21st Century Learning Design: Methodology

21st Century Learning Design

International Teaching and Learning Research

21st Century Learning Design is based on the International Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research studies which measures innovative teaching practices.

ITL Research and 21st Century Learning Design Methodology video

ITL Research and 21st Century Learning Design Overview

ITL Research is a multiyear, global research program designed to investigate the factors that promote the transformation of teaching practices. It also examines the impact those changes have on students’ learning outcomes.

ITL Research builds upon the learning on education transformation from leading international research and literature, including the Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES; Law, Pelgrum, & Plomp, 2006) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA; OECD, 2006); frameworks for 21st century learning (e.g., UNESCO, 2008; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2004; Government of South Australia, 2008; ISTE, 2007, 2008); and research on specific constructs related to teaching practices that are associated with positive student outcomes (e.g., Bryk, Camburn, & Louis, 1999; Groff & Mouza, 2008). These inputs contributed to the logic model shown below.

In addition, ITL Research follows these guiding principles:

  • Partnering with global and local education leaders such as UNESCO and local Ministries of Education, including them in the research design process to ensure relevance.
  • Openness: Sharing data and results openly with all research partners and with the broader academic education community.
  • Contribute: As a result of ITL Research, Microsoft will contribute research instruments and tools to the public domain that schools and educators can use to monitor their transformation (again, in partnership with UNESCO, local ministries of education and other stakeholders).


Based on the findings from the research, ITL Research contributes information and policy insights on where and how effective education transformation is taking place around the world.