Point: Can a computer program tutor a struggling student
as well as a human teacher?
As a master teacher for over 40 years, I firmly believe there
is no replacement for working one-on-one with a good teacher that
truly cares about the success of his or her students. The challenge
however is that in subjects like science and mathematics, there
simply are not enough experienced teachers to meet the demand
and help every struggling student achieve real improvement.
According to the NCES report, The Condition of Education,
an increasing number of K-12 schools are forced to rely on new
and out-of-field teachers to fill the gap for teaching these subjects,
often resulting in a substantial decline in quality, depth and
individual attention students receive. Furthermore, after-school
tutoring sessions are not helpful late at night when working on
homework or preparing for a test. While there are tutoring services
available, there are no guarantees on the credentials of the tutor
or who you will work with each session. Many tutoring services
can be expensive and, therefore, unaffordable for many families.
Computer-based tutoring software like the Quantum Tutors is reasonably
priced and available 24/7 for unlimited use over the Internet.
A major breakthrough by Quantum is the use of artificial intelligence
(AI) technology to provide individualized intelligent feedback
to each student based on their own responses. The Quantum Tutors
actually help students problem solve similar to a live tutor.
Students enter a problem, not a sample problem but their own actual
problem, and receive step-by-step feedback on their work. With
Quantum, the learning experience is consistent from student to
student and the software never gets tired or makes mistakes.
research shows significant increases in comprehension and test
scores when the Quantum Tutors are compared to traditional learning
methods such as studying from textbooks. Wexford, Inc., a non-profit
independent evaluator of education tools, indicates that while
students prefer to work with human teachers when first learning
a topic, over 80 percent of students prefer to work in real-time
with Quantum to practice problems and receive feedback because
they can work at their own pace. This is particularly beneficial
for struggling students that may be too embarrassed to ask questions
during class. See research summaries available at www.quantumsimulations.com/research.html.
There is no question that teachers are essential for effective
student learning and bring a very critical, and often under-appreciated,
human element to education. At the same time, select computer-based
software such as the Quantum Tutors have been proven to increase
student performance, which, in turn, helps reduce teacher workload.
The key is to identify software that is backed by research and
proven to engage and challenge students, not just entertain. As
educators, we should not be threatened by technology. Let's utilize
what works in education to develop the most effective software
tools to inspire both students and new and out-of-field teachers
to achieve their fullest potential.
more information, please visit www.quantumsimulations.com.