The University of Maine at Orono in collaboration with the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) recruited teachers and schools for a study on the benefits of online homework support for student's mathematics learning. WPI provided its ASSISTments technology and the University of Maine at Orono provided local support. The four year long study began in the summer of 2012. 

The goal of the study was to understand the impact of the ASSISTments online homework support on student achievement, classroom implementation and teacher practice.

This study was the first "Gold Standard" quality study in the United States on the use of online homework in middle school mathematics learning. Maine was selected for this study because of its exceptional laptop program and its focus on improving mathematics achievement. We sought to measure the benefit to students' mathematics achievement from online homework, looking at improvement both on required state tests and against national benchmarks. We also wanted to learn to understand if all students benefit, or if online learning works best for certain students with particular profiles. Further, we sought to understand which of the ways that teachers can use homework have strong benefits to students. In addition to the direct benefits they received, teachers and students who participated in this study contributed to important, high-quality research that is sure to have national impact.

The ASSISTments project at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is committed to supporting students, teachers and administrators with the formative assessment process. This free, grant-funded, online tool supports two key components of formative assessment: feedback and flexibility.  Students get immediate performance feedback, teachers get feedback in the form of user friendly item reports, and parents get feedback from automated emails and detailed reports.  Teachers have flexibility to use either pre-built content or build their own content.  ASSISTments teachers are more effective than non-users because the student data compiled on the platform drives their instruction.