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Deep Learning Analytics

July 2015

Metacog partners with PhET® Interactive Simulations for next gen sims

PhET® Interactive Simulations (http://phet.colorado.edu) and metacog have entered into a partnership offering an integrated package of PhET's next-generation interoperable simulations along with metacog's streaming data ingest and analytics platform. Available at http://phet.metacog.com, this bundle will enable the creation of virtual science labs and online assessments where authentic student performance can be scored in real-time.

For over 10 years, the PhET project, based at the University of Colorado Boulder, has created accurate, attractive, and interactive science and math simulations suitable for "grade school to grad school". PhET simulations go beyond traditional educational resources, offering an intuitive, engaging environment where students discover relationships, visualize the invisible, and build connections to everyday life. This new generation of interoperable HTML5 based simulations runs on a wide range of devices and interacts with the browser environment so data about student interactions with the simulations can flow into other browser tools and platforms.

The new interoperable PhET simulations provide the amazing learner experience for which PhET is known - and generate staggering amounts of rich data about how learners interact with the simulations. metacog can ingest the data from millions of students using the PhET simulations to provide real-time formative feedback to teachers, professors, and learners. It's now possible to replace the junk-food diet of pure multiple-choice testing with a balanced diet including engaging performance assessments - without burdening educators with hand-grading. We're thrilled to join PhET in releasing this bundled offering so the learning and assessment market can benefit from the work of both our teams - and can quickly tackle challenges such as the implementation of instruction and assessment for the Next Generation Science Standards.

The metacog toolkit is an internet-scale data platform implemented in the Cloud and accessed via standard REST APIs; it ingests real-time data from tens of millions of sessions generated by instrumented interactives, including online simulations, games, virtual labs, e-books, and assessments - and even internet-connected sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT). Publishers, assessment writers, curriculum developers, researchers, school districts, and distance learning programs can easily "metacog" their digital interactives to ingest learner-generated data, analyze or score it, and make it actionable through a variety of visualization and reporting tools.

Owen Lawlorphet metacog invisible ink concentration simulation

Metacog releases open ended rubric based machine scoring service

Metacog’s new open-ended scoring service enables richer, deeper, authentic assessment that goes beyond multiple choice to assess what learners can actually DO, not just what they have MEMORIZED. Now games, CEPA’s and simulations that are performance-based and cognitively challenging can be utilized to blend assessment with learning in both formative and summative environments.

How much time, energy and money goes into scoring assessments manually? The estimates vary widely but one thing is certain: teachers spend an absolutely huge amount of their day (usually at home) scoring manually. Because a large part of these assessments are multiple choice they also gives limited insight into how learners solved a particular challenge. The metacog API toolkit "shows the work" and thought processes that learners exhibit during interactions with digital performance-based lessons and assessments, enabling a broader, richer, and more authentic view of what a learner knows. It goes beyond the limited completion and time-on-task data provided by existing web and learning analytics products and can measure the degree of mastery which students demonstrate. Deep insight, reduced manual scoring time and faster more meaningful results are all now possible.


Our goal with metacog's scoring service API is to enable a new generation of instruction and assessment products where students create responses instead of merely picking them. Constructed-response is already part of the repertoire of strong educators, but it's too labor-intensive to use frequently enough to inform learning. metacog changes that – it can observe a student's performance in detail and score it quickly enough to drive formative instruction and adaptive learning. Please see the press release here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/metacog-releases-automated-real-time-rubric-based-scoring-api-300107353.html

Owen Lawlor
formative feedback visualization