Education Endowment Foundation:onebillion: app-based maths learning

onebillion: app-based maths learning

University of Nottingham
Implementation costThe cost estimates in the Toolkits are based on the average cost of delivering the intervention.
Evidence strengthThis rating provides an overall estimate of the robustness of the evidence, to help support professional decision-making in schools.
Impact (months)The impact measure shows the number of additional months of progress made, on average, by children and young people who received the intervention, compared to similar children and young people who did not.
Project info

Independent Evaluator

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University of Oxford
Maths learning app monitored by teaching assistants
Pupils: 1124 Schools: 113 Grant: £230,000
Key Stage: 1 Duration: 2 year(s) Type of Trial: Efficacy Trial
Completed July 2019

The onebillion programme consists of two apps that are designed to support the acquisition of basic mathematical skills for pupils aged 3 – 6. This project tested the impact of the apps on pupils in year 1 who had been identified by their teachers as being in the bottom half of the class in mathematics. The apps were developed by onebillion, a not-for-profit organisation. In this project, teaching assistants were trained to use the apps by a team from the University of Nottingham.

The EEF funded this trial of onebillion because the intervention had an existing promising evidence base from a previous trial in twelve schools in Nottingham.

In this trial, pupils who received onebillion made an additional three months’ progress, on average, compared to the control group. This result has very high security. FSM-eligible pupils made less progress if they received onebillion. However, this analysis involves a smaller number of pupils, so we are unable to confidently claim that this negative impact is likely to occur for FSM-eligible pupils outside of this research project.

The headline finding is very promising but the trial suggested that there may have been a negative impact on FSM pupils. More research with a larger sample size is required to ascertain whether the impact on FSM-eligible pupils can be expected outside of the trial. The EEF are considering funding an effectiveness trial which will aim to investigate the impact on FSM-eligible pupils with higher security. Teachers or school leaders using onebillion should carefully monitor the impact on FSM-eligible pupils when implementing the approach.

  1. Pupils who received onebillion made an additional three months’ progress in maths compared to the control group. This result has very high security.
  2. Pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) made two fewer months’ progress in maths if they received onebillion compared to those in the control group. These results have lower security than the overall findings because of the smaller number of pupils.
  3. The process evaluation suggested that the impact of the programme might be influenced by the amount of the pedagogical support given to the pupils during the intervention sessions. Exploratory analysis suggested that pupils tended to do better when supervised by TAs who thought that their role was to teach concepts when the pupils had difficulty.
  4. In this project, teachers started with Maths 3 – 5 and then moved to the Maths 4 – 6 app. TAs reported that pupils enjoyed Maths 3 – 5 more and required less pedagogical support to use it.
  5. Further research is needed on the nature of the pedagogical support that works best in onebillion sessions and the effects of the programme on the mathematics attainment of pupils entitled to FSM.
ImpactThe size of the difference between pupils in this trial and other pupils
SecurityHow confident are we in this result?
Months' progress
Maths (FSM)
Months' progress