Gates Foundation Backs Adaptive Textbook Project

Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax, which has already provided free textbooks to hundreds of thousands of college students, has been chosen by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop personalized courseware for college students as part of the foundation’s $20 million Next Generation Courseware Challenge.  The initiative was announced last week at the 2014 Educause Conference in Orlando.

“The same technology that retailers and online search firms use to deliver personalized choices can be combined with cognitive science models to deliver personalized learning experiences for college students,” said OpenStax founder Richard Baraniuk, Rice’s Victor E. Cameron Professor of Engineering. “Our free textbooks are already making college more accessible for those who couldn’t otherwise afford it, and personalized learning technology will improve student learning outcomes as well.”

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