Sponsored Content: Macmillan Learning

When Science and Empathy Unite, Learners Benefit

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Analytics of more than 800,000 students—combined with on-the-ground impact research with a number of higher education institutions—have identified iClicker instructional models that produce the best outcomes, as well as a wealth of insights into student engagement trends.

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As the most widely-used student engagement system in higher education, iClicker offers a unique opportunity to research active-learning in detail, and at scale. Findings from our ongoing, year-by-year research program are used to drive the continuous innovation of iClicker.

Most recently, Macmillan Learning's Learning Science and Insights team has undertaken extensive analytics research into the (anonymized) behaviors and performance of more than 800,000 students in 36,000 courses across 542 institutions using iClicker. Combined with on-the-ground impact research, observing and codifying use of iClicker in five partner institutions, these have yielded insights into which instructional models produce the best outcomes, along with trends in student engagement by activity, session type, class size, and course.

The Learning Science and Insights team has released the latest research in an infographic, "Educational Results with iClicker". Details from studies at specific partner institutions and full visibility into the research methodologies used will be published shortly and available at: https://www.macmillanlearning.com/catalog/page/learningscience.

Key Findings from the Research

After more than ten years of pedagogical innovation and engaging students in active learning, results from the impact research on iClicker confirms that:

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iClicker is easy to use — even for instructors lacking confidence or experience with technology.

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Student engagement in the classroom more than doubles with the use of iClicker.

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Male and female students are equally engaged, with no statistically significant difference in level of iClicker participation.

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Student confidence increases by using iClicker — students report that they are more confident participating in class, and that the anonymity of iClicker makes them more likely to participate.

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Academic/course results improve when iClicker is incorporated into the course. Education research suggests that class participation is related to stronger learner outcomes. This research on iClicker supports that finding—revealing a significant positive correlation between iClicker usage and end-of-course grades.

Full details on the study design and analysis will be published shortly. Below are a few extracts on the research process of the studies referenced in the infographic.

Mixed-methods Research Builds a Holistic Understanding

The Impact Research team began by selecting a representative sample of iClicker partner institutions involving instructors from six universities teaching eight different courses, across a variety of disciplines, class sizes, institution types, and use cases. Then, a detailed picture of how iClicker was used was built from in-class observations, multiple instructor interviews, and extensive platform data. Student learning data and in-class academic performance was provided by instructors (with IRB approval). Pre- and post-semester surveys were used to gather data on instructor and student experiences with the product and how their perceptions changed over time. Student engagement during iClicker sessions was measured using an adaptation of an engagement protocol published by Lane & Harris (2015). Data from all these sources were matched and descriptive and correlational analyses were conducted to understand how different instructional methods of using iClicker are related to student success.

Partnering with Educators and Educational Research Experts

Measuring impact on learning provides essential information for institutions, instructors, and students when making decisions about what digital learning solutions to adopt and how to use them to achieve the best outcomes. However, impact research is notoriously challenging. At Macmillan Learning, we don't have all the answers, but our research endeavors to embrace the diversity of students, instructors, and their courses; the local educational environment; and continuously evolving digital solutions. We therefore use a portfolio of coordinated research that includes implementation science, rapid-cycle evaluations, and summative impact research. Our methods and results are critiqued by an Impact Research Advisory Council. This Council is comprised of a diverse panel of external experts in designing and measuring the impact of educational technology, methods for measuring effectiveness, modeling and evaluating learning performance, standards for measurement in education, and respecting current and evolving data privacy standards and laws.

A wealth of educational research on effective active learning, formative assessment, immediate feedback, and interactive learning informed the development of iClicker. And, as part of our ongoing product innovation, our Learning Research and User-Experience team also partnered with faculty and students from an additional five institutions in co-design sessions to identify additional challenges, ideate creative solutions, and then iteratively refine these.

Just the Beginning

These are the first results from an ongoing program of learning analytics and impact research driving iClicker towards continued innovation for more engaging learning experiences. These impact studies focused on codifying how instructors and students use the product. Further studies are currently underway with additional institutions to conduct comparative research that explores how outcomes from learners using iClicker compare with those who do not.

For more details on our end-to-end approach to developing the most empathetic, intuitive, and impactful learning solutions, please visit our learning science website. This website also provides the latest news on educational results using our products and full visibility into the methodologies we use [https://www.macmillanlearning.com/Catalog/uploadedFiles/Unpacking_the_Black_Box_of_Efficacy.pdf]. For more on how iClicker can be used to improve student engagement and active learning in your class, please visit: www.iclicker.com.

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Adam Black, PhD, Macmillan Learning

Kara McWilliams, PhD, Macmillan Learning

© 2018 Macmillan Learning, LLC