Jiva Technology

Tutorhub Q&A: How to construct an A* Response in English

Some great advice from Heather on how to construct an essay that is likely to attract the top grade in English Literature. With the exam season fast approaching, Tutorhub gets a lot of questions of how to revise and how best to present your answers, so we’ll be show casing some of the answers from our tutors.

So what was the advice? In short, she suggests the following:

  1. make sure you answer the question from beginning to end, don’t stray off-topic.
  2. avoid talking generally, plan and stay focused.
  3. show insight and try to make interesting and different points

For more sage advice from tutors and fellow students, why not take a peek at the Tutorhub Q&A hub. You can even ask your own questions – you never know what you’ll learn.

 

Forms of innovation

I was reminded recently of an old truth: innovations come in many forms and whilst some are easily accepted and absorbed, others are not. At it’s most basic, give me a decent new toy and I’ll love playing with it, ask me to change my routine and I’ll hate it, even if it’s relatively easy and makes a big difference to my life. It’s easy to see why the iPhone has been such an enormous success and why telecommuting has not.

Applying the new toy vs new routine formula to your latest and greatest idea is a good way to sort the might-be-great’s from the not-so-great’s. It’s probably why Uber has taken off: I press this button and a taxi turns up! It’s also why driverless cars will likely be a success and why robots in the home will take a lot longer.

It’s an idea that should also inform how we tackle some of the big issues we face in our society. What’s the best way to tackle climate change? How do we keep healthcare costs under control with an ageing population an ever more expensive treatment protocols?

Both issues are classic examples of asking people to change their routines in response to a problem. Our response to global warming? Cheap flights and SUVs. Our response to rising health costs? Demand increased NHS budgets from a fixed tax base.

So it seems to me that the future belongs to the engineers and scientists that design the lightweight, high density battery (for electric cars) and the wearable health monitor. That might make Elon Musk (Tesla) and Tim Cook (Apple) the two most important people in the world today.

University Tuition Fees

It is with some trepidation that I tip-toe on to the dangerous and emotive territory of university tuition fees.

A week or so ago, I was at a reception attended by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (it was the innovation bit that I was interested in). With an election looming, it was perhaps inevitable that someone asked a question regarding the introduction of tuition fees and the prospect of a whole generation of students leaving university with large(r) loans to repay.

Cable was pretty blunt, “we used to have a system where tuition was free, but less than 10% of the population could go to university. We now have a system where nearly 50% of the population can go to university, but they have to pay fees. Which system do you want?”.

Ouch. I immediately looked around the room for a response. There was pretty broad demographic, so I was expecting at least a few fiery responses. What I heard was – nothing. Now I’m not sure if that was because it was so unusual for a politician (disclaimer: I am a fan of Mr Cable’s  no-nonsense approach) to give a brutally direct answer to a direct question or if Mr Cable had actually given people food for thought. Who knows – it seems to me that we are so used to evasive answers from politicians that we’re perhaps taken aback when you actually get an answer. But one thing’s for sure – it was the topic of most of the conversations for the rest of the evening.

 

Tutorhub Q&A: Question of the Week

This may seem a little strange, but I love maths. I’m not alone in loving maths, but we maths-lovers have to admit that we’re in the minority. So I can’t help but promote this Q&A Hub questions as my questions of the week:

Who are the 30 greatest mathematicians?

My vote? Fermat.

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