A brand new version of the Piqosity adaptive, e-learning app is launching this summer. For over six months our engineering team has been hard at work on updating our hosting architecture, back-end code, user interface, and new features.
This update is so substantial that we’re basically releasing an all new app—Piqosity 2.0, and it’s bringing major performance upgrades and powerful new features to students and their educators. This software update will support the ongoing content expansion of our new math and English courses for grades 5-11 in time for the start of the new school year this fall.
Improved Personalized Practice for Students
The most obvious changes for students will be the slick, new user interface with updated graphics and wider use of tabs for less scrolling. However, the most innovative update is a major expansion of our Personalized Practice feature, which leverages our new dynamic question difficulty to adapt the experience to each student including the launch of two new practice styles:
- Gamified Streak
The new Adaptive mode adjusts the question difficulty based on the student’s response—going up a level for correct selections and down a level for incorrect selections. And because all of Piqosity’s questions are norm-referenced for difficulty, students will know in real time how they compare to their peers.
The new Gamified Streak mode also leverages dynamic question difficulty in order to push students to their limits. This style challenges students to answer as many, increasingly difficult questions as possible in a row without missing. Students are awarded with ever more points for longer and personal streaks.
A new “disallow overtime” setting prevents students from answering practice questions after their time has elapsed. This feature has often been requested by tutors and teachers to better simulate standardized testing conditions for our ISEE, ACT, and SAT courses.
New Interface for Tutors and Teachers
Piqosity 2.0 heralds a completely new user interface for educators that features not only a bold, updated design but also many new features including:
- New Messaging Stream
- New Shared Document Drive
- New Test and Unit Builder
- Improved Student Assignments
- Improved Student Management
The new Stream feature allows educators and students to message each other directly within the app. Messages can be sent to an individual user or to an entire class or course.
The new document Drive allows educators and students to upload and share files and links with just an individual or entire class or course.
The new Test Builder allows educators to create their own tests and quizzes similar to Piqosity’s first-party “full-length tests” in test prep courses or “units” in math and English courses. Once created, educators can assign these tests to their Piqosity students or even share them for use by non-Piqosity users.
This enhancement is part of our ongoing effort to open up the Piqosity platform to third party educator contributors.
The updated Assignments capability allows educators to now assign students both questions and lessons. It also benefits from a new drag-and-drop interface for hand-picked questions, improved personalized practice, and better validation algorithms to ensure the student has enough questions to work.
Improvements to the Student Management tools allow educators to upload students to multiple classes with just a few clicks. Previously a student could only be added to one course and class at a time.
Design and Architecture Enhancements for All Users
All users will benefit from Piqosity’s move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for more scalable and reliable hosting. Piqosity’s new AWS-powered architecture can dynamically scale up or down depending on user load to ensure that the app remains speedy even during periods of high use.
Educators keen to upload their own questions and lessons will enjoy the new Froala-powered WYSIWYG content editor and easier to use LaTeX equation editor.
More Updates Throughout the Summer
Even as we prepare to launch Piqosity 2.0 later this spring, we still have many more updates planned through the summer including:
- Updated Piqosity Virtual Tutor
- New Multi-Page Lessons
- New Microtopics
- New Custom Course Outlines
- New Free Response Scoring
Only launched last fall, Piqosity Virtual Tutor is getting its first major update, which will integrate the new Personalized Practice features and include full-length tests and units into the student’s personalized outline.
Multi-Page Lessons will enable educators to visually separate different concepts and to integrate “check for understanding”-style questions directly within the lessons.
Microtopics will be a new, fourth level of hierarchy in Piqosity’s curriculum-aligned courses. The new structure will be course > topic > subtopic > microtopic. This new content level will enable a higher level of specificity in lessons and practice. Microtopics will also be cross-course, so that Piqosity can better identify when and where concepts are introduced and build upon each other.
The Custom Course Outline feature allows educators to completely customize Piqosity’s standard outline and Piqosity Virtual Tutor Sequence. Educators will be able to re-arrange, re-name, or even add and remove course topics in order to suit their curriculum needs.
A new Essay Scoring feature will enable educators to score essays and short-answer questions in our English courses directly within the app.
All of these great features and many more are on schedule for release beginning this June. In tandem with our exponentially growing course library, we’re confident that Piqosity is quickly becoming the most innovative and technologically advanced e-learning platform!