EdTech Research

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.

Our Impact and Efficacy

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.

Efficacy Trial Conducted by SRI International

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: 

  1. There was 75% more learning in classrooms using ASSISTments when compared to the learning that normally happens in a year (effect size g = 0.22).
  2. Students below the median on the prior year test learned an equivalent of two years of math in a single year. (effect size g = 0.29)
  3. ASSISTments, when paired with 3-5 days of professional development over a school year, reliably changed teacher practice to more effectively target class time to student difficulties and errors
Repeatable Results at Scale

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.

  • Long-Term Learning Gains: Students in intervention schools who used ASSISTments in 7th grade but not in 8th grade showed a significant gain in math achievement on an end-of-8th-grade state test. This suggests ASSISTments has a sustained impact on math achievement even one year after implementation.
  • Achievement Gaps Narrowed: ASSISTments played a crucial role in narrowing achievement gaps among different student subgroups. Students of color and Hispanic students experienced the strongest effects on math achievement, indicating ASSISTments' potential to promote equitable learning outcomes.
  • Strongest Impact on High-Poverty Schools: ASSISTments had a significant impact on math learning in schools with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students and students of color. These findings highlight its potential to provide valuable support to students and teachers in resource-limited schools.

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Research That Fuels ASSISTments Product Development

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.

Can student learning improve using teacher crowdsourcing in online learning platforms such as ASSISTments?

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.

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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.

The Future of Mathematics Education: Using Artificial Intelligence to Provide Efficient Feedback

Adapted from NCTM 100 Days of Professional Learning talk on how QuickComments allows teachers to give feedback powered by AI.

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Automatic Reassessment and Relearning System (ARRS)

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.

Students Retain Math Skill Mastery Through Reassessment and Relearning

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.

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Partnerships with External Researchers

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.

Spotlight on learning sciences

5 Simple Tips for Getting Started with ASSISTments

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.

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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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