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.


      Dr. 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.


      Dr. 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

      The Council has five members (see below). Dr. Dede also sits on our Impact Research Advisory Council to ensure continuity.


      Dr. Robert Atkinson

      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.


      Dr. 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.


      Dr. Erin Dolan

      Dr. Erin Dolan

      Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Innovative Science Education at the University of Georgia

      Professor Erin Dolan is a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Innovative Science Education at the University of Georgia. As a graduate student in Neuroscience at University of California San Francisco, she volunteered extensively in K-12 schools, which prompted her to pursue a career in biology education. She teaches introductory biology and biochemistry, and her research group studies scalable ways of engaging students in science research and mentoring of undergraduate researchers in the life sciences. In 2014-2016, she served as founding Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Sciences (TIDES), the teaching innovation initiative in the College of Natural Sciences at University of Texas Austin. She has designed and led a wide range of professional development on active learning and mentoring, including intensive sessions for faculty to develop course-based undergraduate research experiences. She is principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $10 million in grants, including one for CUREnet, a network of people and programs integrating research experiences into undergraduate courses. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the leading biology education journal, CBE – Life Sciences Education.


      Dr. Mark McDaniel

      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)


      Dr. Liz Thomas

      Dr. Liz Thomas

      Independent researcher and consultant for higher education and Professor of Higher Education at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, England

      Professor Liz Thomas (PhD, MA, BA) is an independent researcher and consultant for higher education and Professor of Higher Education at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, England. She has approximately twenty years’ experience of undertaking and managing research about widening participation, student retention and success and institutional approaches to improving the student experience and outcomes. She is committed to using research to inform UK national and institutional policy, practice and evaluation, and has developed and led change programs to facilitate this. She led the internationally renowned What works? Student retention and success program between 2008 and 2017, working with teams from institutions and specific programs of study to develop, implement and evaluate changes in practices and student outcomes. This work has influenced national policy making, institutional approaches and staff practices. In 2017 Liz was an expert member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2 panel (introduced to assess the quality of learning and teaching of higher education providers), and is currently involved in the TEF subject pilots, recognizing her expertise in widening participation, student retention and success and learning and teaching. Liz is the author and editor of over ten books, and many journal articles, reports, briefings and practice guides. She regularly delivers keynote addresses and staff development workshops and programmes at higher education institutions in the UK and abroad.

    • Student Co-Designers


      Carolina Braga

      Carolina Braga

      Labor Relations, Cornell University

      Carolina resides in New York, where she is finishing her degree in Labor Relations at Cornell University. In the summer of 2017 she worked on training and learning and development at AIG for analysts who were recent college grads. After graduating in Spring 2018, she will be working as an internal consultant full-time for AIG. Carolina finds Student Codesign group’s focus on on research, design, and software development to be extremely interesting.


      Yasir Choudhury

      Yasir Choudhury

      Electrical Engineering, The University of Texas

      Yasir lives in Austin where he is pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. Through the Student Co-design Group, he hopes to improve Macmillan Learning’s products by providing his perspective as a student who has taken many courses that utilize digital learning tools. Yasir’s goal is to become a hardware test engineer at a semiconductor fabrication company. His dream job would be to work at Intel or AMD and aims to obtain employment in this field within the next 5 years.


      Asja Lanier

      Asja Lanier

      Psychology, The College of Saint Elizabeth

      Asja is a recent grad who lives in New Jersey and hopes to continue her education in a Master’s or Doctoral program. Asja previously contributed to Macmillan Learning’s VisionTyping work around a new product model in July 2017. Asja was very involved in student life at her institution, having founded and led the Black Student Union. She was also an active member of the Commuter Council, serving initially as a member and moving on to be the elected president of the council.


      Anthony Nguyen

      Anthony Nguyen

      Economics & Statistics, CUNY Hunter College

      Anthony resides in New York City where he attends CUNY Hunter College. He hopes to work internationally in an effective, data-driven NGO or social entrepreneurial venture that is making a true difference in people's lives. Anthony joined the Student Co-design Group because it offers him a space to collaborate with other students and Macmillan staff and scientists to improve learners' experiences with Macmillan's educational products and technology. Outside of work and school, Anthony enjoys reading, weightlifting, and Chinese food.


      Zaynub Siddiqui

      Zaynub Siddiqui

      Psychology, Prince George's Community College

      Zaynub lives in Maryland and is enrolled in two separate, academically related institutions: she is a homeschooled high schooler and is taking college courses. Her interest in the Student Co-design Group stems from her belief that her current student point-of-view will help improve learning products and therefore help other, future students. She is excited that Macmillan Learning is seeking student input and that her suggestions can affect the education of so many others. In addition to her studies, Zaynub paints and has exhibited in Washington, D.C.


      Ben Thier

      Ben Thier

      Neuroscience, Duke University

      Ben is from New York and currently attends Duke University where he is majoring in neuroscience with a minor in education. He is interested in how teaching and learning experiences can be improved by using data-driven and evidence-based approaches. Ben believes that conducting innovative educational research properly is extremely important if we hope to make a difference in both classrooms and e-learning methods. In his free time, Ben enjoys tennis, scuba diving, tutoring, and video editing.


      Starshae Toomer

      Starshae Toomer

      Liberal Arts, SUNY Broome Community College

      Starshae resides in New York. After completing her schooling, she hopes to become a neonatal nurse. Starshae sees the Student Co-design Group as an opportunity to help other students.