PREPWORKS: Revolutionizing Education Through Data

March 07, 2013 - by rachelbalik

Great results are achieved when students have a personal tutor dedicated to helping them learn a complex subject, but the constraints of today’s education system have lead to large classrooms where one-on-one tutoring is rare. What if there was a technology that could deliver results that were equal to - or surpassed - those a student could get from a tutor?

That’s a question that PREPWORKS asked -- and then proceeded to answer using an adaptive learning engine to create a 1:1 learning environment for students using their product. They call it the Learning Positioning System™ and it requires processing hundreds of data points from students who take frequent quizzes to evaluate their skill level. The students’ work is evaluated and the system delivers them the appropriate content to get to the next level. Before students can even begin studying a subject like algebra, they take a 60 question diagnostic test. In other words, PREPWORKS deals with a library of data.

To manage this data, PREPWORKS needed a partner that could support a robust learning experience where pupils were constantly writing to the database. CTO Michael Penney said that when he first spoke to a solutions architect at Joyent, it was immediately clear that we really understood data - and more importantly – how to manage large quantities of data through a reliable, scalable, and fast database. With Joyent, Penney can feel confident about 20,000 students taking tests simultaneously and getting the customized responses they need.

This level of database strength is critical for the PREPWORKS long-term goal: serving 500,000 - 1 million students in the next five years. At this level, PREPWORKS stands to truly change the lives of students across America by preparing them to excel in science, math and on standardized tests. It’s a big mission that we’re proud to be an integral part of.