Research to Support EdTech Development
Technology can transform the classroom experience for teachers and students. For example, technology can offer real-time data on students’ learning, provide individualized feedback on problem-solving, and strengthen teachers’ ability to understand student thinking. Despite this potential, effective solutions are difficult to develop and sustain. Great ideas are not always sufficient: The best innovations sometimes fail to adapt to the variability of classroom contexts and student needs.
Our extensive research and development expertise helps develop practical, student-focused, and high-quality products. Our work is primarily funded through SBIR studies and funder-supported accelerator programs.
Our approach involves developing a working model of how a specific solution achieves its intended outcome. This structured model encourages explicit assumptions about a problem to be solved, identifies users, product features, and implementation scenarios — as well as how all of these elements connect — leading to testable hypotheses that our team and partners can rigorously evaluate. Using this approach, we partner with dozens of EdTech organizations to ensure their solutions.
Improving Outcomes for All Students
We provide EdTech developers and startup partners with the learning science, content, and classroom practice expertise they need to transform ideas into effective, research-based solutions.
Our Research Framework
WestEd offers research services for EdTech products at any stage of development. Our Research Continuum shows how research studies can build to establish an evidence base, and our Logic Model Framework shows how a logic model can be used to develop a research plan.
From Our Clients
WestEd has a reputation among school districts for conducting accurate, high-integrity research. In analyzing the test score gains of students using NoRedInk’s writing software, the organization was thorough, diligent, responsive, and professional.
Jeff Scheur, Founder, CEO, NoRedInk
The [EdTech] staff at WestEd are outstanding research colleagues and a pleasure to work with.
Steve Ferrara, Senior Advisor for Measurement Solutions, Measured Progress
- Bryan MatlenBryan Matlen is a Senior Research Associate in the Learning and Technology Program at WestEd. Bryan’s expertise is in cognitive development and research methods and he currently serves as Principal Investigator on several federally funded research projects that investigate optimal ways to apply cognitive principles of learning to educational contexts. He is also a senior methodologist on large-scale efficacy studies and formative evaluations of educational technology products.View Full Bio
- Mark LovelandMark Loveland is Senior Research Associate II for Learning and Technology at WestEd. He is the co-director for updating assessment frameworks for NAEP; co-director of a project focusing on the National Education Technologies Activities (NETA); director of STEMworks at WestEd, assisting states and districts in identifying STEM programs; project director for WestEd’s partnership with NewSchools Venture Fund’s EdTech Ignite Challenge; and principal investigator for IES-funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) studies of a science laboratory sensor systemView Full Bio
- Danielle OberbeckDanielle Oberbeck is a Senior Research Associate with Learning and Technology at WestEd. She frequently serves as co-PI on IES SBIR Phase I and II studies, and is currently content team coordinator for the 2028 NAEP Science Framework update and co-director of STEMworks. Ms. Oberbeck is also a seasoned proposal production lead, has significant experience in managing large quantities of physical data, and has spent over 15 years working in program evaluation and STEM education research.View Full Bio