Adaptive Learning

Source: Mashable, Jul 2012

We’re looking at what you know, what you don’t know, how you learn best. The big difference between us and other big data companies is that we’re not ever marketing your data to a third party for any reason. [The data is collected] to make your education better.

Our personal algorithm is constantly evolving and dynamically generating recommendations in real time. Within a few hours, you get a unique bundle of material that’s targeted to you. Within a few weeks, we know tons about what you know. We know as a percentile how strong you are in every concept in your course. We start to be able to guess really accurately what strengths you have in the concepts we haven’t even shown you yet, based on correlation analysis with the concepts we have shown you.

We can predict failure in advance, which means we can pre-remediate it in advance. We can say, “Oh, she’ll struggle with this, let’s go find the concept from last year’s materials that will help her not struggle with it.” So you’re not just getting a textbook, you’re getting a subscription to this huge content portfolio, and we just go find the perfect little bit to help you master a concept. It can be a video clip, text or a video clip with text if we know that you learn better that way. If you learn quantitative things better in the morning and abstract things better in the evening, we’re going to know that. If you learn English literature concepts best in 25 minute bursts, [that’s what we’ll do].

We know everything about what you know and how you learn best because we get so much data. And education is the highest stakes media product in your life. It’s infinitely more important than your Facebook friends’ status updates or your Google search results, because it’s your future.

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