The McGraw-Hill Education Learning Science Research Council

About the Council

At McGraw-Hill Education, our learning science research fuels all that we do to improve the learning experience. To that end, we have formed the McGraw-Hill Education Learning Science Research Council to guide our own use of learning science, as well as further the research and discussion of learning science across the education and technology communities at large.

The McGraw-Hill Education Learning Science Research Council consists of our own senior researchers and an external advisory board of education experts, drawing upon the collective expertise of leading researchers, scientists and academics committed to examining the use of technology in improving learning outcomes.

Learning Science Areas of Focus

We are focused on five key areas of research:

Algorithms — Creating personalized algorithms based on learning science to help students learn better

Analytics — Applying data science to generate predictive models and actionable insights for learners and instructors

Community — Building a community of learning scientists and practitioners to advance learning science

Efficacy — Incorporating new statistical methodologies such as causal inferencing to establish learning gains and learning efficacy

Quality — Applying statistical rigor and data science techniques to improve quality of learning content and assessments

Advisory Board Members

Dr. Ryan Baker

Dr. Ryan Baker

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Baker is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

He researches how students use and learn from educational games, intelligent tutors and other kinds of educational software. Drawing on the fields of educational data mining, learning analytics and human-computer interaction, he develops methods for mining the data that come out of the interactions between students and educational software. He then uses this information to improve our understanding of how students respond to educational software, and how these responses influence their learning.

Prior to joining Penn GSE, Dr. Baker was an associate professor in the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Teachers College, he taught the “Big Data and Education” MOOC twice, with total enrollment of more than 50,000 students.

He has served as founding president of the International Educational Data Mining Society, where he currently serves on the board of directors. He has been co-author on nine award-winning papers. He serves as co-lead of the Big Data in Education spoke of the NSF Northeast Big Data Hub.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Robert S. Feldman

Dr. Robert S. Feldman

Deputy Chancellor and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Dr. Robert S. Feldman is Deputy Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is also Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Interim Dean of the College of Education. He is winner of the College Distinguished Teacher award and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also is past president of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Foundation, which advocates for the social sciences.

Dr. Feldman has published extensively on how social psychological factors impact educational practice, including the book The Social Psychology of Education: Current Research and Theory. He also edited The First Year of College, which examines best practices that lead to student success, and he is currently working on a successor volume, The First Year of College: Research, Theory, and Practice on Improving the Student Experience and Increasing Retention, which will be published by Cambridge University Press. In addition, he is the author of a best-selling series of books for college first-year students, as well as author of several introductory psychology texts. Alongside his interest in improving educational practice, he has written extensively on deception and self-presentation. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Dr. Susan Furhman

Dr. Susan Fuhrman

President of Teachers College, Columbia University and Founding Director and Chair of the Management Committee of the CPRE

Dr. Susan Fuhrman is the President of Teachers College, Columbia University, founding Director and Chair of the Management Committee of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), and immediate Past-President of the National Academy of Education. Dr. Fuhrman’s substantial leadership track record includes her term as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education from 1995-2006, where she was also the school’s George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education. Dr. Fuhrman was influential in creating a new university-assisted public school as part of Penn’s West Philadelphia improvement initiative. Similarly, the Teachers College Community School and an education and social services partnership with a number of other public schools are intended to bring university leadership for neighborhood school improvement to West Harlem.

Dr. Fuhrman serves on the Board of Directors of the Hawn Foundation and is a Trustee of the Committee on Economic Development. She also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Dr. Fuhrman is a former Vice President of the American Educational Research Association, as well as a former Trustee Board member of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She served as a non-executive Director of Pearson plc, the international education and publishing company from 2004-2013.

Her work focuses on enhancing the quality of education research, accountability in education, intergovernmental relationships and standards-based reform, and she has written widely on education policy and finance. Among recent books are The State of Education Policy Research (with David K. Cohen and Fritz Mosher, 2007) and The Public Schools (The Institutions of American Democracy Series, with Marvin Lazerson, 2005). Dr. Fuhrman’s work has been recognized by a wide variety of international, national, state and local organizations.

