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News & Media


Learning Science: Taking It Step-By-Step

Sometime in the spring of last year, I got an email inviting me to participate in Macmillan Learning’s new Student Co-Design group. Intrigued, I signed up. And I’m glad I did. Over the past nine months, I witnessed firsthand the attention and high esteem that Macmillan gives to the insights of learning science and, perhaps surprisingly, the opinions of real-life breathing students who must steer through the tidal ups and downs of higher education.

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Edupreneurship: Using Research and Evaluation to Devise Innovations that Drive Outcomes

Entrepreneurship in educational technology, also known simply as edupreneurship, is a hot topic-so hot that there are conferences devoted to it (including next week's ASUGSV), philanthropic efforts focused on it (such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), and even graduate degrees concentrating on it (including the University of Pennsylvania's M.S. in Education Entrepreneurship).

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The Power of Active Learning: Does It Work?

“Active learning enhances motivation, deepens retention, promotes transfer, and builds collaborative skills useful in work and life.” Dr. Chris Dede, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Using student-centered design to create more engaging edtech: A SXSWedu Educator Workshop

At Macmillan Learning, we have been experimenting with and refining these techniques over the last two years to develop a next-generation or more effective and engaging digital experiences for students. We have learned that involving students from the very first steps and throughout the design process is fundamental to creating learning products that are empathetic, drive higher student engagement, and enable instructors to achieve better outcomes.

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Learning for Life: A Reality for Everyone

For the past nine months, I have been collaborating with Macmillan as an advisory member of the Student Codesign Group, working with experts in the field of learning research and design towards the goal of designing products to improve student engagement and outcomes in learning. Through my participation in the program, I've seen how Macmillan is striving to help instructors improve student outcomes through its Learning Science Foundations. These principles are not only necessary in improving outcomes in learning, but the implications of recognizing and incorporating them into the learning experience are profound for education as a whole.

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The Science Behind a Better Education

When I tell people that I study neuroscience at Duke University, the first comment I get back is something along the lines of, “are you thinking doctor or surgeon after medical school?”

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Beyond the hype of big data in education

The promise of big data is the talk of the town these days. However, does big data in education mean big insights for educators and edtech developers? While there is potential  for a wealth of illuminating and practical insights into teaching and learning that can be derived from data, that potential can only be realized by asking the right questions, creatively tackling noisy and incomplete data, and recognizing the limitations of any analysis. Simply put, gaining useful and reliable insights from educational data - big or small - is part science, and part art.

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Learning Models: Enabling Research-Based Approaches to Active Learning

At Macmillan Learning, we try to help instructors achieve better outcomes by developing products that facilitate research-based pedagogies, and to help students by designing engaging, empathetic, and effective learning experiences. While we employ a number of research methods as we develop an edtech solution, we start with learning research - published findings from educational research and cognitive science. We survey, document, and distill this research into Learning Science Foundations that are reviewed by our Learning Research Advisory Council and Student Co-Designers, and then used during product design and refinement.

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A new standard for measuring the efficacy of ed tech?

Designing impact research to give instructors the practical insights they need for what ed tech to use and how to use it is challenging, and incredibly rewarding. To support us on this endeavor, Macmillan Learning assembled the Impact Research Advisory Council (IRAC).

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‘My Class Is Different!’

Measuring learning is difficult. Disentangling the effects of ed-tech tools from all the other contributing factors in an educational environment can be almost impossible. After a decade of conducting mixed-methods studies of educational interventions, and having the privilege of working with some of the leading researchers in this area, I’ve landed on a basic but critical truth: useful impact research begins with context. Without context, research results lack utility to the educators we are trying to serve, and sample sizes, correlation coefficients and significance tests are irrelevant.

