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Learn about how this exciting initiative to build a network of digital learning platforms, researchers, and practitioners can shape the future of education.

What is SEERNet?

SEERNet is a network of platform developers, researchers, and education stakeholders working together to create and expand the capacity of digital learning platforms (DLPs) to enable equity-focused and rigorous education research.  SEERNet is funded by the Institute of Education Science, with a deliberate intention to fund both DLPs and researchers, as well as a growing network connecting DLPs, researchers, and practitioners. It is called “SEERNet” in reference to IES’s SEER principles, a set of aspirations for educational research. IES plans to fund up to 8 research teams in 2024 to join SEERNet and conduct studies in the DLPs.  Read on for more information and share this opportunity with your network!   

Who is in the SEERNet network?

In 2021, IES launched SEERNet and funded five DLPs each with at least 100,000 current users: UpGrade/Mathia (Carnegie Learning), E-TRIALS/ASSISTments (WPI), Terracotta (related to Canvas, Indiana University), ASU Learning@Scale, and Kinetic by OpenStax (Rice University). Each of the DLPs is building tools, processes, and workflows that enable researchers to conduct experimental and nonexperimental studies within platforms that are in widespread use in K-12 and higher ed spaces. 

Digital Promise and Empirical Education serve as the network lead. Our charge is to provide network leadership, conduct outreach, disseminate information, and build connections between platform developers, researchers, and education stakeholders to push these research innovations forward. 

How will SEERNet innovate education research?

Conducting education research and replicating it can be slow and costly. To ensure that findings are timely and relevant, researchers can leverage digital learning platforms, which collect data as students use the platforms in routine educational experiences. By conducting research with the platforms students already use, the chasms between research insights and widespread improvements may be reduced.

SEERNet participants are working together to push the field forward by making educational research more agile, open, equity-relevant, and scalable. The research should result in knowledge about effective teaching and learning with digital learning platforms, but also meaningful improvements on the platforms that reach large numbers of students.

What key conversations is the network having?

SEERNet holds convenings and supports collaboration between platform developers, researchers, and education stakeholders to discuss issues such as data privacy and access, tools to support researchers, research questions grounded in education practice, the types of meaningful outcomes that can be collected by platforms that would be useful for practitioners, and how to improve learning opportunities for all students.  We discuss the challenges of this work and collaborate to find solutions. 

How does SEERNet connect with education practitioners? 

Centering practitioner voices is vital to the success of our work.  Here are some ways SEERNet includes practitioners: 

  • The network’s overall advisory board intentionally includes two practitioner advisors, both of whom are leaders in notable US school districts.  Their perspectives, expertise, and feedback are highly valued and have led us in positive directions. 
  • We created a practitioner advisory board that meets monthly and engages with SEERNet members in ongoing conversations about what is meaningful and relevant to the field and how to disseminate findings in ways that lead to DLPs being widely used and impacting real change.
  • “Office Hours: A Conversational Series” was SEERNet’s initiative to convene practitioners and researchers over several months to identify problems of practice relevant to DLPs and co-designing research questions.

How can my organization get involved?

There are many ways to get involved:

  • Follow SEERNet on social media @SEERNet_org to track the movement, share resources, and exchange ideas. 
  • Sign up for our interest list.
  • Meet with us to discuss your platform features, alignment of our goals, and plan potential collaborative activities (e.g., co-write blogs). Have your work featured on the SEERNet website!
  • Collaborate with us in planning workshops and sessions at conferences, or webinars and trainings—or simply join us at these events.  
  • To learn more, contact us at