Published Articles & Research

  • The State of Education Policy Research
    Routledge, 2007
  • The Public Schools
    Found in The Institutions of American Democracy series, Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Less than meets the eye: Standards, testing and fear of federal control
    Found in Who's in charge of the schools? The tangled web of education power and policy, Brookings Institution Press, 2004
  • Redesigning accountability
    Teachers College Press, 2004

Back to Top Dr. Xiangen Hu

Dr. Xiangen Hu

Professor in Department of Psychology, University of Memphis and Dean of Psychology, Central China Normal University

Dr. Xiangen Hu is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Memphis (UofM) and senior researcher at the Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS) at the UofM, and he is a visiting professor at Central China Normal University (CCNU). Dr. Hu received his M.S. in applied mathematics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, M.A. in social sciences and Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Hu is the Director of the University of Memphis Partnership Lab of Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), and senior researcher in the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior at CCNU.

Dr. Hu's primary research areas include Mathematical Psychology, Research Design and Statistics and Cognitive Psychology. More specific research interests include General Processing Tree (GPT) models, categorical data analysis, knowledge representation, computerized tutoring and advanced distributed learning. Dr. Hu received funding for the above research from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Institute for Education Sciences (IES), ADL of the US Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), U.S. Army Research Laboratories (ARL), U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), UofM and CCNU.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Dr. Tanya Joosten

Dr. Tanya Joosten

Director of Digital Learning Research and Development and co-PI and co-Director of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Joosten is nationally recognized in her work in blended and online learning as an Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Fellow and works to guide strategic digital learning efforts on campus, across the University of Wisconsin System, and nationally as an advisor to the Provost, a member of the University of Wisconsin System Learning Technology Executive Council and a member of several national boards and committees.

Currently, Dr. Joosten leads a national research initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education working to provide access to research models and methods, facilitating innovative processes of data collection, and encouraging the replication of research across institutions through the DETA Research Toolkit to identify key instructional and institutional factors that influence student success with particular attention to underrepresented students.

Dr. Joosten’s notable keynotes include eLearning Asia, ITC eLearning Conference, and SACS COC President’s event. Her ideas have been highlighted on plenary panels at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Annual Distance Teaching and Learning conference and the OLC International Conference for Online Learning. Her ideas and work are also cited in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and more.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Dr. Jennifer Kotler Clarke

Dr. Jennifer Kotler Clarke

Vice President of Content Research & Evaluation, Sesame Workshop

Jennifer Kotler Clarke is the Vice President of Content Research & Evaluation at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and other educational initiatives for children. Jennifer leads a team of researchers who conduct research projects across the globe focused on a variety of curricular areas and media. They translate data to insights to specific recommendations to maximize the impact of Sesame Workshop’s content around the world.

Prior to joining the Workshop, Jennifer worked on an evaluation of a school-based violence prevention program at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has worked with numerous organizations such as the Center for Media Education, the Center for Research on Influences of Television on Children at the University of Texas in Austin and Georgetown University, where she coordinated the Children & Media Project while completing a postdoctoral fellowship. Jennifer also taught media and child development courses at the Teachers College at Columbia University and Georgetown University.

Jennifer graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies. She went on to receive her master’s in Human Development from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Back to Top Richard Larson

Dr. Richard Larson

MITSUI Professor of Engineering Systems, MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Dr. Richard Larson is a Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems and Director of the Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals at MIT and a Principal Investigator of the MIT BLOSSOMS Initiative. He is also the Founder and Director of MIT LINC (Learning International Networks Consortium), an MIT-based international project that has held four international symposia and sponsored a number of initiatives in Africa, China, and the Middle East.

Professor Larson first became interested in technology-enabled education when in the early 1990s he saw what a valuable addition it was to the education of his own children. From 1995 to 2002, he served as director of MIT’s Center for Advanced Educational Services (CAES), where he focused on bringing technology-enabled learning to students living on the traditional campus and to those living and working far from the university, often on different continents.

