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IES Contract

Title: A Novel Platform for High-Quality Formative Assessment in Mathematics
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: Milne, Brent Awardee: Simbulus, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 year (5/10/2018 – 5/9/2020) Award Amount: $900,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: 91990018C0017

Project Website:

Video Demonstration of the Phase I Prototype:

Purpose: The project team fully developed Woot Math Polls, a formative assessment dashboard that converts student math work into data-driven insights to inform teacher instruction and student learning in middle and high school algebra classrooms. Research has marked a decline in math achievement around the time students take algebra in middle school. Technological innovations that produce immediate information that teachers and students can use to facilitate dialogue and analysis of complex topics offer potential for improving understanding and learning.

Project Activities: During Phase I in 2017, the team developed a prototype of a dashboard that generates information on student work during algebra class. At the end of Phase I, researchers completed a pilot study with 254 students and nine teachers across grade 8 and 9 classrooms. They found that the prototype operated as intended, teachers were able to understand and use the dashboard, and students were engaged during classroom dialogue around the insights on their work. In Phase II, the team fully developed the user interface for students and teachers, a tool to create and share Open Educational Resources (OERs), and materials to support classroom implementation. All development during this project was done through a co-design process with math educators and students, with iterative refinements made at key milestones based on this feedback until development was concluded. In late 2019 and early 2020, the researchers conducted pilot implementations in three mathematics classrooms.  Survey data and observations demonstrated that math educators reported the product worked as intended and was feasible to integrate within classroom instruction, and students provided feedback that they liked the functionalities offered by the product and were engaged during use. A randomized controlled trial was planned for the spring of 2020 and sites were set to begin data collection in February 2020, however none of the sites were able to participate due to the closure of schools during COVID-19.  Later in 2020, Woot Math was acquired by SAGA Education, with the product immediately integrated within SAGA's suite of math products and in distribution for remote and in-class learning in the 2020-2021 school year. Saga also adapted the Woot Math technology for use with their remote tutoring programs, with 25,000 tutoring sessions occurred during the 2020 and 2021 school year.

Product: In prior research and development, the project team developed Woot Math, a technology delivered intervention with interactive games and activities for algebra learning. In this project, the team fully developed Woot Math Polls, a formative assessment dashboard to convert student work into data-driven insights to promote dialogue and discussion of complex algebra topics between teachers and students. The dashboard works across all web-enabled devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart boards, and projectors. The dashboard includes a teacher tool to create, customize, share, and remix materials as OERs, which teachers can share with other teachers using the dashboard. The intervention in coordination with the dashboard is intended to support student outcomes for Common Core standards in algebra.

Related IES Projects: A Novel Platform for High-Quality Formative Assessment in Mathematics (EDIES17C0048)