Next-Level Content Approach can Make a Big Difference in Student Learning, at no Direct Cost to Schools.
Recently, it was my pleasure to talk with Brian Rowe, CEO of Perceivant, and some of his colleagues who joined us on the call. I have to confess, I was not previously aware of their company and the unique and interesting service that Perceivant is delivering.
Perceivant's Mission is to, “create innovative technology and well-being content, engaging students and educators with efficient learning systems.” They have been achieving this by partnering with schools and teachers to create rich content that integrates with popular Learning Management Systems to measure and enhance student engagement through deep analytics.
One of the things that is unique about Perceivant's business model is that there is no direct cost for schools to partner with them. Instead, students will pay for the content that the company and the school partner to create, and this will typically displace the cost of a traditional textbook. For example, whereas students might pay $100 to $200 or more for a traditional textbook, under the Perceivant model they will generally pay a good deal less and have a much more interactive content experience.
Let's take a closer look…
Perceivant partners with instructors, who can select whatever course materials they wish to work with, and develops custom content based on those materials (if the materials require royalties to be paid, that will be done). Deep analytics are built into the content delivery process, to inform teachers about student engagement.
The vendor uses open source Canvas code to provide a digital platform for content delivery. The content and rich analytics integrate easily with popular LMS systems including Moodle, Blackboard, D2L, Canvas, and Sakai.
As students work with the course materials, they may be presented with questions and activities. Teachers can see the results of student engagement, and the software builds a custom study guide based on a student’s interactions and struggles. The platform looks at factors like how long students are on a page, mouse movements, stop and start behavior, etc., as well as answers to questions, to assess student learning and areas requiring more support. Dashboards help teachers quickly review student needs and topics requiring follow up.
It should be emphasized that Perceivant respects student data privacy. Their platform is hosted in a HIPAA compliant cloud platform and all data is stored in an anonymized fashion.
Perceivant worked closely with Kennesaw State University in Atlanta over a two year period to significantly improve student success rates in the college's required Foundations for Healthy Living (WELL 1000) course. This course had an average of 6,500 students enrolled each year, and failure rates were high. In 2015, the course was experiencing an average DFWI (Withdrawals, Incompletes, and grades of D or F) rate of 25% across all delivery modalities.
Through their partnership with Perceivant, KSU migrated course content to a purely online delivery model, eliminating the physical text book. Instructors worked with the Perceivant team to continuously collaborate on course design, delivery, and flow. After each semester, “KSU and Perceivant would work harmoniously to gather feedback and re-engineer the entire platform to make changes, improvements and revise the course to fit the needs of students. By working together, Perceivant and KSU were able to provide students with more tailored learning experiences designed to increase engagement year-over-year.”
Over a two-year period, the partnership resulted in a 48% reduction in DFWI rates, falling from 25 percent to 13 percent in 2017. The online section of WELL 1000, which was experiencing the highest DFWI rates, had a 55% reduction over that, dropping from an all-time high of 35% to just 16%. Very impressive.
This and other case studies are available here.
It is going to be interesting to see how Perceivant makes out over the long term. Their model is impressive and effectively designed. Thus far, they have focused mostly on health and well being courses, but they are intending to expand into many other academic disciplines. If their work is of interest to you and seems like it might be a good match for your courses or school, contact them here or click over to Perceivant.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page for more contact options.