More contemporary style of learning through text, videos, quizzes and interviews with experts is fast-replacing the traditional education system of attending lectures and reading from the textbooks.
A team of researchers has come up with a project, supported by extensive research and emerging technology, allowing students to tailor each course as per their own learning style.
"Students don't read textbooks - study after study has shown that, and even if a student completes a reading assignment, the text doesn't promote deep understanding and long-term retention. It facilitates memorization. So why are we still using them?" asked Dan Johnson, senior lecturer at Wake Forest University.
This new way of teaching works for a variety of different learning styles. It also better engages students who have learning difficulties such as dyslexia or other processing disorders or who have long struggled with the traditional lecture-and-reading assignment model.
The supplemental information provided as per this system ensures better understanding and engagement.
The team will spend the next several months building out the system it has designed, and the next two years testing it further in the classroom.
This is a digital tool but can't be called an e-textbook. The team has created an ever-evolving learning space customizable for a variety of students.
Information is organized into interconnected nodes that contain all of the baseline information a textbook would include, plus supplemental material and self-assessments to enhance the learning experience.