Students Using Productive Struggle Experience Deeper Learning

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New white paper from Triumph Learning demonstrates benefits of smart practice solution, Waggle

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The case for productive struggle, especially with the current increase in the rigor of state standards, is critical to helping students attain college and career readiness.

A new white paper from Triumph Learning, producer of critically acclaimed K-12 curriculum and interactive digital tools, reveals that productive struggle can lead to deeper learning among students. The white paper looks at productive struggle as used through Triumph Learning’s Waggle Smart Practice solution, which was developed around this research-backed learning strategy.

“The case for productive struggle, especially with the current increase in the rigor of state standards, is critical to helping students attain college and career readiness,” said Dr. Marcella Bullmaster-Day, author of the white paper. “Waggle offers an excellent opportunity for students to work through desirable difficulties using spaced and mixed practice with immediate feedback in a personalized program.”

The white paper outlines the key elements of productive struggle such as motivation, persistence, support and feedback. It also details learning strategies that promote productive struggle, including quizzing, self-testing and mixed practice. Each of these is supported by research and a critical component of Waggle.

“Smart practice is at the core of Waggle, providing students with rich opportunities to gain confidence and competence in meeting rigorous standards,” said Aoife Dempsey, chief technology officer at Triumph Learning and developer of Waggle. “Through productive struggle in a safe, positive environment, students can enhance learning with in-the-moment feedback, scaffolded instruction, and personalized pathways.”

Dr. Marcella Bullmaster-Day is the director of the Touro College Lander Center for Educational Research in New York City. She has worked as a teacher, principal, researcher, university professor, corporate executive, curriculum and program designer and professional development consultant in urban educational contexts for more than three decades. Dr. Bullmaster-Day holds a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from Columbia University Teachers College.

More information about how productive struggle facilitates deeper learning is available in a new white paper, “Productive Struggle for Deeper Learning.”

About Triumph Learning
Triumph Learning, LLC, is a leading educational content company and publisher of print and digital K-12 resources, standards-aligned instructional materials and effective literacy programs. Its state-customized products increased student achievement and raise scores on high-stakes exams for more than 6 million students in 36,000 schools in 2013. Triumph Learning offers unique student solutions, robust teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Triumph Learning is committed to serving all students with a mix of interactive digital tools and innovative student texts with products such as Coach and Waggle. For more information, visit

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Olivia Hoff
C. Blohm & Associates
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