Learnosity in the News – Educational Marketer 13 June 2014

This article was originally published by Simba Information and appeared in the Educational Marketer on June 13, 2014. It can be found here. To subscribe to Educational Marketer please visit: www.educationalmarketer.net

Learnosity, a provider of testing technology with roots in Ireland and Australia, in June established a beach-head in the U.S., opening an office in New York. Like Knewton (New York), which made its mark with adaptive learning technology, Learnosity is becoming the go-to technology partner in testing.

With the focus on functionality, Learnosity is a B2B brand marketing to publishers not schools. The toolkit aims to allow publishers to quickly and easily incorporate assessment into any program, as well as to add authoring and reporting capabilities to existing applications, ebooks and websites. The tool kit technology “allows you to get there a lot quicker than with your own development team,” CEO and co-founder Gavin Cooney told EM.

The company mission, Cooney said, is to be at the center of every product that incorporates needs assessment worldwide. Learnosity has worked with Pearson (London/New York), ETS (Princeton, NJ), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Boston) and even Knewton (New York). Learnosity captures the information in adaptive testing and turns it over to the Knewton toolset, which turns it into adaptive learning, Cooney said.

Licensing is based on per-user pricing. The central features of the technology are the embedded nature and modular construct.

In the past year, Learnosity—cloud-based and device agnostic—improved the authoring function and has begun to work on the authoring for science. Secure browsing with Chrome was integrated into the platform for high-stakes testing.

Improvements in the math engine in the past year mean that it can evaluate mathematically and not just with text.

By the Numbers

In May alone, more than 70,000 traditional tests incorporating Learnosity tools were started by students in 91 countries.

And, more than 375,000 assessment questions or groups of questions embedded in the text and delivered inline on the page were activated.

Finding a Niche

A long-tail start-up, Learnosity founders Cooney and chief technology officer Mark Lynch began working as independent contractors in Dublin. By 2002, they were working as consultants on statewide e-learning and assessment projects with the New South Wales Board of Studies in Australia.

Over the next five years, the company worked under various contracts in Australia and Ireland, including a 2007 contract with the Irish government to provide oral assessment using cell phones in schools

As schools turned more to computers, so did Learnosity. “We learned that to get enough market share, we needed to be working with computers, because that was what was being used in schools,” Cooney said.

The company began to change by 2011, after Pearson tapped it to develop a record-button function to capture oral responses for its MyLabs product. In September 2011, Lynch and Cooney pivoted, built the toolkit and dropped the consulting business. “We found our niche and we went for it,” Cooney said.

Nearly three years later with just under $5 million in revenue, Learnosity is generating as much from the toolkit business as it had been from consulting. Cooney said he expects revenue to be $8 million to $10 million next year.

Cooney expects Learnosity to remain focused on the area of assessment but to broaden that focus in relation to product, penetration in the industry and in geography.

Currently focused on the U.S. K-12 market, Cooney ticked off areas of potential expansion: higher education, professional market, corporate exams and the world beyond the U.S.

“Educational publishing will be vastly different in 5-to-10 years and we’ll be part of it,” Cooney said.

Audit Trail

As part of the enhancements we are making to the Authoring Site we have released the Audit Trail feature.

Accessible via the History panel on the Items Edit screen this feature will show you the full audit history of the item you’re editing including:

Audit Trail

  • Adding/removing questions or features
  • Editing questions or features that may be attached to this item
  • Adding/removing tags
  • Any content or details changes to the item

Another feature is the ability to see what was changed for each entry in the history panel.
Audit Trail

Each entry will have a “Show Difference” link that opens a window with the Old content in the left pane, and the New content in the right pane.


Simple Chart – Dot and Line Plot

We have added Dot and Line Plot functionality to the Simple Chart Question Type.

Including similar features to the other Simple Charts the Dot and Line Plot allows authors and students to easily plot simple qualitative and quantitative data.

