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CEHD researcher awarded $14.86M grant to help implement and improve intelligent tutoring systems

CEHD researcher awarded $14.86M grant to help implement and improve intelligent tutoring systems
January 19, 2022 Emily Knight

Photo courtesy of Josh Huskin, Spirit Magazine/Texas A&M Foundation

CEHD researcher awarded $14.86M grant to help improve and implement intelligent tutoring systems


A $14.86M grant awarded to Dr. Kay Wijekumar and her team at Texas A&M University looks to implement and improve intelligent tutoring systems to help increase reading comprehension for 4th and 5th grade students in socioeconomically and culturally diverse schools across the country. 

The Education Innovation Research (EIR) Expansion Phase Grant led to the creation of the Knowledge Acquisition and Transformation Expansion (KATE) project which will take course over the span of five years. 

KATE is a partnership between Texas A&M and external evaluators WestEd and Analytica Insights Inc.. These three organizations will work together to support a comprehension-focused technology platform for the project. 

Wijekumar says that one of the main goals of KATE is improving reading comprehension for students in grades 4 and 5 by implementing a web-based intelligent tutoring system for the structure strategy (ITSS), available in both English and Spanish.

“ITSS research has shown positive effects for student’s comprehension outcomes,” Wijekumar says. “We will be implementing this strategy in schools all over the country and will measure students’ improvement by analyzing their test scores over the course of the year.”

ITSS provides modeling, practice, interactive activities, assessment and immediate feedback to learners at their own pace, allowing them to learn and apply the text structure strategy to read and comprehend effectively.

Wijekumar says that KATE will also support teacher fidelity of ITSS implementation with practice-based professional development using web-based open online virtual learning and a multi dimensional, “360-degree” support system (MOOV 360) developed and tested through a Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant. 

She says the ultimate goal of KATE is to examine the effectiveness of ITSS and MOOV 360 with an economically and culturally diverse population of students in grades 4 and 5 from multiple geographic regions of the United States.

“At the end of the five years, we hope to have improved reading comprehension with an economically and culturally diverse population of students in grades 4 and 5 from multiple geographic regions of the United States,” Wijekumar says. “We also hope to be able to present the teacher’s professional development, learning materials, and web-based intelligent tutoring systems to a world-wide audience at that time.” 

About the Writer


Emily Knight is a writing assistant for the Marketing and Communications office in the College of Education and Human Development. She is a senior in the Agricultural Communications and Journalism program at Texas A&M.

Articles by Emily

For media inquiries, contact Justin Elizalde.

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