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iReady in 7th Grade Math Classes: A Mixed Methods Case Study

By Stacy Marple, Karina Jaquet, Alana Laudone, Justin Sewell, Kirsten Liepmann


The landscape of programs and options that constitute “computer-aided instruction” or “computer-aided learning” has changed dramatically in recent years. Yet independent research of edtech products, as well as an understanding of whether and how they are being used in classrooms, has not kept pace.

Early in the summer of 2017, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s STEM Innovation Hub (iHub) team reached out to WestEd for support in developing their staff’s evaluation capacity, to broaden their work with edtech product developers and schools. Together, WestEd researchers and iHub team members conceptualized a mixed-methods study that would seek to discover what edtech products were in use in 7th-grade mathematics classrooms how teachers used these products, what students thought of them, and what impact they had on student achievement.

This brief summarizes details from the mixed-methods study that examined the implementation and effectiveness of one of the observed edtech product. Specifically, the study focused on one commonly used edtech product, i-Ready.

Researchers examined which students were best served by the technology, in what ways, and under what circumstances. The qualitative data in this study include data on nearly 150 7th-grade students in six math classrooms located in two coastal northern Californian districts, collected over the 2017/18 school year. The quantitative data drew from 1,759 7th grade students in the two districts.

The full report is also available.


  • Students who used i-Ready for more than 45 minutes a week had a significant increase in their standardized test scoring.
  • Students who had time to use i-Ready in class and had access to use it at home (Teacher B’s students) used the product enough to have an impact.
  • Different students engage with edtech products like i-Ready different ways and to different ends.
  • The lowest achievers spent less time on i-Ready than the highest achievers, making them less likely to improve their assessment scores.
  • Students need individualized classroom supports to access the benefits that products like i-Ready offer, not just individualized learning products.

This brief was produced in partnership with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2019
Format: PDF
Pages: 52
Publisher: WestEd