University of Massachusetts Amherst Higher Education Tech Innovation

UMASS Amherst logo
Primary Contact Name: 
Beverly Park Woolf
Funding Framework: 
Primary Challenge Area: 
Deeper Learning
Supplemental Resources
Wayang math tutor letterhead

The Innovation: Wayang Math Tutor (now MathSpring)

Far too often, basic math knowledge and skills pose a serious academic challenge for incoming college students.  

Wayang, known now as MathSpring, is an adaptive online tutoring system designed for high-enrollment, low success, entry-level developmental mathematics courses:

  • The system changes its responses in order to meet a student’s learning needs, and uses affective and motivational information from student logs to tailor nonacademic supports.
  • Wayang applies math within virtual adventures. Animated learning companions encourage students as they progress through the course material.
  • Other learning components include mathematics problems, hints, interactive media, and videos.
  • Real-time outcome data for students, instructors, and advisors help improve student success.

Originally geared towards middle and high schools, this version targets community college students, containing 100 problems for developmental math classes and revised graphics that appeal to the adult learner.

Results Achieved:  According to SRI, the project evaluator,

  • 81% of students using Wayang completed their course achieving subject mastery and deeper learning s
  • 41% persisted to the next academic term 
Wayang completion and persistence data

The Grant Project: UMass Amherst received an NGLC grant in April 2011.

NGLC funding helped UMass Amherst deploy Wayang at partner institutions to scale at-risk students’ deeper learning in mathematics.

Today, Wayang is now called MathSpring, and helps middle and high school students to prepare for standardized math tests, such as the SAT, MCAS and CA-STAR.


  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Greenfield Community College
  • Holyoke Community College
  • Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education