Schools Don’t Need to Ban Homework, They Just Need to Make It Better

School districts around the country are doing away with homework, according to the latest education headlines. But research clearly shows that the solution to homework isn’t to abolish it. WPI professor and ASSISTments founder Neil Heffernan weighs in on why we need to make homework as effective and relevant as possible, so students can still learn when their teachers or family aren’t available to help them.

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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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I Took a Break From the Classroom to Help Do Research. It Made Me a Stronger Teacher.

Andrew Burnett was in his 15th year of teaching when he was asked to join the ASSISTments team. His task was to help conduct a long-term educational study by training and supporting the teachers that were participating in an independent research project. Andrew communicated with 70 teachers all around the Northeast about implementing ASSISTments in their classrooms. Read on to learn Andrew's story and how he has transformed his teaching practices.

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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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Don’t Eliminate Homework. Make it More Effective

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, it’s detrimental to student learning. Only, the problem isn’t homework itself but how homework is done. Instead of implementing “no homework” policies, WPI professor and ASSISTments founder Neil Heffernan proposes that we can and should use technology to improve how students do their homework — or at least their math homework.‍

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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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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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ASSISTments Research: Parent Involvement can Support Student Math Learning

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.

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