Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Encouraging Peer Learning In Your Online Classroom

The advent of internet technology has brought to our doorsteps a sea of opportunities and changed the way we work, the way we interact socially, and even the way we educate ourselves. With a multitude of information available for us at the click of a button, it has become easier for everyone to gain relevant knowledge and upgrade skills according to the need that arises at work or college. A number of top universities and colleges all over the world, having realized the plethora of avenues that internet opens up, have come up with new and highly advantageous courses delivered online with the help of experienced and able faculty.

Today, professionals from every field and every walk of life benefit immensely from this trend of obtaining education online and adding to their skill set and their qualifications. With technology changing and work environments evolving at an extremely fast pace, it is becoming more and more important for professionals to brush up their skills from time to time and match the requirements of their industry at all times. Online courses provide an opportunity to do so and that too in a very convenient manner. Apart from the obvious benefits of online education, opportunity presents itself in the form of peer learning and effective interaction among batch mates. The participants of an online classroom interact with each other in a fashion no different than that in an on campus classroom.

Peer learning is an important aspect of learning. It not only stimulates a healthy discussion encompassing the significant topics relating to the subject that the group is taking together, but also helps build effective relations. It, therefore, becomes vital to initiate discussions and encourage cross-questioning in an online classroom. An online classroom should be abuzz with activity just like a regular classroom is. The assignments and study protocol followed should be stimulating and engaging, such that every individual is buoyant and adds his insights and thoughtful ideas to make the class effective.

The participants in an online classroom are from different backgrounds and, at times, from different industries and fields too. This makes an online classroom a rich pool of information. Sharing work experiences and real life problem solving tactics enriches each participant's intellect and makes classroom learning interesting. It becomes the responsibility of every participant to acknowledge the awareness and understanding of his peers in the batch and pay close attention to the information they have to offer. At the same time, it is vital that the individual on his part makes constructive contribution to the classroom through excerpts from his own experience in the industry.

The faculty must ensure that there is effortless exchange of ideas and information in the classroom, that ideas as well as problems are put forward and addressed practically. The questions should be answered diligently and group activities involved in the study schedules so as to create an interest in the class and the subject. The participants should be given ample time to get social and make lasting contacts.

These efforts when ensured would go a long way in paving the way to lasting work relationships and aid effective learning of the nuances of the subject.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What You Need To Know About the Truck Broker Business

Ask a kid-any kid-what they want to be when they grow up. You'll hear the usual suspects. Doctors, engineers, artists, a movie star, etc. You can bet you'll never hear the words "truck broker" even once. We must admit that the line of work isn't very popular with the kids. But now that you're an adult and all grown up, look around your office. Is there anything in there that couldn't be transported by truck?

The Freight Brokerage Industry

Thing is freight truck brokerage is currently a $400 billion dollar industry and still growing! Think about it. Every piece of furniture in your home and office needed to be delivered by truck. Simply put, the demand for freight brokers is quite overwhelming. One could start a business in the industry as a truck broker and expect to see tangible results right away.

First and foremost, truck brokers are usually categorized as transport intermediaries, meaning they don't belong to either the asset-owning carrier or the shipper, but they assist in the process of moving the cargo. A freight broker uses his or her knowledge of the trade to contribute to the process, instead of having to invest on machinery worth millions of dollars.

A Brief History

Another thing to note about truck brokers is that these breed of entrepreneurs aren't particularly new to the industry. In fact, they've been around since the early part of the 20th century, give or take a few years. But prior to the 70s, there were very few firms that took on the demanding role of freight brokerage due to the restrictive regulations governing them.

Significant changes in the industry, though, brought new hope back to the fledgling industry and new players began gaining traction. Nowadays, as mentioned earlier, freight brokerage is a multi-million dollar industry in the US alone.

Experience and Education in the World of Freight Brokerage

But do not just assume that an investment of any sort isn't necessary in order to become a successful truck broker. Far from it. You see, while freight brokers are not in the business of transporting the cargo themselves, to succeed as one, you need to be adept and particularly skilled regarding the ins and outs of the business. Experience and education is key.

For instance, most freight brokerage firms are only looking forward to hiring applicants with at least some formal education to back him or her up. Some firms prefer applicants with extensive freight brokerage experience, but they are willing to compromise given your knowledge of the trade more than makes up for the lack of it.

You could also get started on trying to learn the industry yourself. Read up on books and online content about truck brokers and freight brokerage in general to prepare yourself before trying to get into the business. It's easy, and you'll be successful in it, certainly, as long as you know what you're doing as an aspiring truck broker.