Knewton, the world’s leader in adaptive learning products and technologies, has closed its latest financing round, which includes up to $25 million in capital. Knewton plans to use the funding to scale Alta, the company’s adaptive learning courseware for higher education, which has established strong momentum since its debut in the U.S. market in January 2018.
The financing round is led by TriplePoint Capital with a debt facility of up to $20 million. Knewton’s existing investors — which include Accel, Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, Founders Fund and Sofina — invested an additional $5 million.
“Knewton’s adaptive learning platform has long been the envy of the ed-tech industry. By putting it directly in the hands of students and instructors with Alta, we’ve figured out how we can make the biggest impact on improving student outcomes,” said Brian Kibby, CEO of Knewton. “With this investment, we will bring Alta to scale while developing new ways of using our technology to enable true data-driven teaching and learning throughout the course experience.”
“What Knewton has accomplished with Alta in less than eight months is remarkable. We’re excited to support Knewton’s effort to put Alta into the hands of every college student in the U.S.,” said Jim Labe, CEO of TriplePoint Capital.
Higher ed instructors are making the switch to Alta
Since its launch in January 2018, Alta has received an overwhelmingly positive response from instructors in the U.S. higher education market, with many instructors opting to choose Alta’s combination of dynamic adaptivity and unparalleled insights into student performance, and high quality, openly available expertly-developed content over traditional textbook and digital homework offerings.
Alta delivers a personalized learning experience for students by harnessing the power of Knewton’s adaptive learning technology. In 2017, Knewton invested in making Alta accessible to all learners, achieving WCAG 2.0 AA-level ADA compliance across Alta’s technology, content and user experience. By leveraging high quality, openly available content, Knewton is able to offer Alta to students for only $44 per course.
Knewton expects that more than 250 colleges and universities will be using Alta during the Fall 2018 term.
“I chose Alta because it levels the playing field for students. It provides support so that I can engage all students in the classroom,” said Donna Jean, associate professor of chemistry, Park University. “If a student is struggling with mathematical problems, Alta quickly diagnoses that and presents the student with instruction geared towards those knowledge gaps.”
“Alta is the first personalized learning system I’ve used that truly delivers on the promise of adaptive technology by continually measuring students’ proficiency levels and providing feedback designed to help them achieve mastery,” said Andrew Moore, department chair and assistant professor of mathematics at National Louis University. “With Alta, students don’t have to wait for their next diagnostic or for me to provide them with that feedback — they receive it immediately.”
For the Fall 2018 term, Knewton will offer 36 Alta products in courses across mathematics, economics, chemistry and statistics, including seven products developed exclusively to support math corequisite curriculum redesign initiatives.
For students, Alta delivers learning that lasts
Alta is designed to help students master the learning objectives covered in their course.
To measure Alta’s impact on mastery, Knewton analyzed the results of more than 10,000 students who used Alta in 2017. The findings revealed:
Students using Alta demonstrate proficiency by completing assignments at high rates. 87% of the time, students using Alta demonstrated proficiency by completing their assignments. Of students who struggled with an assignment, 82% ultimately completed it.
Completing Alta assignments is directly correlated to better performance on summative assessments. Students using Alta who had not yet completed an assignment scored an average of 55% on related course assessments, while students who completed their assignment scored an average of 81%.
Alta provides the biggest benefit to students who need it most. For struggling students, completing assignments in Alta led to an average assessment score increase of 38 points, from 40% to 78% correct, helping them gain ground on their peers.
As part of Knewton’s commitment to transparency regarding Alta’s effectiveness, the company is collaborating with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Research and Reform to measure the effectiveness of Alta in helping students achieve mastery. Knewton plans to release the findings of Johns Hopkins University — which were developed independently of Knewton’s own analysis presented above — in the months ahead.
Knewton puts achievement within reach for everyone through adaptive learning technology and products that deliver personalized and lasting learning experiences. Educators, schools and universities, and education companies around the world use Knewton to power and provide digital courses that dynamically adapt to each student’s unique needs. More than 15 million students around the world have used Knewton-powered courses to date. Knewton was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in New York City.
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