Harvard University to eliminate printed course catalog

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While one university is discovering that a digital strategy can have it pitfalls (see previous post) another is looking to the Internet to help it cut costs and communicate more efficiently with students and faculty.

Harvard University will cease publishing print editions of its course catalog, student and faculy handbooks as well as other printed materials for students, The Harvard Crimson reports. Instead, the publications will be available exclusively via the Web starting this fall.

In addition to saving the university tens of thousands of dollars, the move is expected to provide new flexibility. For example, the hard copy of the course catalog is typically quickly out-of-date while the online information can be easily updated. The online version will also give users greater access to evaluation data and tools to help them choose courses.

The move had been in consideration for some time, but gained a new level of urgency because of the current economic downturn.

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