Friday, May 25, 2007

Middle school math: Intelligent Tutoring System

Here is an excerpt from a recent article about a new application to assist with middle school-level mathmatics teaching and learning:

"WORCESTER, Mass. – Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Carnegie Mellon University have received a four-year, $2 million award from the federal Department of Education to continue development of a powerful computerized tool designed to help middle school students master mathematical skills.

With the award, researchers will enhance an intelligent tutoring system called ASSISTment, giving it new capabilities and transforming it into an unparalleled tool for both educating students and tracking their progress. The system will give school systems the long-term data on student performance they must report under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. More important, it will provide teachers—and parents—immediate, day-to-day feedback on what students have and have not learned, making it easier to offer individualized instruction to help students master concepts they may be struggling with.

Remarkably, the system does all this at the same time it tutors students. In fact, ASSISTments is the only system that can provide longitudinal data and a benchmark assessment of student skills without taking time out from classroom instruction, says Neil Heffernan, associate professor of computer science at WPI and leader of the ASSISTments research team."

Food for thought! If you know anything about this program, please let me know.

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