How adaptive EdTech can close the attainment gap

Murray Morrison

Founder of Tassomai, an EdTech start up based in East London using innovative techniques from sports and music coaching to help people learn more effectively and get better grades.

Through intelligent learning software and multiple choice style “micro-quizzes”, Tassomai builds knowledge and confidence - reducing exam stress and avoiding the need for last minute cramming.

Website: https://edtechimpact.com/products/tassomai Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recent reports by the Education Policy Institute thinktank and the Fair Education Alliance have highlighted that, despite efforts of schools and policy-makers, the attainment gap at KS4 is actually widening. For educators driven by a desire to help every student do the best they can, this discrepancy is a tragedy, especially considering that students with lower prior attainment tend to have the greatest opportunity to make gains. The circumstances seem to prevent this opportunity from being exploited.

I have long been a believer in the power of personalising (adaptive) retrieval practice as a means of underwriting students’ base knowledge and helping them to make huge improvements in their academic performance. This is why I built Tassomai for my students in the first place, and I have seen its impact first-hand. Finding the evidence to give other educators the confidence to use Tassomai and support its proper implementation in their settings, however, has been a major undertaking.

Assessing the impact of any strategy or intervention is a notoriously difficult task, particularly when one considers the external factors at play in any given setting that can dramatically affect the results. When decisions around purchasing or adequately resourcing implementation strategy comes into play, the requirement to show evidence becomes increasingly vital to school leaders.

It’s no less of a vexing question for providers like me: finding evidence of impact is crucial to decision-making processes around the development of products and content, and to be able to assure customers that their investment will prove to be time and money well-spent.

We’ve conducted many trials and experiments over the years to measure impact - and pride ourselves in being a leader in research-led, evidenced EdTech. Having completed an impact study with the IoE into the effect of our videos on knowledge retrieval and retention, Tassomai was awarded an EdWard from UCL. Our correlative analysis on 60,000+ exam results against usage in the product has been well-publicised, showing that over 90% of high users achieved a strong pass in their GCSE.

The challenge, however, was to investigate the effect of our adaptive, personalised spaced retrieval practice on students’ academic progress - we wanted to demonstrate that, whatever the prior attainment, using Tassomai would increase outcomes.

In short, the experiment was a pre and post test of student subject knowledge on what we term ‘mastery questions’. We looked at the data of around 1,500 students around the UK who used Tassomai between September 2018 and May 2019, separated the lower and higher ability based on how they fared on quizzes in their first month of use, and then looked at how their scores in mastery questions improved over time.

Our results showed that, in both groups, students improved in test scores and that this improvement increased with increased usage. Superimposing the graphs for each user type against their respective baselines of attainment, however, showed that the effect of the program was to close the attainment gap between them.

We continue to conduct research on mass cohort data and in collaboration with schools and universities. If you would like your school to participate in a study, please get in touch as we’d love to work with you.

Tassomai is an adaptive learning technology technology that supports students in science, maths and English at KS3 and KS4. Using principles of behavioural and cognitive science, the program provides intelligent, personalised daily retrieval exercises for students that teach, test and reinforce knowledge. Teachers and SLT access data on student engagement and understanding through a live-marked interactive PLC to plan schemes of work and intervention.

To learn more about Tassomai's impact in schools, visit: https://edtechimpact.com/products/tassomai.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"