The ASSISTments Story
ASSISTments was developed in 2003 by husband and wife team, Neil and Cristina Heffernan, who began their careers as middle school math teachers in the 1990s. It was then that they identified a need for more effective student feedback and data-driven insights to inform classroom instruction. The Heffernans were early believers in educational technology that works with teachers and students.
The platform is offered completely free of charge. By providing feedback assistance to students and assessment data to teachers, ASSISTments has been able to increase student learning and make homework and classwork more effective for all teachers and students.
In 2019, the Heffernans founded The ASSISTments Foundation to scale up and expand ASSISTments; a solution given the highest marks of a US Department of Education-hosted study on “what works in education.” The ASSISTments Foundation, which was developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, works in partnership with the various ASSISTments research and innovation projects at WPI, led by Heffernan. As a professor and computer scientist, Heffernan has received over $50 million in federal and philanthropic funding to support making research-backed impact with ASSISTments, which is dedicated to supporting free and open educational resources, and is compatible with a growing number of curricula used nationwide.