McGraw-Hill Study Finds Adaptive Learning Technologies Boost Student Achievement

Jan 03, 2012 (01:01 PM EST)

90% of students surveyed say McGraw-Hill LearnSmartâ„¢ improves studying and increases course knowledge

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a recent survey of college students, respondents overwhelming reported that adaptive learning tools, one of the most significant developments in educational technology, help them learn course material while increasing confidence in their knowledge. The survey collected more than 630,000 responses from students using McGraw-Hill LearnSmart™, an interactive study tool that adaptively assesses students' skill and knowledge levels to track which topics students have mastered and which require further instruction and practice. Adaptive learning tools personalize the studying experience by digitally monitoring and reporting student progress to provide individualized lesson plans based on how quickly students master course topics.

The survey was conducted among students using LearnSmart in a variety of classes at a range of universities. Across the survey responses, LearnSmart's key benefit – helping students learn course material effectively and efficiently – emerged. Ninety percent of students indicated that LearnSmart helped them learn the course material while increasing their confidence in their new knowledge of the content. In addition, nearly 90 percent of students noted that the time it took them to work in LearnSmart to accomplish their goals was in line with their expectations for time spent studying.

"Today's technology is a game-changer in education, bringing the 1:1 education system to reality by enabling students to track their progress and instructors to teach to all levels of comprehension and learning styles," said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "Using adaptive assessment technology to individualize the studying experience is a key component in creating a truly personalized learning environment in the classroom and beyond."

This survey builds on prior research outlining LearnSmart's results. In an effectiveness study released by McGraw-Hill Education earlier this year, students and professors experienced several benefits of using the adaptive learning tool:

  • Students using LearnSmart see significant improvements in pass rates (+12.5 percentage points), retention rates (+10.5 percentage points) and increased their overall performance in the course.
  • Students who completed all the LearnSmart modules scored an average of 10 percent higher on all exams as compared with those students who did not use LearnSmart.
  • When students complete LearnSmart modules before class, they ask higher-level questions, generating greater interaction with and interest in the subject matter, while instructors are able to spend valuable class time covering more advanced topics in higher levels of the cognitive domain. 

LearnSmart can be used as a component of McGraw-Hill Connect®, the industry-leading web-based learning management system for higher education. Connect brings McGraw-Hill's world renown content together with digital teaching and learning tools to create a personalized learning environment that makes teaching and studying more effective and efficient.

For a copy of the McGraw-Hill LearnSmart survey, click here.

About McGraw-Hill Education

McGraw-Hill Education is a content, software and services-based education company that draws on its more than 100 years of educational expertise to offer solutions, which improve learning outcomes around the world. McGraw-Hill is the adaptive education technology leader with the vision for creating a highly personalized learning experience that prepares students of all ages for the world that awaits. The company has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in more than 65 languages. For additional information, visit

Tom Stanton

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Education