Taking tests helps students learn and retain information better than other studying methods, according to a Purdue University study published last Thursday in Science. As part of the study, 200 college students were asked to read passages about various science topics, take a test immediately following the reading and then take a test on the material one week later. Researchers determined that students who had written essays immediately following the reading were able to recall 50 percent more information than students who had studied the material on their own or who had constructed concept maps outlining the information, two strategies often valued by students and teachers. Other research has also indicated that testing increases student learning, The New York Times reported.
The University of California system recently drew criticism for granting over $4 million in bonuses and raises to employees amidst a $1 billion budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The pay increases were announced a day after UC officials confirmed plans to implement layoffs and course reductions, as well as deny admission to qualified applicants, due to financial problems. A portion of the funding for employees' raises 30 percent at UC San Francisco and 20 percent at UC headquarters will come from taxpayer money, while the remainder of the funding will come from other sources, according to the Chronicle. The raises and bonuses reward employees for implementing cost-saving measures or demonstrating exemplary performance, UC San Francisco spokeswoman Amy Pyle told the Chronicle.
Community colleges across the country can now apply for a $2 billion grant program to improve and expand job-training programs, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Thursday. Funding for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program was included in President Barack Obama's health care reform bill last year, but colleges have waited for application details for months. The Obama administration intends for the grants to boost the national economy and increase the number of students enrolled in post-secondary education, according to The Chronicle. The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education will work together to distribute $500 million annually some of which will go toward online education initiatives over the next four years.