Education Related Websites

Assistments

Assistments is an online learning platform that I worked on while I was at WPI. I started using Assistments while I was still teaching at Douglas High School.

I was primarily responsible for developing the Chemistry content at the site.

Example of Content

A (reasonably) standard Chemistry question: find the molar mass of an ionic compound, given only its name.

AP Chemistry Content

Examples of some of the content topics that I developed. In order to help instructors find content, it was linked to the Learning Objectives

HS Chemistry Content

As I was developing my content, the Next Generation Science Standards were released, and then amended by Massachusetts.

Assistments Builder Instructions Site

Building simple problems or problem sets in Assistments is pretty easy to do. However, Assistments can do so much more than deliver a basic assignment. Behind the scenes, Assistments has the capability to test educational techniques. One of the tasks I had while working at WPI was to document the process to build Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) to be delivered within the assignments, while avoiding things like selection bias.

Randomized Controlled Trial Design

A simple kind of study that might be done would be to test the efficacy of a video hint system over text based hints. In that case, one of the things we want to do is to make sure that there is no selection bias by having students who cannot see or hear videos placed into either arm of the trial. What we can do is to ask students a question (that does not affect their score) where they have to get a very simple answer from a video. Any students who fail this test are excluded from the study, and would receive text-based hints as per usual. The students who pass the test question are then randomized into the control condition (text-based hints), and the Experimental (or "Treatment") condition (video hints). This way, a student who has a malfunctioning video player / earphones / etc is not placed into a condition where their performance is based on a factor external to the study. The image on the left diagrams such a study (including a post-test section).

At the Assistments Advanced Builder Instruction Site, I built step by step instructions, diagrams, and template problem sets for researchers to use to build their own studies.

Chemistry Eric

Chemistry Eric was a prototype site that I built to showcase Assistment's integration with Google Classroom. As Google Classroom began to become popular, Assistments was able to integrate Google authentication into the sign-in. However, the integration forced users to create new, more limited accounts. Unfortunately, by the time I left being full time at WPI, the integration was never made as a full login. This was in part due to the limited nature of Google accounts for students. Most Google for School systems restrict emails coming into student accounts.