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Thomson Learning and Turning Technologies Pilot Reveals College Students More Likely to Attend Class and Interact with Instructor as a Result of Added Technology Resources


Survey results prove students are showing up, participating and paying more attention in new technology-enriched classrooms

Stamford, CT, 01/31/2006, Thomson Learning, a part of the Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC - News; TSX: TOC - News) and Turning Technologies, LLC, announced today that their pilot program with the University of Illinois College of Business has yielded significant results in student learning and positive student feedback regarding the use of innovative technology in the classroom. Preliminary results of the two-semester pilot study illustrate an ’evolved’ classroom experience as technology helps better engage students, improves in-class attendance and elevates participation.

The study was designed to test the effectiveness of online supplemental resources and student response systems in engaging students in high enrollment classes. The pilot course consisted of 650 marketing students at the University of Illinois. The marketing students were given access to Thomson’s MarketingNOW, an online learning supplemental resource featuring quizzes, self-diagnostic tools, and a personalized learning plan for use outside of the lecture hall and radio frequency ResponseCards (i.e. handheld clickers,) to submit real-time responses to TurningPoint, Turning Technologies’ student response system. TurningPoint allows an instructor to engage students and assess comprehension through questions presented via PowerPoint slides.

“By participating in the Thomson Learning pilot program, we are learning how to create an environment that promotes students’ active participation and fosters academic success,” said Zvi Ritz, director, Office for Information Management, at the University of Illinois College of Business. “The student participants are a highly discerning group of learners, who have been better served through the use of technologically advanced resources that support and elevate their academic experience.”

Preliminary research was conducted by the ReedGroup throughout the fall semester including faculty interviews, student surveys, focus groups, in-class observations and student and faculty end-of-course evaluations. Confirming the value of providing a more compelling and effective learning environment, the pilot results include the following key findings:

* 87% of students reported that they are more likely to attend class as a result of ResponseCard clickers being used to take attendance.

* 72% of students reported that they are more likely to participate in class using ResponseCard clicker technology to respond to instructor questions, while 61% said use of the devices made them more focused on the lecture.

* 70% of students reported that ResponseCard clickers helped them improve their understanding of how to apply specific concepts.

* 63% of students reported that attending class seems more fun as a result of the instructor using the ResponseCard clickers.

* 96% of students reported MarketingNOW was helpful for test preparation, and 92% appreciated the tool’s alternate options for viewing subject material.

* 64% of students report improvement in their understanding and retention of course material as a result of using resources available on MarketingNOW.

“This pilot project has again confirmed the value of integrating technology solutions into course curriculum. A growing repository of critical data is clearly stating that the effective use of a student response system offers increased efficiency for both the students and the professor -- a direct alignment to one of our goals which is to provide tools that increase student achievement,” said Todd Pinney, Turning Technologies’ Higher Education Business Unit Manager.

Highlights of the classroom technology benefits to students and instructors include:

* Instant Feedback: Interactive capabilities of Turning Technologies’ TurningPoint software and ResponseCard clickers allow instructors to get an immediate read on student comprehension.

* Identify Student Weaknesses: Turning Technologies’ TurningPoint software and ResponseCard clickers also enable instructors to specifically track students who are having difficulty comprehending classroom material.

* Enhanced Learning & Comprehension: Improved understanding and retention of course material as a result of using MarketingNOW resources, including the pre- and post-test results page, which directs students to specific areas of the text to explain test answers and content.

* Variety of Visual Representations: MarketingNOW provides pilot participants with access to animated figures and tables as a better way of viewing and digesting subject material.

“As student and educator needs continue to evolve, it is imperative to provide cutting-edge learning tools to cultivate a successful academic experience,” said Patricia Sabosik, vice president and general manager of Thomson Learning Labs, the organization overseeing the pilot program. “As these tools consistently improve students’ performance and enhance faculty productivity, we have a responsibility to design and offer a more compelling and effective learning environment.”

Thomson Learning continues to work closely with professors and students to better understand their teaching and learning requirements as new products and services are tested in different learning environments.

Research for the pilot, including student questionnaires, focus groups and analysis, was conducted by the ReedGroup, a full service marketing research and consulting firm headquartered in Philadelphia.

About The Thomson Corporation

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. The Corporation’s common shares are listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges (NYSE: TOC - News; TSX: TOC - News). Its learning businesses and brands serve the needs of individuals, learning institutions, corporations and government agencies with products and services for both traditional and distributed learning.

About Turning Technologies, LLC

Turning Technologies, LLC develops interactive response systems utilizing the latest software and hardware tools available and transforms them into state of the art applications for audience response. The company’s flagship product, TurningPoint® Software and Responsive Innovations ResponseCard® (Keypads), integrate with Microsoft’s PowerPoint® software, providing the most advanced combination of knowledge and technology currently available in the field of audience and student assessment.

For more information, please visit Turning Technologies at

About the University of Illinois College of Business

Internationally recognized as one of the leading business schools, the College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has outstanding programs in accountancy, business administration, and finance. The College enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduates and 775 graduate students in MBA, master’s, and doctoral programs.


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