Number Line Plot

We have released a new Number Line Plot Question.

The Number Line Plot allows a range of questions to be created that require students to plot a response above the number line.

The student might be asked to provide an answer as a single point or a range. The ranges can be between two points (using segments) or from one particular point onwards (using rays). Limits are covered using hollow points to indicate that a point is not part of a range.

Responses can also be stacked above the number line allowing the user to plot more than one element.

Regionalised API performance testing

We are a bit obsessed with performance at Learnosity and are constantly looking at both big and little changes that we can make in order to improve the performance of our systems for our clients.

For the impatient – the key results of loading our Questions API from inside Australia are:

  • Reduced load time by 57% cached and 65% without a primed cache.
  • The Onload event is fired at about ½ a second, compared to at around 1 second when using it from the US region

As we have users on every continent some of the speed issues come down to the physical limits of the speed of light. We already use lots of performance optimisations including reducing content size through minification and compression, caching content as much as we can, and use of CDN’s to bring the cacheable content physically closer to our end users.

The next evolution in our drive for speed involves bringing our servers even closer to our users and so we have brought in regionalised API’s for the AU region in addition to our primary US-East location.

In the future we will bring in additional regional zones but for our initial testing Australia is really useful as it’s physical distance from the US magnifies the issues with latency.

Testing Data

The data was captured from the Chrome Developer Tools using a test page that loaded the Questions API from Australia or the US.  We repeated each test 5 times and averaged the sampled data.

DomContent Loaded (ms) Onload firing (ms) Load Completed (ms)
US region 1176 1518 3800
US region (cached) 569 847 2138
AU Region 477 517 1340
AU Region (cached) 407 445 1222

image (2)


The findings from the table and graph show significant improvements across the board, with the DomContentLoaded and Onload events firing at approximately ½ a second compared to between ~0.9 and 1.5 seconds for cached and uncached respectively.

The time for the entire page load to complete has been reduced by between 57% and 65% for users in the AU region, which is a huge performance gain and significantly more than we were expecting.

New Question Editor UI

We have released V2 of the Question Editor featuring a new streamlined user interface.

All the same functionality is there but the layout is easier to work with. So it is easy for your authors to move over to the new version.

New features include:

  • Authoring options grouped under clear categories
  • Score counter, Validate, Zoom and Layout view buttons added to the preview panel

To try out the new features check out the Question Editor Demo.

Question Editor


Scrolling in Passages

Maintaining visibility of a question while reading a lengthy passage is important for students. The addition of Scrollable Passages makes this possible.

Scrolling in Passages adds additional functionality to the Shared Passage feature and can be used with Content Templates. It is easily authored by selecting Scrollable Passage from the Create Style Container drop down menu on the Items Edit page.

Check out the Author Guide for more information on Shared Passages and to access the Scrolling in Passages Author Video.



Accessibility Options Panel

We are working to increase the accessibility options and availability of our Assessments. The Accessibility Options Panel allows students to customise their assessment experience. Customisable features include Colour Scheme, Font Size and Zoom. Colour Schemes conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AA or AAA.

Students will access the panel from the menu icon within the assessment. Once a student clicks the Accessibility link, a modal window will open with 3 tabs allowing the student to change the visual appearance of the assessment application.

Experience the Accessibility options as a student would with the interactive Demo.

Accessibility panel (1)



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:

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.