The VitalSource Resource

The VitalSource Resource

Share, socialize, and stop reading in a vacuum!

Posted by Rainna Erikson on August 21, 2017

Share, Socialize, and stop reading in a vacuumA common debate over the years has been, what is better: TV or movies?

Of late, TV is soundly winning the debate. Some people say it is because viewers prefer the shorter format. Our minds wander too much for a two-hour movie, but yet we often binge watch multiple episodes, so how much is our mind wandering? Others say it’s the aspect of the cliffhanger, which keeps viewers hungrily coming back for more. However, cliffhangers have been around since soap operas gained popularity in the 50’s. Another argument says it’s the quality of the writing that has grown as TV has begun to be a more respected format. However, what I think is happening is that TV has grown because it is now so social.

We live in a social time when consuming something that can be solitary is part of something much larger. So, I had to ask myself, why are we still reading our course materials in a vacuum? Bookshelf has social features, but they receive little usage.

Right now, students get a reading assignment from their instructor, read the content and go on their way. There’s no sharing, even though, students often have group work and study together.

Why is that?

We believe it’s because students don’t have a good way to communicate their thoughts while they are reading. We spoke to students and instructors and found out that most users had no idea they could collaborate even though we have had this feature available for years! That’s a problem we decided to solve with a whole new way to share.

Learning doesn’t take place in a vacuum, neither should your reading experience, so we revamped a way to share your notes and highlights with other students, create a study group to work together or share a highlighter with an instructor that says, “I’m Confused! Help!”

For students, everything in their lives revolves around the notion of “social.” It seems logical that their learning should too.

For more on how to use our new social features, visit our website

Topics: VitalSource Bookshelf, sharing, bookshelf online, social, social learning

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