SAN CARLOS, CA, November 12, 2003—Aplia Inc., a new-generation educational publisher specializing in technology solutions for education, and Worth Publishers, long recognized as one of the most successful publishers of introductory college textbooks in the social sciences, today announced a partnership that brings together two of the world's most renowned economists to improve economics education.
The partnership pairs the soon-to-be-released Economics textbook from Worth, by economists and Princeton University Professors Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, with the web software created for economics education by Aplia, a company founded by economist and Stanford University Professor Paul Romer. Krugman and Romer have both been widely recognized for pioneering research–Krugman in international trade and economic geography, Romer in growth theory and technology. Krugman is also known worldwide for his unique ability to translate complex economic theories into easily understandable lay terms.
Textbook and technology companies have been trying for years to solve two linked problems. As some professors rely less on the textbook, fewer students see the value in paying to buy a copy; and as fewer students actually read the book, professors increasingly assume that they have to lecture on the basics in class instead of having students read about them on their own.
Merely putting books online is not the answer. The key is to give professors a way to know if their students are doing the assigned reading. Aplia does this by giving students thoughtful, graphically oriented, graded homework assignments based on reading.
The Aplia/Worth partnership is the first of its kind–one that focuses on giving students a great new textbook while giving instructors the tools to assess what students learn from the reading assignments. As a result students are better prepared for class and lectures can be more lively–a winning combination.
"I have long argued that technology should help professors get more effort out of students," said Romer, who initially created Aplia's technology to help him teach economics to students at Stanford. "By creating a fully integrated textbook/technology solution that creates incentives for students to keep up and complete assignments, we can help students get the most out of both the book and the technology."
"Worth is thrilled to be partnering with Aplia, which has a stellar reputation in economics and among economists," said Elizabeth Widdicombe, president of Worth. "The partnership makes so much sense as the next step in educational publishing: We are bringing together the best of textbook publishing and the best of technology, each providing what we do well, to offer the best possible integrated product."
A New Web/Textbook Integration
Specifically, the partnership will offer web-based materials that correlate to the material in the Krugman/Wells textbook. The new offering provides professors complete choice and flexibility in terms of how to use it–as standalone material that complements the book, or even as a substitute for the book.
Aplia will publish on its web site problem sets, news analyses, and economic experiments that are integrated with the appropriate material within the chapters of the Krugman/Wells textbook. Textbook elements such as end of chapter problem sets, "Check Your Understanding," and other textbook features will be supported with web-based learning objects that professors can select as assignments to enhance learning. A professor who wants students to use the printed textbook can assign these Aplia materials or use the materials online without the textbook.
Aplia's web-based, state-of-the-art tools and materials–already in use at more than 400 institutions with more than 65,000 students–enable professors to assign frequent problem sets and online activities that automatically give feedback and are tracked and graded, all without requiring additional time from the professor. As a result, students are motivated to exert more effort and are more prepared, enabling the professor to use scarce class time more effectively.
"We put thousands of hours in to making the textbook clear and convincing, and professors can assign it and lecture from it. But in the end," Krugman said, "students won't learn economics unless they read the chapters and solve the problems. Aplia's technology paired with the Krugman/Wells textbook lets a professor make sure that they will."
Instructors will be able to select only the material they want with complete control over organization and flow–the ultimate custom model–as each instructor creates his or her "ideal" course. Content can be selected, edited and assigned (as either practice or graded) at the discretion of the instructor. Courses can be copied from semester to semester, eliminating the need for instructors to spend time revising the syllabi. Updated material will be available each semester for optional inclusion.
"Professors can now have it any way they want it," said Sally Elliott, CEO of Aplia. "Colleges and universities are looking for ways to incorporate technology into their programs, from traditional classroom settings to full online learning, so professors and instructors are looking for great content and reliable technology; we now can offer them a fully integrated solution developed by an unbelievable team at a great price."
Availability & Pricing
Sample chapters of the Aplia/Worth offering are currently available, with a full Aplia/Worth Principles of Microeconomics course available for use in Fall 2004. The cost will be $60 per student–well below the average publisher's price for printed books alone and approximately half of the price of today's textbook/technology solution offered by publishers. The product, which is completely free to professors, will be offered direct to students, eliminating the bookstore markup.
About Aplia Inc.
Aplia Inc. is a new-generation, educational publishing company focused on providing learning tools that encourage more effort by students and save time for professors. Through its comprehensive offerings and innovative way of thinking about and applying technology to the challenges of teaching and learning, the company is poised to transform the classroom experience. Aplia's current products support the college-level courses Principles of Microeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics and Money and Banking. The company, which was founded in 2000 by leading economist Paul Romer, already has more than 400 schools and 65,000 students using its products. For more information, please visit www.aplia.com.
About Worth Publishers
Worth Publishers, a member of the Bedford, Freeman, and Worth family of companies and founded in 1966, has long been recognized as one of the most successful publishers of introductory college textbooks in the social sciences. Its editorial philosophy is to focus on a few titles, nurture each author, and communicate ideas with precision and clarity, resulting in books that set the industry standard. Worth continues its commitment to quality publishing into the new millennium, with an expanded mission that includes enhancing the value of its textbooks by complementing them with media to make learning more exciting and effective–without making preparation, class time, and testing more burdensome. For more information on the Krugman/Wells textbook, please visit http://www.worthpublishers.com/krugmanwellspreview.