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Online Mathematics Homework Increases Student Achievement

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AERA Open Volume 2, Number 4,


In a randomized field trial with 2,850 seventh-grade mathematics students, we evaluated whether an educational technology intervention increased mathematics learning. Assigning homework is common yet sometimes controversial. Building on prior research on formative assessment and adaptive teaching, we predicted that combining an online homework tool with teacher training could increase learning. The online tool ASSISTments (a) provides timely feedback and hints to students as they do homework and (b) gives teachers timely, organized information about students' work. To test this prediction, we analyzed data from 43 schools that participated in a random assignment experiment in Maine, a state that provides every seventh-grade student with a laptop to take home. Results showed that the intervention significantly increased student scores on an end-of-the-year standardized mathematics assessment as compared with a control group that continued with existing homework practices. Students with low prior mathematics achievement benefited most. The intervention has potential for wider adoption. [For the corresponding grantee submission, see ED575159.]


Roschelle, J., Feng, M., Murphy, R.F. & Mason, C.A. (2016). Online Mathematics Homework Increases Student Achievement. AERA Open, 2(4),. Retrieved September 23, 2020 from .

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