Wellesley R. Foshay, Kenneth Silber and Michael Stelnicki Writing Training That Works: How to Train Anyone to do Anything A practical guide for trainers based on current cognitive psychology and instructional design theory and research Published by Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer. To find out more or purchase a copy, click on the cover above. Evaluation copies for instructors are available by clicking here.

Educational Products &
Services Division

Your source for…

  • Successful, research-based technology product architectures for the education market
  • The research base supporting your products
  • Strategies for curriculum alignment and integration of technology
  • Cost-effective eLearning, simulation, game and assessment architectures
  • Strategies to transform education through technology

What is a cost-effective strategy for product research?

It depends!
....The education world is changing rapidly! The move to the Common Core Standards is changing the game for what the market expects for research. The emphasis is on both speed and quality of evidence. The questions your customers have are changing dramatically.
....No Child Left Behind and the What Works Clearinghouse raised the bar by strengthening market demand for research on effectiveness. But that's not the end of the story, it's just the beginning; the challenge is to develop a cost-effective strategy for responding to this market requirement, with a research case which will be competitive, and which will tell your research story in the way educators will understand and respect. 

We have a great idea for a new product,
but will it show results?

Maybe not!
....Your customers are thinking about the Common Core Standards and Assesments, and about maximizing their return on investment in technology in a world of contracting resources.
....The challenge is to target the product development budget on the product features that will meet both the market’s wants and needs. In the education technology market, the buyer, the learner and the user are separate! Your product stratey must meet all three separate needs. It’s no longer enough to sell technology based on “gadget appeal. 
....For example, to reach the “main stream” teacher, technology has to be time-saving, useful for a familiar task, appealing, simple to understand, and easy and reliable to use (in 20 minutes or less). It has to be aligned to the Common Core State curriculum standards (a 4-dimensional task), and it has to show real cost-benefit and achievement results. 
....That’s a tall order, and most new products don’t measure up. To reach their full potential, new products need to be designed from the ground up to meet these requirements. Existing products need to plan cost-effective enhancements and extensions. 

Is our school district getting value for our spending on technology?

Probably not!
....A technology audit usually shows that schools are failing to leverage the transformative power of technology. The computers wind up in the back of the classroom, being used for low-impact applications. Technology can be a major lever to improve:

  • Learning outcomes
  • Instructional processes
  • Access
  • Cost
  • Organizational capability.

To realize these benefits, what’s needed is the vision, a cost-effective and feasible plan, effective leadership and follow-through.

Rob Foshay, PhD, CPT
Paper: A 3-Phase, 3-scenario view of technology in education
There is an ever-growing gaggle of technology visionaries, each pushing some variation of How Technology Will Revolutionize Education.  But it hasn’t happened, even after billions of dollars and 10 to 40 years of effort (depending on what you count as the starting point).  It’s time for a dose of realism to leaven the vision.
Paper: The cognitive approach to instructional design

....According to cognitivists, there are several components of the mind, and each is involved in the learning process in certain ways. How each component of the mind works has implications for how we design instruction. The components are: …

Paper: An education vision
....No Child Left Behind (NCLB) got it half right. Its focus has been almost entirely on compliance: periodic assessment, and efforts after the fact to correct the results of errors in the system (through remediation of students and schools). Even if there were no flaws in execution of NCLB (far from the case now)…
Paper: A definition of alignment
....To begin the process of curriculum planning, you start thumbing through textbooks, and you quickly discover (no surprise) that every book you have that touches on plant biology includes some kind of discussion on photosynthesis! Does that mean that all of these books are aligned to your curriculum standard?…
Paper: A technology for improving performance in schools
Research on improving performance in schools has an extensive literature. Particularly useful for the current discussion, however, is research in the field of Human Performance Technology (HPT), which has found extensive application in the private sector and government, and is beginning to be applied in schools