Have you done your reading?

As I was scrolling through the New York Times this morning, this article caught my eye.  It talks about a program called CourseSmart, which I have used here at Rutgers and at one of my previous schools.  CourseSmart is a testing technology that is used to track students’ progress throughout the semester in using their textbook and other resources.  The technology can show the teacher which students are skipping pages, not bothering to take notes or even in some cases not even opening the book at all.  It measures your “engagement index” which allows the teacher monitor your progress.  


Its the complete opposite from the old days, and some of my other classes where we simply have a quiz the day after there was some reading for homework.  Although it’s kind of scary how advanced the digital age is getting, in my opinion I don’t find a problem with this.  It’s just like in our class and several others where our activity is monitored.  If I know someone is looking at my work, or tracking my progress it kind of motivates me to do better.  Even for students who aren’t doing well, it could catch you ahead of time so that you can boost your grade and avoid a failure.  I know some students would have the opposite opinion and think it’s an invasion of their privacy and that they should be able to do their work on their own, but for some of my psych classes it’s actually helpful.

4 thoughts on “Have you done your reading?

  1. I feel like this app could definitely be a great tool not only for teachers, but also for students. Personally, I don’t usually do reading for my classes unless I absolutely have to and I’ve always been that way. As most students, I try to get away with getting an A by doing as little work as possible. However, if teachers can track whether or not we’re doing our readings, I’d be forced to read the assigned readings and maybe actually benefit from the class as well as get a good grade.

  2. I read this article too and I also find this app would be very helpful. Like most students, I always avoid reading anything. Or if I really had to read anything I would push it back to the very last minute and end up pulling an all-nighter. If any of the courses I am taking now had this app, I would definitely be getting better grades and stop being lazy. I really do hope our school would be using something like this soon!

  3. I read this article yesterday as well and my first thought was that something like that would totally suck. Especially for someone like myself who never does readings unless I absolutely have to, and even then I try and find ways around it. But then as I thought about it more as the day went on I thought it was a really good idea. If I was made to do the readings because I was being tracked I would do better in school. No only because I’m being graded for actually doing to readings, but because I would be retaining the information I read for exams and other things.

  4. Wow I am really surprised that they used in college courses and students were ok with it. I personally hate having quizzes or anything to track my profess because I do not like being micromanaged. I get my work done just in my own time and way. I feel that this type of technology would be good to have for students in elementary, middle and high school. At the elementary and middle school level, I feel that this technology would force students into the habit of doing their work regular and in a way mold them to be better students. But in order to prepare them for the real world, I do not think that students be monitored in this way as they get older. Otherwise they will think that as long as no one is watching they dont have to do their work when they get to the real world where no one will be monitoring their progress at that level. They need to learn that work is something that they should feel responsible for doing because at the end of the day it is meant to better them and their life. Perhaps at the high school, teachers could use it as last resort to monitor students who are doing poorly in class in order to help figure what the problem is and help the student improve their grades.

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