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Knewton, Pearson Pair Up To Deliver Customized Learning Experience

Education publisher Pearson and adaptive learning startup Knewton have teamed up to create a new suite of personalized education products. Pearson will be integrating Knewton's adaptive learning platform into its digital offerings, beginning with its MyLab and Mastering series.

Knewton's adaptive learning platform is designed to customize learning materials to meet students' exact needs. The company's technology uses proprietary algorithms to assess what students know and how they learn best and then tailors the lessons and textbook material accordingly. A math student, for instance, who lacks confidence and struggles to grasp new concepts may receive a number of easy questions at the beginning of each lesson. If the student is a visual learner, lessons may also include video or interactive games. The system might also pair the student with a study partner who has a similar learning style but has demonstrated proficiency in the subject.

As students move through lessons, instructors can see where students are struggling and which concepts need additional explanation or discussion.

Pearson's MyLab and Mastering programs deliver personalized materials, learning tools, and real-time evaluation and diagnostics. More than 750,000 students logged in daily to MyLab or Mastering in 2010, according to the company.

Knewton was founded in 2008 by former Kaplan executive Jose Ferriera. In October the New York-based startup announced plans to grow its technology after securing $33 million in funding from a number of investors, including Pearson. The two education companies reported they plan to develop a line of custom digital course solutions and explore new opportunities in K-12 and international markets.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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