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Since its launch in 2013, over 100,000 users across the world have accessed the Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC

Exam board OCR and adaptive learning experts CogBooks confirmed today they are working together to add personalised adaptive learning to the pioneering Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC. The partnership brings free of charge to UK secondary schools an exciting learning technology that is making headlines in US Higher Education.

Since its launch in 2013, over 100,000 users across the world have accessed the Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC, developed by OCR in collaboration with Cambridge University Press and Raspberry Pi, and based on OCR’s GCSE Computing curriculum.

From September 2014, the addition of CogBooks adaptive technology will allow every student to progress through the MOOC in a way which suits their individual needs. CogBooks has pioneered the use of adaptive learning since 2003, and it was most highly rated in a recent report on adaptive learning commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

CogBooks adaptive technology constantly analyses a student’s activities and then uses algorithms to recommend the most helpful next step for them. The ‘personalised’ Computing MOOC supports teachers by providing them with in depth analysis of each student’s progress and helps learners move at their own pace.

Liam Sammon, OCR’s Director of Education and Commercial Services, said: “This partnership will keep students and teachers at the heart of technology. We firmly believe that technology must be harnessed in the interests of education, and that by making the technology free, the reach is potentially massive. CogBooks is a high quality, innovative company that shares our vision and we are delighted to work with them.”

Jim Thompson, Chief Executive of CogBooks and a Former Research Fellow in Physics at Cambridge University said: “OCR combines its long history in education with an incredibly forward-looking vision for supporting teachers and students in the 21st Century. CogBooks is excited to be part of that vision and we share OCR’s commitment to making the latest advances in learning technology available to a mass audience. CogBooks was founded with the aim of bringing scientific methods to on-line learning. We do this by creating learning experiences and technology based on sound research and providing teachers with the data to inform how they support their students.”

OCR was recently recognised in a DfE report (‘MOOCs: opportunities for their use in compulsory-age education’) as one of the few providers currently offering a MOOC for secondary age learners.


Notes to editors section:

For all press enquiries, please contact Rosie Applin: / 01223 376491 or Sophie White: / 01223 552767.

1. In September 2014, a full curriculum of GCSE Computer Science content will be available in the enhanced MOOC using the CogBooks intelligent personalisation technology. Students can work through course materials at their own pace and receive automated support when they need extra help. At the same time, teachers will benefit from dashboards and in-depth reports to track the exact progress and capabilities of each student and target the most appropriate support for their class. The system is also suitable for working with ‘flipped classroom’ approaches to teaching and provides social learning support through integrated online forums and other features.

2. About OCR

OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) is a leading UK awarding body, providing a wide range of qualifications to meet the needs of learners of all ages and abilities. OCR qualifications include AS/A Levels, GCSEs, Cambridge Nationals, Cambridge Technicals, Entry Level qualifications, and vocational qualifications in areas such as IT, business, languages, teaching/training, administration and secretarial skills.
Each year more than three million students gain OCR qualifications, which are offered by 13,000 centres including schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, training providers, voluntary organisations, local authorities, and businesses ranging from SMEs to multi-national organisations.

OCR is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group.

Cambridge GCSE Computing Online(The Computing MOOC)

3. About CogBooks

The CogBooks adaptive learning platform intelligently personalises learning for each student in real time in order to improve learning outcomes and retention. CogBooks is used widely by publishers and in post-secondary education and corporate training. We are engaged in a range of high profile on-line education projects in work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ufi Charitable Trust, OCR Exam Board and others. Our mature cloud-based technology can be used as a massive scale stand-alone on-line learning solution or integrated with our customers’ existing systems such as MOOCs or Learning Management Systems.

We are committed to advancing education through the application of research-led methods. CogBooks learning technology is based on a systematic, data-driven, approach that makes us an ideal partner for forward thinking educators and publishers.

To learn more about CogBooks learning technologies, please visit or email

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