What Makes an Online Course Effective?

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With very few exceptions, online teaching and learning will be the primary mode of education for the majority of higher education students in many jurisdictions this fall as concerns about COVID-19 extend into the new school year.

As an education researcher who has been studying online education and a professor who has been teaching in both face-to-face and online environments for more than a decade, I am often asked whether online learning at universities and colleges can ever be as effective as face-to-face learning.

To be clear: this isn’t a new question or a new debate. I’ve been asked this question in various forms since the mid-2000s and researchers have been exploring this topic since at least the 1950s.

The answer isn’t as unequivocal as some would like it to be. Individual cherry-picked studies can support any result. But systematic analyses of the

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Five key questions about Google and Apple’s contact tracing system

The tech giants were first turned away by the Government but now they are its only hope for a functioning contact tracing app - Telegraph/Telegraph
The tech giants were first turned away by the Government but now they are its only hope for a functioning contact tracing app – Telegraph/Telegraph

This week the UK government performed an abrupt u-turn on its contact-tracing technology to tackle coronavirus. 

The app it was developing with NHSX, the health service’s research wing, is set to be replaced with an app built using technology developed by Apple and Google, the US technology giants.

But what is so different about Apple and Google’s system? And why does the government believe it is the only way to move forward after lengthy delays to Britain’s previous plans.

Here are five key questions about the decision.

Why has the government switched systems?

Contact-tracing apps work by using Bluetooth signals to perform a digital “handshake” between devices. If two phones with contact-tracing apps installed come into close proximity for a set period of time –

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How to sign up for Disney+

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Disney+ is the newest and splashiest entrant into the online streaming wars. It comes complete with a boatload of iconic content ready to stream, with marquee titles from Star Wars: A New Hope to Iron Man to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs available for you to watch, some for the first time in years. To start streaming you can sign up for Disney+ today.

How much is Disney+?

The Empire Strikes Back is now available to stream on Disney+
The Empire Strikes Back is now available to stream on Disney+

It costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 per year for just a subscription to Disney+. Or you can get the service as part of a special value bundle with Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu for $12.99 a month in total.  

Some Verizon mobile and FIOS customers will get a free year of

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Resettling as a Refugee During a Global Pandemic

Photo credit: ImagineGolf
Photo credit: ImagineGolf


Ahmad Wali’s journey to America was years in the making, but what he remembers most vividly is how time froze when they were in the air. The Afghan-born Wali had finally secured a Special Immigrant Visa, affording him permanent legal residence in the United States, and to reach America, Wali and his family took a local plane to Kabul, followed by an international flight to Dubai and a 15-hour flight to New York. The trans-Atlantic flight lasted for what seemed like an eternity. He and his kids played games, took naps, ate snacks, paced the cramped aisles between the rows of seats, and still had hours remaining. When they finally landed and made it through customs, Wali felt indescribably happy. He remembers thinking, “I’m one of the luckiest people to be in the U.S., because my family is safe. My life is safe.”

First issued

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Juneteenth In Harford County: Celebration Spans Two Days

DARLINGTON, MD — Each year the Juneteenth celebration hosted by the Hosanna School Museum in Harford County has doubled in size. So organizers said they were preparing shuttle buses and off-site parking for the fourth annual affair since last year’s event attracted 2,400 people.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the celebration is now being held over two days and includes a remote portion. Friday’s virtual program includes a dance performance, storytelling and more. Saturday’s in-person event is called the Great Mask Giveaway, when organizers will distribute 1,000 African print masks.

“Normally we have a festival — a series of lectures, authors, book signings, costume interpreters, kids’ activities, dancers, singers, musicians — so we wanted to give people a taste of that, sort of like a Juneteenth variety show,” Dr. Iris Leigh Barnes, executive director of the Hosanna School Museum, said.

Friday will feature “edu-tainment” with African American performers, with singing,

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New York firm helps small businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis

Jessica Larios’ baby arrived a few weeks before her due date at the end of February.

