McGraw-Hill Education launches Digital Learning Partnership Program

On the heels of the recent expansion of an e-book pilot program to more than 25 institutions nationwide, McGraw-Hill Education today announced the creation of its Digital Learning Partnership Program, which encourages colleges and universities to transition to digital in ways that promote deeper learning, better pass rates and higher rates of retention. The new program, which builds upon the experience and results from e-book pilots that the company has developed with Indiana University, the University of Minnesota and numerous other institutions, works by enabling institutions across the country to purchase solutions and services at highly affordable rates and in highly customizable ways. The program is launching at this week’s 2012 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver and is open to universities now for implementation in fall 2013.

In the new program, instructors at partnering institutions have the option of providing all of their students with McGraw-Hill Education e-books – which contain tools for searching, sharing content, annotating and highlighting – as well as any other McGraw-Hill Education digital solutions they choose to add to the course. These products and services, which improve student performance and instructor effectiveness, include McGraw-Hill Connect (teaching and learning platform), LearnSmart (adaptive study tool), Tegrity Campus (lecture capture) and ALEKS (adaptive math program).

The Digital Learning Partnership Program is designed so that institutions can collaborate with McGraw-Hill Education to customize all aspects of the program, including selecting a preferred e-book vendor, determining the pricing model and setting subscription length, which can now extend far beyond the duration of a course. Likewise, the program is optional at the instructor level to maintain academic freedom, and students who prefer print can order a print-on-demand copy of the e-book.

Because the program is based on partnership and collaboration with participating institutions, McGraw-Hill Education is able to work closely with colleges to provide e-books and digital solutions with the ability to improve student performance at prices that are competitive with rental and used book prices. Additionally, these digital materials are delivered to students through their institution’s LMS and are available from the first day of class or before. No longer do students have to wait for access to course materials – they have all the materials they need to succeed on day one. McGraw-Hill Education’s Digital Learning Partnership Program also includes adaptive learning tools to identify areas of academic strength, remediate areas of weakness and create individualized learning plans that often help students move up a full letter grade in their classes.

“We’re excited to partner with universities across the country to develop custom digital solutions that increase student performance,” said Tom Malek, vice president of Learning Solutions and Services for McGraw-Hill Higher Education. “Finding new ways to make course materials more affordable to students is a core focus of this program, but the ultimate goal is helping universities and students transition to digital in ways that encourage deeper learning, better pass rates and higher rates of retention. Over the last few years, we’ve collaborated on several pilot programs that have enabled us to learn a lot about the digital readiness, preferences and needs of institutions and students. What we have learned in partnership with schools nationwide has definitely helped to shape the Digital Learning Partnership Program.”

From a technology perspective, the Digital Learning Partnership Program integrates with any learning management system through seamless single sign on and is available on any laptop or virtually any mobile device. Institutions have the ability to choose their desired e-book provider, which can include any of McGraw-Hill Education’s e-book partners: CourseSmart, Courseload, and Vital Source.

As universities make the switch from print to digital, higher education institutions have been actively exploring and testing digital product and business models. Results from these pilots and other research indicate that instructors and students are beginning to realize the promise of digital learning materials to improve teaching and learning, Malek notes. According to research from the Indiana University pilot, students were receptive to the digital transition and indicated that their professors’ ability to annotate in their e-books increased the effectiveness of their studying. In another pilot study, 87 percent of students ultimately abandoned paper and choose to read their e-books on digital devices. Studies involving McGraw-Hill Education’s digital learning products have shown that they have the ability to drive measurable improvement in student grades and retention rates.

For more information about the Digital Learning Partnership Program, visit with McGraw-Hill Higher Education and McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions at booth #540 during the 2012 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver. McGraw-Hill Education will also be posting live tweets from the conference through its Twitter feeds (@MHEducation, @MHhighered) using the conference hashtag #EDU12.