Contributing to ASSISTments
Why you should you donate?
Hello we are Professor Neil Heffernan and Cristina Heffernan the founders of ASSISTments. We introduce ourselves in the video to the right. ASSISTments was built mostly with federal funds and belongs to America. We have decided that giving the system away is also important for the sharing perspective of ASSISTments. Our life experiences including Neil having Brain Cancer in 1998 inspired us to do something for the community. We have combined our experience as Middle School teachers and for Neil a Computer Scientist to create ASSISTments.
ASSISTments is an amazing opportunity for students learning. We are are building the technology for classrooms of the future.
Make a contribution or get involved
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization. The exemption number is 042-121-659.
Donate to ASSISTments
You may also donate through WPI with a credit card. Just go to this
WPI donation page
Please make sure to add "Professor Heffernan's Assistments Project Fund Number 250349" in the "Comments box near the bottom of the page as shown in the picture below
Do something big for ASSISTments
If you are interested in helping us reach millions of students across America? Here are some ideas:
- Fund a "chair" in for the PhD Program in Learning Sciences and Technologies.
- Fund a million dollar study to see if one year of use of ASSISTments for homework improves state test scores.
Donate to individual teachers' projects
Teachers who are striving to create the classroom of the future using technology may need financial assistance to help them make that future a reality. Think about funding the teacher training for your local school.
You can also donate hardware. Here are a few items that your donations can help them with:
1. LCD Projectors for the classroom
2. Computers for their student to work online in class
Ideas for getting involved
- If you are a teacher, you can ASSISTments-ify the text book your school uses. To do this, build ASSISTments content that simply refers to the page and/or question number in the student's textbook in the question body. Then, you would enter the correct answers in the ASSISTments builder according to the textbook's answer key. We have done this for one text book already (Connect Math). This will take you 40 hours of work. After you do that, anyone who uses ASSISTments can use your material. Once the questions are in ASSISTments, you can write hints for the hardest questions and "bug messages" for the most common wrong answers.
- We have some retired teachers, engineers and scientists building content in ASSISTments as a communicability service. We can introduce you to the local school system so you can see the content you created being used by local kids, but your work could reach millions. Contact Neil and Cris if interested at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is an email from one such retired gentleman who taught himself the builder and volunteered to do more. We think its great!
Dear Professor Heffernan, Congratulations for obtaining your recent grants. Your program seems well prepared to undertake this important research. I wish you well. In case your teacher participants need more material developed than they can do in their busy schedules, I would be willing to volunteer to develop Assistments under their direction. Perhaps they could supply problem lists for me to implement. I would hope that they would consider my efforts as a draft which they could modify. I suppose another service I could render would be to search your existing Assistments for them to help them find existing material among the thousands Assistments you have. These links illustrate my credentials and experience. I have developed Assistments 145258 and 146059 to illustrate that I have learned some of that process. I chose topics in calculus.
- If you are a teacher you can participate in scientific studies. For instance, take at this study first-authored by a teacher.
- Mendicino, M., Razzaq, L. & Heffernan, N. T. (2009) Comparison of Traditional Homework with Computer Supported Homework: Improving Learning from Homework Using Intelligent Tutoring Systems. Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE). Published by the International Society For Technology in Education (ISTE).
- If you are a programmer, you can volunteer to write code. For instance, we want someone to write a iphone app for ASSISTments.
- If you are a lawyer or tax accountant, you could volunteer some time.
- Introduce Neil Heffernan to other folks that could help. Neil is always looking for interesting collaborators or friends. We are creating a non-profit board of advisors and Neil is looking for some good members.
- Hold a fundraiser and invite friends and colleagues to learn more about ASSISTments.
- Get your company to donate. Maybe a older laptops for students without computers?
What you should know about ASSISTments
Click here for more information on our publications.
Overview of the system
Andrew Burnett of Millbury Middle School
Andrew overviews the system
Writing your own quesitons
Kim Thienpont of Grafton Middle School
Using it for Nightly Homework
Barbara Delaney - Bellingham Middle School
She explains 'how it changes the way I teach'
Explaining Skill Building Sets and ARRS
Andrew explains how he uses skill builders to give student just the right amount of practice and how the ARRS system makes sure students don't forget concepts.
Open Response Questions
Sandy Denny - Westborough Middle School
Sandy talks the "Essay Critique" feature for open ended questions.
Steps to get started
Cristina Heffernan- CoCreator at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Cristina Heffernan talks about upcoming the events. See this for the next events. She talks about how to find content.