The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pearson, McGraw-Hill Launch Learning Initiatives

Pearson and McGraw-Hill Education recently unveiled new approaches designed to help college students learn more efficiently.

Pearson launched its Project Blue Sky search engine, which is intended to make it easier for instructors to find electronic course materials. Pearson hopes its search engine will fill a need demanded by faculty, while making sure its own content catalog is in front of educators searching for open educational resources (OER).

“We clearly believe our content is superior to OER content, but we recognize there is a place for OER in the current environment,” said Don Kilburn, vice chairman of Pearson’s higher education division, in an Inside Higher Education article. “If we can’t compete effectively there, we have a bigger problem.”

Then, McGraw-Hill Education unveiled its Digital Learning Partnership Program, which will be available for implementation by fall 2013. The program is an extension of the pilot program being used this fall at 25 colleges and universities across the country. Instructors can choose materials from McGraw-Hill’s e-textbook partners and institutions are able to select e-book vendor, price structure, and length of subscription.

“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,” said Tom Malek, vice president of learning solutions and services, in a press release. “Over the last few years, we’ve collaborated on several pilot programs that have enabled us to learn a lot about digital readiness, preferences, and needs of institutions and students.”

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