Study Unveiled at EDUCAUSE 2013 Validates CourseSmart Analytics as an Effective Predictor of Student Success

Independent Research Proves CourseSmart Engagement IndexTM is an Efficient Method for Formative Assessment and a Useful Tool to Identify and Assist At-Risk Students

Oct 17, 2013, 09:00 ET from CourseSmart

SAN MATEO, Calif., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CourseSmart®, a leading Digital Content Services Company and the world's largest provider of digital course materials, today announced the results of an academic white paper entitled "Evaluating How the CourseSmart Engagement Index Predicts Student Course Outcomes." Following the initial CourseSmart Analytics announcement one year ago at EDUCAUSE, a pilot program comprising more than 3,700 students, 76 faculty members and 26 administrators was conducted to test the product during the spring 2013 term.  The white paper, which was presented during a panel discussion today, measures a subset of participants from the spring pilot program.

The white paper is based on research conducted by Reynol Junco, Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.  The research set out to specifically test whether the patent-pending CourseSmart Engagement Index was an effective method of formative assessment during the pilot program. The engagement data was evaluated against students' final course grades and a linear regression analysis was conducted to determine whether the CourseSmart Engagement Index was indeed predictive of students' final course grades.

The white paper concludes that:

  • The CourseSmart Engagement Index is a transparent, unobtrusive, and effective barometer for student progress,
  • The CourseSmart Engagement Index is a readily-available and easy-to-access indicator of student reading,
  • Faculty can use the CourseSmart Engagement Index as an efficient method for formative assessment, and
  • Despite a student's prior academic ability, with CourseSmart Analytics and the CourseSmart Engagement Index, a course instructor can have an unobtrusive, real-time method to identify students at risk of academic failure that is not tied to student activity on a Learning Content Management System.

"We are pleased that the positive feedback we received from the schools who participated in the beta program has now been validated by academic research proving the value of the CourseSmart Engagement Index as an effective predictor of student success and a useful tool to help at-risk students," said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart.  "We are confident that CourseSmart Analytics will help students stay on track, and better enable them to complete their studies on time, on budget and with improved learning outcomes."

"My analyses of these data show that the CourseSmart Engagement Index is a powerful predictor of student course grades and that the Index can serve as an effective barometer to help faculty evaluate how students are performing in their courses" said Reynol Junco, Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University, and Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. "Previous research has shown that time spent reading course materials is a strong predictor of student success; however, it is difficult for instructors to evaluate exactly how much their students are reading since asking them directly often does not yield effective information. The CourseSmart Engagement Index can show instructors how much students are reading in real-time in order to plan appropriate interventions."

A panel discussion unveiling the results of the research will take place at EDUCAUSE 2013 on Thursday, October 17 at 1:30 p.m. PST in room 207 C of the Anaheim Convention Center.

For more information about CourseSmart Analytics and to download a copy of the white paper, please visit

About CourseSmart®
CourseSmart is a leading Digital Content Services Company 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, anytime, 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

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SOURCE CourseSmart