Monday, February 14, 2011

Study Shows Year-end Test Scores Significantly Improved in Schools Using Web-based Tutor

Year-end test scores of Massachusetts middle school students whose teachers used ASSISTments, a Web-based tutoring platform developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), as a central part of their mathematics instruction were significantly better than those of students whose teachers did not use the platform, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Educational Computing Research. Conducted by Neil T. Heffernan, PhD, of WPI, and Kenneth R. Koedinger, PhD, and Elizabeth A. McLaughlin, both of Carnegie Mellon University, the study examined data collected from 1,240 seventh grade students in four schools in an urban Massachusetts school district.

... ASSISTments (the name blends tutoring "assistance" with student "assessments") helps students learn by presenting them with problems and then offering carefully structured assistance. The software records how students use the system and meticulously tracks their progress. The system has been developed at WPI over the past decade wi th more than $9 million in support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and other federal and state agencies.

At WPI, the ASSISTments platform is the heart of a research and school collaborative that currently includes 35 school districts across the United States that use the system for instruction and assessment and help improve it by adding content. ASSISTments lets teachers add content in any domain. WPI has received funding to create middle school math and science libraries, but teachers elsewhere have used the platform to develop content for such diverse topics such as English and French vocabulary and training teachers to recognize common misconceptions. ...

WPI's award-winning research has demonstrated that consistent use of ASSISTments significantly improves both testing and learning. Massachusetts has the most active participation in ASSISTments—hundreds of teachers and thousands of students use the tool in daily classwork and homework. ...

via Study Shows Year-end Test Scores Significantly Improved in Schools Using Web-based Tutor - WPI.

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