The Pearson efficacy tool

We all spend a lot of our time thinking about how to support learners in reaching their goals. But how do you know whether you will achieve the learner outcomes you want? At Pearson we have designed the Efficacy Framework, a tool that uses a tried and tested method to help understand how products or services can achieve their intended outcomes or results. We have created this section of the website to provide you with an interactive version of this tool to complete your own efficacy review.


Our interactive tool asks 12 questions to help you to explore what efficacy means and identify any barriers to delivering desired learner outcomes. It will also help you identify ways to improve your product, service or class so that it has a better chance of delivering high quality learning, making a greater impact.

Watch the video below to see the Efficacy Framework being used at Pearson. If you’d like to see a mocked up example of a completed efficacy review please download the example pdf.



00:03  We developed a process called the efficacy review, which is really a consultative, collaborative way of working with teams to understand what elements of efficacy are they delivering today to learners, and what can they do to improve that, to enhance that, to really deliver the outcomes that people are coming to Pearson to achieve.


00:21 The efficacy review process encompasses two stages. The first stage is to examine the current state of the product or service, and that is initiated through examining different documents relevant to that product or service.

00:34  The second stage of the review process involves getting the project team who work on that product or service into a room, to establish where they feel the current state of their product or service stands relevant to the efficacy framework. And they rate themselves on each part of the framework.

00:53  The efficacy framework asks four key questions. One, what outcomes are we trying to achieve? Two, what evidence do we have to achieve these outcomes? Three, what plans and governance systems do we have in place to deliver these outcomes? And four, what capacity do we have to deliver these outcomes?

ROGER HART [speaking to a meeting room]

01:12 For those of you who are not familiar, what we’re going to do, is, we’ve got our outcomes for our evidence board, planning board, the virtual capacity board, and then, the next steps board.

01:26  Which reflects what you’ve got in this document here. And first off, we’ll vote on the outcomes board, so we’ll vote on where we think we are in terms of the clarity of the outcomes, how much we’ve progressed, where we think we are in terms of the measurement of the outcomes, and what data we’re using.


01:47  After the review process is completed, the focus then shifts to creating actionable next items, that can be implemented to improve learner outcome.


01:57  So if you’re a language centre in China, efficacy for you means: did your students, as a result of learning language in the set centre, emerge as better speakers of English? If you’re a school in India, efficacy for you means: did you learn the essential skills that you need to progress into higher education.

02:15  So, we took this broad aspiration, of making sure every product or service has an impact on people’s lives, and thought about how do we make this practical? How do we make this actionable, so that any team, any person, any individual, can really apply that thinking into how they work on a day to day basis. And that was the origins of the efficacy framework, which is a set of questions designed around connecting this broad aspiration of improving people’s lives through learning, to what people do on a day to day basis.

02:46 [End credit]

Find out how to use the efficacy tool and get started