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IES Contract

Title: Math Education for Adult Learners and College Remediation Using Artificial Intelligence
Center: NCER Year: 2011
Principal Investigator: Johnson, Benny Awardee: Quantum Simulations, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years Award Amount: $850,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: EDIES11C0041

Product Video Demonstration:

Purpose: Recent international comparative studies report declining levels of numeracy skills among the adult population (16 to 65 year olds) in the United States. When individuals have below basic mathematics skills, they require extensive remediation as adults and in college. The purpose of this project is to extend artificial intelligence methodologies to an on-demand tutor focused on developmental mathematics for adult learners and underprepared college students requiring remediation.

Project Activities: In Phase I, the team developed a prototype tutor in the area of probability and demonstrated feasibility as the target audience was able to use the technology. In Phase II, development will include formulating new content, implementing a rules-based expert system for solving problems, extending the rules-based system to analyze student work, and designing question-and-answer rules for student inquiries. Formative evaluation questions to guide the iterative development process will focus on ease of use, problems encountered, and student engagement. After development is complete, a pilot study will be conducted in 15 adult learning classrooms with approximately 150 students. Half of the students will be randomly assigned to use the tutor to supplement classroom activities while half will not have access to the system.

Product: The web-based artificial intelligence tutor will target adult learners and college students in developmental math courses. Embedded content will focus on gatekeeper topics that are viewed as critical to a strong foundation in mathematics, including: probability; data interpretation; estimation; exponents; basic geometry; fractions; multiplication; division; and addition. To use the product, students will enter their own problems. An automated assessment feature will check responses and will offer immediate tutoring on any mistakes to support the student working through a solution.