​MT​ – Top Hat Lounge3/10 – Boise,​ ​ID​ – The Olympic3/11- Salt​ ​Lake​ ​City,​ ​UT​ – The State Room3/14 – Aspen,​ ​CO​ – Belly Up Aspen3/16 – Frisco,​ ​CO​ – Barkley Ballroom3/17 -​ ​Winter​ ​Park,​ ​CO​ – Ullrs Tavern[Photo: Bill McAlaine]last_img read more

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Grading the MOOCs

first_imgMore than four years after Harvard and MIT launched the nonprofit learning platform edX, a joint research team from the two schools have released a report on the online classrooms.What they found was increased participation by diverse participants, many of whom are teachers.“HarvardX and MITx: Four Years of Open Online Courses,” released today, examined massive open online courses (MOOCs) the schools launched between fall 2012 and summer 2016. The report — one of the largest surveys of MOOCs to date —builds on benchmark reports from 2014 and 2015 that described the first two years of open online courses. It is the latest product of a cross-institutional research effort led by study co-authors Andrew Ho of Harvard and Isaac Chuang of MIT.“We explored 290 Harvard and MIT online courses, a quarter-million certifications, 4.5 million participants, and 28 million participant-hours,” said Ho, chair of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) Research Committee and professor of education at Harvard.“Strong collaboration has enabled MIT and Harvard to jointly examine nearly 30 million hours of online learner behavior and the growth of the MOOC space,” said Chuang, senior associate dean of digital learning and professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and professor of physics.“This reporting series continues to provide the benchmark for understanding the MOOC ecosystem created by Harvard and MIT,” said Dustin Tingley, faculty director of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning Research Team and professor of government at Harvard.The report’s key findings include:Cumulative MOOC participation has grown steadily over four years. Over the period studied, 2.4 million unique users participated in one or more MITx or HarvardX MOOCs, with an average 1,554 new, unique participants enrolling per day. A typical MOOC certificate earner spent 29 hours interacting with online courseware, and 245,000 learner certificates were issued for successful completion.Participants in MOOC “classrooms” are heterogeneous in background and intention. A typical course certifies 500 learners and has 7,900 learners accessing some course content after registering, and around 1,500 choosing to explore half or more of a course’s content. Demographic statistics of note include a median learner age of 29 years old, a 2:1 male-to-female ratio (67 percent male, 33 percent female), and significant participation from learners in other countries (71 percent international, 29 percent from the United States).Computer science courses are the hubs of the MOOC curricular network. Tracking participants who enroll in multiple courses over time reveals networks among courses and curricular areas. The new report found MITx and HarvardX computer science courses are the “hubs” of the network. These courses are the largest (compared to science, history, health, and other subjects) and route more participants to other disciplinary areas than they receive.Teachers are active MOOC participants. Surveys of learners in HarvardX or MITx courses also helped capture the broadest sense of teacher and instructor identity among MOOC participants. The study found strong levels of participation from this cohort, with 32 percent of respondents self-identifying as “being” or “having been” a teacher. Of this group, 19 percent said they instructed on the same topic as the online course in which they participated, and 16 percent achieved course certification.Data appendices and other analyses from the report are available onlinelast_img read more

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