Online courseware provider used by edX is re-imagining what online STEM could look like
Using “the science of memory,” and recent advances in personalized learning, an adaptive courseware provider is developing a STEM course aimed at engaging and retaining at-risk students.
A recent recipient of the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Courseware Challenge, Cerego says its future course, StatsPL, will allow for such personalization of STEM learning that the course could reach more than 1 million low-income students by 2018.
The courseware provider not only plans to reach these students through what it calls the science of memory, but in allowing for students’ personal passions to dictate the course…even if it’s a statistics 101 course.
“We’re a group of scientists and technologists,” said Cerego executive chairman and co-founder Andrew Smith Lewis. “We’re not content experts, but we work with them in order to personalize knowledge acquisition.”
Founded in 2000, Cerego incorporates what it says is long-standing research on the science of memory, which the company felt was often under-utilized, in order to improve learning efficiency and ensure that crucial concepts are never forgotten.
Specifically, Cerego says the adaptive platform focuses on helping users master foundational knowledge by focusing on recency, frequency, and patterns of prior exposure so that students are shown information again whenever they are on the cusp of forgetting.
“At the end of the day, the goal is that everyone masters the concepts,” Smith Lewis said. “A one size fits all model of instruction doesn’t work as well as a personal tutor.”
After becoming the first third-party developer to join with edX, Cerego now hosts hundreds of courses on their website from a multitude of developers including Cerego themselves, many of which are used by major online institutions including HarvardX and MITx.
The courseware being developed now, though, might be Cerego’s most innovative and ambitious project yet. The course, which is called StatsPL, will bring in a host of collaborators from many different fields in order to create a highly personalized experience.
(Next Page: How Cerego’s StatsPL will take personalized learning to a new level in STEM)