Technology Tools
Technology Tools

Educators often take advantage of educational technologies as they make the shifts in instruction, teacher roles, and learning experiences that next gen learning requires. Technology should not lead the design of learning, but when educators use it to personalize and enrich learning, it has the potential to accelerate mastery of critical content and skills by all students.

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Primary Contact Name:
Fethi A. Inan
Award Date:
June 2011
Grade Levels:
Free on website

The Innovation: APS4Math

Individual students may progress at different rates in a math class. Problem-solving comes easily to some while others struggle with basic concepts.

APS4Math, an adaptive web-based tutorial, helps all students regardless of their math skills. Students who need more assistance in improving problem-solving skills are provided with extra help and guidance; students who have reached higher levels of proficiency are provided with less guidance and more practice with problem-solving tasks.

To accomplish this, APS4Math integrates assessment and teaching components. While students solve problems, the tutorial continuously monitors their knowledge and skills, and individualizes their instruction, practice, and feedback by dynamically adjusting the student expertise level for each problem-solving sub-skill: text comprehension, problem categorization, problem representation, solution planning/execution, and self-evaluation.

Student Comments

"It challenged me. As I got them right it moved me up to harder questions."

"It helped me step by step to get through an equation that I couldn't figure out."

"It helped me understand what I needed to learn."

Results Achieved

Research indicates that APS4Math significantly improved students’ math problem-solving skills. In addition:

  • Teachers claimed that APS4Math’s support and guidance helped students better understand the problem-solving process and how to approach algebra problems.
  • Students with low prior knowledge also felt that APS4Math’s adaptive support and guidance helped them understand the problem-solving process and how to approach word problems.

The Grant Project

NGLC funding enabled Texas Tech to conduct a “proof of concept” of the APS4Math’s adaptive, web-based learning.

  • Created interactive learning content and the tutorial
  • Trained math teachers on how to effectively integrate APS4Math into their instruction
  • Conducted a pilot at partnering schools
  • Shared their findings, materials, and project resources

The team plans to enhance APS4Math’s tutorial function, extend its content, and build new partnerships in order to scale the tutorial’s use—initially with Texas schools and eventually nationwide.