A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems on K-12 students' mathematical learning

Saiying Steenbergen-Hu*, Harris Cooper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we meta-analyzed empirical research of the effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) on K-12 students' mathematical learning. A total of 26 reports containing 34 independent samples met study inclusion criteria. The reports appeared between 1997 and 2010. The majority of included studies compared the effectiveness of ITS with that of regular classroom instruction. A few studies compared ITS with human tutoring or homework practices. Among the major findings are (a) overall, ITS had no negative and perhaps a small positive effect on K-12 students' mathematical learning, as indicated by the average effect sizes ranging from g = 0.01 to g = 0.09, and (b) on the basis of the few studies that compared ITS with homework or human tutoring, the effectiveness of ITS appeared to be small to modest. Moderator analyses revealed 2 findings of practical importance. First, the effects of ITS appeared to be greater when the interventions lasted for less than a school year than when they lasted for 1 school year or longer. Second, the effectiveness of ITS for helping students drawn from the general population was greater than for helping low achievers. This finding draws attentions to the issue of whether computerized learning might contribute to the achievement gap between students with different achievement levels and aptitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-987
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Effectiveness
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Mathematical learning
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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