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Making Every Kid Both Math-Competent and Math-Confident

How do we make kids both math-competent and math-confident? In a new Psychology Today article from Ulrich Boser, founder of the Learning Agency, discover the importance of teacher-student relationships, growth mindset, and how education technology tools like ASSISTments can help.

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The ASSISTments Foundation Awarded $250,000 to Develop and Scale High-Impact Tutoring Models to Boost Academic Achievement for All Students

ASSISTments, a nonprofit organization founded in learning-science, recently announced it has been awarded $250,000 in competitive grant funding to pilot an innovative tutoring program in Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) across 30 schools, reaching 800 underserved students in grades 3-8. The ASSISTments Tutoring pilot will research the effects of high-dosage, proactive school-based tutoring that is directly connected to classroom instruction.

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Policy 2050 Podcast feat. Cristina Heffernan: Can Better Student Assessment Data Transform Education?

Cristina Heffernan, Executive Director of The ASSISTments Foundation, joins the Policy 2050 Podcast to discuss how better student assessment data can transform education and set up the next generation for success.

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NCTM Baltimore: Enhance Formative Assessment by tech powered Data-Driven Instruction

At NCTM Baltimore on December 1st at 1 pm ET, join the ASSISTments Co-founder and Executive Director, Cristina Heffernan, as she highlights how formative tools like ASSISTments can help save you time and help you meet the needs of all students - no matter what your experience level may be.

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We're going to NCSM 2022!

Join us at NCSM 2022 for an interactive session on how to build confidence, consistency, and capacity – across all math classrooms using ASSISTments!

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Online Math Help That Works

ASSISTments, an educational platform developed by WPI researchers, uses immediate feedback in math formative assessments to improve learning outcomes.

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Tech Can’t Teach but it Can Help with Feedback

The pandemic illustrated that technology cannot replace teaching. Still, when it comes to formative assessment, a proven instructional method, there’s a lot tech can do to aid teachers and help accelerate learning.

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ASSISTments online math program helps teachers save time, students become better learners

Read how ASSISTments helps teachers and students from the perspective of a sixth grade math teacher in this post by WickedLocal!

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The key to better edtech is better feedback - Smart Brief

As we return to in-person instruction, edtech can settle back into a more suitable role to supplement and enhance instruction, while, at the same time, drawing some important lessons from the pandemic experience.

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To improve ed tech, focus on feedback - District Administration

Automated feedback can supplement in-person instruction by making teachers’ jobs easier while personalizing student experience.

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Ten Teams Move onto the Pilot Phase - X-Prize

In March 2021, XPRIZE launched the $1M Digital Learning Challenge to modernize, accelerate, and improve effective learning tools, processes and outcomes. ASSISTments is one of the ten Pilot Phase teams.

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How to Personalize Learning - Psychology Today

A one-size-fits-all approach to education does not work for students.

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2021 in Ed Tech: AI, Data Analytics Were Top Priorities - Government Technology

ASSISTment’s AI feature Quick-Comments won an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Education Innovation and Research program to improve its machine-learning tutoring functions.

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In Conversation With Neil Heffernan, Professor Of Computer Science At Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Analytics India Magazine

For this week’s data science career series, Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Neil Heffernan, the computer science professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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Can an XPrize For Learning Science ‘Lure’ New Types of Researchers Into Education? - EdSurge

Learn why ASSISTments has applied to the X-Prize competition

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A Teacher’s View: What Research in My Classroom Showed About the Value of Old-Fashioned Face-to-Face Teaching and Learning - The 74

There is also a bigger movement around teacher-driven research, which can leverage the knowledge of those who work most closely with students and lead to faster results from research in order to impact instruction. One example of this can be seen in a study done by Bill Hinkley, a math teacher who uses ASSISTments, an online math tool to explore how the use of pencil and paper to solve math problems affects his students.

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Heffernan: Some Say the U.S. Has Lost the AI Race to China, but There’s Still Time to Catch Up — If We Start Teaching Data Science & Literacy in Schools - The 74

American students are being left behind and outpaced by competitors like China. But [there is] the opportunity to change the way we teach math in order to help our children achieve prosperous futures.

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Cutting Through Ed Tech Hype in Favor of Research-Driven Improvements - Campus Technology

Neil Heffernan talks about augmented reality, intelligent tutoring systems and the need for better research infrastructure in ed tech.

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ASSISTments Foundation is Awarded $8 Million Federal Grant to Scale and Expand Tutoring Technology for Pandemic Recovery

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. 

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Digital Promise Launches Digital Learning Research Network - Campus Technology

A team for the ASSISTments digital learning platform will expand its infrastructure to allow researchers to run studies using OER within ASSISTments.

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ASSISTments has partnered with JUMP Math!

