Digital Learning Challenge

$1 Million

Prize Purse

The goals of the $1M Digital Learning Challenge are to modernize, accelerate, and improve the ways in which we identify effective learning tools and processes that improve learning outcomes.

Sponsored by

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Their mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.

IES - Institute of Education Sciences


The Impact

The Digital Learning Challenge will enable experiments of frequency, scope and scale not possible through traditional methods used in education research or commercial EdTech processes. These experiments will transform our understanding of successful educational processes and result in better experiences and outcomes for all learners.

XPRIZE is thrilled to partner with IES to reward Ed tech and digital learning trailblazers who  can demonstrably show via rigorous, replicable studies that their tools and platforms intended for the classroom environment can effectively promote learning and assess learning outcomes for all.

- Dr. Monique Golden

The Challenge

Every year, almost 80 million students, nearly 25% of the U.S. population, are enrolled in education. But as adoption of edtech has grown, data collection methods and analysis haven’t changed. The needs of students, from early years to higher education, are evolving every day.

With the power of digital learning tools, increasing connectivity, acceleration in Big Data, machine learning, and AI methods, technology provides an opportunity to measure, improve learning and our understanding of how learning takes place. While many learning platforms already collect data and conduct substantive analyses, practices to collect data with the intention of understanding learning rather than for technical debugging are not widespread.

Incentivizing the development, demonstration, and deployment of an infrastructure for conducting experiments in learning contexts has the potential to improve our understanding of what works in education, while saving time and improving learning outcomes for millions of students.

How to Win

The winning team of the Digital Learning Challenge will build systems to conduct rapid, reproducible experiments and demonstrate the resilience and rigor of this infrastructure in a formal learning context.

The winning team must minimally demonstrate its ability to:
  • Conduct an Randomized Control Trial (RCT) or Quasi Experimental Design (QED) using any meaningful and substantive educational intervention
  • Systematically replicate the experiment at least five times in no more than 30 days
  • Replicate the experiment within at least three distinct demographics

Prize Activity

Prize timeline