MasteryConnect gets funding boost

MasteryConnectRecently, MasteryConnect  raised $4.1 million in series A financing, a round that will remain open for the next month or so. Catamount Ventures led the investment, while the second-largest chunk came from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, with contributions from Deborah Quazzo of GSV Advisors and existing investor,

LearnCapital. The new round adds to the $1.1 million in seed financing MasteryConnect raised from Imagine K12, NewSchools and Learn Capital, bringing its total to $5.2 million.

What MasteryConnect Does

Today, many educators agree that the educational process relies too much on end-of-the-year or end-of-term assessments and standardized testing, and, instead, needs a better way to assess their students’ mastery of the material during the term so they can make adjustments on the fly rather than at the end of the term when it’s too late.

MasteryConnect launched in July 2011 to help solve this problem by offering a cloud-based platform that allows educators to track student progress through their mastery of Common Core standards.

Formative Assessments

It  particularly focuses on formative assessments — a type of assessment that involves qualitative feedback (instead of relying on scores) and takes place during the learning process, with the goal of helping educators tweak their activities and approach to teaching with the goal of helping students learn more effectively. MasteryConnect, then, makes it easier for teachers to create these types of assessments and share them with colleagues, parents and students.

Common Core Standards

Another important part of the startup’s mission is to help teachers, parents and schools understand the Common Core Standards, while allowing teachers to help drive the shift away from a situation in which students tend to be over-tested yet under-assessed.

MasteryConnect has created a widget that allows schools to embed Common Core standards into any website so that they can easily look up those standards and better understand the connection between them and the lessons they’re teaching (or learning) and the meaning behind them. In turn, the platform makes it easy for teachers to upload their assessments and answer keys, analyzing feedback from students through the browser or MasteryConnect’s app, which are then graded automatically.

Vision

MasteryConnect wants to help transform education in such a way that learning is driven by teachers and educators, allowing them to decide how assessment data is used in the classroom. MasteryConnect offers teachers an opportunity to do away with the old letter grade standard, using its platform to track student mastery against Common Core or state standards as they go. For both teachers and students, that’s an exciting proposition.

Business Model

In terms of its business model, MasteryConnect has opted for the freemium approach, offering free accounts to teachers, which allows them to access its Learning Community to find, share and collaborate on assessments, along with including basic grading functionality. Premium accounts, which cost $159/year for teachers or $6/year per student for an entire school or district, allow for more grading capabilities and integration with Student Information Systems, more robust collaboration and reporting.

Adapted From : With $4.1M In New Funding, MasteryConnect Wants To Give Teachers A Better Way To Track Student Progress

 

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