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Contemporary Issues In Education Research – Fourth Quarter 2013

Volume 6, Number 4

Student Perceptions Of Peer Credibility
Based On Email Addresses
Jeffrey A. Livermore, Henry Ford Community College, USA
Marla G. Scafe, Walsh College, USA
Linda S. Wiechowski, Walsh College, USA
David J. Maier, Henry Ford Community College, USA

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to evaluate students’ perceptions of their peer’s credibility based on email addresses. The survey was conducted at a community college in Michigan where all students were registered and actively taking at least one course. The survey results show that a student’s selection of an email address does influence other students’ perception of their credibility. An email address that consists of a nickname reduces the student’s perception of peer credibility. Keywords: Student Credibility; Email Address; Peer Credibility; Online Education

INTRODUCTION

T

here is a growing trend toward online education. Schools find that there is a financial incentive and students appreciate the convenience and freedom of not being tied to set class times and locations.
One of the challenges of online education is that students may never meet their peers and only have contact with them through an electronic learning management system. Online students complete group assignments and may even be asked to assess the course work of their peers. Some students question the credibility of their peers’ ability to perform in these roles (Kaufman & Schunn, 2011). Students who perceive that they are in online groups with students of lesser abilities may become discouraged (Ge, 2011).
Credibility is an important factor in post-secondary education. Credibility is influenced by a number of factors including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and choice of clothing (Morris, Gorham, Cohen & Huffman
1996; Patton 1999; Russ, Simonds, & Hunt 2000). Russ, Simonds, and Hunt have proposed that marginalized status may be a factor in how a faculty member’s credibility is perceived by students (Russ, Simonds, & Hunt 2000).
Interaction between faculty and student and student to student is important to the learning process. With the growth of online and web-assisted education, more interaction is taking place asynchronous through chat rooms, discussion boards, and email. The establishment of a learning community enhances the learning process. Placing students in virtual teams for group assignments and group discussions helps promote the collaborative learning process in an online or web-enhanced environment (Palloff & Praff, 2001).
While the students are often given the opportunity to work asynchronously using a school’s online technology, they often use their personal or work email instead. The purpose of this study is to evaluate students’ perceptions of their classmate’s credibility based on the email address they use for communication.
LITERATURE REVIEW
The use of online technology in the classroom is changing the way college professors teach their courses.
Online technology is used not only in online and web-assisted courses, but often in face-to-face courses as well.
While an entirely online course is typically administered through a learning management system (LMS), webassisted courses may rely on a school’s website, portal or email system rather than an LMS. With many LMS’s,
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student-to-student interaction takes place in discussion boards, chats, or an LMS email system. Often, student usernames are designated by the LMS (as defined by the school), and in some form, consists of the student’s first and last name. However, students will often use their own personal email address rather than the email address defined by the LMS or school. The use of a personal email address has several potential problems in terms of student identity, confidentiality, and credibility.
First, an instructor may not know the identity of the person sending an email from outside the school defined email system. A potential FERPA violation exists if an instructor communicates confidential information with a student using the student’s personal email address or work email address (NACE 2008). Also, a 2011 study found that a student’s use of a personal email address may negatively impact how a faculty member perceives the student’s credibility (Livermore, Wiechowski & Scafe, 2011). It is important that email communication between faculty and students take place in either the school’s email system or LMS.
Student to student interaction is vital to the learning process (Palloff & Pratt, 1999). Any lack of credibility between students may hamper the learning particularly in an online or web-assisted setting. Several researchers have studied student perceptions and interactions in online courses and have found that interaction is a critical factor in the learning process (Picciano, 2002; Schmieder, 2008; Liu 2008; Gibson, & Blackwell 2005; Schultz, Schultz, &
Henkel 2005).
It is important for students to consider the email name they use in their communication with their classmates. Newman, Hebein, and Drost found that a standard business email address was considered more acceptable than using a nickname for an email address (Newman, Hebein & Drost 2008).
The purpose of this study is to evaluate students’ perceptions of their classmates based on email addresses.
Since more and more communication between students is taking place remotely, this is becoming more of a concern to the learning community.
METHOD
In setting up this research project, the username and mail service provider were the independent variables and the perceived credibility was the dependant variable. The following research hypotheses were evaluated:
H1:

Student perception of student classmate credibility will be impacted by the domain name used in the email address H2:

Student perception of student classmate credibility will be impacted by the nicknames in the username

