McGraw-Hill has tired of trying to get student's attention by putting supplementary material on websites and CDs. Given the interest in iTunes and podcasting, the book publisher is going to give iTunesU a try.
The school in question is the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the pilot project actually started in the summer semester. Apparently, initial results are pleasing:
The students were more engaged with the content served up in this platform,” [Scott Criswell, product manager for online-distribution platforms at McGraw-Hill Higher Education] says, even though it was the exact same multimedia material that had flopped on a supplementary Web site. He says he is not sure whether that happened because of the “wow factor” of using iTunes, or whether using the popular music store “fits the way students learn better.”
Knowing college like I do, I think that the regular old September to May students might be a better indicator of interest and activity. Students in the summer semester are generally motivated either by fear or self-improvement.
The question begs to be asked, though. What's with the supplementary material to begin with? Just include it in the book already!
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education.