Designing courses can be a challenge, especially for an online environment. There are many tasks involved, such as defining competencies, identifying appropriate content, creating effective learning activities, and distributing the course. After students take the course, you may be left wondering, was this course effective? For students, taking an online course can be challenging as well. Students can be overwhelmed by learning different platforms, finding the assigned content, and interacting with faculty and peers. There is no magic bullet. Or is there?
After the spring back-to-school rush, our friends in the independent campus store industry come together for two key conferences, the Independent Collegiate Bookstore Association annual meeting (ICBA) and the National Association of College Stores Campus Market Expo (CAMEX). At these conferences, store leaders and staff learn from industry thought leaders, and each other, and discover new tools to help their stores contribute to the mission of their institutions.
While there’s plenty of cool “front of the store” merchandise on display at ICBA and CAMEX--one can acquire a collegiate branded spatula, or team spirit cowboy boots--the store leaders we work with are focused on something more critical than game-day attire. For the campus store folks focused on course materials, the mission is improving affordability and student outcomes. Increasingly, college stores are the driving force behind lowering the costs of course materials. While their per-unit margins may be shrinking, campus stores are stronger and more valuable to their institutions than ever before.
No 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.
This post appeared in its entirety in University Business.
There is no doubt that today we live in a digital age, with our lives seemingly governed by the provision of connected, mobile devices. Reports indicate that teenagers check their mobile phones 150 times a day, interacting with each other all day but almost entirely through a screen. To say there is a daily reliance on digital technology would not be an over-statement.
Students of today have been brought up with online learning, with children as young as seven telling us they prefer learning on tablets. It should come as no surprise then, that as the world of higher education grapples with attracting and retaining students in an increasingly commercial environment, the provision of cutting edge digital services like eTextbooks will play an important role in keeping the traditional university relevant and engaging to a modern cohort.
Data: another big word that when applied to effectiveness and success, moves decision-making from subjectivity to objectivity. Objectivity, combined with proven motivators, produces desired change. It’s that simple. Don’t we all want to produce desired change? How can we reduce the cost of education? How can we improve student success? At VitalSource we understand these are tough, yet important questions.