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15 Best Online Resources for College Students

15 Best Online Resources for College Students

Online resources have made an entire revolution in education, not only because they are convenient and accessible, but because they make the entire process of teaching and learning more interesting and memorable. There are free and paid online resources for college students and they usually complement one another quite well. Each student will prefer different resources according to their subjects of interest and learning style, but there are universally great tools that impress nearly every student who tries them.

In order to help college students locate the best online resources that will make their lives easier, we tailored a list of 15 most useful links that offer exactly what they need for achieving good grades.

1. The Rapid E-Learning Blog (Articulate Network)

Rapid E-learning

    Tom Kuhlmann is a blogger who shares practical tips all students can benefit from. The blog offers up-to-date information on different education-related topics that will help you become an e-learning pro. The discussions under each post are also very valuable, so don’t forget to read the comments and join the community.

    2. Atrixware E-Learning Solutions Blog

    Atrixware

      Atrixware is a company that has developed a great online learning management system that enables students to create great presentations easily. However, the really valuable resource is the blog section of this website, where you can read fresh information about the most popular and most useful e-learning tools.

      3. Social Media Tools for College Students at NinjaEssays

      Custom writing service NinjaEssays.com

        NinjaEssays lists useful educative social media tools that will motivate you to learn new things each day by making the studying process easier and more fun. This is a very valuable resource that will help you advance your education and improve your learning skills.  With the usage of these tools, the entire classroom will be more effective and motivated.
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        4. Saylor

        Saylor

          The Saylor Foundation started with a very simple, honest, and strong idea: to make education free for everyone. If you are looking for free classes on all sorts of subjects, this is the place where you can find them.

          5.Study Guide Zone

          Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.18.22 pm

            Although the website looks outdated, Study Guide Zone is a great place for free resources for any student who is looking for a way to improve the scores on a standardized test. The website offers study exams for SAT, ACT, and GED among many other tests.

            6. Getting Smart

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              Getting Smart is one of the most passionate learning-focused communities on the web. The website will lead you to ways and resources that will increase your studying effectiveness.

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              7. Compass Learning

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                Compass Learning is a website that helps teachers understand the strengths, motivations, and needs of every student so they can personalize their approach to different types of learners. CompassLearning Odyssey is a product that assesses the needs and strengths of a student and then prescribes a learning path according to his/her individual characteristics.

                8. KnowledgeNet

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                  This is the website you should visit whenever you need useful sources that will help you understand the lectures of IT-related subjects.

                  9. Coursera

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                    This is one of the most valuable learning resources on the web. Students can find free courses provided by prestigious universities. Almost all courses are offered, including humanities, computer science, business, mathematics, biology, and more. This website is necessary for all students who want to expand their knowledge on a subject or find information they will use for their school projects.
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                    10. Alison

                    Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.19.23 pm

                      Alison.com is a website founded with a noble goal: to enable anyone to receive free education of high quality. All you need is a will to learn new things and this website will provide you with all necessary tools.

                      11. E-Learning Center

                      Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.19.33 pm

                        This comprehensive website will provide you with learning resources relevant to the subjects of Web Development and IT. Although some of the content is accessible only through paid subscription, there are also free resources that can be enough for you to advance your knowledge in these subjects.

                        12. FindTutorials.com

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                          This website collects useful tutorials from across the web, so you will find literally anything you need there. The best thing about FindTutorials.com is that the users vote on the quality of all offered tutorials, so you will know which links are worth clicking on.

                          13. Course Buffet

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                            This search engine will lead you to open courseware accessible from different websites. This will save you from going from one source to another without finding what you need.

                            14. iHomework

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                              This app is available on all Apple devices, so you can access it wherever you are. The idea behind its concept is to make your life as a student easier. You can use iHomework to quickly enter important tasks, course information, and homework assignments.

                              15. Open Culture

                              Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.20.12 pm

                                The content offered on this website is not only useful for your school project, but your personal intellectual development as well. Open Culture delivers content from many different topics, from writing tips and literature characters to world history and wars.
                                One of the greatest benefits of the Internet technology is that now everyone has access to the information they need. The website listed above can offer great help for all students who want to advance their knowledge or make the process of studying and writing papers easier.

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                                1 Why Your Habits Hinder You From Reaching Your Goals 2 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 3 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 4 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

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                                Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                                14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                                In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                                For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                                For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                                Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                                Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                                Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                                How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                                Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                                1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                                Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                                For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                                2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                                Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                                Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                                Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                                3. Create a System

                                Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                                This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                                You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                                Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                                Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                                4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                                We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                                If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                                Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                                Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                                5. Use a Ratings Scale

                                Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                                Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                                It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                                6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                                This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                                You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                                You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                                7. Offer Feedback Forms

                                Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                                First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                                Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                                You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                                This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                                Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                                Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                                9. Use Self-Evaluations

                                Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                                Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                                10. Monitor Time Management

                                This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                                Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                                  The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                                  While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                  11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                                  We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                                  Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                                  For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                                  Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                                  Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                                  From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                                  12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                                  This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                                  Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                                  Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                                  It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                                  13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                                  When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                                  Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                                  Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                                  14. Use an External Evaluator

                                  Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                                  They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                                  While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                                  The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                                  The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                                  Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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