Funded Projects

Below are the 15+ funded projects Dr. Heffernan has that are generating over 18 million in research expenditures (His total list of 50+ grants, is for over $50 million in funding of which 35 million came to WPI.)

Projects THAT Enhance ASSISTments

The projects below are aimed at enhancing the ASSISTments experience.

This project supports the crowdsourcing of teachers hints to benefit all ASSISTments users. NSF just funded work to extend this to common wrong answer messages.

Office of Naval Research $400,000 & $800,000 from NSF

QUICK COMMENTS uses AI to personalize teacher feedback for students.

Schmidt Futures $300,000 and other anonymous philanthropy

DRIVER-SEAT will provide teachers with a quick and effective way to respond to student online homework.

National Science Foundation $750,000

Sometimes, students get frustrated while completing homework. We use AI to detect when students persevere unproductively.

National Science Foundation $500,000

This project aims at creating a “human-in-the-loop” system for building high-quality student affect detectors and interventions for classroom use.

National Science Foundation, $750,000

This project uses cutting-edge AI to scrape YouTube for educational videos to show to students as they complete their math homework and classwork.

National Science Foundation, $1,400,000

Projects THAT TEST ASSISTments

The projects below aim to test the outcomes of ASSISTments.

Our Effectiveness Trial scales ASSISTments into different context in the U.S. to test its effectiveness.

Institute of Education Sciences $3,800,000

Our Efficacy Trial seeks to confirm whether ASSISTments is effective in North Carolina, a setting which closely reflects the population of the U.S.

Institute of Education Sciences $3,300,000

The EIR Mid-Phase will be used to help expand ASSISTments to new users across the country. The funding will be used to improve the user experience and provide professional development for teachers.

U.S. Department of Education, EIR $8,000,000

Projects THAT USE the E-trials Testbed

E-TRIALS is an open research platform that relies on ASSISTments. If you are interested in using the E-TRIALS platform, please reach out to Dr. Heffernan!

E-TRIALS is provides pretests, posttests, and randomly assigned experimental learning interventions to students. Our system streamlines the research process and allows researchers to conduct studies at high speeds and low costs.

National Science Foundation $3,800,000

Schmidt Futures $2 million

Dr. Candace Walkington is using the E-TRIALS Testbed to examine if students authoring algebraic problems so they connect to career interests improves learning outcomes. This project extends the testbed to allow students to write their own questions.

National Science Foundation $1,000,000

Dr. Erin Ottmar is using the E-TRIALS Testbed to examine the relationship between physicality and gestures on algebraic learning outcomes.

Institute of Education Sciences $3,200,000

Dr. Jodi Daveport and Nicole McNeil are using ASSISTments as part of thier IES study. They have a development award and the two conditions (treatment and control) of their study wiill be built in ASSISTments..

Institute of Education Sciences $2,000,000


In this work are working on innovative statistical methods that can use ASSISTments' huge datasets of experiments to better estimate treatment effects.

Institute of Education Sciences $576,429

other projects

This fellowship provides funding to train students to use AI for educational technology. Professor Heffernan supports Ph.D. and Masters students.

U.S. Department of Ed, $900,000

Dr. Heffernan is funded to raise awareness of the Role of Big Data in Education, and to run data mining competitions.

National Science Foundation $1,000,000

WPI Professors Joe Beck and Neil Heffernan are funded to run an REU Cite that is called "REU Site: Leveraging The Learning Sciences & Technologies to Enhance Education and Learning in Secondary Schools." NSF# 1950683

National Science Foundation, $320,639

WPI Professors Dr. George Heineman and Dr. Neil Heffernan are funded to build quick-reply tools for use in an Algorithms course at WPI.

National Science Foundation, $300,000