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MaRS Innovation and York University’s commercialization office support new partnership

Students in China interact with the ClevrU platform
Students in China interact with the ClevrU platform. Photo courtesy of ClevrU Inc.

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 a new partnership between ClevrU, and NewMindsets Inc., facilitated by MaRS Innovation and York University’s commercialization office, Canadian technology and content promises to establish the second-generation online learning standard for millions of students worldwide.

Professor Gareth Morgan, co-founder of NewMindsets Inc.
Schulich School of Business Professor Gareth Morgan, co-founder of NewMindsets Inc.

ClevrU, a Waterloo-based tech company, has created a mobile-friendly, e-teaching content delivery platform with advanced tools to create interactive learning environments. ClevrU’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 Professors Jean Adams and Gareth Morgan from the Schulich School of Business at York University, the founders of NewMindsets Inc.

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

Schulich School of Business Professor Jean Adams, co-founder of NewMindsets Inc.

MaRS Innovation (MI)—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, in conjunction with York’s commercialization office, to assess how to scale their teaching model.

MI staff introduced the professors to ClevrU. Together with York’s commercialization 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 thatinterest them. We’re excited to collaborate with Jean and Gareth, along with MaRS Innovation and York’s commercialization office, to jointly create a solution that will give educational institutions a powerful, personalized solution to capture the online learning sector.”

Dana Fox, president and CEO of ClevrU Corporation

“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.”

“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.

By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager.

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