OVER YOUR SHOULDER: Your professor and your textbook know you’re skimming. A new study from Iowa State University examined the habits of students using digital textbooks from CourseSmart, which record student reading habits. One useful stat: The study found that students read a median 169 minutes per semester--hardly enough, for instance, to get through a decent spy novel.
Researchers also compiled an “engagement index,” based on students’ highlighting and minutes spent reading. They found that this index predicted performance more accurately than even past grades. However, when each attribute of the “engagement index” was studied, the amount of minutes spent reading was ultimately most indicative of course outcomes, even more so than the index itself. The researchers stipulate that these findings could help professors identify struggling students as the latter worked through assignments.