McGraw-Hill Education to Buy Adaptive Learning Firm

By Software FOXBusiness

McGraw-Hill Education said Thursday it agreed to buy Aleks Corp., which makes adaptive learning technology, as the company looks to expand its personalized learning portfolio.

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The acquisition is McGraw-Hill Education’s first since McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI) sold the unit in January to Apollo Global Management (APO) for $2.4 billion.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. McGraw-Hill Education expects to complete the transaction early in the third quarter.

“We believe that delivering personalized experiences through adaptive technology is a key ingredient to teaching and learning success,” Buzz Waterhouse, chief executive of McGraw-Hill Education, said in a statement. “Through our acquisition of Aleks, we’re working to grow and further develop the type of engaging, personalized experiences that we see as a central element in the future of education.”

Aleks uses research-based artificial intelligence to determine what a student user knows or doesn’t know. The technology then advises students on what they’re most ready to learn.

McGraw-Hill Education has already marketed and sold Aleks for math in the higher education space for more than 10 years. In the near-term, the company will continue to sell it as a standalone product but has plans to integrate Aleks with its existing content and digital platforms.

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In January, McGraw-Hill Education purchased an equity stake in Denmark-based adaptive learning firm Area9 Aps. The two companies created products like the LearnSmart Advantage suite, which includes adaptive e-book SmartBook.

Shares of Apollo were off 6.5% Thursday at $22.57. The stock is up 39% on the year.