Bearface Assessments, Textbooks, and Analytics
We are committed to:
- Producing innovative and affordable custom learning and assessment systems for wellness, personal health, and physical activities courses taught in the higher education curriculum.
- Partnering with educators to establish an interdisciplinary approach to teaching wellness in colleges and universities.
- Promoting the practice of optimal health and wellness in all aspects of daily life by individuals, communities, and society.
- Facilitating new and ongoing research that is relevant to our mission.
The Bearface Story
In October 2012, Bearface Instructional Technologies was founded as a result of many conversations with professors and students about their frustrations and how they envisioned the future of education. Prior to Bearface, we worked in academic publishing and health care for more than 15 years. During this time, we worked with many innovative and passionate health educators, physical educators, exercise scientists, medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, and public health experts across the country who have a shared goal to help others perform better, be more productive, and succeed in all dimensions of life.
In August 2015, Bearface was acquired by Perceivant, an data analytics innovation company for health and wellness. offers directed as well as self-We provide directed learning environments designed around learner experience with a primary focus on the health and well-being of employees and students in higher education.
Seeing the Problem
As we listened to our colleagues, it became clear they share common challenges and frustrations, including the perception of wellness. They felt some college students perceive university fitness and wellness classes as another incarnation of high school PE class — just an easy way to fill a requirement. They also shared some faculty and administrators don’t view wellness as core to the general education goals of the institution. The wellness programs are threatened by budget cuts or exclusion from the general education curriculum.
Harder still, health educators are teaching into the headwinds of an obesity epidemic that is getting worse every year with severe economic consequences for individuals and society. The higher education system in which they work is under increasing pressure to validate rising tuition rates, increase retention and graduation rates, address skyrocketing student loan debt, and demonstrate that college graduates have fundamental workplace skills needed on any job, in any profession. Students who do receive a college diploma are graduating into a world with fewer high-paying jobs for them. Having good technical skills is not enough to get ahead, especially when most college students end up in professions different from what they studied.
Wellbeing is (should be) the Core Mission of the University
Bearface knows wellness is more than just taking care of your body, more than exercise and eating well, more than yoga classes, meditation, and health spas. Wellness is about the whole individual, and in the case of higher education, it’s about the whole student. Science proves there is a fundamental connection between mind and body. Dimensions of a person include the physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, environmental, occupational, and financial.
Health and human performance faculty are teaching the skills and knowledge that will help students perform better in everything they will do. Isn’t that fundamental purpose of higher learning, to help students think critically, communicate well, problem solve, and create new things?
Wellness belongs at the center of the university. Student well being is a common objective to which every academic program on campus contributes. So why aren’t more universities and colleges taking it seriously?
Helping to Solve the Problem
We realized that we could help; we were in a unique position to make a difference. Over the years, our team has talked to more than 1,000 instructors across the country, forming important relationships with people who will make sure we do the right thing. Our focus on health and human performance gives us a perspective that few textbook publishers or editors have discovered. Our knowledge of learning theory and experience designing and developing instructional technologies enables us to see exciting possibilities beyond the textbook \ lecture model. Our experience designing and implementing international health promotion programs demonstrates we understand the challenge.
We are innovators in an existing market with clear, unmet needs.
Real Personalized Learning
The big academic publishers and new education technology companies say they offer products that “personalize” students’ learning. In reality, they are using adaptive technology to help students memorize facts in a textbook. Cram, test, and forget. Everyone is unique; we can’t shove all students down the same academic shoot.
Bearface Learning Systems engage students through evidence-based self-assessments about their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. We give students immediate feedback and put academic concepts within the context of the students’ self-system. We make those concepts relevant to students and thereby motivate them to develop and use their meta-cognitive abilities to set learning goals and strategies. Bearface gives students tools to use their cognitive system and knowledge to process the relevant information to help them achieve those goals.
The classroom becomes a place where professors coach and mentor, not just lecture. Classrooms become places where peers share ideas and learn from each other. Bearface works because students learn on their own terms, within their own context, their own self. This is true personalized learning in a way that is impossible to do in a print textbook and very difficult to do in a large classroom.
Data to Show Behavior Change
Bearface provides the data collection and analytic tools that enable educators to track student progress is terms of their attitudes and behaviors, not just how much they memorize. We give instructors the tools to demonstrate how their course aligns fully with the general education goals of the institution. We provide evidence that shows to students, parents, employers, accreditation organizations, and the community that the university graduates people with healthy and productive attitudes and behaviors.
Our vision is to provide content and tools that help our colleagues prove they are doing work central to the mission of their school and critical to the future success of our society. Bearface is a collaborative effort that includes our brilliant authors, wise academic advisory board members, strategic partners, friends, and family. If you are interested in writing, researching, reviewing, blogging, advocating, or inspiring Bearface to do more, let us know. Let’s change together.