Students need more digital course materials

Digital materials are convenient and reduce costs for students at the U.

As much as teachers and students at the University of Minnesota complain about Moodle’s finicky inefficiencies, there’s no doubt most classes would be worse off without it. Through Moodle, teachers are able to post reading assignments and various PDF files so students don’t have to pay for additional course materials.

Though updating Moodle may be a hassle, the system offers students the ability to track their progress and have precise knowledge about their grades.

It is clear that online course materials make things easier for students, and a new pilot program is testing the use of digital course packets in 81 class sections at the University.

If the pilot program, the Digital Course Pack Pilot project, is a success, the University may consider selling the online version of course materials, which would be identical to the physical copies but would be digitally accessible and cheaper, the Minnesota Daily reported last week.

The program, originally started in the fall semester of 2012 with a few classes in College of Education and Human Development, has spread across the University. Digital course packets would be cheaper for students than physical materials and would be easily accessible, which some students have already experienced by purchasing e-book versions of textbooks and online versions of other course materials.

Digital course packets and materials would make life easier for students at the University. They wouldn’t have to worry about University Bookstores or local printing companies running out of physical copies or misplacing certain readings or assignments. 

More digital course packets can only benefit students, and University officials and student government leaders should continue to work to increase the number of digital materials available.