Waterloo-based Desire2Learn buys Knowillage Systems

Desire2Learn Inc., a Waterloo, Ontario-based education technology platform that is backed by  New Enterprise Associates and OMERS Ventures, has acquired Knowillage Systems Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Richmond, British Columbia, Knowillage Systems is a provider of adaptive learning solutions. Update: The Knowillage acquisition is Desire2Learn’s third since it received $80 million in venture capital financing in September 2012. Please see peHUB Canada‘s feature story about Desire2Learn here.


KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ONTARIO, Sep 09, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Desire2Learn, the EdTech company that created the world’s first truly integrated learning platform, announces its acquisition of Knowillage Systems, Inc., the creator of an adaptive learning engine – LeaP – that improves grades by helping educators address the personal learning needs of every student. Knowillage LeaP uses language processing and analytics to determine gaps in a learner’s skill set and then provides the right tools, content and techniques to address those areas of weakness. This acquisition extends Desire2Learn’s data-driven product offerings, supporting educators in their efforts to accelerate learning and improve individual learner outcomes.

“The Knowillage acquisition is strategic for Desire2Learn as it adds an adaptive learning engine to our integrated learning platform,” said Jeff McDowell, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Desire2Learn. “Most importantly, we’re excited to be able to offer a powerful tool to instructors that can improve learning outcomes for every learner.”

Designed for K-12, higher education and corporate learning markets, LeaP reduces the time and cost of implementing adaptive learning by completely automating the content-mapping process. Instead of overwhelming human labor to do the content mapping, search and input of content to address skill gaps, LeaP’s semantic engine automatically creates unique learning paths for each student.

The content for LeaP’s learning paths is generated from resources provided by the educator, publisher content or free open educational resources from trusted internet collections. The adaptive learning engine combs these sources to find, analyze, select and input the best learning activities based on language and context to create adaptive learning paths to help each learner overcome specific hurdles.
“The modern classroom – whether it is in a school or a Fortune 500 organization – is dependent upon the personalization of educational content at scale to ensure student success and unlock vast human potential,” said Bill Bilic, Founder & CEO of Knowillage. “Integrated with the Desire2Learn platform, Knowillage’s adaptive techniques will be available to organizations across the globe and thus more valuable and relevant than ever.”

LeaP utilizes patent-pending machine learning technology to present individualized learning pathways to learners. The solution adjusts to a learner’s interactions and performance level, anticipating the content and resources they will need to make progress. It presents learners with exercises to strengthen their areas of weakness and delivers “just-in-time” learning activities by blending elements of individual instruction, peer tutoring, interactive simulations and academic advising.

LeaP is also critical for corporations looking to maximize their human capital. Not having a clear picture of an employee’s skill level typically results in redundant and unproductive training. With LeaP, businesses can take a more pragmatic approach to corporate training by offering relevant content that keeps employees engaged, facilitates internal growth and promotion and reduces unnecessary hiring.

About Desire2Learn
Desire2Learn is helping to transform the way the world learns. Providing the next generation learning environment and solutions to engage and inspire lifelong learners, Desire2Learn helps clients break down barriers to access the highest quality learning experiences, and is recognized for its leadership in accessibility. Desire2Learn is a global leader in online learning solutions and provides an open and extensible platform to over 750 clients and over 10 million learners in higher education, K-12, healthcare, government and the corporate sector, including the Fortune 1000. Desire2Learn has personnel in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Singapore. For more information or to contact us, visit: http://www.Desire2Learn.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.