ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- (EDUCAUSE Booth #511) -- To improve placement accuracy and ultimately increase graduation rates while decreasing the need for developmental education in higher education, McGraw-Hill today launched ALEKS® Placement, Preparation and Learning, the first adaptive, open-response placement and remediation tool for higher education. ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning uses adaptive technology to quickly and accurately assess students' knowledge to place them in the college math course best suited to position them for success. ALEKS Placement is the first product the company has officially launched since McGraw-Hill acquired ALEKS Corporation in June 2013.
Low college graduation rates of remedial students and the continuous rise in tuition costs in the current market are now more than ever emphasizing the need for successful placement and remediation programs. With more than 50 percent of students in two-year colleges and 20 percent of those in four-year universities inaccurately placed in remedial classes, ALEKS Placement offers a proven approach for accurate math course placement, which is imperative to students' future success and ultimate college completion. ALEKS Placement enables all students to accelerate out of developmental education and into credit-bearing math courses by assessing and then remediating students for up to six weeks through a personalized study plan. ALEKS Placement helps reduce the time that students need to spend in developmental math courses and in some cases allows students to bypass developmental course work completely.
"Research tells us that students who are incorrectly placed in courses become frustrated, leading to thousands of students who were accepted to college to never show up to class. What's more, less than 1 in 10 remedial students graduate from community colleges within three years, and we know that inaccurate placement contributes to this problem," said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
"Being the first in the market to introduce a fully adaptive, online assessment platform with ALEKS Placement shows our commitment to improving the developmental education and placement environment within higher education, and will dramatically improve students' success in college and help them achieve the ultimate goal of graduating," said Wil Lampros, chief executive officer of ALEKS.
Using adaptive technology, ALEKS Placement rapidly and accurately assesses each student to determine their "ceiling of knowledge" – or where their mastery ends – in a particular subject. As the only placement testing platform that uses open-response questions instead of the less precise multiple-choice format, ALEKS Placement pinpoints each student's current knowledge level and delivers targeted learning through a six-week Prep and Learning module. This learning component combines individualized, mastery-based learning with periodic progress assessments to ensure students enter a course prepared and confident. After spending time in the Prep and Learning module, students have the opportunity to take up to four additional assessments, depending on the maximum set by the institution, reducing test anxiety and potentially improving the student's placement score and course eligibility.
ALEKS Placement is also reimagining math placement through its flexible online format, allowing students to participate in the assessments anytime, anywhere and giving institutions the ease of simple setup and delivery of the program. Based on preference, institutions can offer students the option of completing the ALEKS Placement program either on campus in a proctored environment, or on their own time wherever there is an internet connection.
ALEKS Placement for math has been used by more than 70 higher education institutions in the United States over the past year. At Kent State University, where nearly 75 percent of incoming freshmen require developmental math courses, ALEKS Placement helped lead to a 24 percent improvement in completion of these courses over the previous year as well as a 10 percent decrease in the rate of drops, fails and withdrawals. ALEKS Placement is also now available for first-year chemistry courses.
In June 2013, McGraw-Hill signed an agreement to acquire ALEKS Corporation, the privately held developer of the ALEKS® adaptive learning technology for the K-12 and higher education markets. The move strengthened McGraw-Hill's position as the leader in delivering personalized learning experiences through adaptive technology and marked the company's first acquisition since it was purchased by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) in March 2013. McGraw-Hill has marketed and sold ALEKS for math in the higher education space for more than 10 years.
For more information about ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning and to preview the company's next generation adaptive technologies, visit with McGraw-Hill Higher Education and McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions at booth #511 during the 2013 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Anaheim. McGraw-Hill will also be posting live tweets from the conference through its Twitter feeds (@MHEducation, @MHhighered) using the conference hashtag #EDU13. More information about ALEKS can be found at ALEKS.com.