​WestEd Gets $3 Million From U.S. Department of Education to Study Khan Academy Impact

KHAN IT WORK? The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $3 million grant to research agency WestEd’s STEM program to evaluate how effectively Khan Academy helps community college students succeed in mathematics courses. “Until now, there has never been a rigorous, large-scale efficacy study of Khan Academy, in community colleges or in K-12 settings,” says Steve Schneider, director of WestEd’s STEM program, in the release. The study, which will take place during the 2015-2016 school year, will measure whether Khan Academy makes a difference in Algebra I courses in California community colleges through a randomized controlled trial.

This spring, research institution SRI International published a report, funded by the Gates Foundation, on how schools used Khan Academy in math classes. Although educators voiced challenges integrating the online material into their curricula, the study largely reported positive results from supplementing in-person learning with Khan Academy. Direct effects on student outcomes, however, were inconclusive.

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