Two Years and Well Over One Million Students Later, Thomson Higher Education Rapidly Expands First Class In-Service, Its Pioneering Classroom Training Program
Overwhelmingly positive response from students and instructors testament to THE’s commitment to continually meet specific customer needs
Belmont, CA, 10/19/2005
Thomson Higher Education, a global provider of teaching solutions for higher education and part of The Thomson Corporation (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC), today announced that its successful First Class In-Service program is rapidly expanding in response to growing demand from instructors and positive feedback from students. Each customized, classroom training session is designed to ensure that students and instructors get the most value from the technology tools and courseware that have become a more integral part of today’s textbooks and learning materials.
Given the increasing technological sophistication of today’s students, the trend toward increased usage of customized learning tools, and budget cuts requiring instructors to do more with less, the prominence of technology-based courseware has increased dramatically in recent years. However, as reliance on high-tech learning supplements and tools grows, so too does the need for customized training that enables instructors and their students to more quickly and easily use technologies. Two years ago Thomson Higher Education recognized this need and responded with in-class demonstrations of courseware innovations. Today, with more than one million student helped by First Class In-Service trainings, the Thomson Higher Education program stands out as a great success.
“Both student and instructor response to our First Class In-Service program has been tremendous,” said Stephen Hochheiser, Director of Academic Reseller Management, Thomson Higher Education, “Since the inception of this program the number of sessions we conduct each term has grown by more than 400 percent, which illustrates how increasingly valuable this program is becoming to our customers.”
Under the First Class In-Service program, once faculty members choose to adopt a Thomson textbook, they schedule visits from Thomson sales representatives to their classrooms. The reps come to the classrooms to provide instructors and students with demonstrations of the key features of technology-based course materials at the beginning of the term, as needed. This training makes it easier for instructors to integrate technology with traditional teaching materials, ultimately gaining them more time to actively teach and interact with their students, and thus helping to provide a higher quality learning experience.
In addition to having sales representatives visit classrooms, Thomson Higher Education has expanded the program to include faculty-led student presentations, as well as teaching assistant training programs. In addition, Thomson Higher Education is working to provide additional information to college stores so they can better understand and represent the educational value of technology tools being provided to students today.
To date, Thomson Higher Education has successfully conducted thousands of in-service programs, training more than one million students on technology products that support the learning process. Typically, courses such as calculus, chemistry, physics, psychology, economics, and accounting draw the greatest program participation. Examples of tools and technology solutions that can be incorporated into the First Class in-Service training program include:
- Thomson NOW: A Web-based, intelligent study system, Thomson NOW products provide a package of diagnostic quizzes, personalized study plans, integrated learning modules, an instructor grade book, and online tutoring options. NOW products are available for many course markets.
- Aplia: Auto-graded student assignments, online experiments and course management tools for Thomson South-Western texts, allow students to complete homework assignments and study key concepts in economics on their own time.
- OWL: A fully customizable and flexible Web-based homework system and assessment tool for chemistry with both numerical and chemical parameterization and useful, specific feedback built in. .
Following two years of successful trainings at a wide range of universities, colleges and community colleges, Thomson Higher Education learned that both instructors and students wanted more choice with the FCIS program. Some trainings, students said, warranted more than one classroom session and others would be more beneficial if held mid-way through the course rather than at the start. As such, Thomson Higher Education initiated these and other changes to better accommodate these growing demands.
If interest from students and instructors continue at the rate experienced since Thomson Higher Education launched the program in August 2003, there will be significantly more programs offered and it’s expected nearly two million additional students will be trained in the coming year alone.
To learn more about Thomson’s First Class In Service program, visit http://fcis.thomsonlearning.com.
About The Thomson Corporation and Thomson Higher Education
The Thomson Corporation, with 2004 revenues of $8.10 billion, is a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. With operational headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Thomson has approximately 40,000 employees and provides services in approximately 130 countries. Thomson Higher Education is a leading provider of higher education textbooks, software, and Internet materials for the humanities, behavioral and social sciences, mathematics and the sciences, and business and economics. It publishes under the brands of Thomson Wadsworth, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Thomson South-Western, Thomson Heinle, and Thomson Schirmer.
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- Senior Director, Public Relations
- Thomson Learning
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