The Innovation: MathSpring (formerly Wayang Outpost)
MathSpring helps students overcome the significant barrier to students’ high school and college dreams that struggles with math proficiency can pose. The intelligent online tutoring system uses multimedia and animated adventures to prepare middle and high school students for standardized math tests and college-level mathematics.
MathSpring learns along with the student, adjusting instruction and deploying individualized strategies as the student progresses through math problems. Animated learning companions encourage the student and other learning components include mathematics problems, hints, interactive media, and videos. MathSpring’s real-time outcome data helps students, instructors, and advisors improve student success.
Results Achieved: MathSpring promoted higher levels of student achievement:
The Grant Project: The University of Massachusetts Amherst received an NGLC grant in June 2011.
NGLC funding helped UMass Amherst to improve MathSpring in several ways:
- Expand content to cover all of Grades 7-9 mathematics content
- Develop teacher professional development materials
- Add predictive student performance and motivation learner analytics tools and engagement features, such as progress monitoring charts, videos, collaborative activities, extrinsic rewards, possibilities for choice
- Enhance help features
The team deployed MathSpring in several middle schools and after school programs in Massachusetts and Arizona to study its impact on mathematics performance and learning motivation:
- Dean Tech Vocational High School
- Girls Inc. Holyoke After School
- Frontier/Union38 School District
- Turners Falls Middle-High School
- Amherst Regional Middle School
- Greenfield Middle School
Long term Goals: To improve mathematics skills as measured by performance gains and to increase student interest and motivation in mathematics.
Ongoing Work: UMass Amherst and Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s ASSISTments project, another NGLC grant recipient, obtained an Office of Naval Research grant to join efforts and start combining their systems together.
For information about the grant to UMass Amherst to scale MathSpring in higher education, see its Higher Ed Tech Innovation page.