What research tells us are the best ways to achieve good outcomes with learning technology


[8 July 2019] – Pearson has released a paper ‘Beyond the Hype: Digital learning based on learning science’ in which an expert in teaching and learning collates his advice based on dozens of studies into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to learning technology.

Technology alone is not the magic answer, but when designed and implemented well, it can enhance, simply, support and scale a number of teaching and learning activities. For example, giving immediate, personalised feedback to multiple learners is something difficult to do using a more traditional method.

But learning technology should not be used for its own sake. If we just replicate an analog experience with a digital one, we can add complexity without adding value. 

“Instead, technology should be used to change pedagogical practices in ways that enhance learning,” says Dan Belenky, Ph.D., Director of Research into the Science of Teaching and Learning, Pearson. For example, instead of substituting text on the printed page of a Physics textbook with text in a PDF, the learning activity could be modified so that students watch a video and predict what happens next, or it could be completely redefined so students can work on an interactive simulation to build a nuclear reactor.

Adopting technology is not an easy process, it’s something that really requires thought and planning on the part of educators and institutions. The available technology infrastructure will influence what and how products can be used, and learning technology can only be successful when you have people who are bought into using it and who are prepared to make the most of it.


The paper covers:


  • The benefits of learning technology
  • How the design of digital education products must align with learning science
  • Using technology to do something new
  • Four steps to building an effective digital learning experience
  • Overcoming skepticism
  • Professional development


The paper can be viewed here: https://www.pearson.com/content/dam/one-dot-com/one-dot-com/global/Files/efficacy-and-research/reports/pearson-beyond-the-hype.pdf

About the author

Dan Belenky got his PhD in cognitive psychology, and has always been interested in studying how learning happens. He is a Director of Research into the Science of Teaching and Learning at Pearson.

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. 

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