DeVELOP

Resources and contact information to get started developing an RCT in the legacy version of ASSISTments using E-TRIALS

Types of Research We Support

E-TRIALS supports three types of research within ASSISTments. These types - Auto Deploy, ASSISTed Deploy, and Self Deploy - are based on your approach to deployment and may alter the type of content we recommend you use. Content manipulation, patterns of assignment, and IRB requirements differ across these types, as highlighted at the top of the Deploy page. If you feel your research goals fall into Auto or ASSISTed Deploy, please contact korinn.ostrow[at]assistments.org to get started.

Create A TEACHER ACCOUNT in ASSISTments

For now, you will need to use the legacy version of ASSISTments to modify content and build experimental structures. You can access the legacy version of ASSISTments by visiting the homepage (www.assistments.org) and selecting "Still using our legacy version? Click Here" (this may be at the top right of your page under "Log In/Sign Up" or at the bottom depending on your screen size. From the legacy log in portal, select "Create an Account" on the top left. Alternatively, this link will help you navigate directly to the signup page. Images are provided below to aid in navigation.


Once on the sign up page you will need to enter the following information:

  • Select “I am a Teacher”

  • Enter your State

  • Enter your University or Institute as your District*

  • Enter your University or Institute as your School*

  • Use “FirstStep” as the account creation code and verify

  • Enter your information you would like associated with your account

  • Agree to ASSISTments' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

  • Click on Register to complete account creation


*If your University or Institute is not listed please follow the subsequent link to "Request a new district or school" or contact korinn.ostrow[at]assistments.org).


Select "Create an Account"

Enter School Information

Adjust ACCOUNT SETTINGS

ASSISTments does not yet maintain "Researcher" accounts. As such, you just signed up for a teacher account. Changing some account settings right away will help you as you build your experiment later.


While logged into your new account:

  • Go to Preferences in the top right corner

  • Scroll down and open Builder Settings

  • Select the "+ Beta/Research" settings

  • Toggle all to settings ON

  • Hit Save


The purpose for each of these settings, and for two significant Teacher Settings, and provided below.

Teacher Settings

Do Not Show Teacher in Student Reports

      • Turn this OFF - It can be important to assign content to yourself and act as a student through the Student Tab. Having this setting OFF will allow you to see your "Student" progress on Teacher reports.

Show Google Classroom Share Icon

      • Turn this ON - It is important to deliver your content to teachers and students who use Google Classroom in our new version of ASSISTments.

Beta/Research Builder Settings

Show attempts count option when creating your own Problem Set

      • Allows you to change the attempt count.

Show "Inputing Problem ID's" link

      • Allows you to access an empty problem set to fill.

Show "Using a Skill Builder Template" link

      • Allows you to build Skill Builders using variabilized templates (requires basic Ruby code).

Show “Problems” link

      • Allows you access to a list of all the problems you have built.

Can add sections to problem sets

      • Allows you to create a randomized controlled trial. This is the key feature you need to turn on to make an experiment.

Show advanced skill builder settings

      • Allows you to create a problem set out of variabilized templates.

Show "Share Links" link (Details page)

      • Allows you to distribute your study using ASSISTments Direct.

Creates only textbook problems

      • Speeds up the creation of textbook problems when using the Builder Your Own Problems link.

Show External Problem Types

      • Allows you to add external problem type (using an iframe).

Show Variabilized Problem Types Option

      • Allows you to create variabilized problems.

Find Content TO MODIFY

You can explore all content in ASSISTments by visiting the homepage (www.assistments.org) and scrolling down to "Explore More Content" under "Find Your Math Curriculum". Here you will find various resources including Skill Builders, Open Education Resource (OER) curricula, and textbook materials.

Skill Builders are mastery learning based assignments that are organized by Common Core State Standard strands. Students must work until they correctly answer 3 consecutive questions. There are more than 300 Skill Builders in ASSISTments. A list of our Skill Builder content with metrics that highlight student performance like overall accuracy, hint usage, and problems to mastery on average is also available at tiny.cc/aproblems. Skill Builders have historically been the most popular approach to creating randomized controlled trials that occur in a single assignment. Within Skill Builders you can create sections to add a pretest or posttest, basic surveys (please contact korinn.ostrow[at]assistments.org for IRB and deployment information with respect to adding surveys), design multiple conditions, and even use conditional statements that intelligently route students - great for adaptive studies or work that adds student choice. Studies developed in a Skill Builder are commonly deployed to the full ASSISTments population and are assigned naturalistically by teachers throughout the year.

All other material, including all OER curricula, can be used to create single or multi-assignment randomized controlled trials but requires use of the Teachers for Research and Feedback network for deployment to ensure modules (pretests, assignments, posttests, etc.) are assigned as intended. If you want to use content from a particular curricula or you have an experimental design that spans multiple days, weeks, or months, please contact korinn.ostrow[at]assistments.org to learn more about how to get started.

Create your study

General Questions

When creating your study there are a wealth of teacher facing help pages that may help guide you around our legacy version even as a researcher. We also advise that you advance through the pages below to learn how to build randomized controlled trials in ASSISTments. If you are left with an unanswered question, please contact korinn.ostrow[at]assistments.org.

Basic Building

The basics on building studies using our legacy version are available on our Basic Building page.

Advanced Building

Additional references for building studies using our legacy version can be found on our Advanced Builder page. While this documentation is somewhat antiquated, it provides additional examples and templates.

Example Studies

On our Example Studies page, we describe four studies that have been developed using the legacy version of ASSISTments:

  • Comparing Video and Text Feedback

  • Assessing the Effects of Grit and Mindset

  • Assessing Adaptive Homework

  • Assessing the Effects of Worked Examples

Data Retrieval Questions

There are two ways that data can be retrieved from ASSISTments, depending on the version of the system that teachers and students have used.

Legacy Version

Our Assessment of Learning Infrastructure (ALI) supports data retrieval from use of our legacy version. An example of the report provided by ALI is provided on our Dissemination page, with access to a glossary that covers most of the variables produced at each data granularity. It may be useful to assess this example before developing your study to have a better understanding of the types of student data that ASSISTments logs and how they might be useful to you.

ASSISTments through Google Classroom

The majority of ASSISTments users now access ASSISTments through Google Classroom. Currently, the only way to retrieve data from these users is by making a data request to korinn.ostrow[at]assistments.org. Anonymized samples of the types of data available from this manual retrieval process are available upon request. The data provided to researchers after a study has been deployed in this new system is currently slimmer and includes modified problem logs and an aggregate file that simplifies processing and analysis.

Open Science Foundation

One of our Terms of Use is that researchers must pre-register their experimental designs, hypotheses, and analyses with a reputable repository. We have moved toward full support of the Open Science Foundation for this purpose. The promotion of open science is critically important in increasing the reliability and validity of research findings. These practices keep researchers from cherry picking significant results, keep null results from ending up hidden away in the 'file drawer,' and promote accessible and transparent data sharing practices.

When our E-TRIALS application is released we will be working toward hosting data retrieval within our app (even for studies not built with the app). This will require that you log in to E-TRIALS with your ASSISTments information and specify your data request. You will be required to have an OSF.io project page with a public preregistration in order to access data. More information will be made available under our Deploy and Disseminate steps when our application is released. Regardless of how your study is built - with the application or with our legacy version - we urge that you create an account with the OSF in advance of building any study in ASSISTments to learn about the resource and streamline data provision at a later date.