Using research to distinguish a truly effective ed-tech product from a less-than-effective product can prove difficult when the research is conducted by a vendor. Now, new guidelines for both vendors and educators aim to solve this challenge. The report, titled “Conducting and Reporting Product Evaluation Research: Guidelines and Considerations for Educational Technology Publishers and Developers,” is authored by Denis Newman, CEO of Empirical Education Inc., and produced by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). It’s based on Empirical Education’s many years of conducting this kind of research, both for publishers and for the U.S. Department of Education. The guidelines are timely for educators and ed-tech providers because of the growing demand from schools for “evidence of effectiveness of products, especially as the resources for spending on program materials decreases and administrators have to make harder decisions about what will best solve the problems facing their districts,” Newman said. The guidelines are available free of charge to SIIA members. Educators can request a free copy by eMailing the contact listed on the organization’s website.

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Jeff Festa