November 9, 2012
CourseSmart, a provider of digital course materials, launched an analytics tool this week that can help measure how well students are engaged with the electronic materials they use in class. CourseSmart's analytics could lead instructors to identify those students who are struggling, but also provide them with feedback about the effectiveness of electronic materials they are using.
"We have long believed in the benefits of analytics as a means to improve learning outcomes, increase retention and 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."and help lower the costs of higher education," CEO of CourseSmart, said in a
The score should enable professors to help identify students who are at-risk but also to assess the effectiveness of their curriculum selections. It could also provide administrators with a way to track student success rates in a program as a whole.
"There is a screaming demand in the marketplace for knowledge around what impact course materials have on learning," Devine said in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
While students who are struggling in classroom are sometimes easy to identify, this program could really help the professor tailor a learning method that could be specific for them, noted Inside Higher Ed. For example, a student who is showing a high interactive level with materials, but struggling on tests may need help improving their study and test-preparation skills. CourseSmart's analytics could also help a professor know what materials might need extra review when it comes to prep for an exam.
CourseSmart's engagement score dashboad is available free of charge to the institutions using it during the pilot period, which is expected to run through the spring of 2013, noted Inside Higher Ed. The company is also developing a dashboard specifically for publishers that can provide them with feedback about the effectiveness of their materials.
"Analytics will be a powerful tool in higher education, especially when data is reported in easy-to-understand, actionable ways," Ellen Wagner, executive director for WICHE's Cooperative for Educational Technologies, said in the press release. "The higher education community is hungry for actionable data that links student engagement to their learning content."
Compiled by Doresa Banning
"CourseSmart Launches Beta Program for CourseSmart Analytics at EDUCAUSE 2012," sacbee.com, November 7, 2012
"Measuring Engagement (With Books)," insidehighered.com, November 8, 2012, Alexandra Tilsley
"Now E-Textbooks Can Report Back on Students' Reading Habits," chronicle.com, November 8, 2012, Marc Parry