WWC review of this study

Evaluation of the Cognitive Tutor Algebra I program (Unpublished manuscript).

Shneyderman, A. (2001). Miami, FL: Miami–Dade County Public Schools, Office of Evaluation and Research.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grades

Reviewed: June 2016

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test–Norm Referenced Test 2001 (FCAT-NRT)

Cognitive Tutor Algebra I vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Grades 9 and 10;
658 students




Show Supplemental Findings

Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test–Norm Referenced Test 2001 (FCAT-NRT)

Cognitive Tutor Algebra I vs. Business as usual

1 Year

92 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.

  • Female: 47%

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During the 2000–01 school year, nine senior high schools within the Miami–Dade County Public School District implemented Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I. Of those nine schools, six were selected to participate in the study because they had computer labs as of October 2000 (to support implementation of Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I) and because not all algebra classes were using Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I.

Study sample

Among the baseline student sample, 54% were eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and the race/ethnicity was comparable across intervention and comparison groups (56% Hispanic, 30% African American, and 13% White among intervention students; 62% Hispanic, 27% African American, and 10% White among comparison students). In addition, gender was comparable across groups (46% and 48% female for intervention and comparison, respectively). Most of the students were in grades 9 and 10: 79% and 18%, respectively, for the intervention group, and 88% and 11%, respectively, for the comparison group. Each group contained a small number of students in grades 11 and 12, but they were excluded from the analyses due to a lack of baseline test scores.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention group were taught using Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I for a full school year. Students worked with the curriculum in a computer lab 2 days per week, and they worked in the classroom on small-group activities 3 days per week. One study school had a functioning computer lab at the beginning of the school year, but the other four schools did not have operational computer labs until October, which according to the study author, could have affected the implementation of the software component of the intervention within these schools.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received Algebra I instruction using a curriculum other than Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I; the comparison curriculum was not named by the author.

Support for implementation

No information was provided about the training or support offered to implement the intervention.


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