We are excited to highlight the content and teacher support resources we’ve developed in partnership with JUMP Math.

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ASSISTments has partnered with Open Up Resources!

We are excited to highlight our partnership with Open Up Resources! You now have access to all of the available student-facing materials in both the Open Up Resources 6-8 and Open Up High School Mathematics curricula. This content is available to assign through ASSISTments (for free) and provides students with immediate feedback as they work. You'll also receive real-time data to help: save you time, target instruction, and to support serving a diverse group of learners.

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How Louisiana is Using ASSISTments to Address Unfinished Learning

Each year, teachers across the country are faced with the challenge of addressing unfinished learning. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis makes that task even more difficult. But in Louisiana, addressing unfinished learning is particularly precarious. Learn what teachers are going through within the Accelerate initiative, in partnership with ASSISTments and the Lousiana Department of Education.

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Supporting student learning in mathematics with CenterPoint's Fresh Start Screener

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. 

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In Conversation With Neil Heffernan, Professor Of Computer Science At Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Analytics India Magazine got in touch with ASSISTments co-founder, Neil Heffernan, to share his views on data science.

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Distance learning can be deep learning

Read this article for three central insights that ASSISTments cofounders, Neil and Cristina Heffernan, think drive learning in distance learning scenarios.

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Commentary: Short Tutoring Sessions on Demand, Chatbots to Help With Homework Problems — Innovations That Could Get Students Back on Track

As schools around the country adopted remote learning last spring and this fall, demand for tutoring shot up. Read more in this article by ASSISTments co-founders Neil T. Heffernan and Cristina Heffernan

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Proof Points: Free, no frills programs lead the class in new federal study of remote learning

U.S. Education Department found only three technologies met stringent criteria for being effective. ASSISTments was one of them. Read more in this article by Jill Barshay in The Hechinger Report.

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What Works In Distance Learning?

Listen to this podcast about effective teaching and distance learning tools including ASSISTments.

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ASSISTments highlighted in WWC review on “What Works” for distance learning

In January 2021, IES/What Works Clearinghouse published a review that looked at 932 studies evaluating the effects of distance learning practices or programs on student academic outcomes. ASSISTments is one of only 4 programs that came out with their top rating.

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A few things to look forward to in 2021 at ASSISTments

ASSISTments co-founder Cristina Heffernan shares a few things she’s especially excited about for 2021, and thinks you will be too.

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ASSISTments at the #MathUnConference for Teachers

Neil Heffernan and Cristina Heffernan, founders of ASSISTments, explain why ASSISTments forever-free accounts support students' math learning.

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The Power of ASSISTments to Augment Teaching with Dr. Neil Heffernan

Listen to this podcast where ASSISTments co-founder Dr. Neil Heffernan joins Michael Palmer to talk about how his career interweaves great teaching, computer science, and “ASSISTments” – a set of digital tools designed to make homework assignment and evaluation more efficient.

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Failure to Disrupt: How ASSISTments Adapts Traditional Education

Watch ASSISTments co-founders Neil and Cristina Heffernan speak on adaptive tutors in Justin Reich's book club.

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How Crowdsourcing Can Transform Education

A Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor is spearheading innovative crowdsourcing research to help educators and students.

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College Town: WPI’s Online Math Teaching Tool Popular During Pandemic

An online math teaching tool developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been used by thousands of teachers adjusting to distance learning during the pandemic.

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ASSISTments, a WPI-created Math Learning Tool, is Helping Thousands of Teachers Transition to Distance Learning

Since the shift to distance learning began in March more than 25,000 teacher from all 50 states and internationally have signed up for ASSISTments accounts.

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Fall Recruitment: ASSISTments seeks diverse 7th grade math teachers using Engage NY and/or Eureka Math - Paid Opportunity

(Opportunity now closed) ASSISTments is seeking diverse 7th grade math teachers with experience using Engage NY and/or Eureka Math for a paid opportunity to support the development of two new features within our platform.

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The ASSISTments Foundation Announces Co-Founder Cristina Heffernan as Executive Director

Cristina transitioned from her role as Chief Strategy Officer with The ASSISTments Project @ WPI, in July of 2020. She and her husband, Co-Founder, Neil Heffernan have been innovating and developing ASSISTments since 2003.

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With distance learning, is all learning now homework?

How relevant is homework anymore? We're reconsidering the new realities of today’s learning environments and how they can best serve student learning.

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Researchers Awarded Record $56 Million During FY2020

Neil Heffernan, professor at WPI, received the largest award in FY 2019 - $4.98 million to scale and expand ASSISTments over the next five years.

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Proof Points: A crowdsourcing approach to homework help

Read more about our work on using teacher crowdsourcing to improve student learning in this article by Jill Barshay in The Hechinger Report.

