ASSISTments Efficacy Study | SRI International

Toggle Menu
girl doing her homework in front of a laptop

ASSISTments Efficacy Study

SRI is conducting an efficacy study of more than 2,500 students on the benefits of online homework support for students' mathematics learning.

Homework is important, but traditional ways of doing homework do not support students who need more help. Technology has the potential to make homework a much better learning experience. Students can receive instant feedback and online tutorials, as well as specially organized "practice makes perfect" sessions. In addition, teachers can receive useful reports on their students' homework completion status and problem areas. Through professional development, teachers can learn how to use online homework and these reports to differentiate instruction to meet students' individual needs.

Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education, SRI's Center for Technology in Learning is conducting an efficacy study on the benefits of online homework support for students' mathematics learning. The four-year study is being performed in collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the University of Maine at Orono. The study launched in April 2012 and will involve approximately 2,500 seventh grade students from 52 schools in the state of Maine. The goal is to understand the impact of the ASSISTments online homework support on student achievement, classroom implementation, and teacher practice.  

three teachers participating in the program, smiling at camera
Teachers involved with the study.

This study is the first gold standard-quality study in the U.S. on the use of online homework in middle school mathematics learning. Maine was selected because of its exceptional laptop program and its focus on improving mathematics achievement. SRl will measure the benefit to students' mathematics achievement from online homework, looking at improvement both on required state tests and against national benchmarks. We seek to understand if all students benefit, or if online learning works best for certain students with particular profiles. Further, we seek to understand which of the ways that teachers can use homework have strong benefits to students.

In addition to the direct benefits they will receive, teachers and students who participate in this study will contribute to important, high-quality research that is sure to have national impact.