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4 Key Findings from Prodigy’s Johns Hopkins University Study

Jordan Nisbet

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Imagine you’re in the market for a vehicle. Everyone around you is suggesting this car or that van, and sharing their reasons why.

After pondering their suggestions, you form an image in your head of the perfect car. One day, you drive past a dealership and catch a glimpse of that perfect car. But, would you buy it without:

  • A test-drive?
  • Getting an inspection?
  • Looking at the car’s history?

Educational technology (EdTech) products have more in common with “the perfect car” than you might think. They’re often described with the equivalent appeal of the greatest car.

Put simply: it looks and sounds great, but does it actually work? Enter “efficacy”.

Efficacy: is Prodigy research-based?

Efficacy is the quality of being effective. Everyone from teachers to administrators to parents should want to use effective EdTech products. It’s our goal at Prodigy to give that to you.

As part of our ongoing journey to prove Prodigy’s efficacy, we had Johns Hopkins University (JHU) conduct a study across seven schools with 577 K-5 students in Texas.

Access the full report

And we’re excited to share some highlights with you! 👇

Can Prodigy increase math achievement?

Yes! After controlling for prior achievement and demographic characteristics, JHU researchers found a statistically significant (p < .05) positive relationship between fourth grade students’ achievement gains on a standardized assessment and how extensively they used Prodigy.

Using these data from Johns Hopkins University, our data scientists found that to see a five-point gain on the STAAR exam in Texas — that’s a 14% increase — students need to answer about 123 questions a week, which should take about 60 minutes.

So, we recommend each of your students to use Prodigy for 10 to 15 minutes per school day!

Does Prodigy engage and motivate students?

Educators said whenever they use Prodigy to help teach math, students engagement increases and they stay “focused and engaged with content that is both challenging and relevant.”

Researchers observed that students of all abilities — even those with limited English proficiency — remain engaged in Prodigy’s storyline. Almost all students agreed that, when using Prodigy, learning math became easier and more fun.

The JHU research team concluded “that Prodigy certainly makes a positive contribution to students’ attitudes toward mathematics, which are related to achievement in a meaningful way.”

What do educators think of Prodigy?

When using Prodigy to present math content, “teachers, principals, and teaching specialists were emphatic regarding student enjoyment of the program and their engagement in mathematics content presented through Prodigy.

Those who used Prodigy as part of station rotations appreciated the fact that it requires little effort to prepare and little of the teacher’s attention while students are using it.

Principals and teachers also consistently highlighted the ability teachers have to “modify the specific mathematics content students encounter in the game.

That means teachers like you can differentiate and align content to your lessons!

How is Prodigy’s training and support?

A mathematics curriculum specialist chose to implement Prodigy in the current school district three years ago. Since then, teachers have had a positive experience with the training and support they’ve received overall.

All educators involved in this study described Prodigy as “responsive to and supportive of the professional development needs of teachers.”

We are always seeking to show Prodigy’s effectiveness with the help of organizations like Johns Hopkins University. And we have further research that we’re excited to share with you once it’s ready!

For now, you can deliver math content to your students knowing that it’s been proven to increase engagement and boost math achievement!