The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded YourLabs, LLC, an e-learning software provider and graduate of the Arizona Center for Innovation, a Phase 1 Small Business Innovative Research Grant. Ravi Budhu, the company’s CEO, says “We are very excited to be awarded this prestigious and hard-earned grant. These funds will be used to further develop our Knowledge Evaluation System so we can help further creative educational solutions for 21st Century learners.”
The YourLabs Knowledge Evaluation System (KES) is a complete learning and assessment platform that gathers detailed student feedback for real-time discovery of gaps in student understanding while informing teachers and students of knowledge level and common mistakes being made in the problem solving processes. “Our technology allows teachers to evaluate and improve critical skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). By using KES to capture and analyze detailed student feedback in problem solving, teachers can discover how students learn, exactly where mistakes are made, and patterns of learning behavior. This real time data makes instruction more efficient and effective,” says Budhu. KES is also aligned with new Common Core State Standards adopted by multiple states.
Global competition in STEM subjects has seen the US ranking decline. Traditionally, teaching has been centered on practices that are centuries old. However, there has been a slow shift to inherent or discovery learning where the process of getting the right answer must be understood. “KES not only determines whether a student got a problem right or wrong but empowers teachers with data to evaluate critical thinking and problem solving skills — the kind of skills required for 21st careers. KES measures knowledge mastery not just test taking mastery,” says Budhu.
Data collected by KES allows for complex data mining and gives users the means view, analyze, and understand student data from multiple levels — from a single problem, to a classroom, to an entire school, and all the way up to district and state. Budhu adds that “KES will make it easy for education administrators and policy makers to compare performances within the U.S. and abroad, and make curriculum adjustments as necessary.”