Bring Cutting-Edge Instructional Technology into Your Classroom

Host a research study with Carnegie Mellon University

The intelligent, computerized tutors being developed at CMU are the results of decades of research into how the brain works, how learning happens, and artificial intelligence. These next-generation teaching assistants are available FREE to classrooms and schools who participate in research studies using these tools. Data from past studies have shown that intelligent tutors help student learn more and teachers focus on supporting individual students.

What Subjects Can Students Learn?

Fractions

Collaborative Learning

While working in pairs or individually, students use the fractions tutor to learn and practice basic concepts of fractions, including addition, subtraction, and comparison. Students use the software for 5 days, 45-60 minutes each day

Fractions

Students use the Fractions Tutor for understanding and fluency when using fractions. Topics include making and naming fractions, fraction addition and subtractions, and comparing fractions by cross-multiplication. Students use the software for 6 days, 45-60 minutes each day

Linear Equations

Video Instruction

Students use a combination of CMU's Lynnette tutor and instruction videos from Khan Academy to learn and improve their equation-solving skills.

Students use the software for 6 days, 45 minutes each day. The schedule can be adapted to fit a classroom's schedule.

Linear Equations

Problem Selection for Mastery

Students use a version of CMU's Lynnette tutor extended with game-like features (rewards, badged, etc.) to learn effective strategies for mastering equation-solving skills by choosing the best problem to work on next.

Students use the software for 8 days, one class period each day.

y = 3x + 2

y = 3x + 2

What Do My Students Get Out Of It?

1) Students learn a difficult subject

Teachers know that students often have difficulty understanding fractions-related concepts and struggle to master fractions-related skills. Linear equations are sometimes similar. These subjects are key to future success for all students learning math. But these subjects also require students to think in ways they haven't before. The intelligent tutoring systems are great at introducing concepts and giving students guided practice until they become fluent in them.

2) Teachers are freed to support students who need it most

Guided practice is central to learning math. But when the tutoring software is intelligently guiding most students, the teacher is free to support those students who may need additional or differentiated instruction. All student progress at their own pace and teachers are able to do more of what they love—teaching.

3) Future students benefit from new applications of research

In the sort term, your students using the tutoring software will learn a surprising amount, and do so efficiently. We don't run studies in classrooms until we are sure it helps students learn. Part of the purpose of classroom studies is to test the software in real-life situations. But a bigger part of the study is about gaining a better understanding of how kids learn and how we can use technologies to help them learn better and faster. When you host a CMU classroom study, not only are you helping the kids in your classroom learn, you are helping the entire educational community now and in the future. We have today's educational technology because teachers in the past have supported research in their classroom. Imagine what we can build for the students of tomorrow!

• What does it cost to use this software?

The tutoring software is always completely free. Teachers, schools, and districts have absolutely no financial obligations and are never asked for any financial support for the study. This study is 100% funded by the federal Department of Education.

• Can I use the software without being part of the study, or after the study is over?

Because the tutoring software is used for experiments, it is only available to those participating in these studies. Similar tutors from Carnegie Mellon University are always available for free at mathtutor.web.cmu.edu. We’d be happy to help you get started with any of them.

• Who can participate in the study?

For the upcoming studies, we are looking for 4th through 8th grade classrooms to use one of CMU's tutors. It is great when a whole school or even a whole district participates together, but this study can use individual classrooms.

• How do you know my students will learn during the study?

Students have been using these tutors for more than five years. Each year we add features that improve the amount students can learn during a study. Our research has proven that these intelligent tutors help students learn more and better. Further, these current tutors are applications of educational software research going on at Carnegie Mellon University for more than 20 years.

• What will my students learn during the study?

Students will learn about naming and making fractions, reconstructing the fraction’s  unit, equivalence and comparing fractions, estimating fractions, and fraction addition and subtraction. You can see a table of how these subjects align with several sets of standards.

• How long is the study?

This study using five class periods of about 45 minutes each. Usually the first four are scheduled for Monday through Friday, and the final day is scheduled for the following Monday. This delay helps us measure real learning instead of short term memory.

• What do I need to do during the study?

FractionsTutor is a teaching assistant, so you can focus on teaching the material to the students who need help. While most of your students are learning individually, you have the time to answer questions, offer hints, or explain concepts to individual

• Do I need to do anything before the study?

Teachers and interested administrators are invited to a workshop where you can try out FractionsTutor, find out more about how it works as a teaching assistant, get more information about the study, and ask all your questions. We will compensate you for your time and some districts have offered Act 48 credit for participation.

• How much time do my students need to spend using FractionsTutor?

Students are expected to use FractionsTutor for five class periods, usually about 45 minutes each. We try to schedule four of these day in one week and the final day the following week. Teachers often replace their Math classes with FractionsTutor during the study.

• Is the material aligned with standards?

Yes. The material covered by FractionsTutor is aligned with Common Core standards, NCTM standards, and PA Core standards. You can see a full table of this alignment.

• Can I get help?

Yes. There are always CMU researchers available on-demand during the study, and everyone will have several ways of contacts us for help. If needed, we can have a researcher present in the classroom with the teacher while students are using FractionsTutor.

• Do I need to have computers in my classroom?

Your students will each need their own computer during the time your class will use FractionsTutor. This can be in your classroom or in your school’s computer lab. Unfortunately, we cannot provide computers.

No. The software uses Adobe Flash to interact with students. Unfortunately, iPads and other iOS devices are designed to not run Flash. Android tablets might work, but are not completely reliable. Laptop and desktop Mac computers will work, as will computers running Windows. Chromebooks work well, too.

• Do I get to see the results of the study?

Yes. We’re excited to be able to share the results of the study in your classroom and school. We can give you information about what your students learned and where they may need further instruction, as well as what we learned about how collaboration can best compliment individualized learning.