By: Robert Onsi, SVP of Product Development for Discovery Education
We were excited — but not surprised — to learn that Discovery Education Techbook came out on top in a recent analysis of SpotOn™ ratings of digital resources. Our analysis of SpotOn rankings, organized by publisher, found that Discovery Education takes the lead as the top digital resource publisher in our subjects and grade bands — K-12 Science, 6-8 Social Studies and 6-12 Math.
SpotOn, an initiative of The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology, is a free online database created to support K-12 teachers, administrators, and content decision-makers in the evaluation and selection of digital resources. SpotOn currently has reviews of 360 pieces of digital content from 24 publishers, as well as free educational resources. Each individual digital resource, including 22 Techbooks, was rated on the 4 SpotOn Dimensions (content, pedagogy, technology, standards), as well as an overall score (a weighted average of the 4 dimensions).
The ratings tied to each review are based on an academically validated rubric developed by researchers at The Ohio State University. The rubric, dimensions, ratings, and weightings of ratings were determined through a survey process which included national academic content and technology experts and focus groups.
The rubric includes 21 criteria in the following four SpotOn Dimensions:
- Content Quality: Accuracy, clarity, identifying a sense of purpose, developing content ideas, assessing student progress.
- Pedagogy: Building on student ideas, engaging student ideas, promoting student thinking, developing discipline-based processes and practices, enhancing the learning environment, attention to diversity, differentiation.
- Technology: Creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, design and navigation.
- Standards: Content alignment, depth of coverage, range of coverage, balance of coverage.
To develop a more robust understanding of the quality of our own offerings, Discovery Education averaged the Dimension and overall scores by publisher to come up with total average scores by publisher. It should be noted that there is variability in the ratings of each Techbook in isolation, and this analysis provides a more holistic assessment of Techbook’s ratings overall.
These average scores show that in an analysis of more than 200 submissions from 20 publishers who provide digital resources in the same subjects and grade bands as Techbook (K-12 Science, 6-8 Social Studies and 6-12 Math), Discovery Education came out on top. Additional analysis revealed:
- Among 16 publishers providing digital resources in K-12 Science, Discovery Education Science Techbook, on average, had the highest SpotOn Score overall, as well as the highest average ratings in the pedagogy and technology dimensions, and the second highest average ratings in the content and standards dimensions.
- Among the five publishers providing digital resources in middle school social studies, Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook, on average, had the highest SpotOn Score overall, as well as the highest average ratings in each of the four SpotOn Dimensions: content, pedagogy, technology and standards.
- Among the 12 publishers providing digital content in secondary mathematics, Discovery Education Math Techbook, on average, had the highest SpotOn Score overall, as well as the highest average ratings in each of the four SpotOn Dimensions: content, pedagogy, technology and standards.
Being on top is great, but we continue to work closely with educators and use ratings like these to ensure we’re providing students with the best resources possible!