The scientific research behind learning with MegaMinds

In building tools and technologies for use in the classroom, we are proactive in our approach to efficacy. We use peer-reviewed research to guide our product design and build into MegaMinds the instructional strategies that are proven to make a positive impact on student learning. 

INCREASED ENGAGEMENTThe use of formative assessment in the classroom positively impacts student achievement more so than almost any other educational intervention.⁵ The ability to adapt instruction to meet student needs is a critical skill in effective teaching. Pear Deck helps teachers infuse formative assessment seamlessly into each lesson and provides them with real-time insight into student understanding so they can respond and adapt. 
The Teacher Dashboard allows teachers to view student responses instantly, giving them real-time insight from formative assessments. This allows them to quickly adapt instruction to meet student needs. For example, the teacher can:
See students thinking in real-time and allow ample time for processing  
See aggregate responses to get pulse of whole class
Organize, filter, and manage student responses to see who needs support
Pear Deck Pop-Up Prompts allow teachers to issue formative assessment on the fly, making it simple to integrate whole-class formative assessment without pre-planning. 
ACTIVE LEARNING Active learning techniques are used to directly engage students in the learning process through discussion and activities. In contrast to passive lectures, active learning can have huge benefits on outcomes including reducing achievement gaps and increasing student achievement. ³
Pear Deck’s pre-made and custom interactive prompts get every student actively engaging with the lesson content. 
When teachers share student responses anonymously with the class via the Pear Deck Teacher Dashboard, they can spark rich discussions. This practice makes space for even the quietest voices in the room to participate, ensures that students actively engage and see their own ideas discussed, and helps students learn from each other. 
21st CENTURY SKILL DEVELOPMENTSoft skills, such as collaboration, teamwork and problem-solving, are a primary focus of our Social Emotional Learning Model as companies express a need for these abilities in future employees. For students who struggle with these areas, virtual reality modules can be a great place for them to practice. 
RETRIEVAL PRACTICERetrieval practice is a key element of learning helping students turn passively-absorbed information into real understanding and knowledge. By recalling something they’ve learned, students encode that information more deeply, helping them retain it over time. Retrieval practice is related to active learning in that students are prompted to actively think about and process information previously learned. ⁴ 
Pear Deck pre-made and custom Interactive prompts get every student actively engaging with the lesson content and retrieving information.
When teachers share student responses anonymously with the class via the Pear Deck Teacher Dashboard, they can spark rich discussions. This practice makes space for even the quietest voices in the room to participate, ensures that students actively engage and see their own ideas discussed, and helps students learn from each other. 
Pop-Up Prompts give teachers a quick method to guide retrieval practice without needing to pre-plan or design a full lesson. 
FEEDBACK DRIVEN METACOGNITIONMetacognition is the act of thinking about your thinking. When students have an understanding of how to plan for, monitor, and assess their own learning, they are more successful.⁴ Feedback is an important element of developing metacognition because feedback helps students understand what they do and don't know and develop critical self-awareness of themselves as thinkers and learners.
Using the Teacher Dashboard, teachers can guide students when they feel stuck, correct a misconception, or describe what was great about about a specific response 
For individual students, Teachers can use the Teacher Feedback tool to give timely and specific guidance and help students develop metacognition
When teachers publish Student Takeaways students have an artifact of the lesson and their own responses that students can use for review and study. Teachers can access the Takeaways document to leave feedback, correct mistakes, and prompt further learning. 
WHOLE CHILD PRACTICES AND SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SKILLSLearning is more than academic, it is also social and emotional.¹ Every student is different with their own unique needs, opinions, experiences, and emotions. To learn, they need to feel supported and valued for who they are as individuals.
The Lock Timer encourages teachers to slow down and allow for different processing time; this helps students know that they still have time to respond and reinforces the premise that their participation is welcome and valued. 
Pear Deck Social-Emotional Learning Templates remind teachers to make space for students' social and emotional needs. The templates are appropriate for any subject or grade-level and show students that it's ok to bring their whole selves to the classroom.
When a teacher shares student responses with the class, those answers are always projected anonymously. This is critical to ensure that every student feels safe contributing to the class discussion. Teachers can guide students to discuss differing opinions and approaches in a respectful manner, which leads to a more engaged and inclusive learning community.
DEEPER LEARNINGWe believe that the Six Deeper Learning Competencies are essential for students to acquire and apply with good self-judgment. Students in deeper learning environments perform better across multiple measurements, including on-time graduation rates and college attendance.⁵ These success rates hold true regardless of student background or prior achievement. 
Practicing critical thinking and complex problem-solving is one of the Deeper Learning Competencies. Pear Deck Critical Thinking Templates remind teachers to make developing critical thinking and complex problem solving a daily practice
The interactive response types built into Pear Deck make it easy for teachers to change how students are prompted to answer or process their thoughts. Expressing thoughts different modes is an important way for students to develop effective communication skills, which is also one of the Six Deeper Learning Competencies.. 
Pear Deck is designed to help students learn how to learn; when teachers use features such as real-time formative assessments, Pop-Up Prompts, Teacher Feedback, and Student Takeaways, students are given opportunity to reflect on their learning, correct misconceptions, and develop a stronger growth mindset.
Deeper Cognitive ComprehensionStudents are taught through dynamic motions in 3D space and sounds instead of static text. As a result, students don’t just memorize what a word means, they experience it and truly internalize it. This study found improved learning experiences with XR when compared to traditional and video learning methods.
Increased Achievements and AttitudesIn order to enrich students’ learning environments, it is important to amplify their visual and intellectual engagement through the use of technology, especially when explaining abstract and difficult concepts. This study found academic achievements and attitudes of middle school students showed a positive, significant increase using AR.
Retention of Information
Humans are sensory creations who use visual and audio cues to gain information. Learning new concepts in a virtual environment benefits our natural spatial learning style. This study found that VR learning simulations provided “a superior memory recall ability compared to the desktop condition.”
Learning Through PlayMany educators are turning to gamification to engage learners the way video games engage players. Gamification uses game-based mechanics and game thinking to engage students, motivate action, and promote learning. This study shows how the attractiveness of learning can be enhanced through XR. Increased CreativityThis study examined the impact of an immersive VR support system on creativity performance. Findings showed that the participants in the immersive VR condition had higher quality creative products than those in the paper-and-pencil condition. This study found an increase in motivation and creativity in imaginative writing at primary school level.
Inspiring Students to LearnStudents find the immersive and gamified nature of XR expereinces to be more interesting and appealing. This study conducted with a class of 6th graders illustrates that XR increased their appetite for learning and improved their science skills and their level of understanding.
Visual learningInstead of reading about things, students actually see the things they’re learning about. Being able to visualize complex functions or mechanisms makes them easier to comprehend and makes for an enriched academic environment.
Empowered StudentsStudents can be empowered by taking virtual field trips and doing things that would otherwise be too expensive, dangerous, rare or impossible. This study shows the experiential learning that happens on virtual field trips and how it enhances student’s knowledge and motivations.
Promotes PositivityVisceral reactions to what we are experiencing are fundamental to forming memories. VR in education makes it easy to engage students the whole time, making experiences memorable. This study showed an increase in positive emotions and a decrease in negative emotions in VR.