Female student reading at Stanford campus
White Papers

Polygence White Papers

As part of our mission to help students take control of their education, the Polygence team engages in educational research on topics that affect the lives of young people, their families, and educators.

Students graduating around the globe

On Polygence's Research

As a team of advanced degree holders, we are constantly exploring developments in the fields of educational research, Project-Based Learning, college admissions and more that empower our community to make the most of their studies and careers.

You can see a list of our published white papers below covering the topics of test-optional college admissions, student mental health and learning through "effective failure".

White paper on AI in education - cover image

From Turing to Teaching Techniques: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence and How Educators Can Use it to Support Student Growth

This paper traces the invention of artificial intelligence from computing pioneers like Alan Turing and John McCarthy to its current use by educators in high school and college classrooms. It explores initial dreams for what AI technologies might accomplish, highlights key moments of its development, and how that history has led to the current breakthrough of Large Language Models. After presenting expert tips for adopting AI use into teaching and counseling practices, it concludes with an example of how blending artificial intelligence and human mentorship can increase access to individualized learning support in the future. Download this paper to learn: 

  • The origins of Artificial Intelligence in theory and practice 

  • How chatbots are driving changes to secondary and higher education academic policies

  • Practical examples of how to use AI to advance student learning, from college classrooms to online programs like PolyPilot

Great Work - Why Feedback is so Important for Students and How to Make it More Effective

As any seasoned teacher will tell you, giving feedback to students is one of the most important parts of their job. But delivering the right kind of feedback at the right time is much easier said than done. In this white paper, we define the most important kinds of pedagogical feedback as well as 4 traits that can help teachers, mentors, and counselors deliver it more effectively. We also describe cutting-edge collaborations between Polygence and researchers at Stanford University and the University of Texas Austin that measurably enhance teaching and learning on our research platform. Download this paper to learn: 

  • Why proper feedback is essential for student learning and growth 

  • Four proven criteria that make feedback more effective 

  • How new technologies are empowering teachers to give better feedback and students to develop a growth mindset

White paper on feedback in learning - cover image
Cover of the 'From Fearful to Flourishing' white paper publication

From Fearful to Flourishing - How Teaching Students to Fail Empowers them to Succeed

This white paper contributes to a growing movement among researchers, teachers, and university presidents to rehabilitate failure in the eyes of students, families, and other educators. As part of the broader mission at Polygence to empower students to be the best version of themselves, the following pages offer a number of important insights that students and educators alike can use to reframe their understanding of failure and leverage it to their advantage in the learning process.

Paths to Resilience - How Passion Projects, Positive Storytelling and Portfolios Can Support Student Mental Health

As the covid pandemic ebbs and schools return more or less to normal, another epidemic continues to afflict students: a crisis of mental health. This white paper outlines the scope of this problem and, importantly, provides actionable steps to help educators support positive student outcomes.

Cover of the Paths to Resilience publication
Cover of the 'High School Research Projects - The Key to Test-Optional College Admissions' white paper publication

High School Research Projects - The Key to Test-Optional College Admissions

The lawsuit Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, and the ultimate ruling on the case by the U.S. Supreme Court, represents a watershed moment for college admissions. Through a proprietary analysis of data made public through the lawsuit–including 160,000 domestic applications to Harvard College–this white paper reveals statistically meaningful advantages in featuring research on college applications. Download this paper to: 

  • Learn about the rise of the research portfolio in the admissions process 

  • The rating system Harvard and many other elite schools use to evaluate applicants

  • The seismic shift in away from standardized testing and the importance of independent scholarship in a test-optional world