Colorado State University partners with Cognii to bring AI technology to online education



Cognii’s Virtual Learning Assistant technology will power personalized tutoring in online courses this fall



BOSTON, MA, May 18, 2016 --- Colorado State University, a leading public research university, and Cognii Inc., a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence based educational technologies, today announced a partnership. CSU faculty will work with Cognii to develop a new learning and assessment experience, powered by Cognii’s Virtual Learning Assistant (VLA) technology.


Cognii’s VLA uses conversational AI and Natural Language Processing technologies to engage students via intelligent tutoring. It provides instant assessment of students’ open-response answers along with a qualitative natural language feedback that guides them towards conceptual mastery. Cognii allows an alternative to multiple choice tests, which is especially important for courses in humanities and social sciences. The VLA is designed to improve students’ knowledge retention and learning outcomes, increase instructors’ productivity and enable high-quality personalized education at a large scale. 


Students at CSU will use the Cognii-powered virtual tutorials this fall in two online undergraduate courses in Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology and one online graduate course in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The tutorials will be developed collaboratively by CSU faculty and instructional designers who will partner with the technologists at Cognii to develop this new approach to cognitive tutoring. The final learning and assessment tools will be unique and will be developed based on the pedagogical strategies and goals of CSU combined with the research and technology of Cognii. 


“The use of Cognii in the classroom is expected to improve learning outcomes, turning assessment into learning while enhancing the effectiveness of the time our faculty devote to teaching,” said Mike Palmquist, Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation at Colorado State University. “Through this partnership, CSU is on the cutting edge of recent research and innovation in the fields of natural language processing, cognitive sciences, and machine learning, and an example of how the University is taking bold steps toward transforming access to quality education.”  


Dee Kanejiya, CEO and founder of Cognii stated, “We are delighted to partner with CSU, which is a leader in innovative online education. Virtual assistants and chatbot technologies are today enhancing our lives in many different spheres and have the potential to significantly improve education. Through this partnership, we are looking forward to bringing the benefits of AI to education and training.” 



About Colorado State University

Colorado State University is one of America’s premier public research universities and an institution on the rise, with a mission of access, discovery, and engagement. Over the past several years, CSU has seen record enrollment each year, more than $300 million in annual research expenditures, and unprecedented fundraising success, surpassing more than $170 million in the last fiscal year and anticipating another record this year. CSU’s faculty is renowned for its expertise in research and scholarly activities as well as its commitment to enrolling and graduating one of the largest most qualified and diverse student bodies in the history of the University. CSU graduates on average carry less student debt and are employed at a higher rate than their peers nationwide – and most important, nine out of 10 Colorado State graduates in a recent survey said they would choose CSU again. The University offers credit and noncredit online and distance degrees, certificates, and courses to more than 10,000 students annually through CSU Online, its Division of Continuing Education.


Contact: Mike Palmquist, Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation, [email protected]


About Cognii

Cognii is a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence based educational technologies to the K-12, Higher Ed and corporate training markets. Cognii’s award winning Virtual Learning Assistant technology provides automated assessment of students’ open-response answers and engages them in a natural language virtual tutoring conversation. Cognii facilitates implementation of the newer, more rigorous academic standards by enabling the pedagogically superior form of constructed response assessment in a cost-effective way. Cognii partners with schools, universities, educational content publishers and online learning & training platforms. Based in Boston, MA, Cognii’s mission is to improve the quality and affordability of education for all, with the help of AI. 




Denise Wydra, [email protected]