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Digital Promise Launches Research-Based Design Product Certification

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(Image credit: Unsplash/Kaitlyn Baker)

 Thirteen products have earned the new Research-Based Design product certification from Digital Promise. The designation is intended to serve as a rigorous, reliable signal for consumers, including school administrators, educators, and families, looking for evidence of research-based edtech products. 

The following 13 product teams, each of which submitted evidence confirming a link between research on how students learn and their product’s design, are the first to receive the Research-Based Design product certification: 

  •  Actively Learn 
  •  Amplify  
  •  BrainQuake’s Wuzzit Trouble 
  •  Cignition  
  •  CommonLit 
  •  The Concord Consortium's CODAP 
  •  Goalbook  
  •  Lexia Core5 Reading 
  •  Microsoft's Immersive Reader 
  •  Newsela  
  •  Speak Agent 
  •  ST Math 
  •  Woot Math 

“Schools and families want to know which edtech products can actually help students learn,” says Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “Digital Promise’s Product Certifications are designed to help strengthen consumers’ confidence in choosing research-based products, while recognizing product developers doing the important work of incorporating valid research into their designs.” 

After nearly a decade of edtech marketplace research, Digital Promise recognized that while consumers want to know whether a product will improve learning, there is a strong distrust of product-authored studies. Additionally, edtech efficacy or pilot studies conducted once products were already chosen were found to be largely impacted by contextual factors like educator buy-in or a school’s technology infrastructure. Through Product Certifications, consumers can narrow their options as they select products by identifying edtech that is truly based in research about learning before trying it out in their classrooms. 

“We believe Digital Promise’s Research-Based Design product certification is a big step forward in finally seeing the emergence of criteria in how edtech products are developed,” says Dr. Baron Davis, superintendent of Richland School District Two in South Carolina. “This certification can go a long way in reducing the leg work needed to vet products for standards of quality. Ultimately, our students benefit because we can make higher quality decisions in edtech choices,” he adds. 

The Research-Based Design product certification uses a competency-based learning framework, developed in consultation with Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project advisory board, expert researchers in the Learning Sciences field, and dozens of educators across the United States. 

Applications are now open on the Digital Promise website for product developers interested in earning the Research-Based Design product certification.