To test these hypotheses, a survey was created with the SurveyMonkey tool and placed online for three months from November 2011 through January 2012. Invitations to take the survey were sent to 340 students enrolled in fully online sections of introductory computer courses at Henry Ford Community College. Henry Ford
Community College is a community college in a western suburb of Detroit.
To eliminate gender and name bias, the survey only referred to male names and used the most popular names. The names used were a combination of the most popular first and surnames according to two different sources. The three most popular American surnames were once Smith, Johnson, and Brown (Barker, 1926).
According to the Social Security Administration, two of the most popular male first names in 2011 were Michael and Ethan (SSA 2011).
SURVEY
The students responded to the following survey questions:

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You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are
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Volume 6, Number 4

unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
MrBaseball@EDS.com, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion). You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
Michael.Johnson@AOL.com, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion).
You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
Ethan.Brown@HFCC.edu, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion). You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
Michael.Johnson@EDS.com, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion).
You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
Ethan.Brown@EDS.com, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion). You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
Michael.Johnson@HFCC.edu, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion).
You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
MrBaseball@AOL.com, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion). You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
Ethan.Brown@AOL.com, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion). 2013 The Clute Institute

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You are enrolled in an online section of the “Introduction to Technology” course that is a requirement for your major field of study. You have never met any of the other students enrolled in your section and are unlikely to meet them in the future. You have been assigned to work with another student on a group project. All that you know about this student is their e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address of
MrBaseball@HFCC.edu, how credible do you feel that your fellow student is? Please rate the student on a scale that ranges from not credible to extremely credible. (not credible, credible, extremely credible, no opinion). RESULTS
The following scenarios were presented to students to rate their fellow students’ credibility based on students’ email addresses:
Scenario #1: Mr. Baseball@EDS.com
Thirty students rated this email as not credible and 53 students rated it as Neither possessing nor lacking credibility. Only 12 students rated it as Credible and 2 students rated it as Extremely credible. The Chi-square
Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 62.0515, which was significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
Scenario #2: Michael.Johnson@AOL.com
Eight students rated this email address as not credible with 34 students rating it as Neither possessing nor lacking credibility. Thirty-seven students rated it as Credible with 7 students rating it as Extremely credible. The
Chi-square Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 21.2632, which was significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
Scenario #3: Ethan.Brown@HFCC.edu
Only 2 students rated this email as not credible, while 24 rated it as extremely credible and 43 rated it as credible. Twenty-two students rated it as neither possessing credibility nor lacking credibility. The Chi-square
Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 37.0440, which was significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
Scenario #4: Ethan.Brown@EDS.com
This was the same user name but a different domain name. Only 7 students rated this email as extremely credible versus 24 in the previous email address. Forty-one students rated it as credible and 35 rated it as neither possessing nor lacking credibility. Ten students rated it as not credible versus only 2 in the previous email address.
The Chi-square Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 38.3978, which was significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
Scenario #5: Michael.Johnson@HFCC.edu
Nineteen students rated this email address as extremely credible and 37 rated it as credible, not quite as much as Ethan.Brown@HFCC.edu but more credible than Michael.Johnson@AOL.com . Only 2 students rated it as not credible and 22 rated it as neither possessing nor lacking credibility. The Chi-square Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 30.9, which was significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
When this user name was used with AOL.com, the credibility ratings were much lower.
Scenario #6: Mr.Baseball@AOL.com
Only 3 students rated this email address as extremely credible and only 18 students rated it as credible.
Twenty-three students rated it as not credible and 44 rated it as neither possessing nor lacking credibility. This was
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Volume 6, Number 4

one of the lowest ratings of all scenarios. The Chi-square Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of
39.1818, which was also significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
Scenario #7: Ethan.Brown@AOL.com
Only 3 students rated this email as extremely credible, like the Mr. Baseball email address above, however, more students (27) rated it as credible, compared to the Mr. Baseball email address above. Nine students rated it as not credible and 44 students rated it as neither possessing nor lacking credibility. The Chi-square Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 49.7711, which was also significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of significance
(p = .000). This was one of the largest Chi-square values, showing the largest disparity in ratings amongst students.
Scenario #8: Mr.Baseball@HFCC.edu
Seven students rated this email as extremely credible and 18 students rated it as credible. This email faired much better, and was rated more credible than Mr.Baseball@EDS.com and Mr.Baseball@AOL.com. Eighteen students rated it as not credible because of the user name and 41 rated it as neither possessing nor lacking credibility.
The Chi-square Goodness of Fit test showed a Chi-square value of 29.2381, which was also significant at the .05 and .01 levels of significance (p = .000).
Here is a break-down or side-by-side comparison of email addresses:









