Acquisition brings a robust catalog of best-selling labs and course materials across a number of markets and disciplines onto Top Hat’s innovative teaching platform

Morton’s content is brought to life with interactive elements to facilitate critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Educators who adopt these titles on Top Hat’s all-in-one teaching platform have the flexibility to deliver engaging labs and other learning resources to motivate their students in any teaching environment, whether in-person or online, synchronous or asynchronous

Morton Publishing Company is Top Hat’s fourth publishing acquisition in just over a year, supporting more educators to modernize their teaching approach, delivering engaging student-centred learning experiences

Top Hat’s platform enables educators to leverage active learning to engage students inside and outside the classroom, with  interactive readings, live discussion and polling tools, and homework assignments, and real-time insights for just-in-time intervention

More than 3 million students are enrolled in courses using Top Hat at 750 of the top 1,000 higher ed institutions in North America

TORONTO — August 26, 2021 — Top Hat, the leading customizable teaching and learning platform for higher education, has acquired Morton Publishing Company, an independent press that specializes in educational content for the sciences. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition includes more than 600 labs and course materials that are being converted into customizable digital courseware on Top Hat’s platform, to continue to deliver affordable course materials to students. They will be infused with interactive elements to facilitate active learning, such as videos, simulations, interactive homework questions, and more. Educators who adopt these titles on Top Hat’s teaching platform will be able to engage and motivate students in any teaching environment, whether in-person or online, synchronous or asynchronous. 

Morton Publishing Company is a leading publisher of course materials for science disciplines, and its content is used at more than 1,500 institutions in the United States. This acquisition enables Morton and Top Hat to create interactive experiences from the most popular lab materials over the course of the upcoming academic year. East Wind acted as exclusive financial advisor to Morton Publishing.

“We have worked closely with Morton’s team as a partner and now as part of the Top Hat platform to deliver modern student-centred learning experiences.  We have been incredibly impressed with Morton’s commitment to going above and beyond for their customers,” said Joe Rohrlich, CEO, Top Hat. “By coming together as one team, we will be able to facilitate creative, meaningful, and purposeful ways for even more students to learn the information and skills they need to succeed.”

“To be in a position to be acquired is a remarkable achievement. Since Doug Morton founded our company over 40 years ago, Morton Publishing has prided itself on working with our authors to offer a dynamic catalog of products focused on delivering tools for active learning with sensible prices for students and instructors,” said David Ferguson, President and CEO, Morton Publishing. “Top Hat provides us the opportunity to meet the future with solutions that will only be possible using their best-in-class digital learning platform. Morton Publishing’s acquisition by Top Hat is the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.”

As Students Question the Relevance and Value of Expensive Print Textbooks, Higher Ed Publishers Need to Put Interactivity and Customizability First 

In February, 2021, Top Hat announced it raised $130M USD in Series E financing to drive the shift from traditional textbooks to digital interactive course materials. With this funding, Top Hat will fast track partnership and acquisition activities with traditional publishers to create more engaging and effective course experiences. Top Hat proved the strength and viability of its publisher acquisition strategy in 2020, completing acquisitions of Nelson’s Canadian higher ed business, bluedoor, and Fountainhead Press and successfully transitioning their content and customers to Top Hat’s digital teaching platform after raising $55M in Series D funding in February, 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated pressures on higher ed institutions to demonstrate value to students, who are increasingly facing challenges with the cost, accessibility, and relevance of their print course materials. In fact, our recent research has found that even when it’s safe to teach in person, more than half of students want to work with interactive textbooks that allow them to read and assess their learning as they go,” said Rohrlich. “Every traditional publisher needs to put learner needs at the core of their content, and Top Hat makes that possible, with the added benefit of a proven teaching platform designed to deliver learner experiences that are accessible, engaging, and rewarding.”

Top Hat’s Teaching Platform Enables Educators to Deliver Engaging and Effective Learning in Any Teaching Scenario

Top Hat’s  all-in-one teaching platform enables active learning — a proven student-centred teaching pedagogy that promotes deep understanding, critical thinking, and subject mastery — by encouraging students to engage with the content before, during, and after class. As the complete solution for any teaching scenario, Top Hat offers tools for in-person as well as synchronous and asynchronous online learning, while creating active engagement and connections with students inside and outside class meetings. 

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About Top Hat

Top Hat is the only all-in-one teaching  and learning platform that enables active learning — a proven student-centred teaching pedagogy that promotes deep understanding, critical thinking, and subject mastery — with interactive content, tools, and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use Top Hat to teach and engage with students before, during, and after class, in both in-person and online education.


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Dianna Lai Read