Today’s students are mostly comprised of technologically savvy Generation Z and those who are considered “nontraditional” (25 years or older, online student or enrolled in a distance-learning program, first-generation college student, employed full-time during school, having dependents, of veteran status or re-entry student). Both groups arrive on campus with the hope of building better lives through academic achievement. However, according to Deloitte Insights, nearly one in three will not make it past their first year.
A variety of factors contribute to student retention, such as affordability, preparedness, student engagement and academic achievement. One of the many ways higher education is adapting to the needs of today’s changing student demographic is through the delivery of new and innovative course content. With more options than ever before available to faculty and students, learning materials vital to teaching and learning must be customizable, affordable, accessible and increase academic achievement.
With digital learning materials and customized courseware solutions, learning can be personalized for each student through interactive activities and simple self-assessments. These learning options offer students greater flexibility with access to required and supplemental materials at anytime from anywhere.
Customizable courseware is designed to help students succeed while streamlining the process for faculty. It also enables colleges and universities to deliver a more personalized learning experience that engages students in the learning process. Courseware with a mobile-friendly interface allows students to access course materials from their smartphones and tablets. Above all else, a superior courseware ensures students are supported, achieves positive results, provides insightful analytics on student performance and reveals what tools are resonating. In a recent survey conducted at the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, over 74 percent of students using LoudCloud Courseware watched all accompanying videos to their courses.
A robust courseware solution offers faculty ready-to-use courseware as well as a customizable option that allows instructors to select content and create a tailor-made courseware solution that aligns with their course objectives.
“It can be incredibly time consuming for instructors to scour the internet and find these resources on their own, so from the outset, we recognized that some faculty are interested in an out-of-the-box conventional publishing product — which courseware readily does — while others are more interested in customizing and adding their own touches to the high-quality content,” Barnes & Noble Education Course Editor Danielle Lindsey explained. “We work in a lot of the same ways a conventional publisher would. The courses that we’ve developed are authored by subject-matter experts — people who are leaders and actively teaching in their fields — and from sources such as OpenStax. All content undergoes a very thorough vetting process from experts and equally qualified reviewers.”
Courseware can also help faculty understand each student’s performance. Through in-depth analytics, faculty can identify students who are struggling and see the specific areas where they need the most help early enough to intervene or adapt to each student’s needs. They can also use analytics to critically assess student participation and activities in real time.
“Faculty are really interested in shortening the feedback loop to the student at the time they struggle with content,” Grant Director for the Online Learning Consortium Nori Barajas-Murphy told Education Dive. “Faculty are looking for courseware solutions that provide immediate feedback to the student.”
By giving students access to affordable materials that have been customized specifically for their class, students are better prepared and can more easily gauge the areas where they may need additional help or study time.