Since EdAlive’s creation in 1986, we have striven to provide educational resources that best fit the needs of teachers and students alike. When we became a publisher ourselves, our goal was to research how to best meet those needs. Research in turn underpinned the development of the titles that you know and love. Our research has led to our most recent development of three exciting new EdAlive Central titles! These titles are Words Rock Online, Baggin’ the Dragon Maths Online and Volcanic Panic Reading Success Online. All of these have been developed from previous CD-based products which were in widespread use in classrooms and homes across Australia.
How this Research Underpinned EdAlive Central’s Development
With our transition to EdAlive Central, a fresh and powerful research angle has opened through real-time data collection. This allows us to see how each website operates under real-world conditions. Additionally we also get to see everything that students can throw at it, all in real time. This means we can see that the websites are working robustly and largely as anticipated. We have also used this data to make a range of minor changes to the websites to further their optimisation. This real time data collection has also allowed us to see the results of our users’ progress and achievement over time. With this, we have been able to publish results showing the power behind our websites’ learning capabilities.
Alongside our quantitive research, we also employ qualitative research through the various feedback and suggestions from our user base through school visits, reaching out to challenge winners or speaking with our users over the phone or via email. We take what we hear to heart and work alongside our statistical research for a well rounded approach to our development. In doing so, we continue to provide our goal of every chance for every child.
EdAlive’s Published Research and Development
As the release of our three latest websites was only last year, the majority of our research conducted has been for Typing Tournament Online and Maths Invaders Online. As we gain more data from students using our other websites, we will begin publishing the results of their progress too.
Collaboration with the University of New England
We are currently engaged with independent researchers from the University of New England to further explore the impact of our products on learning from an educational psychology perspective.
Typing Tournament Online Research and Development
The introduction of Naplan Online in 2017 and the recent changes to ACARA in 2019 specifically outlining the teaching of keyboarding skills has shaped our areas of research. How much improvement can students see through regular use of Typing Tournament Online? How does this reflect on their ability to perform in Naplan Online? Is this improvement of skills equal across a wide range of ages and socio-economic backgrounds? The answer to all of these questions conducted in our research is yes and to a noticeable margin.
Regular use of Typing Tournament Online has seen an average increase in speed of 6 words per minute (wpm) per term. This has led to some students in Australia reaching up to and over 45wpm by the time they finish primary school. To put this into some perspective, the average adult types at approximately 44wpm, whereas professional typists start at 80wpm. Over the course of a year with four school terms, that is a significant amount of growth in a student’s typing skills. In fact one teacher with whom we spoke shared their increase of 23 wpm over the course of a year with their year 5 class.
How does this affect Naplan Online?
But how does this touch typing proficiency relate to a student’s Naplan Online results? After stringent research we discovered that year 5 students who learnt with Typing Tournament Online have a significant boost to their Naplan results. On average, the result for children in the class will be boosted by 7 marks. That is 37% of a year’s progress in the Writing Task. The full research report into these claims look not only at the raw data, but also at the spread over socio-economic backgrounds and school sizes.
Maths Invaders Online Research and Development
With Maths Invaders Online our largest point of interest has been with the progress of students. This is especially important with our introduction of Automated Adaptive Learning. This system works in teaching each student at their own personal level no matter where they sit on the bell curve. Our hope was that in providing each student with their own personal lesson, they would improve at a greater rate than usual. Through rigorous testing and user feedback, we were able to achieve that goal.
Automative Adaptive Learning Boosts Maths Ability
After close monitoring of students’ results in Space Rescue’s Automative Adaptive learning we found some amazing results. Students were regularly boosting their maths age by an entire year in the span of a term! Not only was their knowledge increasing at a dramatic rate, but their accuracy was staying at almost the same levels as when they started. This proved that the students were retaining the information and using maths facts fluency, the backbone of Maths Invaders Online. The full research report looks further into the specifics of how to increase the chances of this speed in growth and how it plays out over time.
Research underpinning development of Teacher Resources
With constant communication with all of our users, we are always hearing teachers’ and parents’ current needs. Due to this we were able to put together the necessary resources to see the results of their students’ learning. An example of this is our deceptively simple yet unbelievably descriptive Tools and Reports. These allow teachers to see their students’ progress and results in real time over many different forms. Whether it’s a daily usage report, or their weekly growth in adaptive learning, teachers can have an in-depth look into how their students are progressing.
Alongside this, we have researched the different ways that teachers use our websites and the most common support questions we receive. This allowed us to make not only our Typing Tournament Online Best Practice Guide but also our comprehensive help centre. This help centre has information on how to most effectively use EdAlive Central and all of its associated websites.