Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Evaluation of the First In Math Online Mathematics Program in New York City: A Randomized Control Trial
Center: NCER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Flaherty, John Awardee: WestEd
Program: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $859,940
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305B070048
Description:

Purpose: According to the 2005 National Assessment of Education Progress mathematics assessments, only 35 percent of students in grade 4 perform at or above the proficient level of mathematics achievement. In order to identify effective programs that can help improve students' mathematics proficiency, rigorous research is needed. The purpose of this project is to examine the impact of the First in Math online mathematics program on fourth- and fifth-grade student achievement in the New York City Public School District. The First in Math program is a supplemental instructional tool designed to increase mathematics achievement using interactive online games. The study examines: individual and classroom level conditions that influence First in Math program use, the impact of First in Math on mathematics performance, and variation in impact across classrooms with high and low support of technology integration.

Project Activities: The First In Math® Online Mathematics Program is an online version of the 24® Game, created by Suntex International, Inc. In the 24® Game, students use different mathematical operations to arrive at the target number, 24. In 2002, Suntex launched the online version of the 24® Game, known as First In Math®. The online program allows students to practice their mathematics skills through any Internet connection. The research team is conducting a cluster-randomized trial, in which classrooms are randomly assigned to conditions, to examine the impact of First in Math on student mathematics achievement.

Products: Products from this project include published reports describing the efficacy of an online supplemental mathematics program on mathematics achievement of fourth- and fifth-graders.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to examine the impact of the First in Math online supplemental mathematics program on fourth- and fifth-grade students' mathematics achievement in the New York City Public School District.

Setting: The schools are located in New York City.

Population: Participating classrooms include 188 fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms from New York Public schools that are not currently using the First in Math program.

Intervention: The First In Math® Online Mathematics Program is an online version of the 24® Game, created by Suntex International, Inc. In the 24® Game, students use numbered cards and the four arithmetic operations to arrive at the target number, 24. Subsequent editions of the 24® Game introduce factors, variables, fractions, and algebraic expressions. Because the solution for mathematics problems is always 24, solution guesswork is eliminated and students are able to focus on learning the patterns and processes used to arrive at solutions. In 2002, Suntex launched the online version of the 24® Game, known as First In Math®. While First in Math retains the same features as the 24® Game, the online application allows students and teachers to measure program usage. Students can track their successful game completion through sticker counts, and teachers can monitor program use in terms of students' time spent on the program, Skill Set® attainment, and successful completion of games. In addition to the online program, the intervention includes professional development for teachers on the technical aspects of the First in Math program and how to integrate the program into their instructional practice.

Research Design and Methods: The research team is conducting a cluster-randomized trial, in which 188 classrooms are randomly assigned to either the treatment or control conditions, to examine the impact of First in Math on student mathematics achievement.

Control Condition: Teachers in the control condition continue their usual teaching practices.

Key Measures: The outcome measures for each analysis are student scores on the New York State mathematics achievement tests.

Data Analytic Strategy: Multilevel models will be used to analyze the data.


Back