Stage 1: Determining learner outcomes
In partnership with our customers and learners, we determine what the product is aiming to achieve — its intended learner outcomes.
These act as benchmarks; from this point, the efficacy of the product is measured by its impact on these outcomes.
Stage 2: Designing research studies
We plan ways to investigate the learner outcomes identified in stage 1 — including searching for existing peer-reviewed evidence, and planning new research studies about how using the product affects the outcomes.
This stage is to make sure our research is relevant to the outcomes that matter most to customers and learners.
Stage 3: Commissioning research studies
Our in-house researchers and / or third-party researchers are commissioned to carry out the research studies planned in stage 2.
This stage is to make sure we commission researchers whose capabilities and experience are appropriate for the design of the research studies.
Stage 4: Implementing research studies
The researchers conduct the research as planned in stage 2. We make sure the research follows all appropriate laws and regulations for the collection and storage of student data, and that the data is analyzed and written up into the Technical Report accurately and in full.
Stage 5: Finalizing research studies
We review the quality of the research studies related to the product against the original research study design from stage 2. We assess whether the quality of the researchers’ methodology, analysis of the data, and conclusions are appropriate for the research study design.
This stage is to determine whether the research study can be used to create statements about the efficacy of the product.
Stage 6: Screening for efficacy reporting
We search for other existing research studies related to the product, either by our in-house researchers or by third-party researchers, and assess whether they are relevant and robust enough to incorporate into our efficacy reporting.
This stage ensures we do not overlook relevant research studies that are published while our research is underway, so we can be sure we are reporting the full story about the product.
Stage 7: Proposed efficacy statements
We review the body of research assembled for the product — including research studies commissioned by Pearson and those created by others — and use it to collate a series of efficacy statements.
Stage 8: Efficacy reports
We draft the web page and Research Report document for the product. We then assess whether they are aligned to the learner outcomes from stage 1, and whether the three layers of the Efficacy Report (web page, Research Report, and Technical Report/s) are consistent with each other.
This process specifically applies to audited efficacy reporting and the research studies that contribute to it. Pearson makes use of a range of different types of research throughout the lifecycle of a product, some of which are not covered here because they are not submitted for audit.