The VitalSource Resource

The VitalSource Resource

The Caliper Transformation

Posted by Daniel Green on February 13, 2018

CaliperAt VitalSource, we’re all about improving learning outcomes and affordability, at scale. While digital delivery of materials through new models like Inclusive Access have made course materials more affordable than ever, it’s the improvement in learning outcomes that makes digital course materials so special.

What does at scale mean in terms of learning data? Last year, VitalSource delivered over 20 million titles to 5.7 million students and 1 million faculty. These learners and educators read over 2.4 billion pages, created 177 million annotations and searched their content library over 66 million times. That’s learning data at scale.

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Teaming Up to Address Affordability and Access

Posted by Mike Hale, Ph.D. on February 08, 2018

Teaming Up to Address Affordability and AccessAcross the nation, a growing number of colleges and universities are looking for innovative solutions that can help lower costs and raise student achievement.

One of the many challenges in higher education is the cost of course materials and textbooks. Print textbook costs have risen 82 percent over the last decade – that’s more than three times the rate of inflation. These high costs have led a growing number of students to delay or avoid purchasing required course materials, even though they know their grades will suffer as a result.

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Goodbye Dash, Hello EPUB!

Posted by Nick Bown on January 26, 2018

Outrider- Star Wars Recently, VitalSource retired our venerable, 18-year-old proprietary ebook format, known as Dash, DashML or VitalSource XML. As part of Dash’s retirement ceremony, we transitioned students using Dash books to EPUB versions, seamlessly maintaining all of their licenses, bookmarks, notes and highlights to make sure the big change, years in the making, was painless.

Engineering work on Dash began all the way back in 1997 with the (then quite risky!) decision to go with the new XML format for our product, rather than the “industry standard” at the time, SGML. Creating the format was what lead us to develop the flexible VitalBook format (for which we received a patent in the United States, Australia, Canada, The Peoples Republic of China, The European Union, Hong Kong, and India) in 2004. Dash survived for years – through the launch of our early apps VitalViewer and vitalsource KEY, and of course it was the first format built into our popular Bookshelf textbook apps still available today.

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Easy access to digital tools to support student success

Posted by Scott Gaspar on December 21, 2017

Easy access to digital tools to support student successAs 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.

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Widening student participation through technology

Posted by John Donovan on December 07, 2017

Widening students participation through technologyNo two students are the same. It has long been discussed as to why students, who have performed equally well through their school careers and put the same amount of work into their university degree, might complete their course with drastically different results.

Differential attainment is most commonly associated with students entering university from different backgrounds, or having disparate schooling experiences. However, despite socio-economic factors having received attention in this area, what has potentially been less explored is the impact the actual learning environment at university has on student accessibility and success.

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