CourseSmart Launches Beta Program for CourseSmart Analytics at EDUCAUSE 2012
SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — CourseSmart®, a leading Educational Services Platform and the world’s largest provider of digital course materials, today announced a beta pilot to test CourseSmart Analytics, an innovative new solution which measures students’ engagement with digital course materials.
A centerpiece of CourseSmart Analytics, is CourseSmart Engagement Score Technology(TM), a proprietary algorithm that evaluates standard usage data such as page views, time spent in a textbook, and notes and highlights taken by a student, and assimilates them into an overall assessment of students’ engagement with the material. Provosts, deans, course designers and others can then easily assess the utility of adopted digital titles to ensure course materials are being used effectively. Faculty will be able to 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.
Relevant data will be compiled into a convenient dashboard, which will be available within an institution’s learning management system (LMS) or online portal, conveniently enabling faculty and administration to integrate the powerful tool into their existing workflow. Texas A&M University, San Antonio, Villanova University and Rasmussen College are the first three schools that have signed on for the initial beta program, which will expand later this year, culminating in widespread product availability 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(TM), which will provide faculty with meaningful metrics about students’ engagement with digital course materials so they can offer guidance to maximize student performance.”
According to ECAR, the research arm of EDUCAUSE, analytics ranks 6(th) on the Top Ten IT Issues for 2012, according to an IT panel used for the annual ECAR report. That same panel cited big data and analytics as “the most dramatic factor shaping the future of higher education.”
“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.”
The beta version CourseSmart Analytics is currently available in the Desire2Learn® Learning Environment, Blackboard Learn(TM) Platform, Moodle, Sakai and Canvas learning management system. For more information, please visit www.coursesmart.com.
At EDUCAUSE 2012, CourseSmart will host “Getting Smart about Educational Analytics,” a panel in which industry experts will discuss the benefits and application of analytics in higher education. Panelists include: Shannon Meadows, SVP, Business Development, CourseSmart; Kristin Stang, Director, Academic Technology Center and Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton; Kelli Trosvig, Vice President for UW Information Technology and CIO, University of Washington; and Ellen Wagner, Executive Director, WICHE/WCET. The panel is on Wednesday, November 7(th) from 10:30AM to 11:20AM at the Mile High Ballroom 2B/3B.
)CourseSmart is a leading Educational Services Platform and the only provider of digital course materials able to combine curriculum, content and delivery into a single solution. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company provides services to four business segments: online direct retail for students; indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; online faculty textbook evaluation services; and institutional solutions for faculty and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems. CourseSmart improves the educational experience by offering all users, including those with print-related disabilities, any-time, anywhere access to the course content they need. With more than 90% of the same core titles offered by major print publishers, the company’s eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than the cost of new print textbooks. For more information about CourseSmart, visit the company’s Web site at www.coursesmart.com.
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