US: VitalSource Technologies, Ingram Content Group’s education technology division, has collaborated with Cerego to launch Bookshelf GPS, a customizable learning platform that combines the best of VitalSource’s Bookshelf platform with Cerego’s personalized learning technology.
Bookshelf GPS gives teachers the tools to create instructional content and specific study items based on keywords and concepts they want students to master. The VitalSource platform enables instructors to highlight text within a specific passage, and Cerego’s algorithms guide the process of presenting that information to students in different formats to help them learn faster and retain the information longer.
“I think there’s a little bit of buzzword bingo right now around adaptive learning and personalized learning,” Smith Lewis said. “Personalized learning means delivering not a one-size-fits-all experience, but the right content at the right time to users, based on their individual strengths and their needs.”
Meanwhile, from an instructor’s perspective, it should be relatively easy to identify the important concepts in each assigned section of a book — Bookshelf GPS can even extrapolate based on the text that you’ve already highlighted. Cerego’s technology can then create questions and other activities to help students learn those concepts. The order and frequency of those activities will vary from student to student, based on their performance — if someone’s struggling with a concept, they’ll keep getting quizzed on it. Once it seems like they have a strong grasp, the questions will be taken out of the rotation. And the instructor can track everyone’s progress via Cerego’s analytics.
“It turns out that according to the literature, the most effective way to study is little and often,” Smith Lewis added. (So it’s better to spend 10 minutes a day with Bookshelf GPS rather than trying to cram it all in the night before the big test.)
VitalSource’s chief operating officer Pep Carrera said that Bookshelf GPS can be added to any textbook in the platform, and that his team is also talking to publishers about creating interactive content of their own.