Learning Optimization Technology Company Closes $3 Million Seed Round
SAN FRANCISCO – May 30, 2018 – SelfStudy Inc., a learning optimization technology company, today announced it is opening for licensing the first AI-powered cloud platform for professional societies and scholarly publishers to help them reduce costs and increase speed-to-market of individualized content discovery, and learning and training programs including certification and test preparation.
The company also announced it closed a $3 million seed round of financing this month led by the International Anesthesiology Research Society (IARS), to bring SelfStudy’s innovative platform to market and fund development of additional enhancements.
Called SelfStudy360, the new platform blends machine learning and dynamic item response theory algorithms developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assess each user and their community, and in real-time select the most relevant multimedia content to enable rapid mastery and retention of new knowledge. Similar to GPS navigation software, the platform ensures that users are on the optimal path at all times to build knowledge, earn credit or attain certification.
Professional education and certification is a huge market with very distinct needs. Scientific and technical publishing is a $9.9 billion industry, according to Simba Information, an authority for market intelligence and forecasts in the media and publishing industry. That market overlaps with CME, worth $2.5 billion annually, says the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, and additive to the professional training market, which Training Industry values at $360 billion annually.
“We built SelfStudy360 to transform the way organizations deliver their content and formal learning programs,” said SelfStudy CEO Brenda McLaughlin. “Our mission is to accelerate the mastery of new knowledge through personalized learning. To achieve that goal we use proven education methodologies and the most advanced technology available so professionals can always have the knowledge they need to be the best at what they do.”
SelfStudy built the SelfStudy360 platform on the belief that all learning begins with discovery: the process of following interests, and then seeking more information about those interests. By applying artificial intelligence, the platform enables real-time content matching and presentation to support a range of learning approaches, from self-directed learning, formal courses or unit-based instruction, to traditional practical training programs. And the system’s continuous assessment functions ensure learners are consistently challenged and engaged, while also tracking performance for course credits or certification.
The SelfStudy360 platform’s capabilities include:
- Personalized Discovery – Enhances learners’ ability to pursue their interests, and based on their most recent activity, as well as that of similar learners and the community, the platform presents new content that’s in line with those interests, what they still need to learn, as well as the wider interests of the community. The platform makes real-time decisions on the appropriate content for a particular learner and dynamically offers new directions for where they may want to go next.
- Personalized Learning – Allows users to take control and manage their own learning. In real-time and on a continuous basis, the platform accurately assesses knowledge against any standard, professional or individually established and delivers the learning activities to take each learner on the most efficient path to proficiency against that standard, similar to GPS navigation. SelfStudy360 also offers tools to aid teachers in assisting learners.
- Continuous Assessment – Delivers interactions that interest and engage learners while supporting longer-term goals through real-time tracking of progress and performance. Learners and their teachers always know where they are and can make adjustments to optimize learning. Continuous assessment enables competency-based training, badging and certification programs, low- to high-stakes remote testing at much lower cost as well as the ability for learners to proactively manage their own education.
“Personalized discovery powered by SelfStudy360 amplifies the efforts of curators and teachers in the learning process,” said Cart Reed, SelfStudy’s CTO. “And the addition of artificial intelligence only accelerates the discovery and mastery of new knowledge in any context.”
The platform’s features include:
- Mentor/Program Director Support – Offers analytics, reporting and communication tools supporting all forms of teacher interaction from explicit assignments and testing to ad-hoc support based on the platform’s tracking of individual and group learning progress, engagement and performance.
- Available on Any Device, Anytime, Anywhere – Designed for use on phones, tablets, and laptops both for short periods and sustained learning sessions.
- Simple Publishing Tools – Supports auto-migration or syncing of large content databases and a wide range of file types as well as automated lesson and interaction generators.
- Bolt-on or Integrated Solution – Implement SelfStudy360 as a bolt-on to your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or deploy it as a completely integrated solution. While the platform has all the tools and components needed for many enterprise users, SelfStudy360 can easily interoperate with existing learning management systems (LMS) and content delivery networks (CDNs) as it leverages open Internet standards.
The IARS, which initiated development of SelfStudy360 and led the seed funding round, is now using the platform to deliver personalized IARS content and adaptive continuing medical education (CME) programs to its members. It will also use it to power the OpenAnesthesia.org website, a comprehensive resource for anesthesiology residents and physicians worldwide, as well as its question-based mobile application supporting resident and physician education.
“Today’s economy requires efficient, effective tools for self-directed education and building knowledge or skill sets,” said Tom Cooper, executive director of the IARS. “Lots of platforms claim to be adaptive and personalized. If it were true, we wouldn’t have had to create SelfStudy360 to deliver on the promise.”
The SelfStudy360 platform is now available for licensing. Prices start as low as $25 per user annually.
SelfStudy will demonstrate its new platform at the Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting in Chicago, today through June 1st.
To schedule a demonstration, please visit www.selfstudy.com.
About SelfStudy Inc.
SelfStudy Inc. is a learning optimization technology company offering professional societies and their publishers the first AI-powered cloud platform for delivering personalized content discovery and adaptive learning programs. Blending machine learning and dynamic item response theory algorithms developed at MIT, the SelfStudy360 platform assesses each user and their community, and in real-time selects the most relevant multimedia content to enable rapid mastery and retention of new knowledge. SelfStudy’s platform comes with simple back-end tools that automate content creation, migration, and management; generate user analytics; handle credit administration and reporting; and facilitate badging and certification. Founded in 2017, SelfStudy is based in San Francisco.
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