Aplia Inc. was launched out of Stanford University in early 2000 under the direction of Prof. Paul Romer. Fast forward more than a decade, and now it is clear to see that Aplia is one of the most used online homework products in the United States. Over 1,300 colleges and universities throughout the world use Aplia. The business is no longer under the command of Prof. Paul Romer. During the spring of 2007, the Cengage Learning company officially acquired Aplia Inc. The company is currently headquartered in Belmont, California.
The early days of what would become Aplia showcase true innovation and dedication from Prof. Romer. In 1998, Prof. Romer began experimenting with different ways to keep his economics classes engaged in the course material. His online homework system yielded extremely positive results at Stanford University. Other instructors at his university and other universities began inquiring about his online homework system. Prof. Romer presented his positive results to business investors and eventually succeeded in raising $10 million dollars to start Aplia.
Aplia currently covers online homework assignments and their answers for the following topics: economics (both macroeconomics and microeconomics), finance, accounting, business communication, biology, political science, sociology, psychology, history, management, statistics, marketing, philosophy, business law, developmental reading, and taxation. Aplia online homework assignments are usually developed for specific textbooks on the most popular and common course topics. Most of the major textbook publishers are looking to make their material “Aplia-friendly" to ensure easy integration as the homework and you wouldn’t platform becomes increasingly popular among students and instructors alike.
Professors love Aplia because they can work with a company support representative that assists them in setting up their educational material within the online learning platform. Aplia contains many different types of assignments for students. Oftentimes these assignments are in the form of tutorials, news analysis, and various types of problem sets. For economics courses in particular, Aplia has been extremely successful at engaging students with their online interactive market experiments.
The platform’s chapter problem sets are graded automatically and the Aplia answers are extremely detailed to ensure that a student understands “why" the answer is what it is, and not just “what" the answer is. For most of the topics, the Aplia platform offers organized and easy to understand tutorials that help speed learning process of and also assist students in keeping their thoughts organized. For the subjects of economics and finance in particular, students using Aplia will discover current news postings that relate to the course material in some way. Students are asked several follow-up questions about these current news stories in order to satisfy some of their online homework requirements.
As mentioned previously, where the Aplia online learning platform really “shines" is in their real-time online market experiments for economics students. These types of experiments help students gain a better understanding of how the real financial market behaves and they can see what the overall real world market environment is like first-hand. These economics market experiments are growing in popularity on campuses throughout the world.
Professors and other college instructors like using Aplia for several reasons. One of the main reasons instructors like this platform is because essentially all of the assessments and grading is done automatically. This platform gives a lot of instructors the freedom and opportunity to focus on actually teaching the required material, rather than spending the majority of their time organizing, giving out, and grading homework assignments. Aplia even includes something called “Gradebook Analytics" for teachers. These real-time analytics assist professors and instructors in focusing on a students progress throughout the course across all of the course topics and assignments. Teachers also like Aplia’s Course Management System. They can easily post class announcements and course materials. It is also extremely easy to start and moderate online discussions within the platform. Aplia is known to work well alongside and many of the other popular course management systems out there today too. Most instructors report that their customer service is unrivaled as well.
Aplia provides students with what is known as an “Aplia access card". This access card is referred to by many of today’s students as an “Aplia login", or as their “Aplia access code", “Aplia access key", or simply as their “Aplia payment code". Students use this access key to access Aplia assignments and their corresponding Aplia answers. The way that their business model works is fairly simple. Students pay additional registration fees to Aplia, alongside their regular college course fees.
However, this is becoming a bit of a problem in the “not so great" economy right now. Students budget according to what their college tells them a specific course will cost in total. So, when they eventually discover that their instructor/course is integrating with Aplia, they may not be able to afford the class any longer. Some students and public education activists are working to eliminate private online courses from being “forced" onto students at public universities. Aplia has many critics in the used textbook market too. Even with a fair amount of criticism coming from several different groups though, the Aplia company continues to grow at an extremely fast rate. They are quickly making a name for themselves on campuses throughout the world, and their company’s future as a leader in the e-learning platform industry looks brighter than ever.