Advances in the learning sciences combined with the fast evolution of powerful digital technologies and advances in the design of user experience have the potential to transform the future of higher education. There is now a large body of research demonstrating that learning science principles such as self-regulation, formative assessment, and active learning support the development of lifelong learners (Bell & Kozlowski, 2008). Digital tools can increasingly offer content, resources, and assessments that are personalized, adaptive, and relevant. (Cook et. al, 2013). And, seamless, efficient, engaging digital experiences that make the lives of students and instructors easier can meet the needs of busy educators and a diverse student population (Herrington & Oliver, 2000). However, despite a host of digital learning tools available to instructors there is a lack of rigorous and relevant evidence researching effectiveness and this has often led to false starts and frustrations of what to use and how to use it to best effect to improve student success. When building Achieve, a new digital learning platform, Macmillan Learning began by founding the solution on research-based learning science principles, and co-designing the platform with instructors and students. Researchers at Macmillan Learning then took the unusual approach of beginning to investigate the effectiveness and efficacy of Achieve in its infancy by conducting rapid-cycle evaluations of tool features as they were developed and implementing increasingly rigorous validity and efficacy studies as the platform matured through beta testing.