QuickSmart earns recognition of national impact by the Australian Research Council

We are delighted to share QuickSmart’s fantastic results from the Australian Research Council’s first-ever national assessment of research Engagement and Impact, conducted as a companion assessment of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) of all universities.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) undertook the 2018 assessment of the research conducted by all Australian universities, ranking them ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ across three indicators: ‘engagement’, ‘impact’ and ‘approach to impact’.

Only four universities in Australia received a ranking of ‘high’ across each indicator for Education.

We extend our congratulations to the many hundreds of schools, principals and QuickSmart instructors across Australia who have, through QuickSmart:

  1. enabled this powerful acknowledgment of the impact of their efforts and the resulting outcomes to have occurred at a national level; and, more importantly,
  2. enhanced the life chances of so many tens of thousands of students through greatly improved numeracy and literacy competence, skills and understandings.

The process for analysis involved the presentation of case studies that showcased the benefits research programs have delivered to the broader community and the economy. Each submission from an Australian university to the ARC was limited to a single case study for each broad field of research. The Education case study submitted by the University of New England (UNE) detailed the QuickSmart program.

The national Engagement and Impact 2018 assessment, evaluated three key facets associated with impact of university-based research between 2011-2016:

  • Engagement – the interaction between researchers and research end-users outside of academia, for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge, technologies, methods or resources.
  • Impact – the contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment or culture, beyond the contribution to academic research.
  • Approach to Impact – the mechanisms used to encourage the translation of research into impacts beyond academia.

UNE’s submission stated:

 QuickSmart is an evidence-based program demonstrated to address the needs of middle school students with poor basic skills in literacy and numeracy. Consistent weaknesses in basic skills, especially for educationally disadvantaged students, generally go unchanged and contribute to a widening performance gap with peers, as well as to ongoing disadvantage post schooling.

QuickSmart is an individually focused intervention designed to improve understanding and recall of basic academic facts and skills over a 30-week program during the crucial middle school years. Results from QuickSmart show that participants consistently achieve skill development equivalent to that normally achieved over 2-3 years of schooling for a peer, as well as increased self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Thank you for your continued support of the QuickSmart program and your work in combatting the desperate need to address preventable numeracy and literacy challenges. This has allowed your students not to miss out on the many educational and life opportunities that QuickSmart offers.

Professor John Pegg, lead researcher with the QuickSmart program, says it is rewarding to receive this national recognition for the well-known program.

“Most of all, we are pleased by the ongoing results for students and schools across Australia. With the commitment of principals and school-based coordinators and instructors, the program consistently shows that students who participate in the 30-week intensive program gain skills normally achieved over 2-3 years”, he said.

Read the full article at UNE Connect: https://www.une.edu.au/connect/news/2019/03/une-quicksmart-program-a-top-achiever-in-australian-research

Read the full impact statement here: https://dataportal.arc.gov.au/EI/Web/Impact/ImpactStudy/936

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