In the United States, there is an ongoing debate about whether homework is worthwhile, with critics saying that it’s busywork at best and, at worst, that it’s detrimental to student learning. Instead of implementing “no homework” policies, according to Professor Neil Heffernan who runs the ASSISTments project at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, we can and should use technology to improve how students do their homework — or at least their math homework.
In order for online homework to be effective in supporting student learning, it must:
Providing students with immediate feedback on their homework assignments, while providing their teachers with information they can use for course planning, is a powerful practice that’s proven to increase student learning. It’s time we demand smarter ways to use homework.
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
ASSISTments operates in part from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program grant. The first two years of this grant have been focused on what we have named as three key “scale-up” mechanisms, areas where we can further develop and improve to achieve greater reach and impact. Thus far, we’ve engaged hundreds of our teacher users, and learned valuable lessons about scaling sustainability. As we enter the third year of the grant, we wanted to share these lessons to support other nonprofits in the early and pivotal stages of growth.Continue Reading