Learning Science & Insights

Advisory Councils

The Impact Research Advisory Council

Measuring impact on learning provides essential information for institutions, instructors, and students when making decisions about what digital learning solutions to adopt and how to use them to achieve the best outcomes. However, impact research is notoriously challenging. At Macmillan Learning, we don’t have all the answers, but our research endeavors to embrace the diversity of students, instructors and their courses, the local educational environment, and continuously evolving digital solutions. We therefore use a portfolio of coordinated research that include implementation science, rapid-cycle evaluations, and summative impact research. To challenge our research methods, practices, results, and claims, we have formed the Impact Research Advisory Council. This Council is made up of a diverse panel of external experts in designing and measuring the impact of educational technology, methods for measuring effectiveness, modeling and evaluating learning performance, standards for measurement in education, and respecting current and evolving data privacy standards and laws.


Christopher Dede

Dr. Christopher Dede

Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Technology Innovation, and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Dede’s research focuses on developing new types of educational systems to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. His work spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, developing policies that support educational transformation, and providing leadership in educational innovation. He has conducted funded studies to develop and assess learning environments based on virtual worlds, augmented realities, transformed social interaction, and online teacher professional development. He is a leader in mobile learning initiatives and has developed a widely used Framework for scaling up educational innovations.


Michael Feldstein

Michael Feldstein

Partner at MindWires Consulting, Co-Publisher of e_literate, and Co-Producer of e-Literate TV.

Feldstein is a prominent figure in the educational technology space who regularly provides strategic planning and program management consulting for universities, publishers, educational technology companies, and financial services companies interested in educational technology. His research focuses on the development and provision of e-learning and knowledge management products and services, with a special emphasis on software simulations. Feldstein is a frequent invited speaker on a range of e-learning related topics including; usability, the future of the LMS, ePortfolios, and edupatents for organizations ranging from the eLearning Guild to the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council. The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Associated Press, and U.S News and World Report often interview Felsdtein as an e-Learning expert.


Sara Finney

Dr. Sara Finney

Professor, Department of Graduate Psychology and Associate Director in the Center for Assessment and Research Studies.

Dr. Finney’s research focuses on issues and techniques broadly related to measurement and statistics in psychology and education. Her scholarship focuses on the presence of less-than-ideal conditions for research, quality of measures, the measurement of academic entitlement, and test-taking motivation for students. As part of Finney’s work at the Center for Assessment and Research Studies she designs and leads impact research around campus initiatives. Focused on actionable insights, the program of research is developed around gathering a body of evidence of effectiveness and impact using novel approaches to research and evaluation.


Dr. Suzanne Lane

Dr. Suzanne Lane

Department Chair Research Methodology, University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Lane is a recognized measurement methodologist who has published extensively on technical and validity issues associated with educational measurement. Her work is published in journals such as the Journal of Educational Measurement, Applied Measurement in Education, and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. She was the President of NCME, Vice President of Division D of AERA, member of the AERA, APA, and NCME Joint Committee for the Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and member of the Management Committee for the next revision of the Standards. She has served on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Educational Measurement, Applied Measurement in Education, Educational Assessment, Educational Researcher, and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice.


Thanos Patelis

Dr. Thanos Patelis

Research Scholar at Fordham University and Principal Scientist at Human Resources Research Organization

Dr. Patelis is a noted expert in applied research and evaluation. His research focuses on developing growth models to measure learning progressions, constructing valid metacognitive measurements, multivariate statistical analysis, program evaluation, structural equation modeling, item and assessment validity, and applied psychometrics. Dr. Patelis has been a reviewer for Educational and Psychological Measurement, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, International Journal of Testing, Mental Measurements Yearbook, and Psychological Methods and on the editorial board of Applied Measurement in Education. He has published and presented over 50 paper and has served on an APA Task Force for the Recruitment of Quantitative Psychology Professionals.


Elana Zeide

Dr. Elana Zeide

Yale Law School Visiting Fellow, Information Society Project; Princeton University, Associate Research Scholar, Center for Information Technology Policy.

Dr. Zeide is an attorney, scholar, and consultant focusing on student privacy, predictive analytics, and the proverbial permanent record in the age of big data. Ziede examines the law, policies, and cultural norms emerging as education and human evaluation become increasingly data-driven. This includes exploring how innovation alters the assumptions underlying traditional and new approaches to data protection and creating cross-disciplinary conversations to better align privacy conceptualization and regulation to today's technology.

The Learning Research Advisory Council

As part of our mission to improve student outcomes, we believe it’s essential to leverage the best research in the learning sciences and to apply that research to our product design, iteration, and instructor support. To guide and critique our approach to assessing, synthesizing, and applying research to best effect, we have formed the Learning Research Advisory Council. This Council comprises leading experts in cognitive and learning science who will advise and critique the design principles and processes we are using to develop next-generation learning experiences that deliver materially better outcomes for institutions, instructors, and students. The Council has three permanent members, and two rolling annual appointments. The three permanent members are Dr. Robert Atkinson (Arizona State University), Dr. Mark McDaniel (Washington University in St. Louis), and Dr. Christopher Dede (Harvard University). Dr. Dede also sits on our Impact Research Advisory Council to ensure continuity.


Christopher Dede

Dr. Christopher Dede

Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Technology Innovation, and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Dede’s research focuses on developing new types of educational systems to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. His work spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, developing policies that support educational transformation, and providing leadership in educational innovation. He has conducted funded studies to develop and assess learning environments based on virtual worlds, augmented realities, transformed social interaction, and online teacher professional development. He is a leader in mobile learning initiatives and has developed a widely used Framework for scaling up educational innovations.


Christopher Dede

Dr. Mark McDaniel

Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE), Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. McDaniel is a Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE) at Washington University in St. Louis.  He received his Ph.D from University of Colorado in 1980.  His research is in the general area of human learning and memory, with an emphasis on prospective memory, encoding and retrieval process in episodic memory and applications to educational contexts. His educationally relevant research includes a series of studies on individual differences in conceptual learning tendencies, elaborative study techniques and enhancing learning through testing (repeated retrieval), with much of his latter work being conducted in actual college and middle school classrooms.  This research has been sponsored by the Institute of Educational Sciences and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. McDaniel is co-author, with Gilles Einstein, of two books: Memory Fitness: A Guide for Successful Aging (Yale University Press, 2004) and Prospective Memory: An Overview and Synthesis of an Emerging Field (Sage Press, 2007) and co-author of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (Harvard University Press, 2014, with Peter Brown and Henry Roediger)


Christopher Dede

Dr. Robert Atkinson

Associate Professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering in the Ira A. Schools of Engineering and the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College, Arizona State University

Dr. Atkinson is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering in the Ira A. Schools of Engineering and the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College. His research explores the intersection of cognitive science, informatics, instructional design, and educational technology. He earned in Applied Cognitive Science PhD degree from University of Wisconsin – Madison with a minor in statistics and research design. His scholarship involves the design of instructional material—including book- and computer-based learning environments—according to our understanding of human cognitive architecture and how to leverage its unique constraints and affordances. His current research focus involves the study of engagement and flow in games. His research appears in a variety of highly respected academic journals including Journal of Educational Psychology, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Learning and Instruction, Review of Educational Research, and Educational Psychologist. He currently serves on the editorial boards of five top-tier journals and is a standing member of the Institute of Education Sciences review panel.