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:
We welcome large-scale independent studies that put ASSISTments to the test, and are deeply committed to continuously assessing our impact on student math achievement, particularly for those students furthest from opportunity.
Trials are currently underway in North Carolina, and in urban and rural settings nationwide. With diverse geographic and socioeconomic regions represented in these studies, results will be nationally representative and generalizable to students across the United States.
Making high-quality learning possible in the classroom and at a distance
Last year teachers created over 248,000 online assignments via ASSISTments. We are proud to be a high quality option for teachers that allows them to assign from their curriculum online, and enhances the experience with data and immediate feedback.
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. This learning fuels our product development, as well as innovative advancements in education. The backbone of this work is our Teachers for Research & Feedback community, educators and ASSISTments users who are data nerds like us, and make our research possible.
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 Teachers for Research & Feedback 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?
This month, we shine a light on Anthony Botelho, Research Scientist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute who has been working on the federally funded project focused on helping teachers provide meaningful feedback to their students more efficiently, known as QUICK-Comments.Continue Reading