How ecoText is being leveraged at The University of New Hampshire

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Posted on by Nelson Thomas

The process of getting started

The story of ecoText began right here at the University of New Hampshire when we were students searching for a more comprehensive way to obtain and engage with our academic resources. Paying hundreds of dollars for physical textbooks not only put intense financial burdens on ourselves, but we didn’t feel ethical about it, knowing the environmental damage textbooks cause.

While at UNH, we fleshed out our idea through competitions such as Holloway, SVIC, and Maurice Prize Challenge. We performed well in those competitions and received critical feedback that helped us rapidly iterate the company. Those experiences enabled us to take this venture to the next level and work on it full-time after graduation.

Fast forward to today. We are proud to have curated a library with hundreds of thousands of affordable resources. Beyond content selection alone, we have invented technology to enable students & educators alike to support one another by letting them have deep conversations within the margins of any document.

Any user of ecoText can upload their content to our library to use alongside our collaborative technology. Creating an “ecoSystem” within the course helps students reach their full academic potential, whether in person or virtual.


How Prof. Woodman is using ecoText in her course

At the University of New Hampshire, we run a pilot within Professor Betty Woodman’s Business Ethics 431 course. Professor Woodman wanted us to help her provide comprehensive learning experiences over some of the case studies that she offered to the students throughout the semester.

When she found out about ecoText, she was excited by how the platform could bring her classroom together and provide new ways for students to understand the material better.

Before the course began, Professor Woodman uploaded her materials to the ecoText platform. Then when her class kicked off, she made an ecoText group to segment her classroom based on the TA-student assignments. Doing that made a large classroom (210 students) feel more intimate and provided new opportunities for each student’s voice to be heard.  In addition, it allows them to form meaningful connections over the content with 1:1 engagement with their peers and instructors. Thus, shaping a more memorable learning experience, even within a large lecture hall. 

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When it is time for students to start the reading assignments, Professor Woodman instructs them to use our social note-taking feature to answer probing questions left within the margins.

That way, students, TA’s, and professors alike can jump in and communicate with each other over the resources. Also, students can address the professor directly in the margins to solve for learning losses that may go unnoticed throughout the semester. This direct communication closes learning gaps and increases student comprehension.

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As the semester progresses, Professor Woodman will be leveraging materials from the Harvard Business Review and more. She uploaded these resources to ecoText directly from her account to provide her students with all the collaborative capabilities our platform offers, from creating groups to social annotation to understanding classroom engagement through statistics. That way, she can enhance student engagement over resources and create a learning environment that leaves no student behind. 

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We are excited to have had an impact on Prof.  Betty Woodman's course this past semester. We look forward to being a consistent tool in the classroom that helps students make meaningful progress in their intellectual development. 

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