As a father or two young boys, I recently attended parent-teacher conferences where my children went through stations showing their recent work. When we reached the computer station, my techy self was appalled. Not because of antiquated technology, but because my son had to dig through a bag of 25 passwords to find the correct credentials for both the computer and his reading courseware. As I watched him dig to find his login details, I thought of how frustrating the process must be for teachers and students, and how much time is wasted that could be spent learning.
Unfortunately, the story isn’t much different in higher education. Applications from various providers all require different logins, passwords, access codes, or course keys. When we think about improving learning outcomes with adaptive learning, analytics, and personalization, we often forget that the first, and most important step, is making it easy for the learner to access these great new learning tools.
There are a lot of ways to improve education. The one I am most passionate about is removing distractions and roadblocks in accessing learning tools to allow students to focus on the content.
At VitalSource, we’re committed to reducing friction and barriers to learning. When it comes to digital textbooks, we make it easy for students to study anywhere, anytime with online and 100-percent offline access and smart study tools like Review Mode, OneNote integration, and Flashcards.
We’re also making it easier for students to access publisher-created courseware. Today, most courseware applications require access codes, logins, passwords, and course keys or course IDs. Before a student can begin learning, he or she has to navigate a complex, multi-step process. My team is on a mission to make accessing courseware as simple as a single click. To achieve this, we’ve partnered with the top courseware providers in higher education to enable one-click access for students, not just for eTextbooks but also for Courseware. We make the experience as seamless as possible for the student while also reducing administrative overhead for bookstores and campus IT.
This isn’t a simple problem to solve, but we’re committed to continuing to improve the student experience. We’re helping maximize students’ time spent engaging with the materials that lead to learning and improved course outcomes.