Related IES SBIR Awards
2000: Phase I: $50,000; 2001: Phase II, $300,000
2002: Phase I, $75,000; 2003: Phase II, $500,000
Quantum Tutors®; Quantum Assessment Advisors®
Quantum develops intelligent and adaptive learning and assessment software solutions to support K-16 students and adult learners in chemistry and mathematics. The tutors facilitate and scaffold learning through an interactive process. Through this process students select their own problems, ask questions, and receive automated step-by-step tutoring feedback. The on-demand tutors can be used in classrooms as direct support of a curriculum or as an independent tool for self-study, homework, or test preparation. Instructors receive real-time, actionable assessment tools intended to support student learning and test performance.
Research and Development:
The product was developed iteratively to ensure that the needs of users and the education market were addressed. For the tutoring component, a code library and rule-based problem solver were implemented to enable the artificial intelligence (AI) engine to accurately analyze and guide student work. Question-and-answer rules and content for student queries were developed. For the assessment component, detailed algorithms were extended to the AI framework. An algorithm was designed for automatically grading and recording student work, and reporting capabilities were developed for teachers.
Research during these projects demonstrated feasibility: the tutors worked on all operating systems, teachers indicated successful integration within standard practice, and students indicated high levels of engagement. Results from a pilot study found a correlation between using the tutor and improved grades for the 31 high school students using the tutor compared to the 20 high school students in the control group. Further research on the impact of the Quantum chemistry tutors is underway through an efficacy trial funded by the Institute's Math and Science Research Grants Program. Results will likely be available in 2013.
Commercialization: Quantum’s adaptive learning and assessment software has been commercialized through direct sales and distribution partnerships with textbook publishers Wiley Publishing, McGraw-Hill, and Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Partners incorporate Quantum tools in different ways such as integrating it with homework systems and online learning materials. As of 2013, Quantum has been adopted by over 300 schools serving more than 800 instructors and over 125,000 students.
The IES SBIR projects resulted in the development of core technologies which have served as the foundation and platform to expand to adaptive learning in new content areas such as accounting, and in the development of innovative assessment technologies, including “How Am I Doing?” student mastery reports and real-time Assessment Reporting for instructors to evaluate student progress and concepts needing remediation.
Selected Peer Reviewed Publications from this R&D:
Industry Awards for this R&D:
Patents from this R&D:
Selected Follow-On Funding from this R&D: