Pearson, University of Alabama Honored for Groundbreaking Use of Technology to Increase Student Achievement

BOSTON, June 18, 2009 — Pearson and the University of Alabama have received top honors from a consortium of the world’s leaders in education and learning technology, in recognition of their innovative use of technology to improve math achievement.  The award was presented during the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s annual Learning Impact conference in Barcelona, Spain. 

Using Pearson’s MyMathLab, a self-paced online learning solution, the University of Alabama has achieved remarkable gains in student math success—between 20 and 30 percent—while retention rates are up at least 10 percent over the past five years.  The university has achieved these results while producing a cost savings of 28% over traditional courses.  

Last year, Alabama upgraded to MyMathLabPlus, an enhanced version of Pearson’s MyMathLab that includes institution-wide assessment options as well as improved administrative capabilities.  Supported by Pearson eCollege, the leading global provider of online education technology, MyMathLabPlus allows Alabama’s math instructors and administrators to focus solely on educating their students—while Pearson eCollege manages all of the day-to-day technical aspects of the university’s online math programs, including the hardware, software and 24-7 help desk support. The university’s math department serves more than 10,000 students a year in Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Finite Math, Precalculus and Business Calculus. 
“Research has shown us that math competency is a singular predictor to college readiness and success.  Ten years ago Pearson made an investment in this e-Learning solution, MyMathLab, to reverse the alarming drop out rate and to realize a significant turnaround in retention and cost savings for students and higher education institutions,” said Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson’s North American education businesses.  “We have continued to invest in this innovative learning solution to address expanded use across the institution and now offer a more robust, integrated math learning solution using Pearson eCollege.

“We are honored to share this recognition from IMS Global with our partners at the University of Alabama and the students and instructors who have harnessed the power of technology to transform the delivery and effectiveness of math education.”  

MyMathLab and MyMathLabPlus can be customized to suit each student’s level of knowledge and can be used in any environment—lab-based, hybrid, distance learning or traditional classroom.  Features include an interactive online textbook, video lectures, tracked tutorials and additional resources for learning during homework assignments.  Instructors can easily create, import and manage online homework, quizzes, and tests, all of which are automatically graded for instant student feedback—allowing instructors to spend less time grading and more time working with their students. 

According to a recent report, colleges and universities that use one of Pearson’s innovative online math programs combined with the National Center for Academic Transformation’s (NCAT) course redesign method are able to control costs while increasing student gains.

Since 2001, more than 4.2 million students at 1,850 higher education institutions have used MyMathLab and MyMathLabPlus to achieve positive results in the form of increased pass rates, increased retention rates, increased levels of student success in subsequent courses and increased achievement by underserved populations.

“We are very pleased to have been honored with this award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium,” said Jamie Glass of the University of Alabama’s Mathematics Technology Learning Center.  “We have found that students are gaining a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts using MyMathLab in conjunction with instructor support. Because of the broad range of learning tools, students with different learning styles can find the tool that works best for them.  The fact that the learning aids are readily available as they work helps students get past roadblocks when working on difficult concepts.”

The University of Alabama’s Mathematics Technology Learning Center is open 71 hours each week with capacity for up to 400 students.  The lab is staffed by instructors, graduate teaching assistants and undergraduate tutors. 

For more information about Pearson’s math programs, visit

IMS Global Learning Consortium is supported by over 115 organizations—the world’s leaders in educational and learning technology, including leading learning technology product suppliers and publishers, leading institutions of learning and training, and leading government and professional consortia.  Current contributing members of IMS GLC are listed at

About Pearson — Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today’s digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers.  This commitment is demonstrated in the company’s investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company’s respected brands include eCollege, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, MyLabs, and many others.  Pearson’s comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson’s commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation.  Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to

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