Borrowing From Tech Industry, U. of Phoenix Rebuilds Its Learning Platform

U. of Phoenix Borrows From Tech Industry to Rebuild Learning Platform 1

Noah Berger for The Chronicle

Michael White (right), Nikki Katz, and Satish Menon of the Apollo Group are former Yahoo executives working on software that will help the U. of Phoenix respond online more intelligently to student needs.

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close U. of Phoenix Borrows From Tech Industry to Rebuild Learning Platform 1

Noah Berger for The Chronicle

Michael White (right), Nikki Katz, and Satish Menon of the Apollo Group are former Yahoo executives working on software that will help the U. of Phoenix respond online more intelligently to student needs.

What would online higher education look like if it was designed using some of the principles behind Google, Yahoo, and Facebook?

Two years ago, leaders at the University of Phoenix decided that its software for students was outdated. So it hired tech-industry heavyweights from Yahoo and elsewhere, installed a team of more than 100 people here in San Francisco, and gave them free rein to rebuild the college's online-learning environment from scratch.

The team created a social