Mr.Baseball@AOL.com was least credible
Mr.Baseball@EDS.com was more credible
Mr.Baseball@HFCC.edu was the most credible of these three but not as credible as a regular male surname as user name
Michael.Johnson@AOL.com was more credible than Mr. Baseball
Michael.Johnson@HFCC.edu was more credible than Michael.Johnson@AOL.com
Ethan.Brown@AOL.com was more credible than Mr. Baseball but least credible of the Ethan Browns
Ethan.Brown@EDS.com was more credible than Ethan.Brown@AOL.com
Ethan.Brown@HFCC.edu was the most credible of all addresses

Conclusions are to use professional or regular surnames, not nicknames and use college email address not common or professional ones for most credibility. It is seen as more credible than work email addresses.
Gender was investigated and shown to not produce significant differences in the students’ ratings, with a
Chi-square of 4.2737, p = .153.
Employment, whether currently employed or unemployed showed no significant differences in the students’ ratings as well, with a Chi-square of 3.49296, p = .174.
CONCLUSION
It has been found at Henry Ford Community College that a student’s email address is an important factor when students determine the credibility of their peers. Students taking online courses should be aware that their credibility in group work is being judged in part by their e-mail address. Students that want to be taken seriously or develop a reputation for leadership should select an appropriate e-mail address and provider for educational purposes. AUTHOR INFORMATION
Jeffrey A. Livermore, Ph.D., is an Associate Dean at Henry Ford Community College. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches Information Assurance and is currently researching the ethics and pedagogy of teaching Information Assurance. E-mail: jlivermo@walshcollege.edu
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Marla G. Scafe, Ph.D., has been a faculty member at Walsh College for over 25 years teaching Quantitative
Methods and Research at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. She has also been a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association for over 15 years. Her research interests center around the use of group testing with adult learners. E-mail: mscafe@walshcollege.edu (Corresponding author)
Linda S. Wiechowski, Ph.D., earned a bachelor degree in accounting from Walsh College. She also holds a
Masters in Business Administration and a PhD in Economics, both from Wayne State University. She has been teaching finance and economics courses at Walsh College for over 20 years. Her research interests include a variety of corporate finance topics, health economics, and the integration of online technology in all levels of education.
She has presented “Best Practices in Online Education” at a variety of conferences.
E-mail:
lwiechow@walshcollege.edu
David J. Maier, Ph.D. is a lead instructor at Henry Ford Community College. He teaches in the CIS program.
David is completed a survey book on Web development.
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Barker, H. (1926), Our leading surnames. American Speech. 1(9), 470-477.
Gibson, J., & Blackwell, C. (2005) Heading for cyberspace: planning a strategy for success with online classes. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (2)10, 7-12.
Kaufman, J. & Schunn, C. (2011). Student’s perceptions about peer assessment for writing: their origin and impact on revision work. Instructional Science. 39(3), 387-406.
Liu, S. (2008) Student interaction experiences in distance learning courses a phenomenological study,
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, (11)1. retrieved September 2012, http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring111/Liu111.html Livermore, J., Scafe, M., & Wiechowski, L. (2011) Faculty perceptions of student credibility based on email addresses. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, (4)3, 19-24.
Morris, T., Gorham, J., Cohen, S. & Huffman, D. (1996). Fashion in the classroom: Effects of attire on student perception of Instructors in college classes. Communication Education. 45(2), 135-148.
NACE (2008) FERPA Primer: The Basics and Beyond. Retrieved September, 2012 from http://www.naceweb.org/public/ferpa0808.htm Newman, E., Hebein, F. & Drost, D. (2008). The perception of an email name. International Journal of
Global Business and Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1.
Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.
Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching.
San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Patton, T. (1999). Ethnicity and gender: An examination of its impact on instructor credibility in the university classroom. Howard Journal of Communication. 10(2), 123-144.
Picciano, A., (2002). Beyond student perceptions: issues of interaction, presence, and performance in an online course, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, (6)1, 21-40.
Russ, T., Simonds, C., & Hunt, S. (2002). Coming out in the classroom…An occupational hazard?: The influence of sexual orientation on teacher credibility and perceived student learning. Communication
Education. 31(3), 311-324.
Schmieder, E., (2008) Communication: The tool to interact with and control your online classroom environment, International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, (5)3, retrieved
September 2012, http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Mar_08/article03.htm
Schultz, J., Schultz, M. & Henkel, T. (2005) Determining which delivery styles are best suited for instructing in the distance learning environment, Journal of College Teaching & Learning (2)11, 61-68.
SSA (2008, May 19). Popular Baby Names. Retrieved July, 2008 from http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/ Copyright by author(s) Creative Commons License CC-BY

