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Original author: 
Akshat Rathi

U Penn

In recent years, massive open online courses (MOOCs), through the likes of Coursera, have attracted hundreds of thousands of students from across the world. Many teachers are using a "flipped" classroom model, where students take lectures through videos at their convenience and spend the time in class delving into issues they don't understand.

But are they really improving learning? The evidence is not fully convincing. A 2010 meta-analysis of the literature on online teaching by the US Department of Education revealed that there are only "modest benefits" to online learning compared to classroom learning, but more rigorous studies were needed. After all, ease of access to the learning material comes with a bundle of distractions only a single click away. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that students suffer from attention lapses when learning through videos.

Given those findings, an improvement in students' attentiveness is bound to pay significant dividends. To that end, Karl Szpunar, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard University, might have a rather simple solution to rein in distractions, one that focuses attention in real-world classrooms: intersperse pop quizzes into the online lectures.

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Stack Exchange

This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 90+ Q&A sites.

lurkerbelow is the only developer at his company writing unit tests. Management, developers, everyone says they want to write unit tests, but nobody does. To bring developers into line, lurkerbelow has introduced pre-commit code review (Gerrit) and continuous integration (Jenkins). Not working. "How do I motivate my fellow coworkers to write unit tests?" he asks.

Practical deomonstrations help

jimmy_keen Answers (32 votes):

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Stack Exchange

This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 90+ Q&A sites.

Mag20 wants to implement automated testing at his company. Problem is, he's tried several times before, but has failed every time. "Everyone gets excited for the first month or two," he writes. "Then, several months in, people simply stop doing it." But now seems like the right time to try bringing automated testing back to the workplace—Mag20's team of 20 experienced developers are about to embark on a big new project.

How can he finally introduce automated testing at his company?

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designer at work

As we enter the golden age of design in startups, highly talented user-interface and product designers are becoming ever more important.

Some companies leading the charge are Apple, Path, Pinterest, Square, and Airbnb. What those companies have in common is that design is at the core of their businesses.

But which school is best suited to get you the design job you want?

Over the past couple of months, we conducted a survey to find the top 25 design schools in the world. 

All of these schools are comparable in terms of academics, quality of staff, and amazing campuses. But what matters most is how valuable these schools really are. 

Of our 633 respondents to the survey, 87.8% said they studied or participated in a college-level design program.

Most of the respondents were either art directors (26.9%) or product designers (30.3%). The vast majority of respondents (76.6%) said skills and knowledge were the most valuable asset their respective design programs offered.

 We ranked the schools by a simple metric: What percentage of respondents ranked the schools somewhat valuable, valuable, or extremely valuable?

25. Illinois Institute of Technology

Rating: 55% of respondents said the program is valuable.

About: The IIT ranked number 13 on Businessweek's list of best design schools in 2009 for its focus on the intersection between strategy and human-centered innovation.

Location: Chicago, IL

Founded: 1940

Total Enrollment: 7,738

Business Insider's rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how valuable each design school's program really is. 

24. Georgia Institute of Technology

Rating: 55.3% of respondents said the program is valuable.

About: Georgia Tech has a great blend of engineering, manufacturing, business, and design in its curriculum. It's also the alma mater of several prominent designers including Michael Arad, who designed the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City and "Trading Spaces" designer Vern Yip.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Founded: 1885

Total Enrollment: 20,000

Business Insider's rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how valuable each design school's program really is. 

23. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (fka University of Art and Design Helsinki)

Rating: 55.6% of respondents said the program is valuable.

About: The School of Arts, Design, and Architecture is broken into five departments: Media; Design; Art; Architecture; and Motion Picture, Television and Production Design. All departments put an emphasis on a humanist world view and aim to implement human-oriented environments.

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Founded: 1871

Total Enrollment: 2,779

Business Insider's rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how valuable each design school's program really is. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil give the rundown on what a data scientist is, what to look for and how to hire them. It's an article in Harvard Business Review, so it's geared towards managers, and I felt like I was reading a horoscope at times, but there are some interesting tidbits in there.

Data scientists don’t do well on a short leash. They should have the freedom to experiment and explore possibilities. That said, they need close relationships with the rest of the business. The most important ties for them to forge are with executives in charge of products and services rather than with people overseeing business functions. As the story of Jonathan Goldman illustrates, their greatest opportunity to add value is not in creating reports or presentations for senior executives but in innovating with customer-facing products and processes.

I still call myself a statistician. The main difference between data scientist and statistician seems to be programming skills, but if you're doing statistics without code, I'm not sure what you're doing (other than theory).

Update: This recent panel from DataGotham also discusses the data scientist hiring process. [Thanks, Drew]

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Often designers design stuff (products/services/interfaces etc.): to fit user personas, to solve problems, to make it beautiful etc. but don’t often consider the how it psychologically interfaces with the user. Such user experience design draws heavily from human psychological behaviors that are a result of millions of years of evolution. These behaviors will not change tomorrow or even in the next 10 years, therefore we should be aware of what these behaviors are and how our designs should take them into consideration.

I was therefore really excited to stumble on this article “The Psychologist’s View of UX Design” by Susan Weinschenk which is the most comprehensive collection, I have seen, of these “truths” of human behaviors. For my and your reference, I’ve taken the liberty to summarize the list here and added a sprinkling of my thoughts.

1. People Don’t Want to Work or Think More Than They Have To
Consider simplicity, lead by example i.e. show users how it is done, provide what people only really need, and help users make decisions.

2. People Have Limitations
Remember information overload? This is where it rears its ugly head. Keep information on a need to know basis, clump and/or create visual priority.

3. People Make Mistakes
People will make mistakes, respect that and try not to make them feel stupid. Having an “Undo” is vital and the best error message is none at all. Oh, do make sure the errors, if any, are not fatal please?

4. Human Memory Is Complicated
Human memory is prone to errors and inconsistency. It’s BS to say, “oh they will remember how to use it after using it for the first time”. Susan says “People can only remember about 3-4 items at a time. The ‘7 plus or minus 2’ rule is an urban legend”. From my anecdotal experience, I agree with her.

5. People are Social
People are social animals and will listen to others for guidance even if they don’t know that person. This is probably why many companies that the 5 star rating system seriously. Furthermore, the famous 150 “friends” social limit does apply. Any greater, the bond between people weakens.

6. Attention
People are easily distracted; design for focus or for attention, not both. You will be surprised how often both things happen at the same or at the wrong time.

7. People Crave Information
Susan says it best:

People will often want more information than they can actually process. Having more information makes people feel that they have more choices. Having more choices makes people feel in control. Feeling in control makes people feel they will survive better.

Don’t forget that feedback, such as at acknowledgement chime or a message, is also considered as information.

8. Unconscious Processing
Be careful in creating the wrong associations with your design, particularly important with communication and object design. There is a lot of subtle processing that happen especially through the visual sense, and this impacts greatly on decision-making. That is why, for the longest time, aesthetics was the key driver for the definition of good design.

9. People Create Mental Models
Mental models are the reason why Skeuomorph Design is so important in user experience design. If user research cannot determine a relevant mental model, use Metaphors to help with the ease of understanding and acceptance of a new concept or technology.

10. Visual System
Despite knowing that our visual sense is the strongest sense, this insight surprised me:

Research shows that people use peripheral vision to get the “gist” of what they are looking at. Eye tracking studies are interesting, but just because someone is looking at something straight on doesn’t mean they are paying attention to it.

I do encourage you to check out the full article at UX Mag, it is well worth the read.

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