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New Federal Guide Recommends Kaplan’s Approach as Best Practice for Evaluating EdTech Products

Apr. 13, 2015

NEW YORK — (April 13, 2015) — The U.S. Department of Education just released a guide that cites Kaplan’s approach to evaluating edtech products as an industry best practice.

Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs“(April 2015) references Kaplan’s best-practice approach to assessing whether an edtech product or service aligns with learning science principles, increasing the odds it will produce good outcomes for students.

Kaplan, Inc., the global education services company and largest subsidiary of Graham Holdings (NYSE:GHC), is well-known for its use of learning and cognitive science in creating educational products and services, running controlled trials to test the application of those principles at scale, and designing curricula and learning experiences that have the best chance to improve student outcomes.

In this case, the new 68-page federal education guide directs edtech developers to follow the “Kaplan Way” checklist for learning:

…Developers who are not aware of the foundations of cognitive science, instructional design, or the learning sciences can miss out on opportunities for high-impact design and ways to systematically build in features from the collection of effectiveness data that can help them improve their product. To get an idea as to whether your product is aligned with the core tenets of learning science research listed below, try using a checklist like Kaplan’s Educational Product Evaluation Checklist.1

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released this free guide, the first of its type from the department’s Office of Educational Technology, at the ASU+GSV Summit in Scottsdale, AZ last week. His aim is to help entrepreneurs apply technology in smart ways to solve identified and persistent problems in education.

“Our Kaplan Way for Learning is Kaplan’s methodology for harnessing the latest learnings from cognitive science, technology, and instructional design to achieve the best possible outcomes for students,” says Bror Saxberg, Kaplan, Inc.’s Chief Learning Officer. “We’re honored that the U.S. Department of Education has shared our approach as a best practice because using it means more and more students will benefit from better edtech products.”

You can find a pdf of The Kaplan Way Checklist for Learning itself here, and an on-line training program on Kaplan’s KAPx platform to explain its use here. (Note: To access the free online tutorial, simply register an account on the KAPx platform.)

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. serves over 1.2 million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, university preparation, and K-12 offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Across its 75-plus year history, first as small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 22,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and over 2,600 corporations and businesses.

Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

Media contacts:

Ken Brown
Office: (212) 974-6228
Ken.Brown@kaplan.com

Richard Culatta et al, Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs (U.S. Dept. of Education, Ofc. of Educational Technology, April 2015), pg. 21 (https://tech.ed.gov/files/2015/04/Developer-Toolkit.pdf)

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