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New software zeros in on math students’ misunderstandings ahead of exams

WATERLOO, Ont. (May 2, 2016) — More than 5,000 Ontario math teachers are zeroing in on their students’ key misunderstandings using a new software that analyzes patterns in their responses to an online game.

Since September 2015, 11 Ontario school boards have been helping teachers adapt their lessons for optimal learning after reviewing predictive insights which Knowledgehook software generates for each student.

“Our software reveals what concepts math students are struggling with and why.” CEO Travis Ratnam says. “It is especially helpful during exam prep, offering just-in-time teaching solutions.”

For example, early results from Knowledgehook suggest that at least 1 in 6 Ontario students in Grade 9 Applied Math are struggling to understand ratios. The software unpacks their misunderstanding and suggests how teachers can address it.

The finding, which echoes those of Ontario’s 2015 standardized tests, is based on analysis of more than 2,400 anonymized users between September and April 2016, accurate to within 95% confidence, and a margin of error of 2.5%.

Knowledgehook, a Waterloo, Ont.-based startup invited to pitch investors this week at Google’s annual Demo Day, employs a team of math experts to design questions according to Ontario’s math curriculum.

“We’re optimistic that the accuracy and timeliness of Knowledgehook’s insights will advance school boards in their efforts to improve students’ academic performance,” Ratnam says.

Knowledgehook was founded in 2014 by Travis Ratnam, Lambo Jayapalan, Arthur Lui and James Francis. The team is grateful for the support of mentors from Communitech’s Rev and the Accelerator Centres’ AC JumpStart programs.

Knowledgehook software analyzes the academic performance of math students in real-time play to recommend to educators alternative teaching practices.

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