The owner of Bella’s Event – an event planning business in Yonkers, New York, specializing in rentals and sales of all things party-related from wedding gowns to quinceañera dresses, table linens and party supplies – Larios could not afford to take time off during one of the busiest months for bookings.

In a haze of feedings and caring for the baby, Larios plowed through her work. Less than a month later, things ground to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic took hold – and cancellations poured in.

Jessica Larios owns Bella’s Events, which specializes in rentals and sales of everything party-related, such as quinceanera dresses, in Yonkers, N.Y. The Acceleration Project, a nonprofit consulting firm, helped Larios navigate the loans process and adapt her business by moving it online.

“I was so worried

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Airbnb’s New Virtual Experiences Include Workouts With Olympians, Queer Poetry Workshops, and Improv Class

Photo credit: Instagram / Drag Taste
Photo credit: Instagram / Drag Taste

From House Beautiful

Back in April, Airbnb launched Online Experiences, the virtual version of the platform’s popular Experiences. Now as summer approaches and it becomes clear that most of probably won’t be traveling too far in the upcoming months, Airbnb has created a new lineup of virtual experiences to help keep us entertained at home.

The company released a statement today detailing its new adventures, which include a colorful lineup of LGBTQ+ led experiences for Pride month. Users can choose experiences like the LGBTQ Culture & Nightlife Experience, which is based in London, costs $4 a person, and is led by TikTok star @moonlight_experiences. “It won’t be a night in without getting mesmerized by meeting talented activists or drag queens, drag kings who make our community special,” the description reads. More of a poet? Jo from Oregon is hosting a queer poetry workshop to

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How to watch Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker

Rey and Kylo square off in Rise of Skywalker.
Rey and Kylo square off in Rise of Skywalker.

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the nine-film, four-decade “Skywalker saga” comes to a close. Director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) and co-writer Chris Terrio (Justice League) deliver the final chapter that concludes the sequel trilogy. As with The Last Jedi, fans are divided on this film—some find it to be an appropriate end to the saga, while others walked away feeling disappointed. 

Where to stream The Rise of Skywalker online

Finn, Rey, and Poe come together in Rise of Skywalker.
Finn, Rey, and Poe come together in Rise of Skywalker.

You’re able to stream nearly all the Star Wars movies and television shows on Disney+ wherever you’re connected to the internet. Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming service is available in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Channel Islands,

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ASCAP Pop Awards Honor ‘Sucker’ as Top Song, Louis Bell as Songwriter of the Year

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The ASCAP Pop Music Awards are taking place as a virtual event over two days this year, and rather than make anyone wait through any of the programming to find out the winners, the performing rights organization named its honorees right at the outset of the festivities Wednesday morning — including props to the Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” as the pop song of the year.

“Sucker” was also a major factor in Louis Bell being named ASCAP’s songwriter of the year, with the kudos citing him for co-writing not just that Jonas smash but also Halsey’s “Without Me” and “Goodbyes” by Post Malone with Young Thug. The org said a video acceptance speech by Bell would be going up on ASCAP’s social accounts.

More from Variety

While “Sucker” won for song of the year, the most streamed song of the year award went to

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’30 Rock’ Is Coming Back for a Special New Episode Next Month

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC – Getty Images

From Harper’s BAZAAR

  • A new, hour-long episode of 30 Rock will air in July with the show’s original stars including Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracey Morgan, and Jane Krakowski.

  • The remotely-produced special event is part of NBCUniversal’s Upfront presentation.

  • The beloved NBC comedy took its final bow in 2013 after seven seasons.

The 30 Rock crew is getting back together again. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, and more cast members from the hit NBC comedy will reunite and reprise their roles for a new, hour-long installment of the series, which will air on July 16 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

The reunion, which was virtually produced, was arranged for NBCUniversal’s Upfront, the presentation TV networks and media companies give to advertisers and press to preview their upcoming programming. While characters like Liz Lemon (Fey) and Kenneth (McBrayer) will grace

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