Research-Based Design: ESSA Tier 4 - Product Certifications

Research-Based Design: ESSA Tier 4

Product Certifications Apply to Earn

Research-Based Design ESSA Tier 4 badge

Education technology driven by research about how people learn has the potential to provide pathways to equitable, high-quality learning opportunities and experiences for each learner.

This certification aligns with Tier 4 of the ESSA Tiers of Evidence, and demonstrates that, in addition to having tools and features that have been designed to center learning sciences research, the product team has conducted a qualitative study that shows positive experiences with the product.

Learn more about the development of the Research-Based Design product certification in this report, and about its alignment to ESSA Tier 4 in this blog article.

A Research-Based Design product certification from Digital Promise provides a valuable metric for superintendents and educational leaders to consider when vetting edtech companies and their products.
Mark Benigni
Superintendent, Meriden Public Schools, Connecticut

Certification Requirements

A product that earns this certification will provide the following:

  1. A well-defined logic model based on empirical research that provides rationale for intended impact. The logic model, which must be supported by at least five empirical citations, includes a problem statement, inputs, activities/strategies, outputs, and short and long-term outcomes.
  2. An annotated bibliography that cites well-designed, empirical research to describe the basis for and demonstrate five significant and distinct design decisions.
  3. One well-designed qualitative research study that has been conducted to understand learners’ and/or educators’ experiences with the product and its potential benefits.
  4. Easy access for education practitioners, learners, and communities to see the product’s research basis.
  5. A signed FERPA letter to ensure data privacy.

This certification expires after two years. Earners are welcome to re-apply to retain certification status.

What other certifications are there? Learn about the Evidence-Based Edtech: ESSA Tier 3 product certification here.

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