In the ongoing saga of paper vs. digital, results from recent studies add a whole new caveat to the issue. Digital learning materials are improving student performance in college, resulting in higher exam scores, better grades, and fewer students dropping out of classes. The American Association of Publishers brought this to our attention in their article, “Studies Show College Students Get Higher Grades and Learn Better with Digital Course Materials.”

Add to the context the fact that digital materials typically cost less than traditional materials and are easily accessible online, and it is easy to see why digital is fast becoming the preferred medium.

In addition to the full text of a printed textbook, many digital materials include features like adaptive quizzes, practice activities, animations and simulations, and calendar functions. This features allow professors to customize lectures based on class progress, and materials can be quickly updated when new information is found or new discoveries are made. This also expedites the feedback process which provides support to the students when they need it before their struggles snowball.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.