Econ Professors Leading Textbook Transformation

Feb 13 2012 11:30 AM
Econ Professors Leading Textbook Transformation
Introductory economics courses at colleges and universities will soon be taking a giant step forward in the digital age. McGraw-Hill Higher Education and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are developing the first-ever fully digital curriculum for the economics course.
 
The curriculum, offered in English and Spanish, will feature a range of multimedia components and will be fully functional on McGraw-Hill’s industry-leading course management platform, Connect®, and through a variety of other learning management systems.
 
Sold by subscription, the curriculum will include McGraw-Hill’s adaptive learning tools that determine a student’s subject-area strengths and weaknesses, as well as engaging videos for each learning objective, online assessments, an interactive digital workbook, and a revolutionary smart device app to deliver the course on mobile devices.
 
The authors of the course – UNL College of Business Administration economics professors Roger Butters and Carlos Asarta – have extensive experience in teaching introductory courses and economics curriculum design. Butters lectures on economics and international finance around the world, and is the president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, a statewide initiative to advance economic literacy. Asarta, who teaches principles of economics and intermediate courses, has received numerous university teaching awards. Both Butters and Asarta are focused on expanding economics education through digital innovation.
 
“Through our partnership with McGraw-Hill, we have a terrific opportunity to provide students with an extremely engaging introduction to college-level economics,” said Butters. “Understanding the basic principles of economics is critical for every student today, regardless of their future plans. This all-digital curriculum will ensure that each student is successfully grounded in those principles.”
 
Butters and Asarta are creating every element of the curriculum by learning objective, grouped by topic areas, enabling instructors to choose when, where and how they will teach each concept. With the all-digital teaching resources, instructors have all the tools they need to teach in a dynamic, engaging and interactive digital and in-class environment. Adaptive assessment technology will be used to monitor student progress toward each learning objective.
 
“We’re very excited to partner with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to build this innovative digital curriculum from the ground up,” said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education. “We have a long and successful history with the university in the development of authoritative economics content. We both realize the power of digital tools in education, and we’re taking the steps to incorporate technology in the way we develop, teach and access content.”
 
McGraw-Hill and the university are employing a new “digital first” development strategy with this economics curriculum, in which every component is developed specifically for an online learning environment. McGraw-Hill plans to leverage the digital first product development strategy for a number of other academic subject areas in the near future.