As more and more schools look to the technological, environmental, and fiscal benefits to going completely digital for academic titles, there are still some nagging doubts that may cause decision makers to drag their feet. Public schools have to face the issue of who is to pay for the devices each student will need, while all educational settings have to worry about heightened accessibility issues, specifically for visually impaired students who won’t benefit from the high-resolution graphics and videos that many supporters say make digital textbooks superior to print.
One major issue, however, is the constant questioning as to whether students actually learn better with digital textbooks, which may now have been resolved. CourseSmart, a top provider of digital academic materials, unveiled its beta launch of its new CourseSmart Analytics, which will effectively measure how long students interact with the material on their device screens.
“We have long believed in the benefits of analytics as a means to improve learning outcomes, increase retention, and graduation rates, and help lower the costs of higher education,” said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart in a press release. “We are thrilled to bring these benefits to reality through our CourseSmart Engagement Score Technology™, which will provide faculty with meaningful metrics about students’ engagement with digital course materials so they can offer guidance to maximize student performance.”
“Analytics will be a powerful tool in higher education, especially when data is reported in easy-to-understand, actionable ways,” said Ellen Wagner, Executive Director, WICHE, Cooperative for Educational Technology (WCET). “The higher education community is hungry for actionable data that links student engagement to their learning content. With the CourseSmart dashboard, professors will be better able to fine-tune lesson plans, critique student performance, and even tailor suggestions for specific students on how to study more effectively to help them stay on track and stay in school.”
Beta versions can be viewed through a variety of digital learning platforms, and more information can be found on the CourseSmart website.