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A New Nonprofit: The ASSISTments Foundation

A message from Neil Heffernan, introducing a new nonprofit, The ASSISTments Foundation! Building the foundation is an essential step in growing ASSISTments and impacting more students and teachers.

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Husband & Wife Duo: Neil and Cristina Heffernan

ASSISTments was developed by husband and wife duo Neil and Cristina Heffernan.As a professor of computer science and learning technologies, Neil is able to collaborate with fellow professors, researchers and PhD students to enhance the ASSISTments platform. As a former middle school math teacher Cristina keeps the project focused on teachers.

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Meet the Team: Dr. Anthony Bothelo

Dr. Botelho is a research scientist with the ASSISTments lab. Before his PhD, Anthony completed his undergraduate in Interactive Media at Becker College and his Masters in Computer Science at WPI.

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Meet the Team: Ashish Gurung

Ashish is a PhD student in Computer Science

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Meet the Team: Brian K Story

Brian Story is an ASSISTments Teacher Engagement Manager in North Carolina. Learn more about Brian!

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Meet the Team: Cindy Starks

Cindy is excited to be on the team because it will allows to "have a positive impact on math teaching and learning while also learning about best teaching practices and working with ASSISTments."

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Meet the Team: Donna Lee Tignor

Donna Lee Tignor is a long-time ASSISTments teacher mentor. Read how she started with ASSISTments!

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ASSISTments welcomes Dr. Megan Roberts as the CEO of The ASSISTments Foundation

Megan will work alongside Neil & Cristina Heffernan in the leadership of the organization to help us spread ASSISTments across the US. We are looking forward to Megan's non-profit leadership experience as well as her ability to help us grow and scale ASSISTments.

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Meet the Team: Dr. Sarah Irish

Dr. Sarah Irish has been involved with ASSISTments since the Maine Replication Study! Learn about Sarah's experience as an ASSISTments user and teacher mentor.

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Meet the Team: JA Perry

As a Project Coordinator, JA arranges the content building for all the curricula on ASSISTments! Read more about JA's background and passion for education.

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Meet the Team: John Erickson

John Erickson is a PhD student in Data Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Meet the Team: Dr. Korinn Ostrow

Dr. Ostrow is a Research Scientist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Meet the Team: March Patikorn

March is the senior PhD student in the ASSISTments lab! March is passionate about machine learning and AI, and serves as a supervisor to his fellow PhD students.

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Meet the Team: Meghana Kasal

Meet Meghana, a Masters student who works in the ASSISTments lab!

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Poverty Action Lab Calls ASSISTments One of Two Most Promising Interventions

‍A study conducted at MIT's Poverty Action Lab was recently featured in the U.S. News & World Report concluded that ASSISTments is one of two promising educational technologies in the US. The study praised ASSISTments for its impact on student learning and the tool’s compatibility with schools’ existing curricula and textbooks.

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A Message from the Founder: ASSISTments Gets Top Marks in Federal Review

It is important that educators know which interventions and products actually work. In order to accomplish that goal, the U.S. Department of Education hosts the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an institution that evaluates educational interventions to see which work and which are simply flops. Neil Heffernan provides an update about the WWC’s approval of a study that shows the efficacy of ASSISTments.

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3 Lessons Learned From Education Technology Research

“We had the guts to expose ourselves” to randomized control trials, says ASSISTments founder Neil Heffernan in this US News & World Report article

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A Gift Born From Peril

The Boston Globe profiles ASSISTments founder Neil Heffernan, who tells the story of his experience as a middle school math teacher and how a brain tumor inspired him to start ASSISTments.

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A Web App Helps Teachers See Where Students Are Stumped

Listen in to Neil Heffernan on wbur radio show Here & Now.

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Online Mathematics Homework Program Developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to be the Subject of More Than $7 Million in Rigorous Research Studies

Two grants from the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES) totaling over $7 million have been awarded to education researchers studying the impact of ASSISTments. Large and rigorous randomized controlled trials of online education tools for K-12 education are difficult to conduct and analyze. These grants will build upon a prior ASSISTments trial conducted by SRI Education, which was important in that it provided hard, comparative evidence of the impact of education technology.

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TL Talk Radio Podcast

Podcast interview with ASSISTments co-founders Neil and Cristina Heffernan about their inspiration for ASSISTments, their dedication to research-backed impact and what’s next for the online platform.

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Maine schools experimenting with Web-based math homework

Middle school math classes have worked in much the same way for decades. Teachers send students home with a textbook and a set of problems. Students work out the solutions on paper and bring the answers in the next day. That changed at about 40 Maine schools, where students, mostly seventh-graders, tested out ASSISTments.

