LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Learning House, Inc. (“Learning House”), a leading cloud-based technology provider of solutions that enable universities to thrive in today’s dynamic education landscape, announced today it has acquired Acatar. The acquisition solidifies Learning House’s leadership position in the burgeoning $1.1 billion online program management market1 and signals its significant commitment to technology investment in the online education space. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The announcement comes on the heels of Learning House’s recently announced acquisition of The Software Guild, a leading coding bootcamp provider.
Learning House and Acatar will combine to expand resources and offer higher education partners technology-enhanced education experiences that deliver the highest standards of academic rigor and integrity, including in competitive subject areas like engineering.
Acatar is an online education technology platform that applies science-based principles on effective teaching and course design to work with faculty to develop their courses for technology-enhanced delivery. Acatar applies those same research-based principles to create a robust, student-centered technology platform and works with elite institutions to create customized online learning programs and strategies specific to a school’s goals. The platform was developed by researchers at Carnegie Innovations, an affiliate of Carnegie Mellon University, that focuses on developing world-class organizations committed to real innovation in education. Current Acatar clients include Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Notre Dame.
“Through this acquisition, Learning House will be extraordinarily well-positioned to better serve our existing customer base as well as elite higher education institutions,” said Todd Zipper, CEO of Learning House. “This move is also in line with Learning House’s broader business objective of providing higher education institutions with the tools they need to affordably achieve their online education goals and remain relevant in today’s highly competitive education marketplace. Acatar is a world-class, cloud-based platform in a high-growth industry that can rapidly scale on a national level.”
“Acatar was founded on the philosophy that faculty should be thoroughly involved in all aspects of their courses and have the support available to create a meaningful translation of their material to online modalities, not just a transfer,” said Marie Norman, Senior Director of Educational Excellence at Acatar. “We developed our platform to reflect the rich, rigorous quality of a university’s classroom and the true value of their degree.”
Acatar allows faculty members to maintain the integrity of their traditional instruction in a digital setting; faculty and students can enjoy features such as tailored mobile content and state of the art media, real-time polling and Q&A, customized schedules and class participation options, social features such as chats and breakout sessions with classmates, and rapid feedback channels for enhanced dialogue with instructors. Faculty users have built-in opportunities to activate students’ prior knowledge, align assessments and instruction, and foster meaningful interaction.
“I quickly realized that it wouldn’t work to simply transfer what I did in the face-to-face classroom to the online environment; I had to rethink my goals and my materials,” said Venkat Viswanathan, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “Acatar helped me translate my challenging on-site course on Statistical Thermodynamics to a user-friendly online format, which resulted in increased class engagement and supportive feedback from students.”
“Acatar's differentiator is that its platform is grounded in research and guided by the sciences of learning,” said Elliot Visconsi, Chief Academic Digital Officer at the University of Notre Dame. “Acatar works beautifully to make the online learning process effective and engaging and delivers a rigorous, immersive learning experience that students expect of leading research universities such as Notre Dame. Acatar is a worthy partner for any leading college or university seeking to expand its online footprint."
Learning House is owned by Weld North Holdings LLC (Weld North), an investment company founded by former Kaplan, Inc. CEO Jonathan Grayer in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). Weld North invests and operates companies in education, among other industries, and has experience building significant businesses in the online education industry that play a role in tackling the country’s difficult education challenges.
1 Eduventures (2015). OPM Market Overview: Size, Segmentation, Dynamics, & Growth. Online and Continuing Education. 1 (10) 1-4.
About Learning House
The Learning House, Inc. through its proprietary cloud based technology platform helps colleges and universities create, manage and grow high-quality online degree programs and courses. Partnering with more than 75 schools, Learning House enables institutions to efficiently and affordably achieve their online education goals. Services include product development and market research, marketing and lead generation, enrollment management, student retention, curriculum development and management, faculty training and professional development, learning management systems and 24/7 technical support.
Acatar is an online enablement company founded at Carnegie Innovations. Working with some of the world's finest universities, Acatar uses approaches in effective teaching and instructional design to help faculty create courses for delivery via the proprietary Acatar technology platform. Carnegie Innovations, an affiliate of Carnegie Mellon University, focuses on developing world-class organizations committed to real innovation in education.