ASU Dean Regier Announces Knewton Math Partnership

Philip Regier, Executive Vice President and Dean of ASU Online
ASU announced a personalized learning partnership with Knewton to improve their developmental math sequence.  Phil Regier is an Executive Vice President and Dean of ASU Online.  ASU Online serves about 1,800 virtual students. Roughly 90% of the 45,000 student on campus take at least one course online.  The full press release follows an edReformer interview with Dean Regier.
Why a partnership with Knewton?
ASU has tremendous amount of resources, but we don’t need to create everything from scratch. We are partnering with Knewton because they have the best platform for adaptive learning 2.0. They have built in achievement systems that make it easy to engage with materials in an organic way, rather then being told to engage.
What impressed you about Knewton’s adaptive engine?
We have been conducting environmental scans of the educational innovation industry. What we found was that not much of it is actually directed at teaching and learning. It is more focused on textbook purchasing; easy ways access materials and not focusing on actual classroom experience. Knewton has demonstrated results with their test prep products and we were excited about the possibilities of bringing this to larger scale education classroom settings. There is a lot that we could do with classroom and with teaching outcomes but many have not been tested yet. This will show a positive outcome of how adaptive learning technology and organic engagement drive better learning outcomes and higher graduation rates.
Adaptive products, historically, have just identified learning levels.  Is there more to this?
ALEKS is an adaptive product that has been used over the last 3 years and has been used for math placement. Every freshman has to take an ALEKS test and is put into one of three buckets: 1) ready for advanced math, 2) ready for college math, and 3)
admitted but not ready for college level math.  The first generation of adaptive learning is useful but still flat and sequential.
The next generation of learning, call it adaptive learning 2.0, features more control, more differentiation, more engagement—it’s personalized learning.
Will adaptive learning 3.0 provide richer pathways through a digital library?
A: Yes, this sounds right—more tagged content that customizes the learning experience.
Why Math?
The placement test is incredibly predictive of student success. Bucket 3 tends to be diverse, low income, high need—the type of students that don’t have the background to succeed in college.  They are more likely to fail a course and then they won’t return the following year.
What will the student experience be like?
Students on campus will be in one 75-minute class per week focused on problem solving and one period in a math lab.  They will progress at their own pace.
There will be a high level of student engagement with games, badges, leader boards and a little friendly competition.
Why is the Dean of ASU Online leading this project?
Many of the online students are reentry students, they are older with 20-40 hours of credits and many have not taken math in 5-10 years.  My interest was with the online class but there has been such an improvement in math delivery that we wanted to overhaul for face to face as well.
What has been the faculty reaction?
The senior faculty mostly deals with graduate students and don’t have much interaction with lower classes.  The Lecturers (clinical faculty) know the developmental pathway has not been successful but have seen some success with adaptive products like ALEKS.  Some are just waiting to see results.
How many students will be involved?
About 6,500 students, or two thirds of the freshman class, will take one or both of the developmental math courses.
What learning management system do you use?
The new courses will be offered on Pearson’s Learning Studio.
Thank you, Dean Regier!
see VentureBeat story

Arizona State University Partners with Knewton

Knewton’s Adaptive Learning Platform™ will break down educational barriers and better prepare students for academic success

New York, NY (January 6, 2011) – Arizona State University (ASU) announced plans today to adopt Knewton’s adaptive learning technology  for developmental math courses and two of its largest college-level math courses. Knewton, a leading educational technology firm, will provide ASU with its award-winning Adaptive Learning Platform™ to help developmental and college-level learners in mathematics prepare for the rigors of college-level academics.
Knewton’s platform will integrate fully with MAT117 (College Algebra) and MAT142 (College Mathematics), creating a unique learning experience that is customized for each student. Knewton optimizes each student’s learning graph around which concepts s/he is weakest at and which are most important, delivering uniquely personalized study material each day to each student based on what s/he knows and how s/he learns best.  Both courses will be offered online and in dedicated computer labs, and will be made available to approximately 6,800 students in the 2011-2012 academic year.
“Historically, student performance in entry-level math has been a strong predictor of academic success,” said Phil Regier, Executive Vice Provost and Dean of ASU Online. “The reality is that every student learns differently. Especially for many developmental and returning students, rigorous but personalized instruction may be the boost they need to succeed academically and move beyond what can be a major barrier to graduation.”
“We built this technology to allow schools to create a highly personalized and highly scalable learning experience for each student,” said Knewton founder Jose Ferreira. “Not everyone enters college on equal footing, and even the strongest students have conceptual weak spots. Now Knewton can diagnose each student’s proficiency on every concept, generate the perfect content in response, and give students and teachers powerful new analytical tools about student performance.”
Participating students will begin with a preliminary assessment, resulting in an Adaptive Remediation™ module with virtual and in-person tutoring. Once students demonstrate college readiness in mathematics, they will advance into ASU instructor-led math courses. Knewton technology will also support students in these entry-level math courses with continual learning assessments of their mastery of key course concepts.
ASU has successfully used adaptive learning techniques in experimental sections of MAT117 for the past two semesters. Knewton-powered courses will significantly enhance and expand adaptive learning at ASU, and are expected to launch in late spring 2011.
To learn more about Knewton’s Adaptive Learning Platform™ and how it can help any student improve, visit:

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About Knewton
Knewton has developed the world’s first Adaptive Learning Platform™, which customizes educational content to create a uniquely personalized learning experience for every student. Knewton’s patented algorithms currently power its GMAT prepLSAT prep, and SAT prep courses, and Knewton is now partnering with universities, publishers and other educational organizations to make personalized learning available to everyone worldwide. Knewton was founded in 2008 by Jose Ferreira, a former executive at Kaplan, with Series A and B funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, First Round Capital, and prominent angel investors. For more information, please visit

Katie Vander Ark - Getting Smart

Katie Vander Ark

Katie is an education and innovation enthusiast.

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