ASSISTments holds a unique position in the edtech field due to our passion for learning science, and the bridge we build between researchers and educators. ASSISTments supports teachers in implementing instructional practices rooted in learning science and researchers in implementing randomized controlled trials to better understand how students learn and what teacher interventions improve student learning.
Research insights fuel impactful classroom applications, and classroom learning and teacher insights fuel innovative advances in education research.
ASSISTments is one of only a few edtech tools that has rigorous evidence of meaningfully improving math achievement. ASSISTments received a Tier 1 rating by Evidence for ESSA and is featured in the What Works Clearinghouse as one of only a handful of interventions proven effective in mathematics.
An independent study funded by the US Department of Education and conducted by SRI International found that students who used ASSISTments almost doubled the normal amount of math learning observed in a year. Forty-four participating schools were divided into two groups - one that used ASSISTments for homework, classwork, and skill practice, and another that continued to use existing methods.
The study resulted in three findings:
New Research Reveals ASSISTments' Capacity to Bridge Learning Gaps and Promote Long-term Learning Gains
Building upon the insights gained from a prior randomized controlled trial RCT, a 2023 RCT, conducted by WestEd, provides further validation of the exceptional effects of ASSISTments on math achievement.
Not only did the study replicate the results of the previous research, but it revealed that ASSISTments led to long-term learning gains, narrowed achievement gaps, and showcased the platform's efficacy in empowering historically marginalized students.
At ASSISTments we have a passion for learning science. We actively partner with researchers to implement randomized controlled trials to better understand how students learn and what teacher interventions improve student learning.
These are some of the features currently in development by the team at the ASSISTments Project @ WPI.
TeacherASSIST allows teachers to create feedback for their students for any problem within ASSISTments. The feedback can be provided in the form of hints or explanations, and in text or video format. TeacherASSIST will crowdsource these hints and explanations for all the commonly-used questions, and allow any one of our users to add to an assignment.
We will test all teacher-sourced content to better understand which are most effective for different types of students. TeacherASSIST is a feature that brings the instructional guidance of a teacher home to students.
TeacherASSIST is an ASSISTments feature that leverages teacher crowdsourcing to amplify and support teaching and learning across all ASSISTments users. Read more about our work and research using crowdsourcing.Continue Reading
QuickComments is an AI-powered feature that suggests personalized comments to teachers when they are giving feedback to their students. Teachers often lack time to give detailed feedback on every open-response question in their students’ assignments. QuickComments relies on machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to suggest responses, sourced from actual teachers’ comments on student responses.
ARRS is a feature for spaced practice and mastery learning that helps teachers reinforce learning by assessing if students have mastered a concept over time. ARRS automatically reassesses students periodically on specific skill areas and assigns relearning exercises to those students who have not retained mastery. We continue to study different patterns of reassessment and relearning to determine how to optimize learning.
We ran a randomized controlled trial on two ASSISTments features: Skill Builders and Automatic Reassessment and Relearning System (ARRS). Skill Builders allows teachers to assign individual skills practice sets and ARRS automatically reassesses students on these skills. Our study showed greater performance on those skills that were reassessed and relearned.Continue Reading
ASSISTments serves learning science researchers broadly through its infrastructure for low-cost, small-scale randomized control trials that assess pedagogical interventions as students complete problems in ASSISTments.
E-TRIALS is a shared scientific instrument for learning scientists
How does it work?
Independent researchers propose studies and, once accepted, are matched with members of our research community.
Researchers can set up an experiment within ASSISTments using E-TRIALS, where groups of students will experience different interventions in the context of completing an online math assignment.
Researchers get access to the resulting de-identified data to understand the impact of their intervention.
Are you a researcher interested in partnering with us?
When introducing a new classroom tool, sometimes the biggest challenge is in making sure our students see the value in using it. We understand and we’ve got your back! Jump into ASSISTments with confidence using these quick tips for communicating and working with ASSISTments.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading