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Course Design

McGraw-Hill Education Launches Course Design and Management Tool

McGraw-Hill Education today introduced Connect2, a new course design, management and delivery platform for higher education. The product provides a customizable framework for building and managing courses, along with data analytics and an adaptive learning system.

Instructors using Connect 2 have access to complete pre-built courses, "which have been designed by curriculum experts and are aligned to learning objectives," according to a press release. The courses can be customized and integrated with an instructor's own content, including open educational resources, and configured to suit his or her pedagogical approach. The goal: to "make the course-building process more effective and less time-consuming for instructors."

Also available within Connect 2 is McGraw-Hill's SmartBook, an adaptive reading tool that personalizes e-textbook content according to a student's individual needs. As students read course material, SmartBook presents questions to assess what content they know and don't know, and then highlights the topics they most need to study. Instructors receive analytics on students' mastery of the material, allowing them to tailor their instruction accordingly.

Other Connect2 resources for students include:

  • Videos and simulations, which, according to the company, are "tightly aligned to course learning objectives";
  • Practice quizzes and assignments "designed to be used as self-study aids to review key concepts";
  • Dedicated group workspaces "so students can chat, comment and share files related to their projects"; and
  • Mobile compatibility "so students can access assignments, quizzes and learning resources online."

"With Connect2, McGraw-Hill is delivering a course design and management solution that offers complete, fully customizable and easy-to-configure courses that have been designed by curriculum experts, together with powerful data and actionable insights to improve students' learning outcomes," said Mark Dorman, president of Higher Education, Professional and International at McGraw-Hill, in a statement. "Over the past few months, we have conducted 10 beta trials, and the response from instructors has been incredibly positive."

Beta user Elena Georgiadou, international business lecturer at England's Loughborough University, commented, "I had a great experience using Connect2 to develop and plan my International Business course. The framework is very straightforward and easy-to-use, and it offers a number of well-developed exercises, tests and questions that I could easily incorporate into my course. For the first time, I didn't have to spend hours and hours looking around for additional resources. As a result, I was able to spend more time preparing my lecture notes and focusing on how to make my time with my students more innovative and interactive."

Connect2 is currently available outside of the United States, coming to the U.S. later this year. Educators receive onboarding support and guidelines for implementation. For more information, visit the Connect2 site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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