Quantum Chemistry Tutors

WestEd undertook a four-year study to test the efficacy of the Quantum Chemistry Tutors, a suite of computer-based cognitive tutors designed to give individual tutoring to high school students in 12 chemistry topics. These tutors represent comprehensive content for a full high school chemistry course.

This study fulfilled Goal 3 of the research program on Mathematics and Science Education, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences: establishing the efficacy of existing interventions and approaches to mathematics and science education with small efficacy or replication trials.

The findings from this study helped contribute to a better understanding of the general effects of the use of intelligent tutoring software on student learning, when used in conjunction with a range of commercially available science curricula.

The Quantum Tutors for Chemistry evaluated in this study covered topics representative of comprehensive content for a full high school chemistry course.

Each Tutor used natural language to scaffold student thinking and performance through questioning, modeling, illustration, and explanation of issues within the context of the student’s own work. The Quantum Tutors were designed to supplement or be incorporated into any existing curriculum.