Friday, July 31, 2009

Aplia Fall 2009 Courses

For Fall 2009, Aplia is offering an amazing 30 courses in 12 different disciplines:

Principles of Accounting
Financial Accounting
Fundamentals of Accounting
High School Accounting
Managerial Accounting

Business Communications
Business Communications

Business Law
Excerpted Cases
Legal Environment of Business

Decision Sciences
Management Information Systems
Operations Management

Developmental Reading
Developmental Reading: Mid-Level

Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Economics
Survey of Economics
Intermediate Microeconomics
Money, Banking, and Financial Institutions
International Economics
Advanced Placement Economics

Financial Management
Preparing for Finance

Human Resources Management
Organizational Behavior
Principles of Management

Principles of Marketing

Introductory Logic

General Introductory Statistics
Introductory Business Statistics
Statistics for Psychology

Individual Income Taxation

Saturday, July 25, 2009

California Coast Photos

Waddell Creek (x2)
Moss Landing

Business Statistics

Completing our trio of statistics courses – three very different courses.

Business Statistics
• Business school requirement
• 4 yr. schools
• Comprehensive course
• Broad list of topics (metrics, probability, inference, regression, time series, decision analysis, ...)
• Real business data (relatively clean)
• Skill oriented
• Often uses Excel

• Business School / Economists / Statisticians
• May have taught this course for many years

• Business school majors (business, economics, finance, accounting, ...)
• Less fear of math
• Interested in decision making

• Breadth
• Regression, inference, hypothesis testing

General Statistics

Another in our growing collection of course profiles...

General Introductory Statistics
• General education math option
• 2 yr. & 4 yr. schools
• Many topics (data, graphs, metrics, probability, ...)
• Traditional Approach: Low-level skill & drill
• ASA: Literacy, real data, concepts, active

• Mathematicians: skills & drill
• Statisticians: conceptual (new direction)

• Variety of (non-math) majors (e.g. teachers, nurses, ...)
• Fear math
• Many need math remediation
• Don't expect to ever use statistics

Motivation (useful?)
Math remediation
Tension: Skills vs. Concepts

Behavioral Statistics

I'm beginning to collect "course profiles". These are like personas, but for courses rather than users. Here's another...

Behavioral Statistics
• Required for Psychology and Sociology majors
• Sophomore or junior year
• Attempts to enhance the "science" image
• Uses large, messy data sets
• Emphasizes hypothesis testing
• Often introduces SPSS

• Psychology or Sociology Professors
• Most would rather avoid this course
• Often push practice, practice, practice

• Social Science Majors (75% Psych)
• Fear math
• Lack math background, skills
• Would like to avoid this course...
• ... but are required to get through it

• Both profs and students want to avoid this course
• Students fear math, lack math skills
• Course pushes rigorous statistical analysis
• Profs push practice, practice, practice
• = Ugh!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Stanza is another (of many) book readers for the iPhone. In my opinion, it's a step up from Kindle for iPhone. I'm currently reading my third full novel, but haven't tried technical books. Here's my impressions.

• Huge online catalog, includes the Gutenberg collection of 25,000 free classics
• Direct purchase from the iPhone, including books from O'Reilly
• Nice (1 pixel) progress bar along the bottom
• Flips to horizontal, vertical, upside down
• Free

Just OK
• Text look, legibility, etc.
• Page turning (tap left or right edge of screen)
• Font size options

• Cover art, book jackets, title page, front matter poorly formatted and displayed
• Classics were apparently scanned, and contain frequent scanning errors
• Recent version crashes when trying to set options

Amazon purchased Lexcycle, the company that created Stanza, in late April. Perhaps this will lead to a much improved Kindle application on the iPhone. Now that iPhone 3 is out, direct purchase from Amazon for the iPhone seems likely.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kindle for iPhone

I've read several Kindle books, both fiction and non-fiction, using the new Kindle for iPhone application. Here's my impressions:

• Beautiful icon (really)
• Purchase through Amazon, with history, recommendations, etc.
• Book previews available free of charge
• Quick, easy downloads
• WhisperSync between devices

Just OK
• Text look, legibility, etc.
• Page turning (tap left or right edge of screen)
• Font size options
• Bookmarks

• Cover art, book jacket info, title page, front matter missing or poorly presented
• Progress through the book (and the length) are very difficult to judge
• Can't (currently) purchase books from within the application
• None of the books, even classics, are free

I'll review some other iPhone book readers soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

IDEO Method Cards

If you care about your users, you should have a deck of IDEO Method Cards. And use them.

To get you started, there are four kinds of cards. Sort them. (These are listed in the order you should do them.)

Learn: Collect and analyze information, looking for insights and patterns.

Look: Watch users go about their daily lives, to discover what they really do and what they really need.

Ask: Let potential users contribute to the design process, in ways that really help.

Try: Test the ideas before building everything. Evaluate and adjust.