NEW YORK (February 12, 2020) – McGraw-Hill, a leader in learning science and digital technology, today announced the release of new writing assignment technology in its McGraw-Hill Connect® digital course materials, which are used by millions of college students across the United States. The new writing assignment tool applies the latest advances in digitally-enabled writing instruction in one seamless solution to help students improve critical thinking and communications skills, which are increasingly in-demand in the 21st Century workforce.
“Writing is a challenge not just for students to learn, but for instructors to teach as well,” said Michael Ryan, President of Higher Education at McGraw-Hill. “Yet the ability to write well, think critically and communicate effectively is growing in importance as automation shifts the nature of work toward knowledge-based skills. This new technology helps ensure more equitable access to quality writing instruction, so more students can get career-ready. Instructors for years have been asking for technology that supports the teaching and learning of writing skills, so we see this as an important step forward.”
The development of these tools is a key component of McGraw-Hill’s focus on providing solutions that produce more equitable learning outcomes for all students, while continuing to increase affordability and value.
The release of the writing assignment tool answers an important need in higher education to scale activities that allow students to move beyond acquiring knowledge to demonstrating skills. Those who study the future of work point to the importance of critical thinking and communications skills as drivers of the knowledge economy of tomorrow. Yet writing is a common stumbling block for students, and an area where many students need developmental support when they enter college. At the same time, instructors in most course areas are not trained to teach writing, and the time it takes to assign, provide feedback and grade writing is unmanageable for many who teach high-enrollment general education courses. Current efforts to provide digitally-enabled writing instruction typically require multiple tools, technology and passwords and are difficult to integrate with an institution’s LMS (learning management system).
For more information about McGraw-Hill writing assignment technology, visit: https://www.mheducation.com/highered/connect.html
McGraw-Hill’s new technology offers three levels of functionality in writing assignments, depending on the course needs. At the most basic level, the technology offers an all-in-one student interface within the Connect platform where instructors can create their own assignments and scoring rubrics, provide feedback and grade student writing efficiently, and link to learning resources in comments. A second level of functionality provides automated grammar and writing and originality checks, serving up just-in-time guidance and learning resources in context while students are writing.
In select digital-first McGraw-Hill Connect Master® 2.0 products, designed for large general education and introductory business courses, the technology leverages artificial intelligence to offer auto scoring on both content and writing style, as well as instantaneous feedback based on scoring rubrics.
“We know writing is a critical skill for job-ready graduates and we’ve talked about writing across the curriculum for a long time,” said Lisa Hoeffner, English professor at McLennan Community College. “But the truth is, many faculty simply don’t have the time to teach students how to write because they’re too busy teaching in their disciplines or don’t feel confident about their ability to teach writing. This tool will help faculty in any subject embed writing development in their courses — without having to be an expert in teaching or assessing their students’ writing skills.”