The universities of Texas A&M, Rasmussen College and Villanova University (in Philadelphia) are trialling a new program which can check to see how students are reading and engaging with eBooks on tablets and eReaders.
The project, which will see the universities use the CourseSmart Analytics tool from digital textbook provider CourseSmart, will allow lecturers to drilldown into specific usage details like the amount of time students spend reading, the number of pages read as well as tracking any notes input into the text.
All of this data will be collected in search of an overall "engagement" score for each student, and data will compiled into a dashboard, which will be available within a school's learning management system (LMS) or online portal.
“With the CourseSmart dashboard, professors will be better able to fine-tune lesson plans, critique student performance, and even tailor suggestions for specific students on how to study more effectively to help them stay on track and stay in school,” said Ellen Wagner, executive director at the Cooperative for Educational Technology (WCET).
Should these projects be successful, CourseSmart has said that the system could be made more widely available across U.S. schools from 2013.