Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blog Post #14

Teachers Know If You've Done the E-Reading

Are college students actually reading their text books? Well at Texas A&M professors are getting answers to this million dollar question. With the help of new technology from CourseSmart, faculty at Texas A&M and eight other colleges are tracking students’ reading habits with digital textbooks. CourseSmart creates an evaluation for each individual student and sends it to the instructor. Now professors are able to see how their students’ study habits compare with their grades.

As a future educator I think this technology would be very helpful. I would be able to see if and when my students are opening their textbooks to do a reading assignments or study for a test. Since the program sends evaluations for individual students I would be able to see which of my students need help adjusting their studying habits.

As a student I think CourseSmart would definitely help make me open my textbooks and read them on a regular basis. I will admit I have a tendency to by the required textbooks for a class and either never open it, or I only open it when I’m cramming for a test. I’ve also taken several courses where the professor had a required textbook but quizzes and test where solely based off of their lectures. I think this program would be great to help professors evaluate whether or not they’re students need to buy a $100 book in order to pass their class.

Questions I have for the teacher of the class:
Will students be graded based on their reading reports?
Is the information helping you adjust your class instruction?

Questions I have for the students:
Does this program force you to open your textbooks more?
Do you take hand written notes when you read, or do you use the e-readers highlighter and note program?
Do any of you cheat the system and simply open the book and thumb through the pages?

My comment would be that although I think it’s great to see a read-out of your students’ book usage, I think it’s pretty obvious when students aren’t reading based on their grades. The program seems like a waste of college funds in my opinion. Why spend money on a program that tells professors what they should already realize when they grade assignments and tests. Either your struggling students aren’t reading their books or they are.

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