Single support Study


Dr. Neil Heffernan introduces the study

Who can participate

We are seeking math education faculty to write the best possible hints/explanations for math problems. Benefits include stipends, prize, and publication opportunities.

What is the study about

  • Many students struggle with math learning. ASSISTments is a free online math learning platform supporting millions of students. Teachers use the platform to assign students math problems from popular open educational resources such as Kendall Hunt Illustrative Mathematics and EngageNY/Eureka Math. ASSISTments is dedicated to helping students work independently on math problems by providing support in the form of hints and explanations.

  • Our current project aims to study what types of hints or explanations work best for which students. We are inviting math education faculty to write their best possible hints or explanations for math problems. We will then run randomized controlled trials to examine the effectiveness of the hints or explanations.

  • This study is looking at the intersection of ASSISTments, the Math problems, and the newly created hints or explanations.

Conceptual Framework

Adapted from the TPACK framework

The Process

  • Develop: We will send you a problem set of about 10 math problems in the content area you choose and then you will spend 1 to 2 hours writing hints or explanations for the problems following standard educational practices.

  • Deploy: We will recruit students to do the math problems with the hints or explanations.

  • Disseminate: We will compare the effectiveness of the hints or explanations and write a paper for publication.

Benefits for Participation

  • $100 stipend for each problem set that is deployed. The team at ASSISTments will monitor for quality control.

  • $500 prize for the most effective hints.

  • Opportunity for publication. The team at WPI will write a paper reporting on the studies. All math education faculty whose hints or explanations are used will be co-authors.

The Platform for Writing Hints/Explanations


Link to Platform:

This Webinar for ASSISTments Teachers gives a deep dive into hints/explanations

We'd love for you to join our study.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Li Cheng