Aplia Expands Higher Education Online Courses Into Finance

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Aplia expands its higher education offerings into finance with four courses: “Preparing For Finance,” Brigham and Houston’s Fundamentals of Finance, Brigham and Houston’s Finance, and Brigham and Houston’s Fundamentals of Financial Management, Concise.

When world-renowned economist and Stanford professor Dr. Paul Romer launched online educational course company Aplia, Inc. (http://www.aplia.com) in 2000, he did so for the most basic of reasons. “I wanted my students to learn more.” Now six years later and with over 350,000 students at over 450 college and university campuses having submitted over 170 million answers online for Aplia’s economics products, the company is expanding its course offerings into finance.

Aplia launches its expansion into finance with four courses: “Preparing For Finance,” Brigham and Houston’s Fundamentals of Finance, Brigham and Houston’s Finance, and Brigham and Houston’s Fundamentals of Financial Management, Concise. These new courses begin with the finance prerequisites, including reviews of mathematics, statistics, economics, and accounting, as well as instruction in using the TI BAII Plus and HP 10BII financial calculators.

With Aplia’s content and tools, students can tackle the practice and graded problem sets covering these topics. The free online demo, available at http://www.aplia.com/finance, contains an outline of the material covered as well as the full TI calculator practice problem set.

“Our mission with the new finance courses is to require from students the effort necessary for them to succeed,” said Romer. “In the process, this effort increases the productivity of instructors by freeing them from such low-value tasks as marking papers or lecturing on the basics, allowing them to do what they do best—respond to questions, lead discussions, demonstrate, and challenge.”

Aplia enhances student performance by giving them access to the online content and tools needed to do more preparation outside the classroom and be more actively engaged in "doing" finance, rather than watching someone else do it. Most importantly, with Aplia’s Web application, students are able to follow customized paths so that none are bored by challenges that are too easy or discouraged by challenges that are too hard.

Romer uses Aplia to demonstrate how technology can best be put to work in education, and what our entire educational system will need to do to keep up with a rapidly changing world. Aplia presents students with online readings, problem sets, and experiments specific to their textbook and course. Aplia is founded on a critical notion: that student effort is the most important input in the educational process, and the most important determinant of student success.

Romer believes that technology can play a role in motivating this effort, by more accurately measuring the work that students do outside the classroom. Instructors can then use this information to build the kind of structure in their courses to induce more effort – frequent assignments, specific deadlines, consistent grading, and immediate feedback. Beyond the assignments, technology can also bring students into artificial worlds that lie half-way between the simple abstract world of the textbook and the rich but complicated world of everyday experience. By interacting with each other in these online "experiments," students learn by doing in an environment that is rich enough to be realistic but simple enough to emphasize key teaching points.

Finance and business professors interested in learning more Aplia’s finance courses or about setting up an appointment to see a full product demonstration should contact Aplia at http://www.aplia.com/contact/prod_form.jsp or toll free at 888-858-7305.

About Aplia

Founded in 2000 by renowned economist Paul Romer, Aplia, Inc. is built upon the premise that “Student effort is a key determinant in student success.” Aplia is a collection of Web-based tools that enables professors to incorporate two key teaching elements: assigning frequent online homework that is automatically tracked and graded; and easily incorporating active-learning such as experiments and current events into the classroom. The result is better-prepared students, more effective use of class time, enhanced discussions, and more in-depth learning. Aplia is headquartered in San Carlos, California.


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Brian Erwin
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