Thomson Learning Acquires Aplia Inc.

Thomson Learning, part of The Thomson Corporation (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC), today announced its intention to acquire Aplia Inc., an educational company dedicated to improving learning outcomes by increasing student effort and engagement. The move reflects Thomson Learning’s commitment to continue growth in the digital teaching and learning solutions that higher education students and faculty demand.

Aplia’s learning assessment solutions focus on making homework easy to create, deliver and grade. This provides institutions with an opportunity to evaluate students on a more frequent basis and to alter their learning paths to improve classroom results. Combined with Thomson Learning’s print and digital content, customer relationships and scale, Aplia’s easy-to-use homework applications will be a powerful solution for faculty to create and deliver off-the-shelf and customized learning materials for their students.

“We are very pleased to be able to combine Aplia’s demonstrated success in learning assessment systems with Thomson Learning’s content assets to develop learning products that will benefit the higher education market,” said Susan Badger, chief executive officer of Thomson Higher Education. “The acquisition of Aplia elevates our ability to provide learners with access to the greatest number of high-quality products that will improve their learning outcomes.”

Thomson Learning will also leverage Aplia’s fast, customer-focused product design and development capabilities to foster greater customer intimacy and enhance knowledge of teaching and learning workflows.

According to Paul Romer, Aplia founder and noted Stanford economist, “this is a great opportunity. With our combined resources, we will be able to help many more students have a successful experience in college.” Nicholas Smith, Aplia’s president, added that “the best way to reach all these students is to maintain our commitment to working with every professor and instructor, no matter what textbook or other teaching resources he or she wants to use.”

Aplia, which initially focused on economics for higher education, launched its first product in 2002 and has since expanded its offerings into numerous other disciplines and channels. Today, Aplia provides a stand-alone solution that can also be adaptable to any syllabus that a professor may use and that allow for real-time visibility and insight into how and when students learn.

“Aplia cracked the code with its economics solution and successfully established an innovative new business model and an entirely new ‘no hassle’ user experience,” said Ed Moura, president of Thomson Business and Economics. “With digital homework-based assessment established as a proven product and business model, we aim to establish Aplia and Thomson Learning as the leaders in the fast-growing learning outcomes marketplace.”

“The acquisition of Aplia is another example of Thomson Learning’s commitment to continually find new ways to improve learning results for faculty and students,” said Harris Morris, chief strategy officer of Thomson Learning. “Aplia makes all content more effective, and we are committed to maintaining their proven approach for delivering the best homework solutions across all disciplines.”

About Thomson Learning

Thomson Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, reference centers, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. These solutions are delivered through specialized content, applications and services that foster academic excellence and professional development, as well as provide measurable learning outcomes to its customers. Thomson Learning’s mission is to shape the future of global learning by delivering consistently better learning solutions for learners, instructors and institutions.

About Aplia Inc.

Founded in 2000 by renowned economist Paul Romer, Aplia, Inc. is built upon the premise that “Student effort is a key determinant in student success.” Aplia is a collection of Web-based tools that enables professors to incorporate two key teaching elements: assigning frequent online homework that is automatically tracked and graded; and easily incorporating active-learning such as experiments and current events into the classroom. The result is better-prepared students, more effective use of class time, enhanced discussions, and more in-depth learning. Aplia is headquartered in San Carlos, California.

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