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...Case study notes This case has been updated to include the Apple iPad. Principally this is case explores the issue of licensing and how successful firms can become unsuccessful. It is not a case about Apple and why it has become successful. This case study explores the rise of the Apple Corporation. The Apple iPod is one of the most successful new product launches in recent years, transforming the way the public listens to music, with huge ramifications for major record labels. More than 50 million MP3 players are expected to be sold in 2005; over a third more than last year. Mobile phones have long been regarded as the most credible challengers to MP3 players and iPods. The launch of digital download services via mobile phones illustrates the dramatic speed of convergence between the telecom and media industries, which many observers expect to usher in a new era of growth for mobile phones. Users are willing to pay more for additional services and many analysts predict that mobile phone handsets will eventually emerge as the dominant technology of the age, combining personal organisers, digital music players and games consoles in a single device. Indeed, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has predicted that mobile phones will supersede the iPod as the favoured way of listening to digital music. The launch of the Apple ipad in 2010 makes this case even more topical. This should form the basis of supplementary questions at the end of the case: How will the iPhone succeed? What......

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...interested in measuring the percentage distribution of the elements of financial statements is no doubt that this helps management in understanding the financial statements components more easily as the reliance on monetary values are absolute that may menus does not help to understand the significance of the content of those lists. Financial Ratio Analysis Ratio Analysis rates The analysis using financial ratios Ratio is one of the most important means and tools of analysis of the financial statements and the most common to the point that the vast confuse the analysis of financial ratios of the financial statements and financial analysis, which is a broader and more comprehensive than just a financial statement analysis. Whatever the case is, the analysis using financial ratios interested in measuring the relationships between some of the values in the financial statements, whether those values in the same list was Financial example- budget or derived from more than a list of values Malay- balance sheet and income example-. There are many areas where the use of financial statements analysis through financial ratios style 1.Liquidity Liquidity Analysis analysis. 2.Profitability analysis .Profitability Analysis 3.Analysis of activity Activity Analysis . 4.Analysis of financial structure Capital Structure Analysis We are in this research we will work on the analysis of the balance sheet of the company x in 2006 compared to 2005 and the arithmetic average of the......

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...Checklist for Unit 19 Developing Business Teams Use the following check list to ensure that you include all the elements of the specification required to pass this task. Guidance for the merit has also been given. Specification Element | Have I included this in my assignment? | P1 Describe different types of teams and the benefits of teams of an organisation | Types of teams: * Informal / Formal * Size of teams (small / large) * Functions of Teams: * Temporary project / Task Team * Permanent TeamGuidance InformationEnsure that you introduce and describe each of the above and use examples to support your answers | | Benefits of Teams: * contribution to departmental and organisational productivity and effectiveness * targeting setting and monitoring (also discuss how performance is monitored) * reduction of alienation * fostering innovation * sharing expertise * implementing change * roles and identification and development of talent, eg BelbinGuidance InformationAgain ensure that you address all of the above. For Target Setting and Monitoring also discuss methods of this.Remember that M1 will be next and this is a continuation of Belbin, the last point | | M1 Compare the roles of the different members of a teamFor the merit you are taking the work of Belin a step further by discussing the roles in more detailWhich role members will work the best with which other roles? Why?Which role members will clash? Why?Which role is the strongest? ......

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...Assignment Questions for Harvard Cases 3. Hilton Manufacturing Company In Exhibit 3 of the case, change the description for estimating variable portion of "Compensation" and use 5% of direct labor cost rather than 5% of direct labor and indirect labor cost as indicated in that Exhibit 3. Again, DO NOT USE 5% of DL and IDL costs. A product cost is itself a product of a cost accounting system. To use product cost information in decision making, a manager must understand the nature of the cost measurement system that has been used to estimate a product cost and be able to evaluate whether or not the product cost at hand is appropriate for the decision which is about to be made. A second objective is to provide practice in considering whether or not assumptions about cost behavior are critical to decisions and to expand the notion of contribution beyond the simple idea of price minus variable cost per unit. A third objective introduces the concept of breakeven analysis, not by focusing on the point where no profit is earned but rather as a tool to consider whether or not one of two price points might be preferred. Finally, the last assignment question invites you to consider factors that lead to profitability. You begin your analysis by focusing on two issues raised in the assigned questions. The first is whether the decision not to drop Product 103 as of January 1, 2004 was wise. In addition, you are asked to analyze what would have been the impact on......

