Prior to being acquired, AllClasses nabbed $1.5 million in investor funding last year.
The acquisition will add over 100,000 classes to Noodle’s database, and it will also give its technology a major boost. Already, Noodle has more than 800,000 school, tutoring and workshop profiles in its database.
Noodle scrapes the Web for education-related information and then makes it searchable from its site. The site incorporates information about schools and classes ranging from pre-kindergarten to the college level, as well as massive open online courses. It also offers advice from experts on its blog. Noodle is similar to The Princeton Review’s college search website, which isn’t a surprise because Noodle founder John Katzman also founded the Princeton Review.
Though great in concept, Noodle’s search experience leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, when I clicked on a lesson for the Quadratic Formula, I got this:
“We help parents and students find the right preschool, college, or video on the quadratic equation. Whatever it is that you’re looking for we want to be the place to find it. And it turns out that’s hard,” said Katzman. He says he acquired Allclasses largely for their tech team.
AllClasses, a search engine for classes and workshops of all kinds, has a much sleeker interface that delivers filtered search results based on location, date, price, and provider. It also features suggestions for subjects to explore based on a search query.
Over time, Noodle will integrate AllClasses technology into its site.
“The classes search on Noodle will have a lot better filtering and refined search capability and will have much, much more current and robust information,” said Katzman.
The promise of a one-stop shop for learning is certainly great. Finding free online courses can be difficult, which is probably the reason MOOCs haven’t taken off in the way that academics thought they might. Put in context with other educational opportunities, MOOCs and other one-off courses might gain wider adoption as supplemental to more formal education.
But for Noodle to make that happen, it is going to have to improve its site. Hopefully, AllClasses can help it get there.