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Research & Impact

Who We Are

Discovery Education is the worldwide EdTech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through our award-winning multimedia content, instructional support, and innovative classroom tools, DE helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences, engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. We serve approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students in over 140 countries and territories.

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What We Do: K-12 Digital Learning Platform

Our award-winning K-12 platform empowers educators with more than 200,000 multimodal resources vetted and curated to support differentiated, scaffolded learning in any environment. Teachers can create and manage lessons, personalize assignments, develop and deliver formative assessments, track student progress in real time, access professional learning, and collaborate with educators globally. Students can discover exciting, age-appropriate content to feed their curiosity and show their knowledge and skills of challenging concepts by engaging with our assignments.

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Teaching with Evidence, Learning By Design

The Discovery Education platform is built upon a theory of action about how best to enhance the K-12 teaching and learning experience. A theory of action is a collection of statements that hypothesize how intentional actions will result in change, based on insights from existing research. Collectively, our theory of action statements describe the philosophical foundation underpinning our approach to teaching and learning. At the core of our change model are three essential components, or domains, of high-quality teaching and learning in a K-12 environment:

  • Domain 1: Evidence-Based Instructional Practices
  • Domain 2: Science of Learning & Universal Design for Learning
  • Domain 3: Formative Assessment & Feedback

Based on this theory of action, Discovery Education produced a logic model that serves as a conceptual map for the DE platform.

Learn more about our theory of action at its research base.

Theory of Action

Learn more about the logic model behind Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform.

Logic Model

The Leader in High-Quality Content

DE resources incorporate both original content designed by teacher-author teams and curated content selected through a diligent review process. We also employ a multistep process to evaluate content against a rubric that includes alignment to standards and discipline-specific educational research, productive student engagement, practical and appropriate use of instruction, and affirmative, authentic representation of diverse people and experiences.

Our Content
Curation Process

Meeting the Needs of All Learners

All Discovery Education digital resources are built upon the principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and culturally responsive best practices. Features such as closed captioning, video transcripts, page ruler, and text-to-speech, multiple Lexile levels of core content, Spanish translation and 180 additional languages through Google Translate, and Microsoft Immersive Reader make content accessible to diverse learners, including English language learners and students receiving special education services. Resources such as Background Builders and the Social-Emotional Learning Center are designed to support differentiated and scaffolded instruction as well as address the needs of the whole child. Digital tools that support learning, like Studio, gives educators and students the opportunity to create, share, and collaborate on assignments, quizzes, and projects.

Meeting Evidence-Based Standards & Funding Goals

Discovery Education’s robust suite of K-12 products and services meet rigorous evidence-based standards defined in ESSA — meeting Tier 4 evidence criteria for federal requirements — and are aligned to the funding goals outlined in the CARES, CRSSA, and American Rescue Plan legislation. Original content undergoes independent evaluation to confirm best practices in curriculum design and integrity. For example, Math Techbook was independently verified by EdReports to meet the highest levels of mathematical content and pedagogy in 2017 and ranked the best math app or tool by The Tech Edvocate in 2019. Content collections are regularly evaluated and updated, and new content added, to ensure accuracy and relevancy.

DE Logic Model

DE Logic Model

DE Logic Model Sources

Evidence-Based Programs to Address Learning Loss: Discovery Education Partners with School Districts Nationwide to Accelerate Learning in Remote, Hybrid, and In-Person Settings

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Evidence-Based Interventions to Accelerate Learning

At DE, we’re committed to providing research-based products and services and verifying their efficacy across educational settings to support deep and sustained learning. DE has a dedicated internal research team and engages independent research organizations to cull insights from qualitative and quantitative data that are used to evaluate program implementation and impact, and inform program enhancement decisions. Independent studies have revealed promising results about the impact of Discovery Education partnerships, products, and services on teaching and learning outcomes.

STEM Program Impacts Secondary Math and Literacy Achievement in Santa Rosa, Florida

An independent study conducted in Santa Rosa County District Schools by the University of West Florida and published in the Journal of Education and Social Development in July 2020 looked at how the implementation of STEAM education in a Discovery Education partner district related to achievement on state assessments. The independent variable (STEAM education implementation) was measured by the STEAM classroom observation form data from more than 100 observations collected in 20 elementary schools and six middle and high school schools by trained university observers and the dependent variable was the resulting scores of classrooms of students on standardized tests. The unit of measure used for the current study was the STEAM classroom.

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Sahuarita, Arizona Partnership Impacts Math, Science & Reading Proficiency in Grades 3-8

Another independent study, conducted by Decisive Data Insights, evaluated the impact of various Sahuarita Unified School District initiatives including an initiative with Discovery Education that focused on increasing the quality of K-8 science, math, and reading instruction. The study, conducted from January 2020 through October 2020, utilized advanced statistical methods to determine partnership effects on student performance. The Discovery Education implementation started small with just 246 students in Year 1 (2016-17 school year) and grew to impact roughly 900 students across five grades during the 2018-19 school year. Approximately 50% of applicable district students used DE.

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STEM Professional Development Program Shifting Culture in Bellevue, Nebraska

A third independent study in Bellevue Public Schools (BPS), located in eastern Nebraska, looked at a district-wide elementary school initiative to improve student achievement in STEM subjects. The program was scheduled for planning in 2018-19, implementation in 2019-20, and conclusion in 2020-21, and included three strategies to meet their goals: in-class curriculum support, in-class technology support, and extra-curricular activities. BPS partnered with Discovery Education, Edmentum, and GrantProse to meet these goals.

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Discovery Education Study Reveals Widespread Impact on Achievement Across North Carolina

The Discovery Education Research & Analytics team compared partner schools in North Carolina to non-partner schools to study the link between Discovery Education and student achievement. Researchers compared the published school level data from the Accountability Services Division of the Public Schools of North Carolina for the 2016-2017 school year to a list of Discovery Education partners for the same time period. There are 116 NC School districts and 2404 schools in the dataset. Of the 2404 schools, 62% are Discovery Education partners.

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