EdTech Times Interview with Gavin Cooney – Part 2




We were delighted to take part in a second Q & A with Yevgeny Ioffe from Edtech Times this week. We’ve come a long way since the first interview 6 months ago.

Here’s a sneak peak…


ETT: Based on your API usage data, have you observed any new trends in edtech software development, and if so, what are they?

GC: IE8 is on the way out… which my dev team loves. Usage is definitely way down and we’ve noticed huge progress in terms of browser usage, for example for one client we noticed that 42% of students in March 2014 were using browser versions which didn’t even exist in September 2013. So some real progress there!

ETT: Are you planning to expand further beyond Ireland, US, and Australia?

GC: The versatility and modular nature of the Learnosity Toolkit means that there’s a huge addressable market outside of Common Core K-12 Education in the US – higher education, other industry verticals, other countries… but for now we’re focused on delivering enormous value in our core market and we’ll see what happens later as global domination beckons.

 ETT: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

GC: I’ll finish up with one of my favourite quotes from a great book by Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton.  “It’s not the big that eat the small…it’s the fast that eat the slow!”


To read the full article and to check out Gav all spruced up in a tux click here.


New Formula UI

The new Formula UI provides users with more flexibility and supports our ever-growing math features including Matrices, Tablet Support and Number Pad.

Features include optional block or floating UI and customisable symbol groupings. Default symbol groups will be provided or users can choose to create custom groups.

Cartesian Graphing – Polygon and Pre-drawn shapes

The functionality of our Cartesian Graphing questions is constantly being improved and expanded.

The latest addition is the ability to create Polygons and Pre-Drawn shapes.

This allows authors to create questions that support reflection, rotation and translation.

Learnosity @ ISTE 2014

ISTE 2014 logo

From 28th June to the 1st July Learnosity will be in Atlanta Georgia at the ISTE 2014 conference. ISTE, run by the International Society for Technology in Education, is sure to be one of the highlights of the EdTech year, with many of the leading K-12 publishers, e-learning companies, as well as some of the brightest Edtech startups in attendance.

Since last year’s conference Learnosity has more than doubled in size, won a SIIA CODiE Award for best K-12 Enterprise Platform, and recently opened a new office in New York City. This year Learnosity also brought the number of question types in our toolkit to over 40. Each of these TEIs were developed with the Common Core in mind and some of our latest releases include an intelligent auto-scoring maths engine, a range of interactive charts, and Cartesian graphing question types.

If you want to speak with Learnosity in person at ISTE please email our Vice Presidents of Business Development Ben and Jim to schedule a time and place to meet.

ben (dot) powell (at) Learnosity (dotcom)
jim (dot) ruddy (at) Learnosity (dotcom)

Learnosity Opens NYC Office!

Learnosity is delighted to announce that we have opened a US office in New York City. The office highlights our commitment to the US market and our plans to help bring interactive assessment to students across the the USA. The office, which is located on Park Avenue, will host both client support and business development activities.

Learnosity Mugs in NYC

View from our new office

The US education system is in the midst of a sea change. Technology is reaching the classroom with rapid speed and Learnosity want to help US publishers provide content and interactive assessment that meets Common Core requirements. Through the Learnosity Toolkit, educational publishers can quickly and easily author and embed a range of powerful, Common Core-aligned,  interactive question types into their existing digital ebooks or webpages.

Learnosity made the the announcement at the Learnosity sponsored CIC 2014 opening event at the Irish Embassy. For Learnosity, the opening of the US office caps a very successful year for us; we’ve doubled in size and won an SIIA CODiE award for Best K-12 Enterprise Solution to boot. Here’s what Learnosity CEO Gavin Cooney had to say about the company’s expansion.

Continue reading

Learnosity update – Matrices

The Math Formula functionality has been expanded to include support for Matrices including the following features.

  • Without brackets
  • With square brackets [ ]
  • With horizontal, vertical and diagonal dots
  • Easily insert columns and rows
  • Auto-graded