Ken Michaels, CEOMacmillan Learning, with over two decades of experience operating in education space, has always been driven by the ambition of making strong contributions towards the evolution of student learning. Today, the company is actively involved in influencing a student’s curriculum with quality content and empowering instructors with state-of-the-art teaching tools that drive the company’s incisive learning initiatives. Through concrete collaborations with insightful researchers, passionate educators, visionary administrators, and talented developers, Macmillan facilitates teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improves outcomes. With its corporate headquarters in New York, Macmillan provides educators with tailored education technology solutions that are designed to inspire student curiosity and enhance their learning experiences.
“We combine the existing text-based, detail-focused traditional publishing world with the modern, digitally enabled, innovative, and analytical educational world,” remarks Macmillan Learning’s CEO, Ken Michaels. An example of Macmillan combining superior course content with flexible e-course technology is LaunchPad. It is a resource that helps educators in aligning content and assessment tools directly to their syllabus, while providing students with the interactive tools they need to succeed at class time and exams. LaunchPad incorporates a number of features into the learning experience, which includes an interactive e-Book that allows students to prepare for class anytime, anywhere. Each title-specific version of LaunchPad comes with content already organized into pre-built units, curated by the book’s authors or other experienced educators. Instructors can use these units to add their own content, or develop their own courses entirely from scratch.
Having a firm understanding about guiding students from different educational backgrounds is significant for professors and instructors. Macmillan fosters innovation by initiating in-house development of course-level resources, working with instructors to rectify and alleviate course pain points, and partnering with startups that bring in a refreshed approach to education. Additionally, to enhance and expand its ability to support modern-day teachers and students, Macmillan has acquired a number of educational technology companies—Late Nite Labs, EBI-MAP-Works, and Sapling Learning.
We combine the existing text-based, detail-focused traditional publishing world with the modern, digitally enabled, innovative, and analytical educational world
Macmillan’s Sapling Learning acquisition helps the company provide interactive learning experiences and assessment for science, engineering, and economics disciplines, in ways that have been proven to significantly elevate student comprehension, retention, and problem-solving skills.
In one instance, Professor Laurie Parker of the University of Minnesota was looking for a solution that would get her organic chemistry students to do more work outside the classroom— such as reviewing the lessons of each classroom session and trying to solve relevant problems on their own. Since Sapling offers the ability to track student homework efforts, giving unprecedented insight into student progress, it became easy for Laurie to customize homework for her class. To encourage her students to work outside of class, Laurie made a portion of their grade contingent on completing Sapling problems, with extra credit for correct solutions. The result was significant student improvement by as much as a full grade over previous work.
Macmillan continuously seeks inputs and feedback to test and retest its products, which helps in ensuring whether the company has met the needs and objectives of the customers. The company nurtures communities of teachers, publishers and developers to work toward one common objective—improving the educational experience. “New tools and technologies allow us to do things we could barely have imagined a decade ago,” concludes Michaels. “We have a deep and moral obligation to improve student learning outcomes for generations to come, and can do this by refining the ways that people will learn and share information in the future.”