MathSense goes way beyond standard Math practice programs that are currently available in the market. It’s a competency development program. There are many elements that, together, make the students achieve competency in a series of mathematical topics.
A student always starts at his lowest level of competency (based on the Diagnostic Assessment) and works her way through different skills to get to grade level and then go beyond. The student doesn’t make a choice (usually based on what’s being taught at school) of which lesson to work on – the system does that, based on the lesson plan, and guides the student through various sets , during the student session.
The Diagnostic Assessmnet and the lesson plan generated based on that makes the program truly individualized. We will discuss all the elements that makes MathSense work so well to develop long term competency below.
MathSense develops a lesson plan based on individual skill level of the student.
The student is exposed to the same lesson multiple times along the path to mastery, thereby reinforcing the skill and ensuring retention.
If a student struggles with a particular lesson, the parent is alerted (via SMS, email and on the Parent Dashboard) about it, so that focussed additional help can be provided to the student.
The Diagnostic Test is the entry point to the MathSense program. This test takes place in 3 rounds. In round one, the student is asked questions from the immediate 12 months preceding the student’s current grade level. For example, a student in second half of 5th grade will see questions from 1st half of 5th grade and 2nd half of 4th grade.
Questions in round 2 are generated based on the performance in the first round. For a particular Topic, if the student secures passing marks, he’s shown questions (for the same Topic) from the next higher grade. Similarly, if the student doesn’t pass that Topic, he’s shown questions (for the same Topic) from the immediate lower grade.
Round 3 is similar to round 2 and is based on the performance in round 2. For each Topic an evaluated grade level is set. In the example screenshot on the left, the student (taking the Diagnostic Test in grade 7) had questions on Fractions (the Topic) from grade 6 in round 1 (Failed), then from grade 5 in round 2 (Failed) and finally from grade 4 in round 3 (Failed). So the evaluated level in Fractions was set at 3+ (2nd half of 3rd grade). When he will start working on his actual practice sessions, he will start Fractions with questions from grade 4.
At the end of round 3, Diagnostic Test results are published to the studen’s Dashboard (image on the left) and a lesson plan is created (Details below). The student, at this point is ready to start working on his practice sessions.
At the end of the Diagnostic Test, a customized lesson plan, based on the student’s performance in the Diagnostic Test, is created. A student, who might not have done well in certain Topics, will see those Topics from lower grades (from where he’s currently at school) in the lesson plan and will be expected to Master those first. The idea is to build competency in each Topic and not merely force practice lessons from his current grade level.
The student goes through a series of steps with each Topic on his way to mastery. A small set of questions from each Topic is shown at various intervals to develop competency and retention. As a result, questions from a Topic will keep appearing in various sessions until the system has determined that the student has acquired enough competency in that Topic, at which point it’s marked as “Mastered”.
The Lesson Plan tab on the Student Dashboard indicates the current status of each lesson along with the number of questions asked, number of questions answered, correct number of questions, incorrect number of questions and number of questions skipped.
If a student struggles with a particular lesson, it will be flagged with a status of “Need Help” and the list of such lessons will be available on the Parent Dashboard. This information is also sent to the parent, in real time, via SMS and Email.
Once the student Masters a lesson, it’s dropped into a queue of an on-going test called the Integrated Test. This test is transparent to the student (he’s not told he’s taking a “test”) and happens in every session. A few questions from the beginning of the Integrated Test queue is thrown to the student in each session. When test for a particular lesson is completed, the result is shown under the Integrated Test tab of the Student Dashboard. Here you can see the lesson and the Topic the lesson belongs to (in parenthesis) , the date it was completed, number of questions asked and number of questions answered correctly). You can also view the answersheet with the actual questions and the student’s answer by clicking on the icon under “Answersheet”.
Integrated Test provides another opprtunity to test the competency and retention of each lesson.
The parent Dashboard shows a snapshot of the progress of all the children of that parent. Clicking on “View Student Detail” button will open the student’s Dashboard in a winddow and the parent can view everything that’s available on the Student Dashbard (Lesson Plan, Diagnostic Test Result, Session Progress etc.) If the student is struggling with certain lessons, an alert (with the red background) will show how many lessons the student needs help on. Clicking on that area will display the list of those lessons.
Under the main Student area, there will be a graph called “Competency Score”. The graph is an indicator of how well the student is progressing in the MathSense program. An upward graph indicates that the student is continuing to do better and a downward one indicates the opposite. The graph is based on how well the student is answering questions from his grade level, from lower grade levels and higher grade levels.
Once the Diagnostic Test is over, the student can start his/her practice session by clicking on the “Start Session” button on the Student Dashboard (requires a paid subscription.) In each session, the student is thrown questions from various lessons, based on his lesson plan. A session is not about any specific lesson or topic, but covers a set of different lessons based on our algorithm.
Image number 1 above shows a question in a typical session. The student is expected to enter the answer and then click “Check Answer”. Image number 2 shows the screen after the student has clicked “Check Answer”. The number with the red background is what the student entered as the answer. It’s marked with a red background because the answer is incorrect. The number next to it, with the green background, is the correct answer. The student can now click on the correct answer to go through an explanation. Image 3 above shows the explanation window.
MathSense includes a motivational tool in the form of Zen Rewards. 5 Zens are awarded to the student when he/she gets three answers correct in a row. The total available points (Zens) are shown on the right panel in the Student Session screen. In image 1 above, the student has 270 Zens . The student can redeem these points (Zens) to buy virtual properties in the form of pets, bikes, cars, houses etc. The Zen Rewards area can be accessed by clicking on the “Zen Rewards” on the Student Dashboard (Image 2 above.) Image 3 above shows the “My Collection” area, where all the virtual properties bought by the student is shown.
We will be displaying a Zen leaderboard on our website, with the name of the students with the 3 highest Zens and will be conducting Zen Marathon (Acquire as many Zens as possible within a given timeframe) every once in a while as a motivational tool for the students.