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MIND Heads to Toronto for AERA and NCME

Earlier this month, our Chief Data Science Officer Andrew Coulson was in Toronto for the 2019 annual meetings of the American Education Research Association (AERA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME).

Founded in 1916, the mission of the AERA is to "advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good." The NCME is a nonprofit whose mission is to "advance the science and practice of measurement in education."

The missions of both organizations echo our approach to research and evaluation at MIND. This approach does include evaluating how ST Math works on moving the state test needle of course. But it is also about using ST Math as a vehicle to inform the field. Information and insight about digital product implementation, about new evaluation methodologies, about the use of fine-grain usage data, and about the interaction of specific program components with specific learning environments and student subgroups.

On top of all this is our continuing efforts to change the big picture conversation about what edtech evaluation is, and to make rigorous evaluation research more relevant, valid, and usable for educators and administrators.

Andrew contributed to multiple sessions related to edtech research over the course of the conferences.


Discussing Game-Based Assessment at AERA

On Sunday April 7th, Andrew co-presented along with Research Scientist Sweet San Pedro of ACT, Inc., creators of the ACT test, and a fellow nonprofit organization dedicated to “helping people achieve education and workplace success.”

Andrew and Sweet’s AERA presentations were part of a larger session on game-based assessment. Their first poster presentation looked at 12 years of ST Math data logs to see trends in student usage, progress, and math test performance, as well as how data has helped inform design and shape the program over the years. The second presentation of the day looked at how students interacted with the game-based environment of ST Math, where they struggled through challenges, and what drives behavior in the game-based environment.

"AERA is huge," Andrew told us. "It’s where the formal academic community gets together, and the networking value is over the top. It was great to put faces to some of our newest partners who’ve been attracted to working with MIND, our top-notch data, and our unique ST program."

Exploring Knowledge Transfer at NCME

ST Math’s star turn of Toronto continued on Monday, April 7th, where Pamela Paek, Principal Research Scientist at ACT, shared findings about ST Math puzzles at NCME, for a panel discussion on transferring conceptual knowledge from online games to standardized assessments. This panel explored where students could demonstrate understanding of concepts in one context but not another (e.g. games versus high-stakes assessments).

"NCME is where we started showing up in public with ST Math research in late 2017, thanks to Pamela and her longtime research connections there," Andrew explained. "This latest study continued to stretch us in data availability, to try new tools like eye-tracking software, and especially to increasing our visibility as a contributing member to the field."

You can learn more about our ongoing evaluations of ST Math and its impact across the country over at Andrew’s recent ebook: Demanding More from Edtech Evaluations, is available for free download here.

Additional Resources

Podcast: Repeatable Results in Edtech Evaluation
Why You Need More Than "One Good Study" To Evaluate EdTech
Brian LeTendre

About the Author

Brian LeTendre was the Director of Impact Advancement at MIND Research Institute. In addition to building thought leadership and brand awareness for MIND, Brian worked cross-functionally internally and externally to amplify MIND's social impact and accelerate our mission. He is an author, podcaster and avid gamer.


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