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Horizon Wimba Acquires Brownstone Research Group

Horizon Wimba adds Test-Generation and Homework Management Tools to its Suite of Collaboration Software for Online Education

New York, NY – (April 3, 2006) – Horizon Wimba, a provider of collaborative software applications for online education, announced today that it has acquired Brownstone Research Group, a leading developer of simple, powerful assessment tools for teaching and learning.

With the acquisition, Horizon Wimba now boasts the most comprehensive suite of collaboration software for online education, as the addition of Brownstone’s test-authoring tool, Diploma, as well as its online homework management and testing tool, EDU, complements its fast-growing suite of collaborative products.

Now, faculty throughout the world can communicate online with their students via Horizon Wimba’s Live Classroom and Voice Tools, can quickly and easily author online content with Course Genie, and can create quiz, test, and exam questions with Diploma and EDU. Each of Horizon Wimba’s products enables instructors to take the next step beyond their current Blackboard, Moodle, WebCT, and other text-based online courses.

Brownstone sells two products directly to education institutions:
· Diploma Campus: A desktop application that allows for question authoring to be delivered via course management systems (CMS). Diploma Campus is test-generation software that allows instructors to create tests, write and edit questions, and create study sessions for students. Tests can be printed in a wide range of formats or administered to students online via CMS.

· EDU Campus: A web-based software application for creating automatically-graded homework and tests. EDU Campus allows faculty to easily create questions and tests or to import content from their own question banks in order to deliver online assignments of all sorts (homework, online exams, tutorials and practice, etc.).

Brownstone sells four other products directly to publishers:
· Diploma: A desktop, test-generation software. Instructors can create tests, write and edit questions, and create study sessions for students. Tests can be printed in a wide range of formats or administered to students online.

· EDU: A web-based online homework management center. Typically privately labeled by publishers, EDU eases the development, publishing, and delivery of self-scoring, highly-configurable, low- and high-stakes assignments. EDU puts more value in end-of-chapter problem sets, thereby enhancing academic productivity.

· TheTestingCenter: A secure, online testing environment used with Diploma, allows students to take graded exams anytime, anywhere.

· Tutor: Enables students to create practice exams on their own. Tutor even gives students feedback to why they answered questions incorrectly.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to join the Horizon Wimba family,” said T. Mack Brown, CEO and Founder of Brownstone. “I started Brownstone more than 20 years ago to provide powerful tools that are easy to use and to work with people who are committed to serving the unique needs of students and educators. It’s extremely gratifying to see Brownstone join Horizon Wimba, a company that shares these exact same ideals. Together, our instructionally sound products and experienced, enthusiastic teams will be able to serve the academic community at levels we wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve on our own.”

“Education institutions throughout the world will be the true beneficiaries of this announcement,” said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Horizon Wimba. “From colleges and universities to K-12 schools, institutions of all sizes and missions can now turn to Horizon Wimba for many of their collaborative software needs. Brownstone is an academic software pioneer and they’ve proven to be a reliable, trusted developer of software for online education. Together, we can provide numerous resources that allow instructors to create highly engaging and effective online courses.”

In addition to offering Diploma and EDU, Horizon Wimba will continue to work with Brownstone’s textbook publishing partners which distribute the majority of Brownstone’s products. Most significantly, more than 200,000 copies of Diploma have been shipped to instructors containing question banks — databases of questions and answers — for thousands of textbooks in subjects ranging from mathematics, to chemistry, to economics. Brownstone’s customers vary from major publishing companies to faculty at thousands of colleges and universities worldwide.

Going forward, Horizon Wimba plans to incorporate its Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology into Diploma and EDU in order to create voice-enabled assessments and homework assignments for language learning courses.