Course Evaluation & Academic Research Services

Efficacy is a critical part of the course development process and is essential when evaluating courses or programs. We measure the success of courses based on:

  • Identification of learning outcomes
  • Identification of assessment and other outcome measures
  • Evaluation of measurement data
  • Revision based on evaluation

Academic Research

We deliver superior, quality curriculum with a proven impact on student learning. Our credentialed team conducts research on best practices in online and blended pedagogies, learning design, and assessment strategies.

Members share findings on best practices from their own research as well as research done in conjunction with our clients and partners. Academic research capabilities include:

  • Design and implementation of course- or program-specific research studies
  • Partnership in existing research projects (e.g., validation of the online student engagement measure, educational technologies for collaboration)

Meet Our Experts


Jay Lynch

Senior Academic Research Consultant for Course Design, Development, and Academic Research (CDDAR)

Jay Lynch has worked at Pearson since 2011. He earned his PhD and MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his BA at the University of Arizona. Jay has multiple publications in both educational theory and philosophy. His research interests span the field of the learning sciences and he is particularly interested in the topics of affective and self-regulated learning. In addition, Jay has several years of experience applying learning research in the design and development of online courses.


Barbara E. Rowan, PhD

Director of Academic Research, Usability, and Evaluation for Course Design, Development, and Academic Research (CDDAR)

Barbara E. Rowan is responsible for aligning internal standards to third-­party standards; leading and managing efficacy culture and workflow efforts; and developing and implementing a research roadmap that focuses on instruction, assessment, and learning models and practices.

Prior to joining Pearson in 2010, Dr. Rowan spent twenty years in higher education, holding a variety of administrative positions and teaching research methods and statistics courses, both on­ground and online. Dr. Rowan’s research interests include computer-­based and computerized adaptive testing, measurement equivalence of computer-­based versus paper-­based measures, student motivation and engagement in the online environment, and online assessment evaluation. Publications and presentations focus on assessment in self-­paced, online courses; creation and validation of a measure of quantitative literacy; competency­-based education; the science behind learning design; and assessment and measurement-related topics.

Dr. Rowan holds a BA degree in mathematics and English from Malone College, an MS in Psychology from Georgia College & State University, and a PhD in Assessment and Measurement from James Madison University.