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Learning science, insights, and the journey to better outcomes
June 28th, 2017
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.
I've been incredibly lucky to have had a career that's taken me all around the US, and all over the world - to meet all kinds of students and to witness passionate instructors, novel instructional techniques, and effective educational technologies in action. I'm always inspired by what I learn, and continually energized to create better ways to help students and instructors to succeed.
I've developed digital learning products for many years. At last count, they've been used by more than 25 million learners. That's both thrilling and a humbling responsibility. Yet looking forward, I think we're entering into a particularly exciting chapter in digital education. Here's what we're employing at Macmillan Learning and why I'm so excited by what we can contribute to learners and learning:
- Digital technologies are finally sufficiently flexible and ubiquitous that we can develop learning products that really are personal and connected.
- Design thinking has revolutionized how to co-create with students and instructors education solutions that solve fundamental challenges with compelling and intuitive experiences.
- Learning Science is an evolving field, but much is well understood about how to apply it to design effective and impactful learning experiences. Blended with User Experience Design, we can now engineer better learning into digital products.
- Agile development (from software, to content, and beyond) allows iterative, continuous improvement which is critical in turning a good learning experience into a great one.
- Implementation science is emerging as a means to research how different instructors in different situations can achieve different results with the same learning tools, and to use these insights to help more of their peers to get better results.
- Engineering digital products to capture specific interaction data is revealing entirely new, empirical insights into how students behave and learn. Combined with contextual "small data" from on-the-ground observations, we can now research at the local and national level - from how effective a product is in improving learner outcomes and how it can be refined, to how instructors can be guided to get the very best results for their students.
With this innovation toolkit to hand, it's been a lot of fun to build an entirely new Learning Science and Insights team from the ground up at Macmillan Learning. We certainly don't claim to have all the answers, but we do believe that the blend of learning science (what works), user-centered design (empathy and understanding), and insights from big and small data (empirical trends and local context) are helping us to design a next-generation of learning products that will help more learners to reach their goals.
We are energized by the opportunity to help learners and instructors to succeed, and humbled by the responsibility. We'll be regularly sharing our approach, findings, successes and failures. We hope you'll accompany us along our journey and contribute to it.
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).
April 9, 2019
“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.
March 11, 2019
Learning Science News
Browse Our Archive
Learning Science: Taking It Step-By-Step | April 19, 2019
The Power of Active Learning: Does It Work? | March 11, 2019
Learning for Life: A Reality for Everyone | January 25, 2019
The Science Behind a Better Education | November 29, 2018
Beyond the hype of big data in education | September 7, 2018
Learning Models: Enabling Research-Based Approaches to Active Learning | August 27, 2018
A new standard for measuring the efficacy of ed tech? | August 17, 2018
‘My Class Is Different!’ | August 13, 2018
Macmillan Shares Learning Science Foundations | July 17, 2018
Macmillan Learning Announces Learning Research Advisory Council | June 26, 2018
Unveiling Macmillan Learning’s Student Co-designers | April 12, 2018
Learning Science’s Impact on Digital Products You Use | April 6, 2018
Good, better, best: helping to realize student potential | January 11, 2018
Unpacking the Black Box of Efficacy | November 29, 2017
Macmillan Launches Austin Learning Lab | November 13, 2017
Two mindsets every designer and researcher should embrace | September 18, 2017
Learning science, insights, and the journey to better outcomes | June 28, 2017
Macmillan Learning Redefines a Learner-Centered Strategy | May 10, 2017
Making efficacy research more actionable | May 8, 2017
Science + Empathy + Data Insights
The result of this empathetic and scientific approach are learning solutions that are practical, deeply intuitive, highly impactful, and help students, instructors, and institutions to achieve their very best outcomes.