WPI’s Learning Sciences & Technologies program gives students and their teachers in K-12 schools the tools and techniques to make STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and English teaching more effective.

Our world-renowned faculty work collaboratively with WPI students to use a scientific and social approach that blends technology, psychology, cognition, and education practices to reach K-12 students in real classrooms and have them think about subjects in a new way. Our research identifies techniques that measure and reflect individual learning styles and help us understand how students learn, given various social, emotional, cultural, and scientific influences.

The revolution we seek is global—elevating U.S. students’ competitive edge in a connected world. Getting there requires applying what we understand about learning to transform the current U.S. educational system, classroom by classroom.

ASSISTments

ASSISTments a free web-based intelligent tutoring system was developed by a team led by Neil Heffernan, director of WPI’s Learning Sciences & Technologies program. This innovative technology uses many approaches to help students learn and help teachers assess student progress. A recent four-year study showed that completing mathematics homework using ASSISTments improved learning by 75 percent over normal gains. The study, by SRI International, was conducted with 7th and 8th grade students in Maine. Watch this video or read more to learn how this technology improved learning outcomes.

Efficacy Study Results - Immediate Feedback with ASSISTments Improves Learning

See How Graspable Math Works

Professor Erin Ottmar helped create Graspable Math, an online tool to help researchers understand how children learn about math. With that new understanding, researchers can help educators teach math in a way that will be more useful and efficient for everyone in the classroom. Students can explore their genuine curiosity, even learning to play with math equations, while gaining flexibility in their thinking about math. Watch this video to hear Professor Ottmar explain how her research improves learning.

Graspable Math

Ivon Arroyo Researches Big Data, Intelligent Tutoring

Professor Ivon Arroyo’s well-funded, pioneering research uses technology to improve learning outcomes. Whether it’s with the NSF’s “Big Data Spokes” project or her work with the intelligent tutoring product MathSpring, Arroyo investigates the transformations that take place when education, technology, and a human angle align.

Students Immerse Themselves in LS&T Research

Alongside an interdisciplinary and collaborative team of WPI professors and K-12 teachers, WPI graduate students immerse themselves in real classrooms while using the latest technology and methods to gather and interpret data. With that insight, they develop and test techniques to foster increased subject interest, better learning, and effective teaching.

Facts and Figures

15

current faculty members have received Fulbright Scholarships

14:1

student to faculty ratio

#15

Best Career Placement

The Princeton Review (2017)
$8.6M

National Science Foundation Research awards

(2014-15)

Faculty in LS&T merge cutting-edge technology with real human response to improve teaching and learning outcomes. Our professors investigate everything from building wearable devices so children can create and play augmented reality math games to using software to challenge how children think about math problems. The department’s well-funded research is constant and always evolving to provide excellent opportunities for students to perform hands-on, transformative scientific inquiry. 

Neil Heffernan
Ivon Arroyo
Erin Ottmar
Joseph Beck
Jacob Whitehill

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Neil Heffernan
Neil Heffernan

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Ivon Arroyo
Ivon Arroyo

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Erin Ottmar
Erin Ottmar

Career Outlook

The rapidly growing educational technology field is looking for employees with the kind of technical and real classroom experience WPI graduates have. Students often move into consulting or academic roles or launch entrepreneurial start-ups.