"In an effort to improve student success in higher education courseware, Pearson added in messages of encouragement after a student selected an incorrect answer in a digital quiz about programming. These included statements such as “The most successful programmers spend hours practicing their skills behind the scenes.” This change was phased in to allow the effect to be measured compared to no messaging following an incorrect answer.
"Recent media coverage has mischaracterized a relatively minor product update by extracting technical language from the research that, when taken out of context, and paired with words like “experiment,” conveys a malicious intent.
"As with any changes to a product, we evaluate the introduction of changes to determine if they require additional ethical or legal review or consultation. In this case, the introduction of feedback messages about how to improve student success, was determined to be a part of normal educational practice, as defined by the US Department of Health and Human Services regulations."