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2012 October – CourseSmart
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Archive for October, 2012

CourseSmart at WCET Annual Conference: Using Technology to Enhance Higher Education Teaching and Learning

October 31st, 2012 by CourseSmart


And we thought it would calm down after Back-to-School season…

CourseSmart is firing on all cylinders as we head into the last few months of the year (can it really be November already??) We have two conferences and a handful of big announcements coming up, and we could not be more excited about everything going on around here!

Up next: the WCET Annual Conference, in San Antonio, Texas. For those of you that don’t know about WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies), it is an organization that champions “the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education”. CourseSmart is privileged to have been a partner of WCET for a number of years, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for this year’s conference!

CourseSmart will participate in quite a few events at the conference, which runs from October 31 – November 3. If you are in town, be sure to stop by and see us!

WCET Tabletop Expo: Thursday, November 1, 10:15-10:45am and 2:45-3:15pm
If you want more information about CourseSmart, please feel free to stop by our table.

“Content for Free Range Learners” Panel Session: Thursday, November 1, 10:45-Noon
Shannon Meadows, CourseSmart SVP of Business Development, will be on a panel discussing digital learning content in all its forms and formats: commercial, open, and faculty/student published content.

“Infrastructure for Digital Integration” Session: Friday, November 2, 9:30-10:45am
Chris Manriquez, CSU Fullerton’s associate vice president and information technology and academic technology officer, will discuss his institution’s digital textbook pilot program.

Buzz Breakfast Session - “Cracking the Code on Digital Course Materials”: Saturday, November 3, 8-9am
Come and chat with us over breakfast! We will be tackling big questions about how to increase student adoption and engagement with digital course materials.

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Etextbooks: A New Chapter in Studying

October 16th, 2012 by CourseSmart

Imagine not having to carry what feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders—a backpack full of heavy books. Instead, you can carry just one device and have all your textbooks accessible with the tap of your finger.

Etextbooks, a convenient, digital version of your heavy textbooks, are an eco-friendly way to consume your class materials without wasting paper or hauling extra pounds to class. In addition to going green, you can organize all your etextbooks onto one digital shelf and never have to scramble before class again.
CourseSmart, one of the most popular apps for etextbooks, is available on iOS and Android devices, Kindle Fire, and any web-enabled device. You may not be able to stay focused and read full chapters on a screen as small as your iPhone, but viewing your etextbook on your phone would come in handy while riding the bus or last-minute cramming before a test.

There are other benefits to studying sans paper and pen; here are a few tips to help you become proficient with CourseSmart etextbooks:

Easy-to-navigate Layout

At the top left of the screen, you will find a tab for the outline, table of contents, and a search option. To the right, you will find print options and a jump-to-page option. All the features are displayed at the top of the page and are all help you to navigate your etextbook with ease (see below).


Simple Search Function

Instead of flipping through chapters to find a certain topic, you can search within a page, chapter, or entire book—making studying and writing papers easier with this faster and more convenient topic locator. The search box shows you how you can narrow down your results and highlights the terms in just one click.


Highlighting and Note Taking

You can also highlight sections and make notes to yourself without permanently inking up your textbook. Notes appear to the right of the text to click on whenever needed; however, you may find that writing terms down on an old school notebook may be better for memorization. Electronic notes are a great feature, but deciding which note-taking strategy is best for you depends on your writing and typing speed, and how you prefer to review notes. To make electronic notes, simply select a section of the page and a box appears for you to highlight, copy, or write a note for that section.


Convenience, cost, and environmentally-savvy factors considered, extextbooks are on the rise. “We had over 35 courses with ebooks in the Summer quarter and we had an 80% adoption rate of the ebooks,” said Stella Coker, SUPPORT+ Resource Center Manager. “We will have additional courses in the Fall, and I am looking forward to seeing if the adoption percentage holds, increases, or even declines.” As a Rasmussen College student, the etextbooks are available on the student portal and the Personal Support Center is open to any student who needs etextbook assistance.

About the Author: Abby Hermes is a proofreader on the Creative Team in the Marketing Department at Rasmussen College. She uses her meticulous eye to spot inaccuracies in web, email, and print content. Abby also provides useful and entertaining blog articles to help students throughout the lifecycle of their college career.