Research Goals of our Working Group

On September 28, 2016, Working Group C had their most productive meeting to date with the most members in attendance and substantial progress made in meeting our research goals.

The Group C Lead Researcher, Dr. Joe Garofalo, developed the group’s ambitious research template that will allow them to answer the research question, to what extent do the developers of popular Ed Tech products conduct or commission research to support the development and/or assessment of the efficacy of their products?

For the purpose of our study, we have identified three types of research:

  1. The research used as a basis of product development (Learning Sciences);
  2. Internal research used to determine if the product works or not (User Research); and
  3. Efficacy research to determine if the product achieves its purported goals (Evaluation Research).

The first part of our work has been to identify criteria to develop a list of the most popular Ed Tech products. Our committee, with the assistance of Mr. Luyen Chou and his staff, has developed a comprehensive list of categories and is attempting to identify high performing products in each of these categories. One of the purposes of this post is to elicit help from our leaders in developing a list of popular Ed Tech products. This work could be a research assignment in itself, but in the interest of moving the research question forward, the committee is trying to develop a comprehensive list of high performing Ed Tech products across the categories that we have identified. Reader suggestions and input would be greatly appreciated at this time.

Once that list is finalized, a short survey will be sent to each developer with the overall goals of determining how research was used in the development and/or assessment of efficacy of their products; the type of research that was conducted; and the revenue source used to support the research used. The committee anticipates that the survey results will require additional research to better explain what the data collected is actually telling us. Once again, we are reaching out to our readers, and in particular product developers, who would be willing to participate in a phone interview in order for us to better understand the role research played in the development and/or the assessment of the efficacy of their products.

Please contact Dr. John Hutton ( or 847-336-0800) if you would be willing to assist Working Group C with their research.