McGraw-Hill Launches All-Digital Learning Platform

September 10, 2009
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September 10 – September 17, 2009 Edition

McGraw-Hill Launches All-Digital Learning Platform

NEW YORK, NY/Authorlink News/09/08/09–Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The McGraw-Hill Companies today opened the door to the college classroom of the future as he unveiled McGraw-Hill Connect(TM) – an advanced all-digital teaching and learning exchange for higher-education.

Connect uses the latest technology and adaptive learning techniques to better connect professors to their students, and students to the information and customized resources they need to master a subject. Mr. McGraw unveiled the ground-breaking online solution at a bell ringing ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the Corporation's stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

At the bell-ringing ceremony, Mr. McGraw was joined by a professor and college students from Baruch College using digital devices such as Kindles, Sony eReaders, iPhones and laptops – all transformed into highly effective learning tools through the Connect learning platform.

"Providing students with an exceptional college education is absolutely critical if we want our country, and our citizens, to succeed in today's global, knowledge-based economy. College graduates help fuel the educated workforces that drive national economic prosperity, and a college education helps individuals, over a lifetime, earn nearly twice as much they could with only a high school diploma," said Mr. McGraw.

To give college students the 21st Century skills they need to succeed in today's increasingly connected world, we need to make sure we are harnessing the latest technologies to individualize learning, help teachers enhance their instruction, and empower students to learn more efficiently, improve their performance, and increase their mastery of the subjects they are studying."

In addition to the significant benefits it brings to the classroom, Connect's subscription-based model benefits students, the authors and the Corporation. Students pay significantly less to access much more dynamic content, while the Corporation and authors get paid every time that content is used.

Connect is a research-based, interactive assignment and assessment platform that incorporates cognitive science to customize the learning process. The online platform is based on McGraw-Hill's extensive, ongoing research of professors' instructional processes and students' study habits and includes a variety of digital learning tools that enable professors to easily customize courses and allow students to learn and master content and succeed in the course. These tools, which are designed to allow students to engage with the relevant course content at their own pace, include:

online assignments with immediate, automatic feedback, searchable recorded class lectures that can be accessed by computer or mobile device, interactive e-books that dynamically engage students to improve learning and retention, concise, visual snapshots of student performance, tools that enable instructors to create and manage assignments online, and a "smart software" adaptive assessment tool that diagnoses what a student has and has not mastered, as well as how much time additional study time is needed.

These tools enable professors to present their course content in a way that helps students learn faster and prepare better for tests. For example, when students are struggling with a certain part of an assignment, they can link directly to the page in the Connect e-book that reviews the topic. If they are still having trouble, they can receive automatic feedback on the problem with step-by-step instructions or search their instructor's recorded lectures that are posted within Connect. Finally, to prepare for a test, the Connect adaptive learning technology creates an individual learning plan tailored to what each student needs to know but has not yet mastered. Students also can continue practicing the mastery of these topics on their mobile devices so the learning doesn't stop when they are on the move.

The "lecture capture" feature provides students the ability to easily search online for key excerpts from professors' class lectures and review information at their own pace, on their own time. This unique feature also records and indexes PowerPoint presentations and other course materials shown in class, so that course content, as it is actually taught in the classroom by a professor, is easily searchable and accessible by computer, iPod or other mobile device.

"Individualized attention greatly increases student success. Within Connect, students receive comprehensive, customized feedback that dynamically provides help where it is most needed," said Andrea Pascarella, Ph.D., Director of Development, Digital Content and Pedagogy, McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "Connect uses assessment tools that incorporate findings from cognitive science and education research on how students learn most effectively. These tools empower both professors and students to understand where knowledge gaps exist. In addition, these tools create a learning path, tailored to a student's needs, that continuously adapts to the current knowledge state of that student."

Early adoptions of Connect have demonstrated significant benefits for both instructors and students. "I've never seen my students more engaged, and Connect, with its adaptive learning technology, is a big reason why," explains David Echevarria, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. "We're just a few weeks into the first semester with Connect, and I gave my first online quiz to a class of 300 students. The average score was about 10 points higher than on start-of-the-semester, paper-and-pencil quizzes I gave in the past. As students prepare for a quiz or test, the Connect technology adjusts automatically to help them master the material."

To view more information about Connect, visit http://www.mcgrawhillconnect.com.

About McGraw-Hill Higher Education:

McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a unit of McGraw-Hill Education, is a premier provider of teaching and learning solutions for 21st century post-secondary and higher education markets worldwide. http://www.mheducation.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

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