Today Junction Education, a startup founded by former McGraw-Hill executive Vineet Madan, officially launched. Junction Education aims to provide instructors and students with an easy to use course platform which integrates different kinds of web content into web- and mobile based courses.
Junction Education has received investment from two former heads of McGraw-Hill Education, Robert J. Bahash and Peter C. Davis, who are also advisors to the startup along with former Pearson Education Global CMO Gary L. June.
While at McGraw-Hill Madan was involved in different projects around digital textbooks and adaptive learning in his role as senior vice president and head of MHE’s internal incubator eLabs. During this time he started the relationship with adaptive learning startup Area9 which got acquired by the publisher in February 2014, as well as others including Inkling, StraighterLine, Tegrity, Key Curriculum and Apple for the iBooks textbooks product.
Madan left McGraw-Hill last year after selling the education group to Apollo for $2.4 billion but through his work with education entrepreneurs over the years he caught himself the the startup bug.
“In that time I’ve been drilling deep into the college space, in particular community colleges, to figure out pain points as it relates to the shift to online learning.”
Madan told me in an email. Why community colleges? Around a third of the US college population are attending community colleges, over 7 million students. Yet the three year degree completion rate is just ~31%.
“iTunesU, Blackboard, Coursera et al aren’t the answer here and neither are many of the textbook-derivative solutions offered by Pearson, McGraw-Hill and the like. Instructors and students alike are looking for an easy way to integrate web content – videos, articles, flashcards and more – and present it through a single wrapper, increasingly choosing an open textbook as a backstop. So we built it, kind of like Flipboard for college courses.”
Besides being able to integrate add different content into the courses and engage with them via a web browser or mobile app, Junction Education has of course adaptive learning baked into the product. Through studying the data of its top performers, the platform models learning paths with the aim to shape positive study behaviours for the entire class. The data is tracked anonymously. Other features of the platform include embedded assessments with autograding, instant messaging and cloud-synced study notes.
A cornerstone of Junction is video content, according to Madan the #1 requested form of content by faculty and students alike. At launch Junction Education announced two partnerships to fuel its video content library, one with BBC Worldwide Learning and one with CBS News.
Junction Education has been piloted at Mercy College, Bronx Community College, Hofstra University, Montclair State University, and Reynolds Community College.
“Junction uses data to guide students into developing positive study behaviors – it has significant potential to enhance learning,”
states Dr. Edward Weis, Dean, School of Business at Mercy College in the press release.
Based on Madan’s decades of experience and connections in the higher education space, Junction Education should be one to keep an eye on.
- Junction Education™ Announces Launch of Its Behavioral Learning Platform | Businesswire
- review:ed #27 with Vineet Madan of McGraw-Hill Education | EDUKWEST