7 Highlights from SRI’s Review of Research on Reasoning Mind

August 25, 2015

SRI Education, a division of SRI International (one of the most prestigious research organizations in the world), recently reviewed more than 10 years of research on Reasoning Mind’s blended learning programs. With so much research to look at, they were able to draw several conclusions about the efficacy of Reasoning Mind programs on student engagement levels during math instruction; student outcomes on various math assessments; and overall satisfaction students, teachers, and administrators have with the programs.

If you want a complete account of SRI’s findings, you should definitely read the full report, but some of the highlights are listed below.

1. Research found that Reasoning Mind had positive effects on student achievement.

Students succeed with Reasoning Mind's curriculum.

SRI highlighted several studies on student assessment outcomes, comparing outcomes of students who used Reasoning Mind to students who did not. Reasoning Mind showed positive effects in a range of conditions and assessments, including several Texas state assessments, the Singapore Math placement test, and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. (Learn more about our research-proven results here.)
(For more, see page 7 of the report.)

2. Some studies on Reasoning Mind found very large positive effects.

Reasoning Mind research has gotten some large effect sizes.
From SRI’s report, page 7.

In particular, two of the studies found effect sizes of 0.63 (see report’s reference of Mingle, Mulqueeny, et al., in preparation) and 0.79 (see Weber, 2003). These larger effect sizes, which are quite rare in educational research, “indicate ability to produce measureable results even with variation among schools, teachers, and students.”
(For more, see page 7 of the report.)

3. Research observations find that Reasoning Mind students tend to be more engaged than students in traditional classrooms.

Reasoning Mind students exhibit increased time on task.
From SRI’s report, page 11.

Researchers on student engagement have conducted systematic studies of engagement in Reasoning Mind classrooms. Their findings: Reasoning Mind students using the Foundations for Middle School program (referred to as “Genie 3”) are on-task more often than students in typical U.S. mathematics classrooms. (Mulqueeny, Kostyuk, Baker, & Ocumpaugh, in press)
(For more, see page 11 of the report.)

4. Student, teacher, and administrator surveys showed high levels of satisfaction with Reasoning Mind programs.

Students reported that they liked learning math more with Reasoning Mind, (Waxman & Houston, 2012) and teachers noted that Reasoning Mind improved students’ math confidence and independence in learning. (Boriack et al., 2015; Bush & Kim, 2013)
(For more, see page 8 of the report.)

5. Reasoning Mind follows effective professional development strategies.

Reasoning Mind's professional development offerings meet teachers', administrators', and students' needs.
Reasoning Mind’s professional development offerings.

SRI’s prior research found that, if professional development is provided throughout the year, rather than just as a one-time summer workshop, digital programs are more likely to be more effective. (Hoyles, Noss, Vahey, & Roschelle, 2013; Roschelle, Shechtman et al., 2010) Reasoning Mind’s PD program supports teachers throughout the year; furthermore, SRI has found positive effects when teacher PD, curriculum, and technology are integrated – as is the case in Reasoning Mind’s program.
(For more, see page 8 of the report.)

6. Reasoning Mind has the traits of a high-quality curriculum.

For a digital math program to be effective, it is important that it incorporate a high-quality curriculum. (Means & Roschelle, 2010; Roschelle, Shechtman, et al., 2010; for more info on these sources, see the bibliography section in SRI’s full report) According to SRI, Reasoning Mind’s design is “based on a curriculum approach with a strong international pedigree.” The report also notes several aspects of the Reasoning Mind materials that align with research on high-quality mathematics instructional materials, including:

  • integration of theory (conceptual understanding) with opportunities to practice mathematical skills,
  • provision of worked examples,
  • use of visual models, and
  • emphasis on curricular focus and coherence.

(For more, see page 2 of the report.)

7. Reasoning Mind takes advantage of technology.

Students are hard at work on Reasoning Mind's digital platform.

Digital math programs are more likely to be effective when the curriculum takes advantage of the digital medium, as opposed to just delivering standard textbook materials in an online format. (Means, Bakia, & Murphy, 2014) SRI notes that Reasoning Mind adheres to this research-based guideline by “…[reinterpreting] an established pedagogical approach to mathematics using artificial intelligence techniques.” Reasoning Mind uses other effective digital approaches, too, such as using technology “to provide rapid, targeted feedback and to display multiple representations.”
(For more, see page 2 of the report.)

Stay tuned for more exciting research on Reasoning Mind programs. SRI International is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial in West Virginia – the largest study of Reasoning Mind’s program yet – and the results will be published in 2016!

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