A great deal of initial research exists about blended learning techniques such as game-based learning, but adoption has stalled because of a lack of scalable, practical techniques that have also proven effective. Without proof of success, many school districts have opted not to adopt new technologies.
Now a soon-to-be released study from Vanderbilt University demonstrates the impact of rigorous, peer reviewed research into curricular tools, in this case showing that students who played edgames outperformed their peers on standardized tests.
Efficacy in edtech needs to be determined by conducting well-controlled, large sample-sized efficacy studies. If new edtech isn’t supported by high quality research, then claims about efficacy are just that—marketing claims. There are a lot of opinions and fads in education, and they are not serving students well.
“In every district throughout the U.S., student needs vary greatly from one classroom or school to the next,” says Kevin Connors, Director of Personalized Learning for Chicago Public Schools. “There are countless edtech programs in the market that claim to cater to these unique needs, but without credible third party research it is impossible to know whether any of these programs actually move the needle.”