CourseSmart lets teachers track students’ reading

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With the popularity of e-books for recreational reading still growing, the popularity of “e-textbooks” has also grown. And at Texas

Adrian Guardia uses CourseSmart in three of his classes. (Photo courtesy the New York Times)
Adrian Guardia uses CourseSmart in three of his classes. (Photo courtesy the New York Times)

A&M University in San Antonio, some professors now have the technology to track what students have or have not read thanks to a Silicon Valley start-up, CourseSmart. According to the New York Times, CourseSmart allows professors like Adrian Guardia, a management instructor at Texas A&M, to track students’ success in the class in comparison with how much they’ve used the book.

(A student’s) quiz grades were solid, and so was what CourseSmart calls his “engagement index.” But Mr. Guardia also saw something else: that the student had opened his textbook only once.

“It was one of those aha moments,” said Mr. Guardia, who is tracking 70 students in three classes. “Are you really learning if you only open the book the night before the test? I knew I had to reach out to him to discuss his studying habits.”

While the students themselves don’t have access to the CourseSmart data, professors can share it with students to help them improve their study habits and keep better track of their academic progress. Owned by a couple textbook and education publishers such as Pearson and McGraw Hill, CourseSmart could completely change how professors interact with their students.

Take a more in-depth look at how CourseSmart is changing classrooms at Texas A&M.

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