While there is widespread support for ed-tech companies to use research when designing their products, there is still little information available about how companies actually do (or should do) this work. Traditional research methods require significant amounts of money and time, and are often incompatible with fast-paced ed-tech product development cycles. As a result, pioneering companies have had to adapt these methods as they strive to make products that are truly “research-based.”
To learn more about ed-tech companies’ current research practices, we invited companies to participate in our 2016 Research-Based Products Campaign. In November 2016, EdSurge highlighted the top companies in each category, and we now present an analysis of all 53 submissions in our new report, Using Research in Ed-Tech: How ed-tech companies use research to make better products.
In this report, we answer questions such as: How do companies find and apply published research to guide product design? Does the age of a company matter when it comes to its ability to do research? What kinds of studies provide evidence to help answer the question, ‘does it work’? How can a company do research if they don’t have a researcher on staff?
By sharing these companies’ innovative practices, other ed-tech companies will hopefully find it easier — and more important — to include research in each stage of product development. Ultimately this will result in stronger products, and better outcomes for students.