SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CourseSmart®, a leading Educational Services Platform and the world's largest provider of digital course materials, announced today, at CES HigherEdTECH, the expansion of its CourseSmart Analytics beta pilot, an innovative new solution which measures students' engagement with digital course materials to improve learning outcomes and increase student retention. The program was originally launched in November with three schools, and has now expanded to nine public and for-profit colleges. Institutions participating in the CourseSmart Analytics beta pilot for Spring 2013 include: Ashworth College; Algonquin College; University at Buffalo ; Career Point College; Central Carolina Technical College; Clemson University; Rasmussen College; Stony Brook University; and Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
A centerpiece of CourseSmart Analytics is the CourseSmart Engagement Index™, a proprietary, patent-pending algorithm that evaluates standard usage data such as page views, time spent in a textbook, and notes and highlights taken by a student, and assimilates them into an overall assessment of students' engagement with the material. Provosts, deans, course designers and others can then easily assess the utility of adopted digital titles to ensure course materials are being used effectively. Faculty will be able to identify "at risk" students based on engagement with assigned course materials and correlate this to overall student performance, which will help to aid retention and ultimately, improve learning outcomes. Relevant data will be compiled into a convenient dashboard, which will be available within an institution's learning management system (LMS) or online portal, allowing faculty and administrators to integrate the powerful tool into their existing workflow.
"We are thrilled at the overwhelming interest and response to our beta pilot, and are pleased to expand our program to encompass a wide variety of public and for-profit institutions," said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart. "We look forward to working with these schools to gather data and incorporate important feedback into our development process, with the ultimate goal of providing faculty and administrators with meaningful metrics to improve learning outcomes and solve institutions' most critical pain points: retention and graduation rates."
ECAR, the research arm of EDUCAUSE, ranked analytics 6th on the Top Ten IT Issues for 2012, according to an IT panel used for the annual ECAR report. That same panel cited big data and analytics as "the most dramatic factor shaping the future of higher education…"
The beta version of CourseSmart Analytics is currently available in the Desire2Learn® Learning Environment, Blackboard Learn™ Platform, Moodle, Sakai and Canvas learning management system. For more information, please visit www.coursesmart.com.
At CES HigherEdTECH, CourseSmart's SVP of Product Management, Jim Ambach, will participate in "The New Math: Is Analytics Adding Up?" a panel in which industry experts will discuss the benefits and application of analytics in higher education. The panel is on Thursday, January 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, N256 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
CourseSmart is a leading Educational Services Platform and the only provider of digital course materials able to combine curriculum, content and delivery into a single solution. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company provides services to four business segments: online direct retail for students; indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; online faculty textbook evaluation services; and institutional solutions for faculty and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems. CourseSmart improves the educational experience by offering all users, including those with print-related disabilities, any-time, anywhere access to the course content they need. With more than 90% of the same core titles offered by major print publishers, the company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than the cost of new print textbooks. For more information about CourseSmart, visit the company's Web site at www.coursesmart.com.
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