Education researchers often disagree about the best ways to improve student achievement. The difficulty of designing, conducting, and analyzing experiments means that there is often a dearth of empirical data to support or refute ideas. To design and conduct a simple randomized controlled experiment to compare two different ways of teaching requires a great deal of effort by a teacher or a researcher. The difficulty of conducting such experiments, and then later analyzing the results, may be why so few randomized controlled experiments are conducted in education. One of the goals of the ASSISTment System is to reduce some of those difficulties. We have built web-based tools that allow researchers to easily design, build and then compare different ways to teach children. These tools can administer randomized controlled experiments to large numbers of students. This paper describes these tools and describes a randomized controlled study that was conducted using them.
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Neil T. Heffernan
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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