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Pearson and Knewton Charge Ahead with Adaptive Courses

Pearson and Knewton will soon introduce versions of digital courses that will adapt to each student's needs as the course progresses. Pearson will be making its MyLab/Mastering courses in developmental mathematics, developmental English, and developmental writing available on Knewton's Adaptive Learning Platform, which personalizes courses for each student. Pearson said the MyLab/Mastering products had 9 million student registrations in 2011.

"Personalized learning is a linchpin for the overall future of education," said Greg Tobin of Pearson. "Incorporating Knewton's technology into our MyLab/Mastering programs is leading the industry's charge toward this new era of customized and personalized education."

"Students generate a tremendous amount of high-stakes data that Knewton can analyze to ensure they learn in the most effective and efficient way for each. It is a new frontier in education," added Jose Ferreira, founder and CEO of Knewton.

Knewton's technology uses proprietary algorithms to deliver a personalized learning path for each student each day. The algorithms can categorize each student's strengths, weaknesses, learning preferences, and learning style to tailor course content. The company has published at least one course offering that competes with Pearson's--Math Readiness for College, a Web-based developmental math course.

The announcement came during the Consumer Electronics Show Higher Ed Tech Summit in Las Vegas this week, where executives from both companies participated in a panel on the future of higher education. The partnership was initially announced in November 2011 and will expand in coming months to encompass development of adaptive courses for collegiate mathematics, statistics, freshman composition, economics, and science, among other areas.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.