Digital Learning News in 'Inside Higher Ed' This Week

Among the topics: students spend less on course materials; Latin American universities share online courses; more medical students skip class.

August 22, 2018

The following developments received coverage in Inside Higher Ed this week:

  • Student spending on course materials has dropped from an average of more than $700 per year a decade ago to less than $500 this year, according to annual data from the National Association of College Stores. The primary cause: “increased use of free and lower-cost digital and rental materials,” an association official said.
  • Medical students across the country are ditching class in favor of online, self-guided learning. Citing data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, Stat News reported that about one-fourth of medical students said they “almost never” went to class during their first two years of medical school, turning instead to online learning tools such as SketchyMedical, a company that produces online visual memory tools to help students memorize and retain minutiae and vocabulary. Some medical schools are scrambling to respond by moving away from lectures and flipping classrooms to make in-class time more meaningful.
  • Three universities in Chile, Colombia and Mexico will make all of the open online courses they offer on the Coursera platform available to one another's students at no charge, as part of a new collaboration between them. Under the arrangement, known as La Tríada, Tec de Monterrey in Mexico, Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile will make a combined 100 courses available to their collective 150,000 or so on-campus students without any fee for assignments or certificates of completion.
  • Educause has published the New Media Consortium’s delayed 2018 Horizon Report on higher education technology trends, which focuses on the redesign of learning spaces and the growing role of open educational resources, improving digital literacy among students and removing barriers for students who might not be able to afford certain technologies.


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