Online learning startup Knewton has a new chief operating officer. David Liu, the former senior VP at AOL who spearheaded its Lifestreaming efforts and is also an angel investor (SimpleGeo, BlockChalk), is joining Knewton as COO and a member of the board of directors.
Knewton is an adaptive learning platform which raised a $12.5 million B round last April from Firstmark, Accel, Bessemer, First Round, and Reid Hoffman. Knewton currently offers online test prep and tutorials for the SAT, LSAT, and GMAT using adaptive learning algorithms which progressively make the questions harder or easier depending on each student’s knowledge and ability.
Liu’s charge is to help turn Knewton into a platform for textbook publishers and schools to create their own adaptive learning tools. Knewton proved itself with its test prep products, but now wants to move into the center of the education market, an approach other education startups like Grockit are also pursuing.