Unpacking the Black Box of Efficacy (Macmillan Learning)
Kara McWilliams, Adam Black, Jeff Bergin, and Rasil Warnakulasooriya of Macmillan learning recently published an insightful white paper (http://go.macmillanlearning.com/Impact-Research.html) to help explain the nuances of efficacy research in the age of digital learning products. They briefly explain the typical research designs utilized to demonstrate the impact of a digital learning product but, importantly, they expand upon this to create a call to action for efficacy research to uncover how and why a product helps children to learn. They encourage the inclusion o
f messy and difficult-to-measure contextual variables that contribute to variability in learning. Families, educators, and school administrators who ask informed questions about efficacy and impact will make better decisions when choosing products, programs, and resources for their students. This white paper sets the bar for the research evidence that all educational companies should be expected to provide for their consumers.