Today at Educause, Cerego was selected as one of seven finalists to receive a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop next-gen digital courseware that personalizes instruction based on the science of learning and memory. As a part of “the world’s most talented online learning teams,” we’re humbled to be a finalist in the The Next Generation Courseware Challenge.

We’re excited to give you the first glimpse of StatsPL, a new course powered by Cerego, in this post—which is the future of education in more than one way as we see it.

Over the next 36 months, we’ll be working closely with The Gates Foundation to use their generous grant to reach over 1 million low-income students and disadvantaged learners in undergraduate courses by 2018. And we couldn’t be more excited.

Building on the innovative new course model we developed for edX’s “Jazz Appreciation,” we’ll be working closely with our partners to develop new, next-gen courseware designed to meaningfully improve student learning outcomes and influence the trajectory of a student’s higher education experience.

The first course in a set of three to be powered by Cerego is called StatsPL. It is an introductory statistics course that is first of its kind.

Here’s an early look at what we’re building:



The new course will marry innovative learning technology and high-fidelity content, leveraging our patented memory management technology alongside open educational resources and partner solutions to drive better engagement and outcomes for learners and to excite the possibilities of a future in STEM.

Statistics, in particular, is often delivered in a “lecture and assess” format that fails to engage students or provide opportunities for contextualized/active learning. As part of this course, we’re excited to debut the “Stats in Action” library, which is a collection of videos, simulations, and games that offer students alternative ways of exploring statistical concepts in applied contexts.

By introducing this explorational element to statistics, we hope to generate the real world relevancy that this population needs to become engaged. We share in the Foundation’s vision that all students should have access to the best learning tools and content, regardless of age, income, or race.

We have partnered with some of the best technology and content providers alongside world-renowned educators who will help make these courses inspiring and engaging. None of this would be possible without them.

OpenStax, Rice University

OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. OpenStax Statistics will serve as the text which guides the StatsPL course. The text includes innovations in art, terminology, and practical applications, all with a goal of increasing relevance and accessibility for students.


Open edX is edX’s open source initiative. The course will be built on Open edX, a next-generation online learning platform geared toward bringing quality education to students around the world.


NYU’s Create lab engineers interactive simulations and games that allow students to immediately apply concepts in an engaging environment, developing a deeper understanding while using their skills in an applied context.

BBC Worldwide Learning

BBC Worldwide Learning makes a wealth of information available from contributions from distinguished experts via a rich factual programming archive Our StatsPL course will pull learning modules from BBC Worldwide Learning, bringing personalized, engaging and memorable video to all students, bringing various statistical concepts to life.

SETI Institute

The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Their mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe, and to apply the knowledge gained to inspire and guide present and future generations. Partnering with Cerego, SETI will help students see the world of statistics through the eyes of an astronomer.

Fabien Cousteau’s Ocean Learning Center

Lead by world-renowned oceanic explore, Fabien Cousteau, the Ocean Learning Center will provide a virtual platform to afford students an opportunity to learn about the ocean.  We’re working with them to tie together the importance of statistics in various aspects of oceanography, conservation, and marine sciences bringing these lessons to life through the “Stats in Action” videos.

Columbia College & The City University of New York

Columbia College in Missouri will be our initial pilot site for StatsPL, followed shortly thereafter by CUNY’s Center for Advanced Study in Education.  We owe a huge thanks to their staff and educators for embarking on this project with us, and helping us grow student success at their universities.

If you’re Interested in getting involved, or becoming an integral part of learning initiatives like this one, please drop us a line at