$800K Study To Test Efficacy of Digital Learning Tool
Science Foundation (NSF) will give North
Carolina State University a grant of nearly $800,000 to study
how a digital
learning program can best benefit students.
the NSF's Promoting Research and
Innovation in Methodologies for Evaluation (PRIME) program will give
Carolina State $799,837 over the next three years to study the
effectiveness of Mind
Research Institute's ST Math software. The ST Math software
computer-based games to help students understand math concepts,
typically in a
blended environment that includes interfacing with a teacher.
principal investigator in the study,
Assistant Professor Teomara Rutherford, said she and her team will
analyze data from 41,200 third- and fourth-graders in five school
across the country that have
numbers of students who have not had very much exposure to science,
engineering and math (STEM). The goal is to explore how student
student problem-solving methods and teacher actions influence learning
and student motivation.
are woefully few STEM programs available
to schools that meet the federal standards for evidence, meaning they
that they actually work," Rutherford said. "Our larger goal with this
to create better methods to analyze digital learning programs in ways
benefit students and teachers."
example, the study will look at how replaying
easy puzzles instead of moving on to more difficult ones or responding
particularly tricky problem influences learning outcomes and
will also look at the impact teachers have when they incorporate games
their classroom lessons.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.