MORRISTOWN, Tenn., Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Walters State Community College today announced that it has teamed with McGraw-Hill to offer an all-digital course experience designed to engage and drive the performance of its biology students. As part of the collaboration, students taking biology courses will receive their course resources, including content and assessment, through McGraw-Hill Connect® and LearnSmart®, McGraw-Hill's digital teaching and learning platform and adaptive learning technology for higher education. Beginning this fall, all teaching and learning solutions can be delivered onto the students' mobile devices. The large-scale shift to digital will provide Walters State students with access to innovative learning technology on their mobile devices that they access anywhere, anytime and at an affordable price. For students with limited wireless access, there are offline options.
For the past three years Walters State has been involved in their mEngage mobile learning initiative. As evidence of the success of the initiative Walters State has twice been named an Apple Distinguished program. With the mEngage initiative, Walters State is focused on student engagement, access, and improvements in student performance. To help Walters State achieve their goals, McGraw-Hill will provide the teaching and learning platform, Connect, with several integrated McGraw-Hill adaptive technologies. The science students will have SmartBook®, an adaptive reading experience, as well as LearnSmart Labs and Anatomy & Physiology Revealed for science lab work. All of the teaching and learning materials are seamlessly integrated into Walters State's learning management system, desire2learn, and may be loaded onto the students' mobile devices. The assignments will be aligned with established course SLOs and the division will employ analytics from McGraw-Hill's Connect Insight™ to aggregate formative assessment evidence for accreditation.
Walters State sought McGraw-Hill's digital solutions because of their established track record of improving student performance and retention. In an effectiveness study released in 2013, McGraw-Hill demonstrated that on average, instructors using Connect reduced their grading time by 77 percent. Another study revealed that LearnSmart's adaptive technology dramatically improves student retention rates (+10 percentage points) and pass rates (+11.5 percentage points).
"At Walters State, we continuously strive to provide our students with innovative technology that enriches their learning experience," said Dr. Lori Campbell, vice president for academic affairs. "By purchasing all of their course materials in a digital format, our biology students will not only have access to a more engaging learning platform but will also realize significant cost savings."
"We've heard it from students, professors and institutional leaders — our learning technologies improve student performance and help institutions with critical issues such as engagement and retention," said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill, Higher Ed. "Combining a focus on performance with the use of iPads and mobile technology is tremendous and exactly where today's student thrives best. We're looking forward to the opportunity to generate positive results for Walters State to help fulfill the promise of higher education for its students."
About Tennessee's Community Colleges
Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associates degrees and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.