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UT Arlington Looks To Help Students Through Their 'Digital Footprint'

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ARLINGTON (CBS11) – UT Arlington researcher and Executive Director of the Link Research Lab, Dr. George Siemens is leading a team of other researchers from Boeing, NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to collect data left behind from the digital footprint of college students on social networking sites.

Dr. Siemens says they hope to use that information to customize and further digitize the college experience for individual students.

"When we are involved with online interactions we can provide customized resources to students," said Dr. Siemens. "We expect that we will see if you are connected well in a supportive social network that you are going to produce better academic work."

He says the idea is that a student's social connectivity pattern online could be studied and information could be gathered from it to be able to suggest personalized resources for the student.

Think retailers and how they use a person's internet activity and search history to suggest products.

In that same fashion, Dr. Siemens says educators could provide socially connected students with suggestions for things like books and learning programs that could enhance and tailor their college experience.

He said being able to do something like that could make the college experience cheaper in the long run.

"Higher education is rapidly digitizing," said Dr. Siemens.

The preliminary results of the research are expected to be shared in April.

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