Learn, Improve, Repeat:
The Khan Academy Way

"How many students you reach through Khan Academy is only the first step to making a difference in a child’s education. With your support, we are working closely with educators and researchers to measure and learn what it really takes to change the academic results for students so we can continually improve our content and software product."

Ginny Lee
Khan Academy President and COO

On Track to Make a Difference

With our US district partners, we are tracking how many students are actually using Khan Academy enough to learn and progress. Together, we review the metrics for each step of the funnel so that we can get as many students as possible to the recommended usage of 120 minutes a month or about a class period a week. Studies have demonstrated that that level of usage results in a meaningful improvement of academic outcomes.

Use Research to Measure Impact and Improve

At Khan Academy, we are big believers in data and rigorous analysis for continuous improvement. We need to know if what we are doing is actually improving student outcomes, particularly for those children who don’t start on a level playing field. In late 2017 we built an Efficacy and Research team of PhD-level education researchers to ensure we could accurately assess our impact and use those findings to improve how children learn with Khan Academy. In 2019 we added staff and made insights from the Efficacy and Research team an essential part of our product-development process. As part of our research, we seek to understand specific learning behaviors on Khan Academy and how they best contribute to the most effective learning.

We ask three primary questions of ourselves:

1) Does it work?

For example, how does time on Khan Academy relate to achievement?

2) Under what conditions does it work?

For example, what are best practices for using Khan Academy, and how do we operationalize those practices?

3) For whom does it work?

For example, when best practices are used, do all subgroups benefit equally?

As we discover what behaviors are key to student success, we can build ways to encourage that behavior directly in Khan Academy so learners get the best results.