Students in the United States are failing to meet mathematics standards and falling
further behind students in other countries. This trend has been more pronounced smaller
cities and rural areas. The Jackson-Madison Intelligent Tutoring System Evaluation
(J-MITSE) Project attempts to find effective methods to address this national problem.
J-MITSE is an after-school program for sixth graders. Middle school is a critical
period when basic math skills are applied to understand deeper math concepts.
The J-MITSE project gives students structured after-school time twice a week for two
hours in one of two distinct types of instructional programs.
In the first program, students interact with the intelligent tutoring system, ALEKS,
which uses knowledge space theory to individualize student learning during three 20-minute
blocks each day. Students in the second program receive three 20-minute blocks taught
by a human teacher using an `I do – We do – You do’ method.
All students also receive two 20-minute breaks for snacks and games between the learning
sessions to increase enjoyment.