Even critics of massive open online courses, better known as MOOCs, shouldn’t deny the value of the student data those courses generate.

Teachers can only gather insights into how engaged students really are with the material and how well they’re understanding it if they’re using a platform designed specifically to capture that data, Gigaom reports. MOOCs do this very well, and now University of Michigan meteorology professor Perry Samson (who also co-founded Weather Underground) has developed software to let his peers in lecture halls do the same.

The platform is called LectureTools, and it has some obvious benefits around...

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