Heather Hiles, Founder and CEODuring her high school days, Heather Hiles spent time breaking sweat on the basketball court that earned her a place in the Olympic Development League. Hiles deems that playing ball taught her discipline, focus, and teamwork—skills that no doubt came in handy while building and leading Pathbrite, a technology provider in the world of online education. While the U.S. ed-tech industry has evolved rapidly over the past few years, experts like Hiles are finding better ways to improve student-learning outcomes on a larger scale. Today, the best of ed-tech is vying for a learner-centric approach, to optimitize the impact on student success. "The future of education is combining the power of great technologies with proven pedagogy to provide the best outcome for students," says Hiles, CEO and Founder, Pathbrite. That's the emphasis of Pathbrite’s Portfolio Learning Platform (PLP), which supports schools, colleges, and organizations worldwide.
Hiles also sums up two main challenges that prick the industry today: First, finding technology that actually improves student success rates, and second, adopting easy to use technology for instructors. “Our cloud-based PLP improves the learning, teaching and assessment experiences, all while increasing the graduation rates of students,” explains Hiles.
Educational institutions can purchase a license from Pathbrite, giving teachers a tool to map out “learning paths” by showing the skills students need to master in order to reach particular goals. As students build their portfolios, employers can see exactly what they have learned and achieved. “By using the right technology, we can create ways for learners to show how their function, skills, and practical experiences, align with what employers need,” adds Hiles.
Headquartered in San Francisco, the Pathbrite PLP is designed for users of all ages. “With the digital revolution under way, our platform transforms the way in which we assess knowledge,” claims Hiles.
Our cloud-based portfolio platform transforms learning, teaching and assessment
Now, teachers can see into student work while it is in progress. Instructors can provide qualitative feedback, in real-time, and the student can apply that guidance.
Last year, Fresno State selected Pathbrite to provide a campus wide e-portfolio rollout, aimed at improving student engagement and retention. Pathbrite is rolling out its PLP to roughly 20,000 students and faculty and adoption is happening much faster than Fresno had ever imagined. Fresno State is committed to applying high impact practices, like providing more holistic assessment and guidance of student learning.
“We are the first cloud-based PLP with the ability to accommodate any number of communities and sub communities,” says Hiles. The Yale graduate also identifies that having in-house design at the front end of development is a key advantage. “We win RFPs over our competitors, for ease of use and interoperability every time. We have the best integrations into LMSs of any ed-tech and we also pull in content from a myriad of places including: YouTube, LinkedIn recommendations, Google Drive files, Facebook and Twitter, Khan Academy, Mozilla badges, and more,” Hiles adds.
With an increasingly global footprint, Pathbrite is being used in several countries in Europe and Asia. “We are continuously working to find different ways to give meaning to the rich reflection data that our learners share. Our first goal is to help the learner learn more about him or herself,” discloses Hiles, who ensures that the platform will continue to interoperate seamlessly with education technologies and services.