Using Assessments and Technology to Improve Learning Outcomes at Scale:
The Case of Mindspark in India
12:30 - 2:00pm│Tuesday, 21 March 2017│Room I 7 - 216
World Bank ‘I’ Building│1850 I St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Sridhar Rajagopalan, Founder and CEO, Educational Initiatives
Pranav Kothari, Vice President for Large Scale Education Programme & Mindspark Centres, Educational Initiatives
Few would argue with the notion that new technologies hold a great deal of promise and potential to help improve education. That said, the record of demonstrated impact of educational technology initiatives on learning outcomes, especially in developing country contexts, has been decidedly mixed.
Mindspark, a computer-based, adaptive-learning program created by Educational Initiatives, helps a child to improve his/her skills in Maths and English. It allows each student to follow a learning path based on his or her current level of understanding, at a pace that he or she is comfortable with. Mindspark was created by an expert team at Educational Initiatives. The team designed Mindspark after carrying out intensive research on data on student performance from ASSET tests conducted over many years in order to discover the different learning patterns among children.
A recent randomized evaluation of the impact of Mindspark in after-school programs in India (by J-PAL's Karthik Muralidharan) demonstrated impressive learning gains and, as a result, has caused much excitement within the international development community. What exactly is Mindspark, and why does it seem to be so effective?
Please join us for a conversation with two speakers who will describe their journey using research from large scale assessments to build the Mindspark learning solution and their work deploying it in a variety of educational settings, from rural/tribal communities to elite private schools in India and beyond. They will also highlight their experience in doing multiple forms of assessments in government schools, as well as building capacity within government institutions to do student learning assessments as part of their entrepreneurial journey that started in 2001 to improve systemic school quality.
about the presenters:
Sridhar Rajagopalan is an educational entrepreneur who has helped change the way student learning outcomes are seen in India. He worked in IBM India for two and a half years before co-founding and running Eklavya School in Ahmedabad. Sridhar is a member of various central and state government committees related to education, including the committee for devising model rules for the Right to Education Act in Gujarat. He is a member of NCERT’s National Expert Group on Assessment in Elementary Education (NEGAEE) and a trustee of Pratham, Gujarat and other educational institutions.
Pranav Kothari heads the Large Scale Education Programme and Mindspark Centres divisions at Educational Initiatives. This includes all the work with Governments, Foundations and Corporate CSR in the domain of learning level assessments, interventions and advisory consulting. Prior to EI, Pranav worked as a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group in USA, Germany, Chile and Argentina. He also worked as a Private Equity investor with GTI Global in USA and India. Pranav graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
- Mindspark web site
- Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India
by Karthik Muralidharan, Abhijeet Singh, Alejandro J. Ganimian
- Short video about the Mindspark RCT results on YouTube
- Technoskeptics pay heed: A computer-assisted learning program that delivers learning results
blog post from the World Bank's David Evans
- Technology based Ed Reform: Assessments and personalized learning solutions for K-10 schools
PPT from the event (as PDF)
Related note: Professor Karthik Muralidharan will discuss the Mindspark evaluation in detail at a special BBL sponsored by the Innovation in Education GSG and the World Development Report 2018 Team on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 at the World Bank in Washington, DC. More details on that event to come.