We embed education research into product development and design to ensure that our products and services deliver their intended outcomes.
That research comes in four primary areas: applied learning science; knowledge and skills; formative assessment and feedback; and pedagogical models. Together, these areas provide us with evidence about the many factors that impact teaching and learning; evidence that we leverage as we determine how a product should be developed given its intended outcome. Below, we describe how different education research activities support product design and development. Our efforts are systematic, ongoing and designed to provide a solid foundation on which to build products that improve learner outcomes.
Applied Learning Science
Learning science refers to the systematic and rigorous research that examines how students learn and how the environment in which the learning is happening (e.g., social interactions, technology, etc.) can impact those processes.
We leverage what research has discovered about memory, attention, motivation, and other concepts that contribute to our understanding of how students learn to maximize positive student outcomes. ur researchers collaborate with learning designers and product teams to ensure that learning science is applied to product design and development to make it more likely that products deliver positive learner outcomes.
Knowledge and Skills
There is a great deal of research in education that illustrates the types of knowledge that
learners should acquire about a given subject/skill at a given stage in their learning
At Pearson our goal is to leverage that research - across grade levels and ages - to define
and map the target knowledge and skills that a learner needs to gain at a given point in
their interaction with a product.
Therefore, our researchers work alongside learning designers and product teams to ensure that research on knowledge and skills are embedded in products so that they deliver the right set of
content or skills at the right time in a learner’s development, for example, and that the product has a mechanism for assessing whether a learner has, indeed, mastered a given set of
knowledge or skills in order to continue to progress in their learning.
Formative Assessment & Feedback
Once knowledge and skills are defined, we need to help students and instructors understand where students are in their progress toward achieving the goals, and ensure appropriate feedback is delivered at the appropriate time.
The digital world opens up new opportunities for formative assessment and feedback.
Assessment models can be built from the activity stream data resulting from students’ interactions with rich digital environments. We can develop processes through which activities can be designed as both learning and assessment tools. When we have worked with product teams to design and develop ways to determine what students know and can do, we next apply research to ensure the appropriate kind of feedback is administered - in the right context - and at the right time.
Our products are informed by best practice in terms of pedagogy in face to face, blended and fully online contexts. Research in this areas seeks to define patterns in the ways students and instructors interact with each other and with technology so we can design products that will fit into the ways teachers teach and classes function. By examining the existing research literature, observing live classrooms, interviewing teachers and students, and bringing in data that show patterns of technology usage, we can identify the ways our products can be implemented to increase the likelihood of positive learner outcomes.
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