CPE News (5/26/2020) – Tophatmonocle Corp. dba Top Hat has entered an agreement to acquired the Canadian domestic post-secondary textbook business from Nelson. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The pending acquisition brings more than 400 Nelson print-only titles that Top Hat will be converting into digital courseware on its platform and infuse them with interactive elements, enabling educators to bring active learning to life for their students. Facing the uncertainty of the upcoming school year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, educators who adopt these titles on the Top Hat platform will have the flexibility to deliver their courses effectively and motivate their students in any teaching environment, whether online or in-person, synchronous or asynchronous.
Top Hat has already partnership agreements with Fountainhead Press and Bluedoor Publishing to transform their print-only content into digital courseware.
Nelson, Canada’s leading educational publisher, has been providing world-class learning resources to K-12 and post-secondary communities. Following the completion of the divestiture, Nelson will focus solely on the K-12 education market locally and globally.
Top Hat is backed by Georgian Partners, Inovia Capital, Union Square Ventures, Emergence Capital, Leaders Fund, Version One Ventures, Uncork Capital (formerly SoftTech VC), and Felicis Ventures.
In February 2020, Top Hat closed a US $55 million Series D round of equity and debt financing co-led by Georgian Partners and Inovia Capital. BMO Technology and Innovation Banking Group provided venture debt financing.
photo credit: Nelson, Top Hat
Top Hat to Acquire Nelson’s Canadian Domestic Higher Ed Textbook Business, Transforming Educational Publishing Landscape
Pending acquisition brings more than 400 Nelson titles trusted by educators at more than 80 percent of Canada’s higher ed institutions, onto Top Hat’s leading all-in-one active learning platform, enabling educators to better motivate and engage students
Facing the uncertainty of the upcoming school year, educators who adopt these titles on Top Hat’s digital courseware platform will have the flexibility to deliver their courses effectively in any teaching environment, whether online or in-person, synchronous or asynchronous
Top Hat’s platform enables educators to bring active learning to life for students inside and outside the classroom, with tools to live-stream lectures, present and edit slides, record lectures for later viewing, host live chats, poll and quiz students during class, assign homework, and deliver formative and summative assessments
More than 3 million students are enrolled in courses using Top Hat at 750 of the top 1,000 higher ed institutions in North America
May 26, 2020 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Top Hat, the leading active learning platform for higher education, today announced it is acquiring more than 400 higher education textbook titles published by Nelson, Canada’s largest educational publisher. Top Hat will convert these print-only titles into digital courseware on its platform and infuse them with interactive elements, enabling educators to bring active learning to life for their students. The acquisition will transform the Canadian higher education publishing landscape, positioning Top Hat as a leading player in the industry. Facing the uncertainty of the upcoming school year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, educators who adopt these titles on the Top Hat platform will have the flexibility to deliver their courses effectively and motivate their students in any teaching environment, whether online or in-person, synchronous or asynchronous.
Nelson is Canada’s leading educational publisher and has been providing quality learning materials and solutions to students since 1914. This acquisition will take Nelson’s world-class higher ed learning content used at more than 80 percent of Canada’s higher ed institutions and strengthen it on Top Hat’s powerful active learning platform with features and tools that equip educators to easily provide engaging and effective learning experiences while improving student outcomes. For example, educators can leverage Top Hat’s market-leading functionality that supports student comprehension through a unique assess-as-you-go model that intersperses interactive and engaging activities and assessments throughout the textbooks, like rollover definitions, interactive 3D models, comprehensive chapter summaries, study guides, and quizzes, among other features. The catalogue of titles includes many popular and trusted textbooks used in Canadian higher ed institutions, covering disciplines including human resources, social sciences, criminal justice, and education, among many others.
“As the world has moved online and information is available in real-time, educators have faced a growing challenge convincing students of the value and relevance of print textbooks,” said Mike Silagadze, founder and CEO, Top Hat. “The COVID-19 crisis of the past few months, and the subsequent closure of on-campus facilities and bookstores, has exacerbated the situation as many students have had challenges accessing these course materials. Through this acquisition, Top Hat will ensure students have access to engaging, high-quality course materials no matter how courses are delivered, with the added benefit of proven active learning technology that uplevels the learning experience.”
“Nelson’s collaboration with Top Hat will ensure students have access to high-quality, trusted content delivered on a world-class learning platform suited to meet the needs of our new normal,” said Steve Brown, CEO, Nelson. “Enabling student success is at the core of everything we do. We believe this transition will enable students and faculty to successfully continue their learning journey as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year.”
Top Hat is Enabling Canadian Institutions to Plan for Fall 2020 in a Climate of Uncertainty
The abrupt transition to remote teaching as a result of campus closures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed educators to quickly piece together multiple solutions to deliver their courses online. The result was a highly disjointed experience that required professors to navigate and force-fit technologies and content not designed to work together. According to Top Hat’s new survey of 3,089 current higher education students in North America, students are questioning the return on investment in their college education as almost seven out of 10 feel the emergency online instruction they received this winter is worse than in-person instruction. Furthermore, more than a quarter of students are questioning a return to their current college or university in the fall due to uncertainty around how their school plans to reopen.
As the Fall 2020 semester approaches, institutions and faculty need to assure students they will receive valuable learning experiences regardless of how courses are taught — whether in-person, online, or in a hybrid format. The need for powerful teaching tools and high-quality digital content has never been greater.
Through this acquisition, Top Hat will ensure that educators who rely on these leading Canadian higher ed textbooks can leverage the elements of Top Hat that instructors around the world depend on to deliver an engaging and effective learning experience to millions of higher ed students: adherence to active learning principles, deep engagement with students, and a holistic view of student progress and comprehension. For example, educators can leverage Top Hat functionality to encourage student comprehension through embedding interactive and engaging activities throughout the textbooks, like rollover definitions, interactive 3D models, comprehensive chapter summaries, study guides, and assessments, among other features. Educators are further supported by Top Hat’s instructional design and support teams, dedicated to helping them build their perfect course.
Top Hat’s Active Learning Platform with Powerful Virtual Classroom Capabilities Makes Online Teaching and Learning Experience More Engaging and Interactive
Top Hat recently announced it will be adding virtual classroom capabilities to its all-in-one teaching solution, empowering instructors to teach the same course face-to-face and online, while maintaining active learning principles. It is a complete solution that offers tools for in-person as well as synchronous and asynchronous online learning, enabling educators to seamlessly transition between in-person and online teaching while maintaining active engagement and connections with students inside and outside virtual class meetings.
About Top Hat
Top Hat’s all-in-one teaching platform enables professors to connect with students inside and outside the classroom with engaging content, tools, and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use the Top Hat teaching platform for in-class, online, and blended learning. To learn more, visit tophat.com.
Dianna Lai Read
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