Benefits and Eligibility

The Friday Institute in collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are looking for 7th-grade math teachers and schools for a study on the benefits of online homework support for mathematics learning.

The goal of the study is to understand the impact of ASSISTments, an online homework support system, on student achievement, classroom implementation, and teacher practice.

This North Carolina ASSISTments homework study will replicate a similar study completed in Maine. The past research was conducted between 2012 and 2015 and found that using ASSISTments for homework support significantly improved student math learning outcomes. North Carolina was selected for this study because of its diversity in population that matches the US as a whole. We will measure the benefit to students' mathematics achievement from online homework, looking at improvement on the North Carolina End-Of-Grade Assessment. We also want to learn to understand if all students benefit, or if online homework support works best for certain students with particular profiles. Further, we seek to understand the ways in which homework has strong benefits to students. Teachers and students who participated in this study contributed to important, high-quality research that is sure to have national impact, they also will benefit by improved homework routines.

Benefits of using ASSISTments

ASSISTments is a free service for helping mathematics homework. It can be easily integrated into your current curriculum and classroom practices. (See demos of ASSISTments)

When using ASSISTments, teachers can:

  • Have more efficient use of time with homework management and grading;
  • Receive automatic daily reports on student mathematics homework progress, common errors students make on homework, and the difficulties students have encountered;
  • Adjust homework review and later instructions according to the reports to more closely target students’ difficulties.

"I really like having the immediate feedback to help focus my instruction the next day. I can also quickly assign problem sets for my students through Google Classroom."

-7th-Grade Math Teacher, West Pine Middle School, Moore County.

When using ASSISTments, students can:

  • Receive immediate feedback as they complete their homework, helping them learn the topic better.
  • Receive reports that summarize their performance and progress, and how they do compared to their peers.

Past research on ASSISTments conducted in Maine has shown that students in classrooms using ASSISTments for homework support scored significantly higher on the end-of-year standardized mathematics test than students using traditional homework approaches. The current study aims to replicate the prior study and to investigate if the outcomes will hold in North Carolina.

Eligibility and Expectations

What are the requirements for participating?

NC middle schools with at least one 7th-grade regular education math class are eligible to participate.

What are the requirements for participating?

Schools with at least one 7th-grade regular education math teacher can participate when:

  • Students can complete internet-based homework outside of regular math class time - on devices they take home, devices they already at home, on their smartphones, during study hall. etc.
  • Teachers typically assign homework at least 3 nights per week.

What does participation entail?

  • Schools must agree to be randomly assigned to the immediate or delayed use group.
  • All 7th-grade regular education math teachers within a school must agree to participate.
  • Teachers in the immediate use group will begin learning to use ASSISTments after enrolling in 2019-20 and then attend a 2-day professional development workshop (compensated at $200 per day) in Summer 2020.
  • Teachers in the immediate use group are expected to start assigning homework using ASSISTments during 2019-20. During the 2020-21 school year, teachers are expected to assign homework using ASSISTments on average 3 times per week.
  • Schools in both study groups must be willing to participate in classroom observations, interviews, and surveys regarding their experience in the study.
  • Schools must recognize that researchers will access student data (e.g., class rosters, state test IDs) while complying with all FERPA regulations. Student state test data will be acquired from North Carolina Education Research Data Center (NCERDC). Schools are not obligated to provide any data, only time and logistics to administer surveys.

How do you get involved?

If you are a teacher or school district employee, you can contact us and we will answer any questions you might have. Call 919 513 8522 or email stpilzer@ncsu.edu

When ready, fill our the application here.