October 25, 2014

CourseSmart to Analyze Etextbook Reading Habits

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CourseSmart, the world’s largest provider of digital course materials, has announced a pilot test of CourseSmart Analytics, a program that will evaluate how students use specific textbooks, measuring page views, total time spent reading, as well as notes and highlights made. In aggregate, the data will allow professors, course designers, and academic administrators to assess the effectiveness of digital titles.

Faculty will also have access to the etextbook reading habits of specific students enrolled in their courses, a feature that CourseSmart says will help them “identify ‘at risk’ students based on engagement with assigned course materials and correlate this to overall student performance, which will help to aid retention and ultimately, improve learning outcomes,” the company explains in a release.

The data will be compiled in a dashboard platform accessible through an online portal or an institution’s existing learning management system, such as Blackboard, Moodle, or Sakai.

Currently, Villanova University, Rasmussen College, and Texas A&M University at San Antonio are participating in the initial beta pilot, which the company plans to expand later this year. Widespread availability is expected in 2013.

“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.  “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.”

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Matt Enis About Matt Enis

Matt Enis (menis@mediasourceinc.com; @matthewenis on Twitter) is Associate Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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