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authentic assessment

What exactly is metacog?

API Diagram

Whenever I meet anyone at a technology or learning conference - and they ask what exactly metacog is, and what it does - I do have to admit I always hesitate a little bit and am always tempted to ask “What do you want it to do?” because the platform is extremely multifaceted and versatile. Instead of being tongue in cheek, I will summarize the basic metacog API services here, which is virtually impossible to do in brief casual conversation. So here goes:

Metacog partners with PhET® Interactive Simulations for next gen sims

PhET® Interactive Simulations ( 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, 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.

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