Higher Ed Market Headlines

McGraw-Hill Connect® '2.0' Simplifies Classroom Management

Enhancements include improved grading, student performance tracking, and file-sharing functionality

NEW YORK, July 19, 2010/via PRNewswire/ -- This fall, McGraw-Hill Higher Education is launching the newest edition of Connect®, the most advanced all-digital teaching and learning platform for higher education. With this edition, Connect is expanding course offerings to include a series of world language titles for the first time. Among the approximately 130 titles offered this fall are Experience Spanish and the Fundamentals of Financial Accounting.

More than 1.8 million students and professors and some 600 colleges and universities nationwide are currently using McGraw-Hill's online digital platform. Connect was launched at the New York Stock Exchange Bell Ringing last September.

The latest installment of Connect was designed specifically to increase overall ease of use, professors' efficiency and productivity and student performance. Extensive research and pilot testing went into developing and enhancing the online platform, making the program more beneficial for professors and instructors and improving support for large undergraduate courses.

Based on this research, McGraw-Hill incorporated design enhancements in the new edition of Connect to improve grading features and file-sharing functionality, a key component of success for large classes with a number of adjunct teachers. Professors can now review student work as it's in progress to better identify any obstacles to learning and knowledge gaps before they adversely affect academic performance. Instructors can also easily share their assignments and sections with other faculty and students, creating an online course library for students to access at any time and facilitating shared learning among instructors and departments.

"The ability to assess and track student progress individually and automatically grade homework assignments and exams are powerful tools," noted William L. Hoover II, M.D., an assistant professor of science and engineering at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston who uses Connect and the LearnSmart feature in his anatomy and physiology classes. "Student test scores have risen, on average, 10 points since we began using Connect, and my adjuncts and I have reduced the time we spend on grading by 90 percent." Dr. Hoover also finds value in Connect's flexibility as a digital learning tool and its ability to ask students analytical and not simply memorization questions.

Last week, McGraw-Hill announced a partnership with Blackboard Inc. that will allow students and faculty to use their campus Blackboard account to access the full suite of McGraw-Hill Connect content and tools. Additionally, scores for McGraw-Hill Connect assignments, quizzes and tests will post directly to the Blackboard® gradebook, eliminating the need for students and instructors to manage account access and updates in two separate systems.

All disciplines of Connect launching this fall will be integrated with Blackboard Learn(TM) and incorporate Lecture Capture Technology from Tegrity, providing students centralized access to everything that instructors make available online. In a recent survey of Connect users, over three-fourths of students found that Tegrity's Lecture Capture made studying more or much more effective, demonstrating that lecture capture technology is not only popular among students, it is also improving learning outcomes.

In addition to features such as lecture capture and improved grading capabilities, professors can add McGraw-Hill's LearnSmart modules to their Connect assignment lists for many disciplines offered. LearnSmart diagnoses students' skill levels to determine what they're good at and where they need help and then delivers customized learning content based on their strengths and weaknesses. It has been a very popular feature among educators and students. The result: students get the help they need, right when they need it. By the end of 2010, LearnSmart will be available with Connect in 30 disciplines.

Kara Hale, a student who recently completed a marketing principles class using Connect at Neosho County Community College in North Carolina, commented on Connect's usefulness and expressed a desire for all of her classes to use the platform: "I feel Connect helped me understand the material far better than I would have simply reading the textbook. The feedback provided from instant grading and explanation on wrong answers really helped me learn and apply the material."

The platform currently covers 34 academic disciplines and includes more than 250 titles. To view more information about Connect, visit 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. Through a comprehensive range of traditional and digital education content and tools, McGraw-Hill Higher Education empowers educators and prepares professionals and students of all ages to connect, learn and succeed in the global economy. McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP) , has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages. Additional information is available at http://www.mheducation.com/.

CONTACT: Tom Stanton, McGraw-Hill Education, +1-212-904-3214, tom_stanton@mcgraw-hill.com