AnimalWatch has been used by hundreds of students in California and Massachusetts, with positive results:
- AnimalWatch practice helps students as much as working with a human math tutor. We studied students who attended a six week academic review program that included two hours of math practice per week. One group of students used AnimalWatch for an hour and then worked with the tutor for the second hour. Another group of students worked with the tutor for two hours. The AnimalWatch students showed as much improvement from pre-test to post-test as the students who received all their tutoring directly from a math teacher.
- AnimalWatch practice is especially helpful for students who are struggling with math. We studied over 400 students attending schools in Los Angeles who used AnimalWatch. 47% were English Learners. Both English Learners and English Primary students showed significant improvement from pre- to post-test, and the students who started well below average had the biggest increase in their scores.
- Struggling students are also most likely to use the multimedia lessons and worked examples that are included in AnimalWatch. Discouraged students are often reluctant to ask for help in the classroom, but the computer makes it easy for them to review a lesson or a concept that they didn't understand.
- We've found that students build their math self confidence by working with the program. AnimalWatch lets students decide when they need help and choose the type of help that they want: a worked example, a video lesson on the math skill that they are confused about, or an interactive example that will walk them through the solution step-by-step. They learn that they can figure out a challenging problem by using the resources in the program.
- Students also say that they like using AnimalWatch: "It's more fun than looking at the textbook all day" "You get examples, things to learn about, not just math" "It doesn't just tell you the answer, hints help you find the answer" "It's how I learn, it helps it stay in my mind".