Macmillan Learning Releases Learning Science Foundations through Creative Commons for Ease of Adoption and Application

Company shares foundational research to help institutions, instructors, and edtech companies more readily adopt research-based designs and implementations.

July 17th, 2018

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Macmillan Learning, a premier educational solutions and insights provider, today released the first in a series of Learning Science Foundations through Creative Commons. 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 learner outcomes.

"While other educational technology companies have focused on measuring efficacy, Macmillan has focused upstream on designing products that are fundamentally more usable, effective, and drive better learner outcomes," said Dr. Adam Black, Chief Strategy and Learning Officer. "Our approach combines educational research with findings from human-centered design, impact research, and analytics research."

According to Dr. Jeff Bergin, Vice President, Learning Research and Design, "We believe our approach to educational research could be of interest and help to the broader education and research communities. Our Learning Science Foundations are based on the best learning research and can easily be applied to the design or implementation of any learning experience."

Each Learning Science Foundation undergoes a comprehensive and rigorous ten-step research and refinement process. The company has enlisted a leading team of expert Learning Research Advisors, as well as their own internal research team and a Student Codesign Group, to help refine each of the Learning Science Foundations from both a learning science and student-centered perspective. Dr. Robert Atkinson, Associate Professor at Arizona State University, is among those advisors. According to Atkinson, "I think including students is an admirable hallmark of Macmillan's program and this step ensures that the application of research is meaningful to the end users of their products."

Once the research has been applied to product design, findings are gathered through impact research to see how these features affect student performance. Dr. Kara McWilliams, Senior Director of Impact Research stated, "By basing our product design on educational research, we are driving learner outcomes from every feature -- and hoping to magnify outcomes by combining numerous features that are known to work, based on empirical research. Then, based on results from impact research we iterate on the features to make them even more effective."

The first Learning Science Foundation, "Six Key Principles for Learning Experience Design", are now available on Macmillan Learning's website.

Macmillan has a rich history of continuous innovation in education tied directly to enhancing the learner's experience and ultimate success, including the recent acquisition of several educational technology companies. To learn more about the Learning Science and Insights team and the journey we are on, visit

About Macmillan Learning
Macmillan Learning improves lives through learning. Our legacy of excellence in education informs our approach to using user-centered design, learning science, and impact research to develop world-class content and pioneering products that are empathetic, highly effective, and drive improved outcomes. Through deep partnership with the world's best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and lift course results. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. To learn more, please visit or see us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or join our Macmillan Community.

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