This study explores the ability of an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) to increase parental engagement in student learning. A parental notification feature was developed for the web-based ASSISTments ITS that allows parents to log into their own accounts and access detailed data about their students’ performance. This research investigates the impacts of parental involvement on student learning outcomes.
The parental notification feature development was completed in the summer of 2009 and pilot tested during the fall semester. Two of the authors of this paper are 8th grade math teachers at a suburban middle school and use the ASSISTments system extensively in their classroom. During this study, each taught 4 periods of roughly 20 students, 2 honors and 2 non-honors. At the start of the pilot, students signed up for accounts on ASSISTments and were instructed to provide their parents’ email addresses. Invitations were then sent out to parents to create accounts. Of the 176 students, 127 (72%) of their parents signed up for accounts. The researchers monitored the server logs in order to measure how frequently parents logged in to check on their students.
This study found that Parent Notification through ASSISTments
- Led to parents feeling more engaged in their children's’ education
- Increased student homework completion rates
- Contributed to overall increases in student learning
Participants are 127 students whose parents signed up for Parental Notification through ASSISTments. These students populations were from four (two honors and two non-honors) classes taught by the authors in a suburban school in Massachusetts.