Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

About this Course

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. We’ll also cover illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects. Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life. If you’re already an expert, this peep under the mental hood will give you ideas for turbocharging successful learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets. If you’re struggling, you’ll see a structured treasure trove of practical techniques that walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you’ve ever wanted to become better at anything, this course will help serve as your guide.


Online Course: Introduction to Marketing Aug 3 – 30

Part of the Business Foundations Specialization »

Learn the fundamentals of marketing by getting to the root of customer decision-making. Key topics include branding strategies (e.g., brand positioning, brand communications), customer-centric marketing strategy, and new market entry (e.g., channel strategy, marketing planning). After successfully completing this course, you can apply these skills to a real-world business challenge as part of the Wharton Business Foundations Specialization.


Online Course: Introduction to Operations Management Aug 3 – 30

About the Course


See Geoffrey Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School, talk about the Specialization here.

What did you want the last time you went to a restaurant? You wanted to find something on the menu that you liked, you wanted the meal to be prepared according to high quality standards, you wanted to get it quickly, and you didn’t want to pay too much money for it. Now, remember the last time you went to a doctor’s office or a hospital. What did you want the doctors and nurses to do? You wanted them to provide the right care for you, you wanted the care delivered with great quality, you wanted to get the care quickly, and you (or your insurance) didn’t want to pay too much for it.

The management skills needed to run the operations of a restaurant are the same needed to run a hospital. You will learn these skills in this course. Specifically, you will learn how to improve productivity, increase responsiveness, provide more choice to the customer, and deliver higher quality standards. In short, you will learn how to analyze business processes and how to improve them.

More information

Entrepreneur in expansion mode – readies to open her fifth business

FOUR-time business owner and concierge banker at Sagicor Bank Antoinette Ennis is gearing up for the opening of another business venture next month.

The 37-year-old, who is already the proud owner of two mini mart/cafes, a beauty house and a business solutions company, is expanding her business to include another mini mart on Hagley Park Road, Kingston. The expansion, she says, is part of a larger goal in being recognised as one of the top five successful businesswomen in Jamaica over the next two years.

“I intend to be involved in a global programme so I can gain international experience to take back to Jamaica,” Ennis told the Jamaica Observer. “And I am very excited about officially launching a foundation that will seek to mentor and support at-risk children and youths who have a drive for success.”

After moving to Caribbean Estates, St Catherine, in 2008,the past student of Camperdown High School saw the opportunity to earn revenue from the opening of a mini-mart and cafe, now known as Caribbean Desires. Shortly after, she decided to give up her job as an insurance broker at Sagicor Jamaica Limited to properly structure the operation. Continue

Jamaica sweeps prestigious C’bean Microfinance Awards in Miami

JAMAICAN entrepreneurs and leaders in the microfinance industry won the top awards at the Citi-CMFA Annual Caribbean Microfinance Awards, which brought the curtains down on the 6th Caribbean Microfinance Forum at the Doubletree Hilton Airport Hotel in Miami, Florida between July 6 and 9.

Well-known development specialist Maureen Webber, founder and CEO of Development Options, emerged as the region’s Most Outstanding Microfinance Leader, with Marcus James, the CEO of Access Financial Services winning the runner-up award in a region wide search adjudicated by a panel comprising representatives from the IDB/Multilateral Investment Fund, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Development Bank of Jamaica, the EU/ACP Programme of the European Commission and Citi Jamaica… Read more

Online Course: English Composition I by Duke University Jun 26 – Aug 27


You will gain a foundation for college-level writing valuable for nearly any field. Students will learn how to read carefully, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, engage with others’ ideas, cite accurately, and craft powerful prose. We will create a workshop environment.

About the Course

 English Composition I provides an introduction to and foundation for the academic reading and writing characteristic of college. Attending explicitly to disciplinary context, you will learn to read critically, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, and craft powerful prose that meets readers’ expectations. You will gain writing expertise by exploring an area or topic in which you would like to gain expertise (a hobby, trade, profession, discipline, etc.). Your major writing projects will be about your own selected topic and will be drafted and revised in sequenced stages: a visual analysis (600-800 words); a case study (1000-1250 words) and an Op-Ed (500-750 words). Your writing will be central to the course as we create a seminar/workshop structure with peer response and selected instructor feedback.

Two overarching assumptions about academic writing will shape our work:  1) it is transferable; 2) it is learnable. Being an effective academic writer involves asking meaningful questions and engaging in complex dialogue with texts and ideas. These skills are useful across virtually all academic disciplines and they provide a valuable means for making sense of non-academic experiences as well. Perhaps even more important, though, is that learning how to write effectively does not require inspiration or genius, but hard work, reflection, and feedback. This means that, with practice, dedication, and working with others, you can be an effective academic writer and contribute your ideas to important, ongoing conversations.

**English Composition I has earned a Certificate of Recognition from Quality Matters, a non-profit dedicated to quality in online education.**


Can Jamaica Profit from the Increasing Demand for Vinyl Records?

At first I thought the talk about “vinyl comeback” was unfounded. That was about 3 years ago. As I read more headlines like the following, I am convinced there is something here worth looking into.

