Professors Can Now Tell Whether or Not You’ve Actually Done the Reading Assignment

Helicopter professors.


It’s a tale as old as time: professor assigns you a truckload of reading, you skim it, maybe highlight some parts if you’re feelin’ real fancy, and close the book while praying a close-read isn’t required for the exam. But all good things must come to an end some time, and cheating on your reading assignment is no exception: The New York Times reports that professors are wising up to your game, and beginning to use technology to help them determine whether or not you’ve actually completed the assigned reading.

A Valley-based startup called CourseSmart allows professors to track students’ reading habits using digital textbooks. CourseSmart helps professors know if you’re “skipping pages, failing to highlight significant passages, not bothering to take notes — or simply not opening the book at all.” It also records when students are opening the books, so professors can tell for a fact whether or not you studied the night before the exam.

So much for spring break forever.

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