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...Programme: | BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Business | Unit (No. and Name): | Unit 3 Intro to Marketing Part 2 | Start Date: | 18th December 2014 | Deadline Date: | 16th January 2015 | Marking Tutor: | Danielle Vipond | Internal Verifier (Brief): | Tam Baldwin | Brief Verified (Date): | | Internal Verifier (Assessment) | Tam Baldwin | Targeted Criteria: | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5 | P6 | P7 | P8 | Achieved: | | | | | | | | | | M1 | M2 | M3 | M4 | M5 | M6 | M7 | M8 | Achieved: | | | | | | | | | | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | D5 | D6 | D7 | D8 | Achieved: | | | | | | | | | Plagiarism: Work handed in against this brief must be the learner’s own work. Any content not generated by the learner must be appropriately referenced; otherwise it will be taken to be that of the learner submitting it. Any infringement of the College’s Plagiarism guidelines will result in the Assignment not being marked and Disciplinary proceedings initiated. Scenario: | You work for a large marketing agency that consults for a variety of businesses on the marketing activities that they undertake in order to promote their products and services. Your marketing agency has a varied portfolio of clients and you have been given a range of business tasks to complete to help maintain their business and that of their clients. | Assessment Tasks: | Number | Task | Criteria Targeted | 1. | * Following your attendance at the workshop for P3 you will be......

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...A few tips from Bain & Company: • • • • • Don't get thrown by the interviewer's questions. The interviewer is your ally and uses questions to get a better understanding of your thought process--not to stump you. Be concise. If asked for the top two issues, confine your response to two items. Provide logical back-up for your answers. Be sure to explain what case facts led you to a conclusion, and how you reasoned from those facts to your conclusion. Don't be afraid to ask clarifying questions. If you don't understand the case facts, it will be tough to ace the interview. Relax and have fun. You should learn a lot about yourself through the case interview process. A few tips from Mercer Management: • • • • There is no "right" answer. We are not looking for a specific answer. We are trying to gain some insight on your thought process. Ask questions. We do not expect you to know anything about the industry presented in your case. We do expect you to ask good questions. Think out loud. The point of the case interview is to understand how you think. Structure your answer. We're looking for an organized pattern of thought to attack the problem, not a disparate set of ideas. Help us see how you order your thoughts and ideas, moving from one to the next in order to address the question. While use of a framework may be helpful in this area, be careful if you use one. We want to understand your thought process, not see that you've memorized someone else's framework. (And never use a......

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...Case Analysis - FPL Energy FPL Energy is one of the nation’s leading independent generators of electricity. Dedicated to generating clean energy, 80 % of its capacity is fueled by clean and renewable resources. The United States is the nation with the largest generator of wind energy, and it operates the two largest solar fields in the world. FPL Group, with annual revenues of more than $8 billion, is one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services. Its principal subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, serves approximately 3.9 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, and FPL Group energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. 2. Historical Overview FPL Group is a far different company today than the one Jim Broadhead joined in January of 1989 when he became president and chief executive officer. FPL Group was then engaged in a number of businesses unrelated to its core electric skills, including insurance and financial services, real estate, cable television, and agriculture. The company's principal subsidiary, Florida Power and Light, was considered a well-managed utility with an emphasis on quality. However, the utility's spiraling costs had resulted in electric rates among the highest in the Southeast. Today, FPL Group is nationally known as a high quality, efficient, and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With a......

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...How to Become a Virtual Assistant Virtual assistance is an important service that is constantly growing as more companies and organizations increasingly use the Internet and other virtual services for a variety of functions to ensure effective and advanced operations. Virtual assistants are independent contractors that use the latest technology to communicate with clients and perform a variety of services. What Does A Virtual Assistant Do? Virtual assistants are freelance assistants that provide technical, administrative, and social services from a home office. They use the telephone, fax, Internet, and email to communicate with their clients to provide immediate professional services and support. They perform a variety of tasks such as desktop publishing, writing and editing business correspondence and reports, bookkeeping, data entry, setting appointments, answering emails, and making travel arrangements. Virtual assistants often provide clerical tasks, but many provide additional services such as marketing and website development. Some virtual assistants specialize in a certain area such as real estate and technical writing. What Kind Of Training Does A Virtual Assistant Need? Virtual assistants must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer virtual assistants that have a solid knowledge of a variety of computer software applications such as database management, desktop publishing, and spreadsheets. Many virtual assistants complete training......

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