day on campus
How digital tools transform every stage of the learning process
Technology propels innovation in almost every aspect of our lives. But there’s one industry that’s struggling to take advantage of the benefits modern technology makes available: education.
Transitioning from analog to digitally integrated learning can improve student outcomes and save costs. In fact, students can spend up to 80% less on digital course materials than traditional materials.1
Follow a student’s journey through campus and hear from digital learning advocates to see how this shift could change a typical day in their life.
The campus bookstore
Students spend an average of $579 a year on course materials in the United States.2 And these print textbooks need to be regularly updated to stay relevant, requiring students to purchase full-price new editions, instead of buying used or renting. High costs can even keep students from purchasing materials at the start of class, causing them to fall behind early in the term.
Digitally delivering course materials gives students an equal playing field. Colleges and universities can empower learning by ensuring every student has what they need on the first day of class. Digital materials can also help instructors incorporate current events and keep courses relevant for students.
The main event
Instruction is the most important aspect of a student’s college experience, so it’s important to maximize that time. Faculty often rely on lengthy assessments like midterm exams to gauge a student’s understanding of course material. This lack of data can lead to a one-size-fits-all approach that may leave some students behind.
Digital learning tools put instruction, assessment, and accountability all in one place. Students can review learning materials and take online quizzes to gauge how well they understand the concepts, while instructors track opportunities for improvement and course correction. So instead of using class time passively listening to a lecture, students come to class prepared to engage with the material.
Stopping by the professor’s office can be a daunting experience for students. If a student doesn’t know their grade or has unclear expectations, faculty spend precious office hours getting everyone on the same page, instead of helping students better understand the course material.
Digital tools let students access their grades in real time, so they always know where they stand. And if they have questions, digital tools give students and instructors a way to connect easily, anytime anywhere. Analytics also help professors pinpoint areas of improvement on a student and class level. Digital tools use work completed in the platform to assess student understanding and share it with instructors.
Hitting the books
How a student studies is important for overall academic success, but where they study can determine how effective each session is. Analog-based classes require a lot of physical items, including textbooks, notes, and handouts. Whether students live on or off campus, those items can keep them from heading to their preferred study spot. And if a campus intranet is required, making the trek can be a pain for commuter students. Digital access to class materials enables students to “break out the books” whenever they have a spare minute in their busy schedule.
Digital learning tools help students study wherever and whenever they’re able, with easy online access to course materials and mobile-friendly sites. Higher education students have a lot on their plates outside of their academic responsibilities. Finding time to study between jobs, home life, and student activities gets easier with the ability to study whenever they have downtime. With everything they need in one place, anywhere can be the perfect study spot.
Higher education has the opportunity to seamlessly guide students along their education pathway, and technology plays a large part in that. Before reaching college, many students are already using technology to enhance their learning, and higher education institutions should encourage, not hinder, that pursuit. Digital learning makes teaching easier for instructors and learning easier for students.
Hear from 5 educators who use digital learning on a daily basis
in the Why I Went Digital eBook.
1 “Inclusive Access Million Dollar Club,” Pearson
2 “Student Behaviors Related to Course Materials,” 2017, National Association of College Stores
3 “Costs Leading Students to Skip Textbooks,” 2017, Wakefield Research
4 “Lesson Learned? Massive Study Finds Lectures Still Dominate Stem Ed,” 2018, EurekAlert
5 “Completing College — National by Race and Ethnicity,” 2017, National Student Clearinghouse
6 “Time is the Enemy,” 2011, Lumina Foundation