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Improving Student Codesign Practices: Our Work with Northwestern University’s Design for America

In February, I was a panelist at Design for America’s event, Imagining the Future of Social Impact, which was held at the LinkedIn office in San Francisco. Seated among Design for America students and alumni, and a fair share of LinkedIn folks, I learned a ton from my fellow panelists August de los Reyes, Head of Design at Pinterest; Sarah Alpern, Head of User Experience Design at LinkedIn; Hannah Hudson, Sr. Design Researcher & Strategist at Intuit; and our enthusiastic moderator, Liz Gerber, Northwestern Faculty Founder of Design for America.

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Macmillan Shares Learning Science Foundations

We are excited to begin sharing the Learning Science Foundations that are shaping Macmillan’s next-generation learning solutions. These Foundations are syntheses of research in the learning sciences that are translated into specific design principles, pedagogical models, and learning frameworks that can readily be applied to learning experiences in order to drive better learner outcomes. In the words of one of our Learning Research Advisors, Dr. Christopher Dede from Harvard, “The learning sciences synthesize theoretical insights, research-based evidence, and the wisdom of practice into strong foundations on which to base curriculum, professional capacity building, and assessment.”

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Macmillan Learning Announces Learning Research Advisory Council

Macmillan Learning is pleased to announce the formation of a Learning Research Advisory Council (LRAC). The primary purpose of the LRAC is to partner with Macmillan’s Learning Research and Design team to critique and inform how to best apply research findings in the learning sciences to product design and implementation in order to best drive learner outcomes and show a demonstrable impact on learning.

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Unveiling Macmillan Learning’s Student Co-designers

At Macmillan Learning, we don't just design products for students -- we design products with students.

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Learning Science’s Impact on Digital Products You Use

Learning Science Webinar, Monday, April 9. How is learning science being used to improve digital education tools? How can you be confident a new product improves outcomes? Why does it matter to you as an educator? As education embraces technology, the opportunities to help each instructor and student to achieve more are growing, but so is the hype.

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Helping Students to Achieve More Using Learning Research and Student-centered Design

As part of our commitment to help students, instructors, and institutions to achieve more, we have been investing heavily in learning research and design.

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Good, better, best: helping to realize student potential

Learning opens doors and changes lives. And, student success is driven by great instructors.

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Unpacking the Black Box of Efficacy

Educators are flooded with choices as digital learning tools enter the higher education market. But how can instructors know if a product will be effective for their students? And, how should they assess if claims are relevant or reliable?

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Macmillan Launches Austin Learning Lab

Last week, Macmillan Learning joined leading technology companies investing in labs - such as Apple, Google, and IBM - to open its first combined user-centered design and learning science lab, in Austin, Texas. More than 100 people joined to celebrate the launch and to hear leading experts discuss how research drives a transformation in designing next-generation learning products. "Our labs reflect our focus on and commitment to the learner," said Dr. Jeff Bergin, Vice President of Learning Research and Design at Macmillan Learning. "These facilities put learners at the center of our research and design teams and enable us to engage with our users as co-designers on a daily basis."

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Using human-centered design, learning science, and data mining to improve student success

We're delighted to launch our Learning Science and Insights website and share with you our approach. We hope there's something of interest here to all educators. 

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Two mindsets every designer and researcher should embrace

Human-centered design - and the research that goes along with it - is an ambiguous world. The nuances of humanity are messy and hard to pin down; so how can we approach our work to ensure that we're driving to solid product decisions?

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Learning science, insights, and the journey to better outcomes

I come from a family of instructors. I believe there are few richer ways to contribute to the world than to help students to achieve their potential.

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Macmillan Learning partners with leading academics to develop an innovative approach to Impact Research

Providing instructors with reliable and practical evidence about what digital educational tools will improve learner outcomes for their courses is critical to improving student success. But the complexity and variety of their educational ecosystems makes measuring the impact of educational tools difficult.  

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Macmillan Learning Redefines a Learner-Centered Strategy

Company maximizing powerful opportunity to blend learning research, human-centered design, analytics, and impact research to help educators and learners reach full potential.

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Making efficacy research more actionable

Educational technology has the potential to dramatically improve learner outcomes, but only if instructors are helped to understand what works for their students and classrooms.

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