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Welcome to the August 2005 issue of the Learning Center Newsletter!

Dedicated to providing information for learning assistance professionals.

Send this issue to a colleague!

Editorial Welcome

As your new LCN editor, in partnership with the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA), I welcome you to our August issue! I hope you enjoy our articles, and I also wish to thank our contributors for helping to continue this excellent resource for learning assistance professionals. I would also like to invite others to contribute to our newsletter as well. Please submit articles to me, Mona Pelkey, at, for possible inclusion in future issues. Best wishes to you as you continue your work in helping students be all they can be!

Mona Pelkey

In the Spotlight: Internet Research Requires Healthy Skepticism

By Kyle Cushman, Vermont College of Union Institute and University

Guidelines for Being a Good Online Student
(or Helping Someone with Learning Online)

By Linda Sweeney, National-Louis University


Although they aren't the perfect learning situation for everyone, the number of online classes seems to be increasing every year. Unfortunately this is not due to completely positive reasons: Many institutions of higher learning see distance courses as money-saving and many students often think distance learning...
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With millions of web pages instantly available on just about any topic, students working on research papers depend on the ubiquitous presence of the Internet for at least a portion of their research. For savvy researchers...
read more

Understanding Millennials: Technology and Tutoring

By Julianne Scibetta, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

One of the biggest explosions of technology in recent Millennial memory is the iPod. Originally released in October 2001, the iPod has moved into the mainstream gadgetry and with brush-fire speed; in the last year alone, sales of the iPod have increased over 600%. As if being able to access the internet on my cell phone wasn't enough, now I could download this thing called a "podcast" on what used ...
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SELF-TESTING CONCEPT: Discovering what has been learned before an exam is taken, not after.

By Dennis Congos, University of Central Florida

How to Jump Start Your Textbook Reading in One Easy Lesson

By Mona Pelkey, United States Military Academy, West Point

Often my speed reading students ask me for my most-prized reading tips. I expect that in my ten-lesson course, students will forget many of the concepts presented, once they have been out of the course for a few months. However, there are three strategies that I urge my students to always remember and use, no matter what, in order to increase ...
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One of the most dangerous things college students can do academically is to go into a test thinking, feeling, assuming, or believing they have learned the material. This is dangerous academically because...
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By Julianne Scibetta, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia


A friend of mine recently passed along a "Pirate Problem" from his alma mater. Since it's a doozy, there's just one question this month.

The Pirate Problem

Five pirates, who are perfect logicians, have three priorities in the following order:
1. Staying alive.
2. Obtaining as much gold as possible.
3. Killing other pirates.
In other words, these pirates will do whatever it takes to stay alive. After that priority is met, every pirate will choose gold over killing.
The five pirates come upon a treasure chest of 100 gold coins. They agree that they each will draw straws to determine order, first through fifth, and then each pirate in turn, starting with the one with the shortest straw, will suggest how to split the gold coins. All (living) pirates will vote on the proposal. If a proposal fails to receive a majority vote (more than 50%), the pirate making the proposal is killed, and the next pirate makes his proposal. Consider the order of the pirates to be A, B, C, D, and E. Which pirate's proposal will be the one accepted? What is the proposal? Explain the logic.

Send your answers to Julianne Scibetta at, and look for the results in the next LCN issue! Please also share any great brainteasers you love to give to friends (or students!) and I'd be more than happy to include it in the next list.

Answers from last issue's brainteasers:

Everyone was spot-on for entries for last issue's summer vacation brainteasers! Congratulations to Tara Sullivan of Red Lake College, IL and Matthew Winkler of Rutgers University, NJ for their perfect scores! Honorable mention goes to Janet Elder of Richland College, TX.

The Pirate Problem, from Siena News, Winter 2005.

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Site Last Updated August 16, 2005.