The Resurgence of Vinyl Continues In 2012 – Record Stores Making a Comeback?

Weaned on CDs, They’re Reaching for Vinyl

The baffling revival of the vinyl LP

Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

Here’s Why Music Lovers Are Turning to Vinyl and Dropping Digital

The Resurgence of Vinyl in Seven Graphics: A Breakdown

Vinyl sales are still on the rise in 2015, fueling a revival that keeps pointing up

UK’s first Official Vinyl Charts launch as vinyl sales soar in 2015

Music industry struggling to keep up with demand for vinyl

Vinyl sales represent a small piece of the music “pie.” But demand appears to be growing and there are not enough manufacturing plants to keep up with the demand for quality vinyls. According to billboard.com, “Since the breakout year in 2008, vinyl albums sales increased 223 percent to 6.06 million units last year [2013]. And rather than slow down, sales are actually gaining momentum. In unit terms, vinyl sales grew 1.5 million units last year. With sales on track to surpass 8 million units, this year’s growth will surpass 2 million units.”

Can the surge in vinyl purchase be sustained? Many hope so. According to MusicWatch “…data shows people that buy vinyl are more likely than the average music consumer to listen to Internet radio, follow artists on social media and stream on-demand music. They’re heavy music consumers that need something beyond digital files or CDs.” There are millions of ardent music listeners in North America, Europe and the rest of the world.

Can the local Jamaican studios put out quality vinyls? Can they take advantage of the increasing demand for more LPs? I truly hope so.

TREND: Fast-Expanding Markets for Good

New markets such as personalized medicine can drive rapid social change.

In 2008, vitamin D deficiency—due in part to human’s increasing lack of direct sun exposure—was declared a pandemic. As the news spread among medical professionals, the market for vitamin D detection tests skyrocketed, growing at a compound annual rate of 76 percent between 2007 and 2010. One company, DiaSorin, positioned itself for market domination by increasing its expertise in vitamin D testing and output. By 2011, DiaSorin had achieved 47 percent worldwide market share and 51 percent of the US market. Vitamin D detection testing is an example of what we call a fast-expanding market (FEM).

FEMs are new, rapidly growing economic opportunities that fly under the radar of macroeconomic analysis. They are exciting because they offer value creation and growth potential with undefined limits. Entrepreneurs and enterprises astute enough to recognize an FEM in action can pivot or diversify their suite of products and services, and drive social change in doing so. Some FEMs are observable from a national or regional basis, while others, such as vitamin D testing, exist on a global product or industry level. In today’s technology-driven and information-rich world, more and more FEMs are emerging. One of the latest developments is the rise of personal genomics and personalized medicine—a new market where advanced technology is transforming the way doctors diagnose and treat diseases.


Rural youths being groomed as entrepreneurs

RENEWABLE energy company Gennex has partnered with Trelawny-based Kimroy Bailey Foundation to assist less fortunate rural youths in becoming entrepreneurs.

The partnership has so far trained and certified four individuals in the manufacturing of solar-powered lanterns, during a two-day workshop at the University of Technology, Jamaica, earlier this week. Upon completion of the programme, each participant was assisted in packaging their products which will then be sold to individuals in their communities.

Thereafter, the young entrepreneurs are expected to gain enough capital to start manufacturing their own products to continue the business. Additionally, the trainees are able to buy the manufactured products from the Kimroy Bailey Foundation at a discounted price to aid in the growth of the business. Continue

Jamaican Entrepreneur Exploit the Value of Bamboo to Make Bamboo Tomato Ketchup

BambooKetchupJamaican entrepreneur Chevaughn Bowen, a graduate of International University of the Caribbean (IUC), now has his latest creation – Bamboo Tomato Ketchup – on the market. The new product is produced by Jamdun’ Food Processing in Kingston.

According to the Jamaica Observer, “Bowen said he got the idea to make the bamboo tomato ketchup while in discussion with director of special projects at the BSJ, Gladstone Rose, who heads the Government’s bamboo programme.”

“He then went to China to have a first-hand look at that country’s bamboo industry, and to do further expert research on the properties in the bamboo edible shoots. After he returned, he began producing the bamboo ketchup, which is available locally.”

A recent Jamaica Information Service report stated “For State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, the product (bamboo ketchup) is the first of its kind in the world, offering a number of vitamins.”

“This is one of the products for diversification, our own bamboo indigenous ketchup. There are several things that we can do with bamboo…there is bamboo pharmaceutical, the bamboo charcoal, bamboo flooring, furniture, bamboo to feed animals, and the bamboo fabric that is in demand, fetching a high price on the world market,” she told JIS News, at the recent opening of the first bamboo charcoal factory, in Pembroke Hall, St. Mary.

“We are looking at the tourism industry, because instead of buying and selling things from other countries to our tourists, we can give them authentic Jamaican products, made in Jamaica. That is what people want when they come on a vacation,” the State Minister said.


Local Bamboo Ketchup Now Available
Jamaica Embarks On Commercial Bamboo Production
Jamaica looks to bamboo industry for housing, furniture and charcoal
Organic Jamaican Bamboo Charcoal