New collaboration advances the future of e-teaching and e-learning

Gareth Morgan and Jean Adams head shots

In the age of ITunes, videotaping lectures or converting existing textbooks into e-books won’t make you the market leader in online education.

Thanks to the leadership and support offered by Innovation York (York University’s commercialization and industry liaison office), a new partnership co-facilitated by MaRS Innovation promises to bring together Canadian technology from a Waterloo-based tech company ClevrU and content developed by Schulich School of Business Professors Gareth Morgan and Jean Adams, to establish the second-generation online learning standard for millions of students worldwide.

Gareth Morgan head shotGareth Morgan

ClevrU has created a mobile-friendly, e-teaching content delivery platform with advanced tools to create interactive learning environments. The company’s intelligent engine helps students and instructors collaborate while adapting course content to suit the individual’s personal preferences within a multilingual environment.

The problem? They needed an equally advanced teaching model.

Enter Adams and Morgan, the founders of NewMindsets Inc. Their proven e-teaching model, based on 12 years of research and implementation, breaks learning sessions into smaller, integrated modules or “learning nuggets” that empower students to discover and understand knowledge.

Innovation York, together with MaRS Innovation – which commercializes the most promising research breakthroughs from 16 of Toronto’s top universities, medical institutions and research institutes, including York University – met with Morgan and Adams to assess how to scale their teaching model.

Jean Adams head shotsJean Adams

“We were missing a mobile e-teaching platform to support our research and model,” says Morgan. “With ClevrU’s analytics to examine how students are learning and interacting on a real-time basis, we’ll have all the necessary tools to optimize both our pedagogy and their platform for mobile devices, tablets, laptops and computers.”

MI staff introduced the professors to ClevrU. Together with Innovation York staff, they will collaborate with both parties to support the fledgling partnership.

“Students expect interactivity in online learning models,” says Dana Fox, president and CEO of ClevrU Corporation. “They want to ask questions, interact with peers and dig deeper into course topics that interest them. We’re excited to collaborate with Jean and Gareth, along with MaRS Innovation and Innovation York, to jointly create a solution that will give educational institutions a powerful, personalized solution to capture the online learning sector.”

The professor’s home faculty at York University is also supportive of the arrangement. “The Schulich School of Business is excited to be involved in this new strategic partnership,” says Dean Dezsö J. Horváth. “Our school is committed to innovation in management learning and to enhancing our global reach and scope. Schulich Professors Morgan and Adams have developed a proven, world-class blended learning model that has the potential to bring our expertise in management and leadership development to a much broader global audience.”

“York is committed to facilitating the commercialization of the products of the research of its faculty and trainees,” said Robert Haché, York’s Vice-President Research & Innovation. “This e-teaching model and pedagogy is a prime example of the excellent research conducted at the University.”

The collaboration will explore China as an initial target market for their combined technology. ClevrU has an extensive presence in China and has signed memorandums of understanding with China Telecom, RenRen and China Unicom.