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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spotlights Knewton's Potential to Transform Higher Ed

Posted in Knerds on May 19, 2011 by

College costs are soaring. Government funding for education is being cut. Increasingly tech-savvy students are frustrated with outmoded educational practices.

Higher education needs a face lift.

This is the argument at the heart of College 2.0: Transforming Higher Education through Smarter Innovation and Smarter Regulation, a report released on May 16 by the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But it’s not all bad news. Change is on the horizon. As the report notes, “an array of forces is now working to disrupt the traditional business models of higher education,” many of them private sector companies looking to effect lasting change and shake up the status quo.

The report features 10 “Spotlight Innovations” — “potentially game-changing” products “helping usher in this transformation to a new technology-driven, student-centered model of higher education.” Knewton is proud to be included in the list.

“Spotlight Innovations” Companies:


Knewton is “seeking to revolutionize learning in higher education, applying… adaptive learning technology to entire college courses and programs of study… Rather than merely dumping a standard textbook into electronic format, Knewton’s API creates an individualized electronic textbook for each student over the course of the student’s semester. Knewton’s innovation is primarily one of scale and precision.”

Khan Academy

Khan Academy’s library of online tutorials has grown to contain over 2,000 videos;  “the real breakthrough, however, came when the Khan Academy developed an interactive interface for users to access the video tutorials.”

DeVry University

“Using a combination of online learning and classroom instruction, DeVry offers associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in a wide variety of disciplines… DeVry reports that 90% of its graduates on the active job market are employed within 6 months of graduation.”


StraighterLine “offers perhaps the most affordable for-credit online courses on the Internet.” Though StraighterLine does not offer degrees, the company has “agreements with more than 20 accredited, degree-granting institutions guaranteeing transfer credit for StraighterLine classes.”

Western Governors University

“Western Governors University (WGU) was founded in 1997 as a nonprofit virtual university… Its educational model is based on one of the most promising aspects of online learning: the ability to measure student progress in terms of competency rather than classroom hours.”


“2tor represents the entry of online learning into the traditional higher education realm… 2tor works with college and university faculty to develop high quality e-learning versions of their course material.”

National Center for Academic Transformation

The non-profit National Center for Academic Tranformation launched its Program in Course Redesign “to demonstrate the potential of online learning to both improve student outcomes and reduce costs… NCAT has been widely hailed as one of the few breakthroughs in the area of lowering the cost of instruction while improving learning outcomes.”


“MyEdu empowers students to take control of their college experience, graduate faster, and save money… it provides, through a single portal, key information that students need to make well-informed choices as they navigate college.”

Collegiate Learning Assessment

“One of the major deficiencies in higher education is the inability to measure the quality of student learning and determine how much students are actually learning from enrollment to graduation… [the Collegiate Learning Assessment] is built to help institutions assess and improve students’ higher-order thinking skills…”


Moodle is a learning management system that “helps teachers and schools create online versions of their courses… unlike other learning platforms, Moodle embraces an open source philosophy.”

To read more, check out the full report.