We publish textbooks and other educational materials in English, German, and Chinese (and translated into many other languages) in a variety of formats, both print and online, in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Our products are used globally by undergraduate and graduate students, educators, and lifelong learners. Wiley's higher education programs are targeted toward two-and four-year colleges and universities, for-profit career colleges, and advanced placement classes. We are a leader in courses in the sciences, engineering, computer science, mathematics, business and accounting, statistics, geography, hospitality, and the culinary arts, with a growing presence in education, psychology, and modern languages. In Australia, we are a leading secondary school publisher.
Since the early 1990s, we have consistently gained market share and improved the profitability of our educational publishing business through our strategic focus and a collaborative process that brings together our editorial, production, marketing, and sales forces with authors, faculty, and students. Wiley has an active program of publishing first and revised editions, with a number of market-leading franchises and key author teams. We have also fueled growth through strategic acquisitions; in 2001, we acquired 47 outstanding titles from Thomson Learning in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, business and finance, modern languages, and psychology, and in 1999, we acquired a list from Pearson Education in biology/anatomy and physiology, engineering, computer science, mathematics, economics, finance, and teacher education.
Our mission is to help teachers teach and students learn. We maximize the value of our content by publishing it in all media, notably through WileyPLUS, the online solution which has been used by nearly 1 million students in about 20 nations worldwide. Available in virtually all our disciplines, WileyPLUS courses contain the full online version of the text, plus all of the integrated teaching and learning resources instructors and students need to solve the problems inherent to their courses. Using WileyPLUS, instructors automate the assigning and grading of homework, and build highly visual presentations to engage students. Students complete assignments online with instant feedback as they are working, link directly to specific portions of their online text, and track their own progress in a personal gradebook. Students using WileyPLUS have consistently reported better understanding of material, better performance in class, and greater interest in learning. By choosing digital delivery of their text and integrated course content, students assigned WileyPLUS can save over half the cost of buying a new printed book. Text-specific WileyPLUS content can also be seamlessly integrated with the Blackboard Learning System (formerly WebCT); eCollege; and ANGEL Learning platforms.
Another successful interactive product is the Interactions series, based on our market-leading anatomy and physiology textbooks by Tortora and Derrickson and providing dynamic illustrations, animations, and exercises. Interactions is fully integrated into WileyPLUS for these texts, and each Interactions module can also be purchased separately on DVD or online.
Other Wiley products offer pedagogical innovation, address changing student demographics, and deliver enhanced value. In 2006 we launched the Wiley Visualizing series of introductory textbooks, developed in partnership with the National Geographic Society and integrating rich visuals and media with text in a uniquely effective way that has been enthusiastically received by the market. All Wiley Visualizing titles are offered at a lower price than conventional textbooks. The same year, we also launched Wiley Pathways, a new imprint of textbooks designed to serve the growing group of students, often working and with families, who are pursuing their post-secondary education with a strong career focus. Wiley Pathways books are available at about half the average cost of a textbook. We also offer about 90 of our higher education titles as Wiley Desktop Editions, in a downloadable e-text format that saves students up to 50 percent of the print version's price.
In May 2006, Wiley became Microsoft's official academic publishing partner worldwide for all Microsoft Official Academic Course (MOAC) texts, the approved learning material for college courses that provide training and certification in Microsoft technologies. Through the partnership, Wiley is serving the growing market of students training to become the next generation of information workers and IT professionals, a market strongly represented by career and community colleges and with a major global component.
To support educators in their integration of technology into their curricula, Wiley offers the Wiley Faculty Network (WFN), a team of leading academics who provide one-on-one and "virtual seminar" peer training. Officially launched in January 2002, the WFN has actually been active since June 2001 and serves faculty at over 6,000 institutions.
The outlook for our educational business is very positive, reflecting favorable demographics (increasing numbers of 18- to 22-year-olds, lifelong learners, and students taking online courses), as well as our focused strategy that capitalizes on these trends through new products, investments in technology, acquisitions, and partnerships.