WestEd Partners with Quantum on $2.8 Million Grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

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Research will explore efficacy of artificial intelligence tutoring software for science education

With the Quantum Tutors, students can receive real-time help on homework problems, detailed step-by-step feedback on their own work and immediate answers to their questions.

There simply are not enough experienced teachers to help every student achieve real understanding in science and mathematics

WestEd, a national non-profit research and development agency, and Quantum Simulations, Inc., a developer of artificial intelligence tutoring, assessment and professional development software, have been awarded a $2.8 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate the impact of Quantum's artificial intelligence tutoring software for chemistry on student learning.

The four-year WestEd study will examine traditional learning methods in schools and hypothesizes that students who are taught chemistry using the Quantum Tutors in conjunction with their regular classroom studies will exhibit greater improvement and understanding than students who are taught the same curriculum without the use of the Chemistry Tutors. This will be the first study to test the entire suite of Quantum's twelve Chemistry Tutors, which include difficult topics and concepts students struggle with the most. Approximately 70 schools from the state of California will participate in this regional study with future plans to expand nationally as part of a larger initiative.

"The findings from this study, to be released in 2012, will not only tell us about the efficacy of the Quantum Tutors but will also contribute to a better understanding of the effects of the use of intelligent tutoring software on student learning in general," commented Dr. Steve Schneider, Director of WestEd's Mathematics, Science & Technology Program.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chemistry is taught to more than 54 percent of students in U.S. high schools. Now that States have implemented science course requirements for high school graduation, an increasing number of schools are forced to rely on new and out-of-field teachers to fill the gap for teaching science and mathematics. As a result, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that high schools are experiencing a substantial decline in the quality, depth and individual attention students receive. To help meet the increased demand, the U.S. Department of Education is exploring the use of technology, including the Quantum Tutors and Assessment Advisors, to supplement student learning and teacher training for science and mathematics.

"There simply are not enough experienced teachers to help every student achieve real understanding in science and mathematics," stated Dr. Benny Johnson, President and CEO at Quantum. "The Quantum Tutors can help teachers meet that need by providing one-on-one assistance to students when the teacher in unavailable to help or answer individual questions, particularly in the evening when students are working on a homework assignment or preparing for a test."

Prior performance-based research studies conducted by independent evaluators indicate that the Quantum Tutors can improve test scores by as much as 50 percent with the greatest improvement among students that struggle the most. For more information, visit: http://www.quantumsimulations.com/research.html.

About Quantum
Quantum Simulations, Inc. develops artificial intelligence (AI) tutoring, assessment and professional development software that empowers teachers and inspires students from middle school through college to achieve more. Quantum's intelligent learning software is available stand-alone or integrated with our partners' web-based homework products and Learning Management Systems. A "technology think tank", Quantum is funded and supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. For more information, please visit http://www.quantumsimulations.com.

About WestEd
WestEd, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development and service agency, works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity and improve learning for children, youth and adults. The agency's Mathematics, Science and Technology Program is a national leader in promoting science and mathematics literacy for all students, operating two dozen large to medium scale research, development and technical assistance projects each year in the area of mathematics and science education. WestEd has 16 offices nationwide, from Washington and Boston to Arizona and California. Its corporate headquarters are in San Francisco. More information about WestEd is available at http://www.WestEd.org.

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Mark Kerr
WestEd
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