Putting digital educational materials in front of a student is now an important part of the education landscape. It’s taken for granted. But, delivering material to students is only the visible tip of the iceberg, and just like the tip, there’s a lot underneath the tip which supports the student, course creator, instructor, publisher and institution to help successfully deliver those services.
In 2007, as undergraduates, we started a student government project to lower the cost of textbooks through price comparison. The goal was to help fellow students find their course materials at the lowest cost. To accomplish this, my classmates and I built a price comparison tool that collected a small affiliate fee from retailers each time a transaction was completed. In addition to saving students money on their course materials, we used the proceeds from those affiliate fees to help build a school in Zambia.
In my last post, I talked about how we at VitalSource are constantly reaching out to students in an effort to solicit feedback and understand challenges they face while reading their assignments or studying specific materials. Our solution to students faced with confusion over their homework was a new feature allowing for looking up content in Wikipedia.
Editor’s Note: This is the third of three posts on VitalSource’s recent study conducted by Wakefield Research.
Even as students are growing more disappointed with the state of technology in their classrooms, digital textbooks are proving to be an outlier as a trusted learning tool, according to a recent survey of 500 college students.
Not All Tech Created Equal
Digital textbooks are bucking the disillusionment trend current classroom technology is facing:
Editor’s Note: This is the second of three posts on a recently-conducted research study commissioned by VitalSource.
At VitalSource, it is important for us to understand the wants, needs, attitudes and concerns of our users. To that end, we commission a yearly study to “take the temperature” of college students regarding technology used in their education.
According to the 2016 survey, the high cost of college, including textbooks, is causing students to make unreasonable sacrifices. More than ever, students are waiting to purchase required course materials until after the beginning of classes or not purchasing them at all, even though many know it is affecting their ability to succeed academically.