Cognii Launches Virtual Learning Assistant for the Education Market


Cognii Launches Virtual Learning Assistant for the Education Market

Cognii’s Virtual Learning Assistant to engage students in real­time natural language conversations to help them master knowledge and practice problem ­solving.

BOSTON, MA, January 27, 2016 ­­­

Cognii, a leading provider of educational assessment technologies, today announces the launch of Virtual Learning Assistant (VLA), a next­ generation personalized adaptive learning platform for the Education and Training market. Cognii’s VLA uses Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technologies to engage students in real­time adaptive tutoring conversations and provides instant formative assessment on their constructed response (short essay) answers with guidance towards conceptual mastery. It also provides rich learning analytics to the teachers based on students’ conceptual understanding or difficulties, for better instructional support.

Digital virtual assistants are familiar to most of us, in consumer products such as Apple’s Siri, GoogleNow, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Facebook’s M. Cognii’s new Virtual Learning Assistant is the first virtual assistant designed specifically to meet the needs of the Education market. It improves students’ knowledge retention and learning outcomes, increases instructors’ productivity and enables high­quality education at a large scale such as MOOCs.

“We are excited to launch the Cognii Virtual Learning Assistant at the Virtual Assistant summit. At Cognii, our mission is to leverage the most advanced technologies in improving the quality and affordability of education,” says Dee Kanejiya, CEO and founder of Cognii. “As education moves online and new academic standards are mandated, there is a need for products that measure students’ critical thinking and engage them in constructing answers. By replacing the multiple choice tests with AI­powered open­response assessment, Cognii’s VLA takes adaptive learning to the next level.”

Cognii VLA is validated by academic research and successful testing in pilot projects. Students using Cognii in initial pilots appreciate the accurate, personalized feedback, as evidenced by a high satisfaction rating of over 95%. "I was happy to know exactly where I went wrong. Cognii's guidance led me in the right direction," said one student from Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA. Students also enjoyed the innovative experience interacting with AI. As another student put it, “This AI is kind of creepy, but in a good way.”

Cognii’s innovative approach of using the cognitive computing and AI in education was recently recognized as it received the prestigious Wharton­QS Star Award for the best Learning Assessment Innovation at the Reimagine Education conference, a global competition with more than 560 applications submitted from 45 countries. Cognii is also selected to be part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur program.

Recent enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by President Obama and the release of the new National Education Technology Policy 2016 by the U.S. Education Department vouch for technological solutions for better educational assessment:

"We’re going to have to have our young people master not just the basics but also become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers," remarked the President Obama while signing ESSA.

“The NETP policy strongly recommends using technology to transform assessment through the use of high quality formative assessment, constructed response assessments and real­time feedback on essay answers.”

Cognii VLA represents the intersection of the newest research in both computer science and learning science. It uses advanced technologies of AI, NLP, Machine Learning and Cognitive Science to enable pedagogical best practices, such as tutoring, open response assessment, and inquiry­based learning. Cognii VLA also facilitates implementation of Common Core and Next Generation Science standards.

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