These are the questions and answers that helped to recruit the participating schools

Can I use ASSISTments without being in the study? 
No. Schools in Maine may only be able to use ASSISTments if they participate in the study.

Is it guaranteed that all schools in the study will have access to ASSISTments immediately?
Yes. Participating schools will be randomly assigned into two groups, namely the 7th grade use group and the 8th grade use group.  Both groups will start using ASSISTments from fall 2013.  In the schools assigned to the 8th grade group, 6th grade teachers must wait one year to use ASSISTments and 7th grade teachers must wait two years to use ASSISTments.

How long is the study?
The entire study is 4 years long. Each participating school will be involved for 2 school years.

Do I have to stay through the two years?
We do want schools and teachers to stay in the study for both years. However, your participation in the study is completely voluntary. You may choose to withdraw from the study without any penalty. Teachers may not be eligible for some of the stipend if you withdraw and schools that withdraw in the middle of the study will not be eligible for the $1000 incentive.

I am a 7th grade math teacher. If my school joins the study, what do I need to do? 
If your school is assigned into the 7th grade use group starting from fall 2013, you will need to:

  • Participate in professional development sessions to learn how to use ASSISTments to support homework assignment and grading, how to interpret reports from ASSISTments, etc.
  • Assign homework through ASSISTments to your students 3-4 times per week during the study
  • Participate in data collection activities such as interviews, surveys, classroom observations, logs, etc.

How does our school apply to be in the study?
A school must apply together, with application forms for each 7th grade math teacher, principal and superintendent to complete. The form for each person is about 2 pages long and takes about 15 minutes to complete. 

What’s the benefit of participating in the study?
There are benefits for the schoolteachers and students to be in the study. 

  1. Schools will be able to use ASSISTments at no cost. Schools starting in 2015 will be offer an incentive of $1,000 during 2014-2015 school year.
  2. Selected 7th grade math teachers will be paid $25/hour to attend professional development on how to use ASSISTments to support homework assignment and differentiated instruction, and will belong to a “collaborative learning community” of other teachers in the program supported by an ASSISTments trainer.
  3. The 7th grade math teachers will receive a certificate of participation once they have received training and will be able to use ASSISTments indefinitely.
  4. All participating teachers, no matter when your use of ASSISTments start, will receive a stipend for participating in data collection activities such as interviews, surveys, etc. 
  5. 7th grade students will receive instant feedback and online support through hints and examples while working on math problems in ASSISTments.

Do I need to worry about privacy issues?
No. We are required to keep all the information about all participants confidential under  relevant FERPA regulations. Nobody will be publicly identified. 

Which grade will the study focus?
This study will focus on the impact of online homework support on math achievement for students in 7th grade. 

Do I need to change my normal routine of teaching math? 
The intervention will not be disruptive to your normal routine. The math you will assign using ASSISTments will be from your textbook and your support materials.  Teachers work together to make sure it is aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Math. The only thing that will change is that the homework assignment will be done through ASSISTments and you will get automatic reports about your students' performance the next day. 

Some of my students don't have internet connection at home. Can we still participate? 
Yes, you definitely can. ASSISTments offers an offline version that students can download to their computer and work offline at home. Results will be uploaded when they connect online later.

I have more questions. Is there someone I can contact?
Yes. Feel free to contact anyone listed on the “Have a question?” page. In addition, you can always address all questions, comments and concerns about the study to the ASSISTments Efficacy Study support team at SRI International by sending an email to