Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & NWEA
Discovery Team Lead
Product & Design Strategist
Client Partner
Product Mgmt.

A platform and ontology for personalized learning.

With overcrowded classrooms, lack of resources, and little time for assessment — the modern education system can’t address the diverse learning needs of students. We worked with one of the country’s largest providers of curriculum, HMH, and NWEA, a non-profit that serves 16 mil. students, to create a student-forward assessment product.


The Ontos Platform
Ontos is an adaptive learning platform that integrates data-driven assessments and tailored instructional resources. Using an ontology that maps student knowledge paths — Ontos was designed to understand curriculum requirements, ask students questions to understand how effectively they are learning, and provide recommendations to teachers for individual student growth.


As the Product Strategist & Discovery Lead, I collaborated with a team of designers and engineers in continuous research. We started from scratch to define the core vision of the product, understand users, develop the technical approach, and continuously guide product delivery.

Our Discovery Team focused on four key areas:

1. Design & Product
  • User research with hundreds of students and teachers.
  • Constant collaboration with curriculum experts, learning science engineers, and psychometricians.
  • Development and testing of design prototypes.
  • Definition of student and teacher use cases.

2. Engineering
  • Research and guidance of ontology development.
  • Development and testing of technical proofs-of-concept.

3. Business Case Dev.
  • Market research with school district leaders and curriculum buyers.
  • Definintion of MVP, MMP, and target buying audience.

4. Delivery & Build Guidance
  • Continous collaboration with a full scale build team.
  • Development of comprehensive reports of insights, recommendations, and raw interview data.
  • Prioritization of features and definition of delivery epics.


  • Continued multi-million dollar investment and eventual company aquisition.
  • Developed integrations of Ontos assessments into Google Classroom.
  • Design of product experiences for both middle school and early-elementary students.
  • Development and launch of Labs, a digital platform to run large scale student research.