ASSISTments founder Neil Heffernan enrolled in a doctoral program to develop an intelligent tutoring program. He sought to create a program that could offer a series of friendly hints, then assign other problems in the same vein to reinforce the lessons.
But he put that pursuit on hold to join his brother-in-law in a Web startup. Two weeks later, in May of 1998, Heffernan had a seizure. A scan found a tumor the size of a ping-pong ball. Several doctors told him it was inoperable, and that he had two or three years to live.
“Making money didn’t seem particularly important to me any more,’’ he recalled. “I didn’t think I had long to live. I thought, ‘What do I want to leave here? Maybe I should go back to this tutoring system.’ ’’
The cancer went away. Heffernan finished his doctorate, and his tutoring system, ASSISTments, was born: It’s currently used in middle schools across the country.
This five-year grant, led by TAF Co-Founder and Executive Director Cristina Heffernan, will be used to further develop ASSISTments’ innovative tutoring technology, which leverages teacher- and student-facing tools for core instruction. This project will focus on high-needs middle school math students and their teachers at more than 150 schools.Continue Reading
CenterPoint’s Fresh Start Screener in mathematics is now available through ASSISTment’s platform. The Fresh Start Screener helps teachers evaluate student understanding of content taught in the prior grade, gauge areas of strengths and unfinished learning, and chart their path forward.Continue Reading