Behind the Cube: Leveraging Learning Science in Media Production

How Our Team Uses Learning Science to Optimize Education

Learning Science guides everything that we do. A constantly evolving field that draws from many areas of study, including cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and more, learning science helps us understand how students learn. We use what we know from learning science to create materials and resources that enable educators to optimize learning for every student — and we strive to incorporate knowledge from learning science into every decision we make that impacts the student experience.

To see what this process looks like in action, we’re highlighting just a few of our team members that use learning science in their daily work.

Today’s Highlight: Kristin Sundermeyer, Director, Media Production and Acquisition

Can you briefly explain your role here at McGraw-Hill Education?

I am the Director of Media Production & Acquisition for the School Group. I oversee a talented team that manages the development and procurement of the photos, videos, illustrations, charts, graphs, maps, GIFs, animations that go in to our K-12 programs. We have media designers in house who can create just about any media asset type and then scale it to meet our product and user needs.

How has learning science influenced your work?

Learning Science has provided the media team with evidenced-based principles that can be applied when developing media assets for digital learning environments. The principles are simple, such as the signaling principle which suggests using visual cues to highlight essential content. Makes sense, right? We have captured the principles in a checklist that the Media Designers use when creating or reviewing media assets.

How does your work with learning science impact student experiences with our solutions?

We use these principles throughout product development to ensure we are not, for example, distracting a student with decorative illustrations or not signaling important information in an animation. We can be confident knowing that students are getting an experience that reduces extraneous processing, manages their essential processing, and fosters generative processing all while serving up an engaging visual that captures and holds their attention.

Why do you think learning science is critical to all stakeholders in K-12 education?

Learning science is critical to stakeholders in K-12 education because it provides a foundation for developing content in a digital environment that has been proven to foster learning. What better way to ensure our students are learning and retaining their education than to look at the science of how learning happens and apply that to the work we do every day at McGraw-Hill Education to unlock the full potential of each learner.


Find more Behind the Cube by following our Series or past posts here.