Research Guidelinesfor Conducting and Reporting EdTech Impact Research in U.S. K-12 Schools

Research Guidelines for the ESSA Era

The Education Technology Industry Network, a division of the Software & Information Industry Association commissioned Empirical Education Inc. to provide guidelines for research given the accelerated development of cloud-based technology and the important policy changes brought about by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidelines will help developers and publishers ride this wave of change from NCLB’s sluggish concept of “scientifically-based” to ESSA’s dynamic view of “evidence” for continuous improvement.

Download the latest ETIN Guidelines

Guidelines for Conducting and Reporting EdTech Impact Research in U.S. K-12 Schools

Stay Involved

Given the rapid changes in technology and the volatility of the policy environment, these Guidelines are a work in progress. ETIN welcomes your feedback, thoughts, and suggestions. Use this form to provide feedback and/or to receive updates about new changes.

ETIN also encourages broad dissemination of these Guidelines. Although © SIIA, they are available for free download from this webpage only. If you would like to share them on your website making them available to your own members and clients, please direct readers to this page for downloading. Contact Robin Means with any questions about sharing these Guidelines.

What reviewers said

In light of the ESSA evidence standards and the larger movement toward evidence-based reform, publishers and software developers are increasingly being called upon to show evidence that their products make a difference with children. The revised SIIA Guidelines provide practical, sensible guidance to those who are ready to meet these demands. Dr. Robert Slavin, Center for Research and Reform in Education, Johns Hopkins University

These guidelines remain evergreen, 5 years after publication. Andrew Coulson, MIND Research Institute

The Guidelines for research on edtech products is consistent with our approach to efficacy: that evidence of impact can lead to product improvement. We appreciate ETIN’s leadership and Empirical Education’s efforts in putting together this clear presentation of how to use rigorous and relevant research to drive growth in the market. Amar Kumar, Pearson

This document is really great – there is a lot of useful information here. Alex Resch, Mathematica

As digital instructional materials flood the market place, state and local leaders need access to evidence-based research regarding the effectiveness of products and services. This guide is a great step in supporting both the public and private sector to help ensure students and teachers have access to the most effective resources for learning. Christine Fox, SETDA

SIIA members recognize that changes in technology and policy have made evidence of impact an increasingly critical differentiator in the marketplace. The Guidelines show how research can be conducted and reported within a short timeframe and still contribute to continuous product improvement. Bridget Foster, ETIN

These easy-to-read guidelines define a useful shared framework and terminology for providers and procurers of education programs. By skillfully unpacking Federal ESSA rules and combining them with deep insights into factors affecting digital content evaluation, the document provides a valuable basis for standards that providers can follow. This work may well catalyze fast, frequent, affordable edtech impact studies organically launching a continuous improvement loop between providers and procurers. Andrew Coulson, MIND Research Institute

This is really nicely done. Reads well, and is definitely attacking difficult material in a mostly accessible manner. John Richards, Consulting Services for Education, Inc.