The majority of Dr. Larson’s career has focused on operations research as applied to services industries. He is author, co-author or editor of six books and author of over 75 scientific articles, primarily in the fields of technology-enabled education, urban service systems (with a focus on emergency response systems), queueing, logistics, and workforce planning.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Rosemary Luckin

Dr. Rosemary Luckin

Professor of Learner Centred Design, UCL Knowledge Lab

Dr. Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab in London and Director of EDUCATE: a London hub for edtech start-ups, researchers, educators, learners and parents to work together on the development of evidence0based edtech

Her research involves the design and evaluation of educational technology using theories from the learning sciences and techniques from artificial intelligence (AI). She has a particular interest in how AI can be used to enable more effective, continuous, formative assessment processes and tools that capture cognitive, social, emotional and metacognitive progression.

Dr. Luckin has advised research councils in various countries and has written widely about educational technologies. She is lead author of Nesta’s influential “Decoding Learning” report published in 2012, as well as the book “Unleashing Intelligence,” published in 2016. Rose is a ufi charity Trustee and a Governor and Trustee at St. Paul’s school in London and the Self-Managed Learning College in Brighton. Dr. Luckin has taught in secondary schools, Further Education and Higher Education and was appointed by the Minister for Schools as a non-executive director of Becta (the UK government agency leading the national drive to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning), where she founded and chaired their Research Advisory Group.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Robert Ubell

Robert Ubell

Vice Dean Emeritus, Online Learning at NYU School of Engineering, NYU

Robert Ubell is Vice Dean Emeritus, Online Learning at NYU School of Engineering, where until recently he headed the school’s e-learning unit, NYU Tandon Online, ranked No. 8 by US News & World Report’s online graduate engineering programs. He is a recipient of the highest honor given for individual achievement in digital education, the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award. Earlier, as Dean of Online Learning at Stevens Institute of Technology, he launched WebCampus, which has won numerous awards for quality online education.

In his publishing career, Ubell was editor of the national, award-winning New York Academy of Sciences monthly, The Sciences; American publisher of the premier British science weekly, Nature; and founding publisher of Nature Biotechnology. He is the author or editor of 27 books and nearly 70 scholarly articles, as well as executive editor of the Cambridge Survey of Linguistics, Oxford Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate, and editor of the multi-volume American Institute of Physics series, Masters of Modern Physics. He is the editor of Virtual Teamwork (Wiley, 2010), and his most recent book is Going Online (Routledge, 2017). He writes regularly for IEEE Spectrum and Inside Higher Ed.

He has participated in numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council and National Academy of Engineering, and he is currently president of the Board of the Parkinson's Unity Walk. Ubell has been the principal investigator of nearly $3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, IEEE Foundation and McGraw-Hill Education, among other sources.

He has been a guest lecturer at MIT, Columbia's College of Physicians & Surgeons and University of Rochester, among other colleges and universities. He is a Fellow of the Online Learning Consortium and a Member of the Council of the Chongqing (China) International Exchange Association. As a member of the Online Learning Task Force of the Board of Regents, New York State Department of Education, he serves on the Advisory Board of Online Learning, the journal of the Online Learning Consortium.

Published Articles & Research

Back to Top Dr. Melina Uncapher

Dr. Melina Uncapher

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, UC San Francisco

Dr. Melina Uncapher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at University of California San Francisco, leading the department’s educational neuroscience efforts as Director of Education for Neuroscape, a new center that aims to bridge neuroscience and technology ( Dr. Uncapher has spent 16 yrs at the forefront of learning neuroscience and now applies research to solve real-world problems in education and technology.

Dr. Uncapher leads a multi-university National Science Foundation-funded network studying how executive function contributes to academic achievement. She co-founded and is CEO of Institute for Applied Neuroscience (, a nonprofit that arms educators and students with practical tools based on learning science.

She also runs a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research program that investigates whether technology use is associated with neurocognitive changes. She co-chaired a 2015 National Academy of Sciences conference on children and technology and sits on the board of the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development. She also holds an affiliation with Stanford’s Psychology Department and is a MacArthur Scholar. Her work has been highlighted in media outlets such as the New York Times, PBS and Frontline. Her science outreach work includes serving as Script Supervisor on the Emmy-nominated PBS TV series The Brain with David Eagleman, and as scientific advisor on an award-winning short film about the brain.

Published Articles & Research