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The University of Texas at Austin Develops its First Course App

E101College students utilize mobile devices to consume all their digital content and they prefer apps to websites to access information, engage with their social networks and share their opinions.

The New York Times reports that The University of Texas (UT) at Austin is addressing this mobile reality when it comes to delivering course content and curriculum with the introduction of their first course app.

The Energy 101 course app from UT Austin is developed with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, which provides student assessment capabilities through the built in analytics.  With a course app, professors can now follow student progress, understand content usage, and easily deliver new content directly to students’ mobile devices.

New course apps built using Adobe Digital Publishing suite enables professors to utilize video, interactive content, embed quizzes and more, delivering an engaging interactive course.  Students can download the course and access it on the mobile device of their choice. They will always have the most up to date content due to the push notification feature within DPS.  For a student audience that has grown up with digital technology, this is a welcome change for how course content is delivered and consumed.

The course app is significantly less expensive for the student than a printed textbook.  It is available to anyone interested in learning more about Energy and professors from other institutions are using it to supplement their own curriculum or even require it as a prerequisite.

A course app has the potential to contribute to the growing trend toward adaptive learning technologies by providing a platform for potential tailoring of the content to each student’s progress.  And with mixed results on the effectiveness of MOOCs, the new course app may just be the solution to curriculum design and distribution that higher education institutions have been waiting for.

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The course app is just in it’s infancy as a new curriculum delivery method but we’ll be seeing more and more institutions take advantage of course apps in the future. Stay tuned for more updates on this emerging trend.

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