Co-founder, Creator, CPO
We are passionate about teaching and strive to deliver the best course material to our students.
With PrairieLearn, we open the door for instructors to improve their teaching workflow without compromising the quality of education they are delivering to students.
We believe that students should have access to quality education from anywhere in the world, and that instructors should have an adaptable platform to deliver that education.
PrairieLearn is the evolution of over 10 years of tool building and refinement for our own classes. The flagship campus of the University of Illinois is home to both one of the largest and most prestigious Colleges of Engineering in the world. We built this tool to enable us to maintain that excellence in the presence of large enrollment classes. Through automation of routine grading and administration tasks, we freed ourselves and members of our course staff to focus on critical activities that humans perform better than software, like one-on-one tutoring and offering open-ended lab projects.
PrairieLearn was designed to enable mastery learning in a way that wasn‘t possible with paper homework. With immediate feedback and the opportunity to try another problem whenever the student wants, PrairieLearn provides a learning experience that is better for students and has lower administrative overhead. Gone are the days of piles of hand-graded written homework (returned to students a week after they were turned in) that are never picked up. Gone are the days where our students ask us for more practice problems. We have eliminated the friction between a student‘s desire to practice and their ability to practice, by providing an infinite supply of problems and, in so doing, we find that students practice more and achieve more.
Over the years, we have identified better ways of doing things and novel use cases, and those insights have been rolled back into the design of the software. When the authors of the software are also some of its most demanding users, you get quality tools that solve actual problems. We find these tools to be a joy to use, and we think you will too.
PrairieLearn began life as open-source software, and it will remain that way forever. This means that institutions and individuals can run PrairieLearn on their own infrastructure and make changes to it at will. PrairieLearn has a strong community of developers who frequently contribute new features, improvements, and fixes.
However, we've found that most instructors would rather focus on running their courses instead of operating and scaling software. We started PrairieLearn, Inc. to provide a paid hosting option. This ensures that everyone can take advantage of all that PrairieLearn has to offer without having to become experts in server administration.
Paid subscriptions cover the costs of running PrairieLearn servers, and they also fund our system administrators who operate the service and are responsible for ongoing maintenance, security, upgrades, and support.
Co-founder, Creator, CPO
Explore the demo course to see how this all comes together