Dartmouth College: Using KA as a supplement for freshman calculus


Dartmouth College is a private research university located in New Hampshire. In order to learn whether interactive practice and individualized instruction could change outcomes for gateway students, the college decided to pilot supplemental Khan Academy use in their freshman calculus course in 2014.

Quick facts

  • Course: Freshman Calculus
  • Format: Mastery-based, In-class tutors provided for 1-1 support
  • Scale: The entire course consisted of 350 students split into four classes.
  • Khan Academy content: Differential & Integral Calculus subjects (or missions)

Khan Academy use

Homework: Like many uses of Khan Academy for college math, Dartmouth used exercises as the primary homework for the course.
Grading: Students were graded on mastery in all topics within calculus.  The KA mastery score and homework comprised of 15% of the course grade.
Videos: KA’s calculus videos were used as an “alternate” textbook to complement Stewart’s Calculus book.
Individualized instruction: Students watched videos and practiced problems before attending class. Instructors used coach reports to view student progress, and they designed in-class exercises to meet students’ needs. In addition, in-class tutors were provided for students to have 1-1 help.


After extensive data pulling and analysis, Dartmouth found a correlation between mastery on Khan Academy and students’ exam scores.  In addition, the higher the mastery score was on KA, the higher the students' raw course score was (minus their KA score).