2023-24 Tools Competition Phase II Supports

Please note that the following information is intended for competitors in the Accelerating & Assessing Learning, Preparing for the 21st Century World, Instructional Coaching for Early Childhood Education, Facilitating Learning Science Research, and Engaging Adult Learners in Higher Education tracks invited to advance to Phase II of the 2023-24 Tools Competition. 

Welcome to Phase II of the Tools Competition! 

During this competition phase, you will develop a proposal and budget detailing your tool or technology, its potential for impact and scale, adherence to track objectives and requirements, and incorporation of learning engineering principles. The submission deadline for Phase II proposals is February 2nd, 2024.

We are eager to support you with a variety of resources and virtual events to help you strengthen your proposal and receive feedback from competition organizers. Please reference this page regularly for updates.


These resources were developed to help you understand expectations for a high-quality proposal, offer important tips to keep in mind, and illustrate how previous Tools Competition winners reflect some key elements in their work.

  • Tip Sheet – Based on our review of Phase I abstract submissions, we’ve compiled a tip sheet with suggestions to keep in mind as you develop your Phase II proposal. Please carefully review all tips and ensure they are reflected in your proposal. View the tip sheet here.
  • How To: Your Learning Engineering Plan – With learning engineering at the core of the Tools Competition, a critical component of the Phase II proposal for Growth and Transform competitors is a learning engineering plan to support research at scale. Learn more here.
  • Learning Engineering Resources – View the Learning Engineering Resources section of our website for a detailed introduction to learning engineering, and check out our related blog posts for examples in practice, topic deep dives, and more as you strengthen your proposal.
  • Case Studies – In Phase II, tools will be assessed on the extent to which they address the needs of its users. View case studies on previous competition winners to learn more about their work, including highlights on how they’ve reached their target audiences to receive feedback, continued to iterate their tools based on demonstrated need and demand, and the advice they have for teams competing in the Tools Competition.

Virtual Events

We’re hosting a number of interactive events to provide competitors with support as they develop their Phase II proposals. All events will be recorded and shared on this page following each event. Please note that these events are only intended for competitors invited to participate in Phase II of the competition.

  • Phase II Info Sessions (Dates/times varied by time zone). Competition organizers shared more about the Phase II submission process and answered competitor questions. View a session recording.
  • Developing Your Learning Engineering Plan Webinar (January 9th from 12–1pm EST). Katie McCarthy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at Georgia State University, discussed the learning engineering plan requirement for Growth and Transform level competitors. The event was also joined by former Tools Competition winner Cristina Heffernan of ASSISTments Foundation, who shared more about how her team embedded learning engineering principles within their proposal and how they approach research partnerships as their work continues to evolve. View a session recording.
  • Track Webinar: Instructional Coaching for Early Childhood Education (January 11th from 12–1pm EST). Competitors joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation team for a deep dive on what makes a competitive Phase II proposal for the Instructional Coaching for Early Childhood Education track, and had their questions answered live. View a session recording.
  • Track Webinar: Engaging Adult Learners in Higher Education (January 16th from 1–2pm EST). Attendees learned from the Calbright College and Axim Collaborative teams about what makes a competitive Phase II proposal for the Engaging Adult Learners in Higher Education track. View a session recording.
    • Also check out this recording of the Ask Me Anything webinar event held during Phase I with sponsors on what makes a competitive submission for this track.
  • “Ask a Researcher” Session (January 18th from 12–1pm EST). Competitors brought their learning engineering plan questions to an informal drop-in group session with Georgia State researchers Dr. Katie McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, and Dr. Ben Shapiro, Assistant Professor in the Department of Learning Sciences.
  • Drop-in Group Office Hours. Our team offered multiple informal office hours sessions to answer competitors’ Phase II proposal questions. Registration is now closed, as all sessions have been completed.

Please ensure you check this blog regularly for updates throughout Phase II of the competition.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at ToolsCompetition@the-learning-agency.com. We look forward to receiving your proposal by the February 2nd, 2024 submission deadline!

To access submission materials, please reference the links provided in your advancement notification email.


Phase II deadline for Building an Adaptive & Competitive Workforce track: April 22, 2024. Meet the finalists for all other tracks here.