I would like to start by saying that in the modern world of technology, education software becomes more and more popular and the need for modern advances is apparent. Since there are more than 3000 different colleges, schools and universities in the USA alone, the market demand for different educational software is enormous. In the following essay I will speak about the market need for educational software and the areas that look the most attractive. I will use educated findings as well as personal opinion on the given matter.
Currently, there are several products on the educational software market which accurately reflect the existing market demand and need for these products. Among the market leaders are Blackboard group, MyDropBox, and Turnitin. All of these companies present products that either aim to multiply learning opportunities or dissuade cheating in an educational institution (Cusumano, 260).
One of the market needs is to assure proper student tracking. Various companies provide the module that allows smooth student tracking and utilization of campus assets. Such programs allow students and teaching staff to analyze programs and academic performance. One can register online, keep track of payments to the university and reimbursements as well as keep track of various effectiveness ratios each university uses to assess its performance and activities. There is a need in virtually all schools for positive attendance tracking, resource allocation and planning, let alone early intervention and retention, where both university staff and students can in a real-time mode online access necessary information and data (Mitri, 89).
Another need of US educational institutions is allow instructors effectively search available university, college or school resources to prepare the educational materials for students. The online university article and book database is one of the needs (Schwartz, 55).
As more and more universities go online to attract students from around the globe, the need for online education modules become apparent and imminent. As the internet connection becomes faster, the education is conducted via the following ways:
Correspondence. This is a ‘traditional’ way of learning where a student receives a written assignment and the sends the complete paper to the professor when required (Sporn, 101).
Interactive-learning involves a quick two-way communication between the professor and the students, as well as between students.
Video interaction involves video-conferencing where a student is able to see the class, the professor and other students and participate in the class discussions (Moore, 376).
Audio interaction involves audio-conferencing where a student is capable of participating in voice-discussions via the computer or telephone. The student is able to work on the assignments while at the same time exchange voice message with the professor or other students.
Online logistics. This need is apparent for online universities. Therefore, software intended for classes signup and drop-out procedures, payment, assignment distribution and collection, plagiarism detection, and others are apparent (Mounce, 142).
The issue of plagiarism had been innate to many educational institutions, so most universities nowadays, employ proprietary software that scans the world wide web for materials that students might use without proper referencing. The software allows students to submit their essays and papers online and prior these essays are forwarded to their instructors for evaluation and corrections (Forbus, 200).
Regardless of what products we market there is no 100% assurance that the universities will ever buy those. The only certain way to assure sales is via the following two ways:
Produce what is out there on the market in higher quality at much cheaper prices (Manzo, 56).
Undertake a market research, contact the universities directly, enquire about their needs and produce something of value to them (Walsh, 134).
Engage in analysis and research of current university practices, routines and procedures. Once we know what processes take place within a university, we could develop something of utility to streamline the operations and contribute to more efficiency to these universities. For instance, we could develop an online payment software module that would allow students not only register online (as it is currently implemented in many, yet not all US schools) but also pay for these courses online. By the same token we could develop an online drop module where the students could drop courses online without the need to spend their time commuting to see their professors to sign up some slip, etc.
Mitri, Michel, Using decision support systems to enhance learning in higher education, The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 2004, pp.89-91.
Forbus, Kenneth, Proceedings of the 26th Annual Cognitive Science Society (Cognitive Science Society (Us) Conference//Proceedings), McGraw Hill, 2003.
Manzo, Kathleen, Essay grading goes digital, Education Week, 2003, pp. 56-57.
Walsh, Mark, High court mulls arguments in library Internet-filter law, Education Week, 2003. pp. 133-134.
Mounce, William, Greek for the Rest of Us, Prentice Hall, 2004.
Sporn, Barbara, Adaptive University Structures: An Analysis of Adaptation of Socioeconomic Environments of Us and European Universities (Higher Education), Wiley and sons press, 2003.
Moore, James, The Road Map to Software Engineering: A Standards-Based Guide (Software Engineering Standards Series), NY Random House, 2004.
Cusumano, Michael, The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad, Barrons books, 2003.
Schwartz, Judah, Software Goes to School: Teaching for Understanding with New Technology, Penguin books, 2004.
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