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December 10, 2020 • 1 minute read
By: Saskia Watts

As 2020 comes to an end, we want to recognize your continued hard work and adaptability in responding to the dramatic changes in education.

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Blog > Student engagement and learning outcomes online: Teach Online Toolkit 'Refresher'

November, 12, 2020 . 1 minute read

Student engagement and learning outcomes online: Teach Online Toolkit 'Refresher'

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How does eTextbook use impact on grade outcomes? Our research, carried out with Kaplan Open Learning (KOL) and Shift Learning, examines the relationship and provides actionable insights.

Download the full whitepaper

Key findings

Evidence of impact in educational resources is hard to measure due to the number of variables at play. This research looked at relationships and does not attribute causality. However there were some interesting findings. The results suggest:

  • A statistically significant positive relationship between the number of study sessions with the VitalSource eTextbook and a student’s final grade.

  • Apparent across almost all modules, subjects and levels included.

  • Duration of study session, access via a mobile or cell phone, and the use of learning tools built in to the platform also had a positive relationship with learning outcomes.

“Students with less than 25 study sessions had an average final module grade of 51.8% in contrast to those with 150 - 199 study sessions, who had an average grade of 63.4%.”

Watch our webinar  with KOL


International students achieved equivalent grades to UK learners, however they undertook significantly more VitalSource eTextbook sessions to obtain this grade, suggesting a higher level of engagement is needed, perhaps due to studying in a second or a third language.

Interaction with study tools also saw an increase in marks. Even a low level use of highlight was found to have a positive relationship with higher levels of engagement and higher end of module grades. The effects were stronger for those using highlights more than 20 times in a book.

The research also considered students with disabilities, and how course, subject, and level of study affected outcomes.

Tips on increasing student engagement:

The findings suggest that increasing engagement with eTextbooks and other study tools can support improved student outcomes. Here are some tips for actively engaging your students in their learning content:

  • Using quizzes with Bookshelf’s flashcard functionality to tie learning outcomes to specific sections of the text, and encourage revising directly in their eTextbook.

  • Adding and sharing notes to relevant sections of your eTextbook to point students in the correct direction, and deepen their understanding of the learning materials.

  • Linking out from your eTextbook to additional content so students can widen their reading, and come to think of the text as a critical point for all learning.

Learn more: Engaging your studentsLearn More: eTexbooks as a learning tool

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