Pearson Continues Its Pursuit to Define 'Efficacy'


Pearson Continues Its Pursuit to Define 'Efficacy'

Mar 2, 2014

ALL I KNOW IS THAT I DON'T KNOW: The folks at Pearson continue their probe into what "efficacy" means in education--and perhaps even for their own products--with a new report co-authored with Nesta, a UK-based philanthropy that funds social impact projects. Titled "From Good Intentions to Real Impact," the authors adapt Nesta's five-stage Standards of Evidence (which Nesta uses to guide its £25 million early-stage investment fund) to assess the impact of educational tools and services (p. 16).

In the amended framework, each stage demands more rigorous, independently verified and replicable proof of impact. Most early startups start at Stage 1 with strong hypotheses, and the report suggests that edtech incubators should partner with universities and research organizations to help them move to Stage 3 and beyond.

The framework "doesn’t pretend to be definitive," writes the authors, "but it hopefully balances simplicity and sophistication in a way that can provide a common language for discussing the evidence of impact for a particular product, service, intervention or programme."

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