WWC review of this study

Description and evaluation of Reasoning Mind’s 2003 pilot project.

Weber, W. A. (2003). Houston, TX: Reasoning Mind, Inc.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: December 2016

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Mathematics

Reasoning Mind vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
54 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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    Not Hispanic or Latino    


The study took place at a middle school in Houston, Texas. Students interacted with the Reasoning Mind program in a large computer room separate from their math classroom.

Study sample

All participants were seventh grade students. At the school, 91% of students are Hispanic, 5% are black, and 4% are white. Separate sample characteristics were not provided for the study sample.

Intervention Group

Before the intervention began, both the intervention and comparison group received a three-lesson tutorial on fractions. The goal of the three-lesson tutorial was to prepare students for learning about ratios. Additionally, before beginning the intervention, students received a two-day tutorial teaching them how to use the Reasoning Mind system. Students had twenty-nine 90-minute intervention sessions, totaling 2610 minutes (43.5 hours). Students worked with the Reasoning Mind system outside of their math class and were free to log-in to the system from their home computers. The Reasoning Mind Intervention consisted of a computer-based delivery and tutoring system. The curriculum covered information on ratios, rates, and proportions. The program had three components. The first, and primary, component was guided study. In this mode, students read about theory behind math concepts and solved problems. After providing a response, students were able to see the solution. The second component was independent study. In this mode, students were able to select which topic they wanted to review and the difficulty level of the problems they wanted to solve. Students could also communicate directly with tutors via chat. The third component was a Game Room in which students could play multiplayer math games. An interactive agent (the ""genie"") was present throughout the software system and served as both a mentor and mascot for the program. The math content presented in the software was created by a curriculum design team. Students earned points for completing tasks (e.g., answering problems) which they were able to trade in for prizes.

Comparison Group

Before the intervention began, both the intervention and comparison group received a three-lesson tutorial on fractions. Both the intervention and comparison condition students attended math class as usual. It is unclear what students in the comparison condition were doing while students were receiving the intervention.

Support for implementation

Before the study began, the online tutors were given a manual and engaged in role-play-based training. Tutors were either paid between $12 and $15 an hour or worked on a volunteer basis. Study staff were present in the computer room to provide technical assistance, ensure students were following the instructions provided by the software, and distribute prizes and certificates.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Weber, W. A. (2003). An evaluation of the Reasoning Mind pilot program at Hogg Middle School. Houston, TX: Reasoning Mind, Inc.


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