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McGraw-Hill Study Shows Significant Improvement in Student Outcomes through Adaptive Technology

Adaptive technology study demonstrates improved grades and pass rates with use of McGraw-Hill Connect.

Tags: Article, Education Technology, Higher Education, Education Methods, Connect, Study Survey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2016 – McGraw-Hill, a learning science company, today released results from the McGraw-Hill Connect® Effectiveness Study 2016. The study aggregated and analyzed data from 20 higher education case studies for colleges that used Connect and SmartBook® between 2014 and 2015. Key findings from the study include:

  • There was a nearly 20-point improvement in student retention, from 70.1% to 89.9%

  • Exam scores for students increased on average from 71% to 80.1%

  • Students saw a 13-point improvement in pass rates, from 72.5% to 85.2%

  • With Connect, 15 percent more students earned A’s and B’s, from 50.3% of students to 65.3% of students

  • Instructors spent 72 percent less time on administrative tasks, and 90 percent more time on active learning experiences

Connect is a digital learning environment that integrates assignments, grading and course content, making the entire course experience seamless while delivering better outcomes for students and educators. Connect features SmartBook, a continually adaptive reading experience which features integrated learning resources, robust reporting, a visual analytics dashboard, and anywhere/anytime mobile access, empowering educators and students with a more engaging and effective learning experience. Connect is available in more than 90 disciplines across qualitative and quantitative course areas.

The full study is now available at

“Education providers need to feel confident that the digital technologies they select will deliver the desired outcomes to ensure a successful experience for educators and learners,” said David Levin, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill. “Connect and SmartBook are a powerful combination that uses the science of learning to improve student retention, exam scores, final course grades, pass rates and instructor time management.”

Representative instructor quotes

“Connect allowed me to make class time more meaningful for students. Rather than lecture on concepts or attempt to discuss concepts from the reading in a room of students who had not read, Connect allowed me to more effectively use class time on activities that strengthen student learning.”
– Dr. Erin Lynch-Alexander, professor of Education, Austin Peay State University

“The ability to tailor a student’s learning experience toward the things the student doesn’t know rather than what the student has already grasped is incredible, especially when there are huge numbers of students involved. This experience allows the course to be individualized for each student rather than offering a one-size-fits-all, `canned’ course experience.”
– Tiffiny Guidry, professor of Sociology, University of Alabama

“With Connect, students get feedback immediately, and with algorithmic questions, they do their own work and can attempt newly generated assignments multiple times. The reports provide me with the rationale to initiate contact with struggling students, without having to hand back homework with red marks all over it.”
– M. Jeff Quinlan, professor of Accounting, Madison Area Technical College

“Exam grades in lecture classes using Connect are higher, especially on exams covering more detailed aspects, such as transcription and translation. In general, exam scores are higher after students complete SmartBook modules.”
– Dr. Vanessa Hörmann, professor of Biology, Broward College

McGraw Hill
McGraw Hill is a leading global education company that partners with millions of educators, learners and professionals around the world. Recognizing their diverse needs, we build trusted content, flexible tools and powerful digital platforms to help them achieve success on their own terms. Through our commitment to equity, accessibility and inclusion, we foster a culture of belonging that respects and reflects the diversity of the communities, learners and educators we serve. McGraw Hill has over 40 offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK–12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 80 languages. Visit us at or find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Tyler Reed
McGraw Hill
(914) 512-4853