Learning optimization technology startup SelfStudy.com opens first AI-powered personalized content and adaptive learning platform for licensing, closes a $3 million seed round
Technology continues to change the way we learn, but personalization remains king. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and peer-to- peer sharing have moved education beyond the classroom and changed the roles of educators. What’s missing is dynamic instruction tailored to individual learners’ needs. A new startup wants to change way we find and acquire knowledge. Professionals no longer have to find the knowledge they need. Now, the knowledge finds them.
Founded in 2017, the San Francisco, California-based SelfStudy is a learning optimization technology company offering professional societies and their publishers the first AI-powered cloud platform for delivering personalized content discovery and adaptive learning programs. The startup currently has six employees.
Today, the company announced that it’s opening its AI-powered personalized content and adaptive learning platform for Licensing to professional societies and scholarly publishers to help them reduce costs and increase speed-to-market of individualized content discovery, and learning and training programs including certification and test preparation. The company also announced it closed a $3 million seed round of financing this month led by the International Anesthesiology Research Society (IARS), to bring SelfStudy’s innovative platform to market and fund development of additional enhancements.
Called SelfStudy360, the new platform blends machine learning and dynamic item response theory algorithms developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to assess each user and their community, and in real-time selects the most relevant multimedia content to enable rapid mastery and retention of new knowledge. Similar to GPS navigation software, the platform ensures that users are on the optimal path at all times to build knowledge, earn credit or attain certification. The SelfStudy360 platform’s capabilities include such as: personalized discovery, personalized learning, and continuous assessment.
SelfStudy360 began in 2017 as an internal project of the International Anesthesiology Research Society (IARS) to enhance member services and personalize its continuing medical education programs. As the platform neared completion, it became clear SelfStudy360 could be used by any professional society to increase the speed-to-market for personalized, adaptive learning programs, including test preparation and certification.
Professional education and certification is a huge market with very distinct needs. Scientific and technical publishing is a $9.9 billion industry, according to Simba Information, an authority for market intelligence and forecasts in the media and publishing industry. That market overlaps with CME, worth $2.5 billion annually, says the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, and additive to the professional training market, which Training Industry values at $360 billion annually.
“We built SelfStudy360 to transform the way organizations deliver their content and formal learning programs,” said SelfStudy CEO Brenda McLaughlin. “Our mission is to accelerate the mastery of new knowledge through personalized learning. To achieve that goal we use proven education methodologies and the most advanced technology available so professionals can always have the knowledge they need to be the best at what they do.”
SelfStudy built the SelfStudy360 platform on the belief that all learning begins with discovery: the process of following interests, and then seeking more information about those interests. By applying artificial intelligence, the platform enables real-time content matching and presentation to support a range of learning approaches, from self-directed learning, formal courses or unit-based instruction, to traditional practical training programs. And the system’s continuous assessment functions ensure learners are consistently challenged and engaged, while also tracking performance for course credits or certification.
“Personalized discovery powered by SelfStudy360 amplifies the efforts of curators and teachers in the learning process,” said Cart Reed, SelfStudy’s CTO. “And the addition of artificial intelligence only accelerates the discovery and mastery of new knowledge in any context.”
SelfStudy360 works just like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. It takes your past, present, and future content in all formats (print, video, podcasts, etc.) and puts the most relevant pieces in a personalized feed, based on preferences and individual and community interactions.