James Madison University

Sara Finney consults with Macmillan Learning

Sara Finney traveled to NYC on August 7-9 to consult with The Learning Science & Insights Team at Macmillan Learning. Finney joined other members of The Impact Research Advisory Council, which is a diverse panel of 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. Macmillan created and employs a rigorous, yet practical, blend of methods to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of their learning tools.

Many of the goals of The Learning Science & Insights Team align with goals held by faculty and staff at JMU. That is, at JMU we aim to assess what students know, think, and can do; use that assessment data to inform program and curriculum improvements; and re-assess to evidence learning improvement. Not only is Macmillan’s approach to studying educational effectiveness relevant to JMU, but their Learning Research could serve as a major support for faculty and staff as they work to improve their educational programs. Specifically, the Learning Research Team synthesized research in learning and cognition to create learning principles that focus on motivation and pedagogy. These design principles are then critiqued by experts in learning, cognition, and pedagogy. 

Finney looks forward to further partnership with Macmillan Learning over the next year and sharing her insights with the JMU community.

Members of the Impact Research Advisory Council (left to right)

Elana Zeide, PhD: Fellow, UCLA School of Law

Thanos Patelis, PhD: Principle Scientist, Human Resources Research Organization

Michael Feldstein: Partner at MindWires Consulting, Co-Publisher of e_literate

Christopher Dede, PhD: Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Sara Finney, PhD: Professor of Graduate Psychology & Associated Director of the Center for Assessment & Research Studies, James Madison University

Suzanne Lane, PhD: Department Chair & Professor for Research Methodology program, University of Pittsburg