Northeastern professors receive $1.6 million grant for student progress tracking rogram

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.6 million grant to two Northeastern University professors who are designing a student progress tracking program.

The web-based program will be specifically tailored to elementary school students with emotional or behavioral disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression, all conditions that make students more likely to struggle in the classroom or run into disciplinary problems. The as-yet-unnamed program will prompt teachers to answer questions about kids’ academic and psychological progress at predetermined times, then display the data in ways that make it easy to track and visualize how students are doing.

Northeastern’s Robert Volpe and Amy Briesch, both professors in the university’s applied psychology department, are leading the project in conjunction with a psychology professor from Ohio University. Right now, the researchers are preparing to test their program in 775 kindergarten through third grade classrooms in Massachusetts and Ohio. Volpe says teacher feedback will play heavily into the final design, as will input from parents, school administrators, counselors, and school psychologists.