Introduction to Zapptitude
Zapptitude’s mission is to understand how students learn. Its unique technology, based on the latest developments in AI, allows Zapptitude to deliver deep actionable insights to teachers who can provide individualized support where most needed and at the point of learning.
Zapptitude offers Assessment as a Service (AaaS) solution. Taking the assessment and reporting out of each educational app and offering it as a service yields a triple win, for the student, the educator, and the developer.
- Assessing a student from her activity across multiple educational apps leads to a more accurate, comprehensive, and pertinent picture of her current level of understanding of a concept. By contrast, a silo assessment solution developed within a specific learning system can be tailored to the specific app, but remains limited to its narrow view of the student’s activity within that system.
- Zapptitude provides a unified dashboard to educators. A unique assessment and reporting solution across educational apps saves precious time for educators and frees the schools and districts from the dilemma of either being locked in a unique educational solution provider or adding more burden on educators by asking them to manage and monitor multiple report sources.
- Relieved from the onus of developing assessment and reporting tools for each app, developers can focus all their resources on what they do best: building highly engaging, entertaining, educational apps. Real time reports on the data inferred difficulty of each app and each individual question within the app enables the app developer to bring to their app an unparalleled level of adaptive learning and personalization
Internet and the ubiquity of connected devices has already started writing the next page of the history of education. As more and more schools are getting onboard and supplementing the traditional ex-cathedra form of teaching with online sources of information, lectures and tests, we will see an increasing competition between few major education system providers offering a complete suite of lessons, practice forms, tests, and report sheets.
The pedagogic efficacy of bringing different perspectives on a subject of study is well known: students greatly benefit from using multiple sources of instruction. However, multiple reports add unnecessary burden on educators trying to evaluate students’ individual progress and needs.
In an experimental study, Zapptitude’s proprietary technology has demonstrated that it is possible to take the assessment and reporting component out of a suite of digital app based learning system, and provide a unique point of assessment relying on a wider view of the student’s activities across multiple systems, and thereby encouraging educators to incorporate multiple sources of educational instruction.
As long as the assessment and reporting stays deeply integrated in each digital learning system, smaller providers of educational content (app or online) are almost de facto ruled out from schools that prefer spending more resources on a comprehensive suite of tools that include sophisticated reporting, than scattering their dependency on educational services. An assessment as a service solution, as proposed by Zapptitude, levels the playing field integrating app data from small and large developers alike and offering access to a large pool of participating schools.
Zapptitude’s proprietary assessment technology goes beyond a linear ordering of problems and students. It uses as its core the latest development in recommender systems that powers the likes of Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify. Each problem and each student is projected on a low dimensional Euclidean space, an embedding space, in such a way that the closer a problem is to a given student, the higher accuracy that the student has demonstrated on responding to this problem. This projection has multiple uses: It reveals in a clear visual form clusters of similar problems and groups of students with similar difficulties, thereby helping the educator to design and deliver specific interventions where most needed. It is also used to recommend the next set of problems a particular student should tackle to progress in her mastery. In other words, this projection allows delivery of a timely, personalized educational experience. This new paradigm shatters the drastic limitation of assessment systems that can only measure users with a single yardstick, and empowers a more complex but more comprehensive picture of student performance.
The Zapptitude Platform
Zapptitude’s AaaS provides Software Development Kits (SDKs) to educational content providers that makes it as easy as possible for them to zappify (instrument their app with our SDK). Our SDK is now available for the major three operating systems: iOS, Android, and Web, and is publicly available on Github. Our support engineers provide guidance to developers to make sure that the zappification process is seamless and is done in such a way to maximize the quality and actionability of the insight Zapptitude will provide.
Privacy was at the forefront of our concerns when designing Zapptitude’s platform. First, the only personally identifiable information (PII) collected at registration is an email address of the registered user, who is typically an educator or a parent: no name, no address, or phone number is collected.
A cloud based solution is under development to provide an inference engine that scales to very large data. Also, one key objective of Zapptitude is to provide feedback at the point of learning, which implies an inference in quasi real time. We are working on solutions to deliver real time feedback to students and educators.