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Nurturing Persistent Problem Solving

A veteran math teacher puts ASSISTments to the test and reports on how second-year algebra students learn to persevere in completing homework assignments through the use of the online homework platform. She showcases the tool’s ability to deliver instant feedback and embed video explanations in problem sets.

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Scientists Bring New Rigor to Education Research

Researchers are using tools borrowed from medicine and economics to figure out what works best in the classroom. Much of the new research goes beyond the simple metric of standardized tests to study learning in progress and the findings are beginning to fill in some blanks in that hugely complex puzzle called education.

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Study Shows WPI-developed Math Homework Tool Closes the Learning Gap

Results of a randomized control trial conducted by SRI Educational Research in public schools in Maine and published in the journal AERA Open by the American Education Research Association clearly quantify the benefits of ASSISTments.‍ The study shows that ASSISTments is effective in helping close the learning gap.

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The Machines Are Taking Over

The New York Times profiles husband and wife team, Neil and Cristina Heffernan, and how they chose to address the achievement gap through a computer program that can mimic the individualized feedback of a human tutor.‍

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Walpole teachers get an 'assist' from homework software

Read about the impact ASSISTmennts is having in two schools in Walpole, Massachusetts. Students whose teachers use the software say it’s like taking their teacher home with them.

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What Works Clearinghouse Gives Top Marks to WPI-Developed Homework Program

The What Works Clearinghouse, a highly regarded federal research review of education products, has reviewed the ASSISTments research and stated that the Efficacy Study “meets standards without reservations.”

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ASSISTments has Won $25 Million in Grants with next to no Business Structure or Marketing

While many EdTech tools and solutions might show promising results in small studies or certain conditions, very few prove effective at scale. That is not the case with ASSISTments. Led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor Neil Heffernan, the free classroom assessment software has been shown to bring about remarkable academic gains. Read on to learn the story of how ASSISTments came to be and some of the challenges along the way.‍

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U.S. Department of Education Awards Worcester Polytechnic Institute $8 Million to Scale and Expand ASSISTments

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in partnership with The ASSISTments Foundation, has been awarded an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program.

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Britt Neuhaus joins The ASSISTments Foundation as Program Director

The ASSISTments Foundation welcomes Britt Neuhaus will oversee our efforts to scale the ASSISTments online learning tool across the country, with particular attention to rural areas in collaboration with our partners at Lesley University, WestEd and WPI.

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Online homework tools trade ‘busy work’ for feedback to help end inequities in schools

The use of technology is growing in schools, but we’re missing critical opportunities if technology isn’t being used to close the pernicious achievement gaps between students of color and their white peers and between low-income students and their more affluent peers. WPI professor and ASSISTments founder Neil Heffernan weighs in on the importance of using tech tools to address inequity in schools.

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Tom Bolton joins The ASSISTments Foundation as Vice President of Product

The ASSISTments Foundation welcomes Tom Bolton as Vice President of Product to lead the future of the ASSISTments product. Bolton will support ASSISTments in its work to impact users across the country by delivering immediate feedback for math students and data insights for teacher instruction.

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COVID-19 and Distance Learning

We at ASSISTments are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 is having on teaching and learning and are taking steps to support our community of users and team at this time.

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Neil Heffernan and ASSISTments: $35 Million and Counting

Heffernan has received more than $35 million in federal grants for his work in learning sciences and with ASSISTments, in part because he is relentless in pursuing funding from a number of agencies, though he says he “tries more and fails more” in submitting grant applications. Last year ASSISTments was used by more than 2,500 teaches in 46 states and 14 countries.

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ASSISTments: From Research to Practice at Scale in Education

Over the past 13 years, ASSISTments was developed and evaluated with the support of a series of IES and National Science Foundation awards. With a 2003 IES award to Carnegie Mellon University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), researchers created the first version of ASSISTments.

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We are retiring the ASSISTments 1.0 with Google Classroom Integration

We are retiring the ASSISTments 1.0 with Google Classroom integration, so that we can dedicate our energy to ASSISTments 2.0, our most up-to-date and teacher-informed version of ASSISTments. We are asking users of this feature to migrate to 2.0, where we will be able to provide you the best possible experience and user support.

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Stumped by How to Best Serve Students With At-Home Learning? Follow the Evidence

With schools around the country closed, educators are being asked to support at-home learning. University of Toronto Professor Philip Oreopoulos speaks of promising educational programs like ASSISTments, which has resulted in impressive academic gains in multiple randomized controlled trials.

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Ambassadors Help Spread the Word about ASSISTments

The ASSISTments Foundation is committed to providing high quality opportunities that support our teachers as they use ASSISTments and lead in their own classrooms and beyond. ASSISTments Ambassador Andrew Burnett spreads the word about ASSISTments across many platforms including his blog, social media and at national education conferences.

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