Bolster Academy for the IB Diploma Programme

About the project

Over the last 10 years, we have been working with teachers to help first-year mathematics students in higher education get over their math anxiety and improve their performance.

Last year, we were selected as one of the winners of the IMPACT EdTech ‘Remote Schooling’ Open Call; A program co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that aims to boost innovation throughout Europe in secondary education.

With the help of the programme, a handful of IB DP mathematics teachers and IB alumni, we have been working to develop the best possible IB DP mathematics learning tool. As you are reading this right now, we have finished running our first pilot projects in classrooms across Europe.

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This product has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the International Baccalaureate Organization. International Baccalaureate, Baccalauréat International, Bachillerato Internacional and IB are registered trademarks owned by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Winner of the 2020 Impact EdTech Awards

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme within the framework of the IMPACT EdTech Project funded under grant agreement No 871275.

Current
statistics
exercises
60 000 000 +
Exercises completed
students
250 000 +
Students bolstered
tests
850 000 +
Tests submitted
courses
10 000 +
Courses delivered

Bolster’s IB DP Mathematics Offering

Mathematics

Applications and Interpretations SL

Syllabus

Mathematics

Applications and Interpretations HL

Coming soon

Mathematics

Analysis and Approaches SL

Coming soon

Mathematics

Analysis and Approaches HL

Coming soon

Interested in trying us out in your classroom?

What we offer

Bolster Academy is a mathematics practice & assessment tool. Our goal is to help students overcome their math anxiety, boost their performance, and increase their engagement with the subject matter, all while saving teachers valuable time.

For students, this means we provide them with a personalised learning journey that takes into account every student’s unique learner profile. For teachers, we automate many of their repetitive tasks so they can instead spend their time fostering higher-level problem-solving abilities, coming up with creative lessons, and assisting those students who need their help the most.


Automated grading & personalised feedback

Unlike traditional textbooks, our platform is able to process and analyse a student’s answer to a question. This enables us to automatically check any attempt, meaning that grading homework can become a thing of the past.

Additionally, whenever a student inputs a wrong answer, we are able to analyse it, identify the mistake made, and then relay this information back to this user. This allows us to provide everybody with a personalised learning experience, irrespective of the number of students taught.

Randomised exercises

Another big advantage of a digital textbook compared to a traditional one is its adaptability. Whereas ink on paper is permanent, bits and bytes are flexible and can easily be changed. Instead of creating exercises with fixed values, we write a piece of code that generates a random set of values each time an exercise is loaded. This subsequently allows us to generate an incredible amount of versions of the same exercise.

This not only increases the amount of practice material available to the students but also helps to stimulate productive forms of cooperation between them. When two students are given two slightly different versions of the same exercise, they can no longer ‘help’ each other by sharing their solutions. Rather, they have to discuss their method of solving a problem.

Interactive theory

Unlike traditional paper-based textbooks, our theory pages contain interactive elements and graphics that stimulate the students’ understanding of the concepts. Our digital textbooks include worked-out examples, detailed calculator instructions (see example video right), color-coded text, and interactive visualizations. All are designed to trigger your students’ curiosity, encourage them to engage with the content, and promote active learning.

Learning analytics

Our reporting environment allows teachers to get a clear picture of the progress and mastery of their entire class. In this overview, you are able to zoom in on any chapter, subchapter, or single topic in a course. It’s also possible to get a detailed report on any individual student’s performance and even view their exercise attempts.

These learning analytics enable teachers to quickly and proactively identify topics that students are struggling with, which then allows them to redirect their attention to these subjects. Additionally, these reports can be a valuable source of information for course coordinators tasked with the evaluation or redesign of a curriculum.

Real-world applications

Connecting mathematics with real-world problems makes the content feel less abstract. This not only shows students the relevance of what they are learning but also helps to foster a deeper understanding of the subject.

To this end, many of our exercises present students with a real-life problem that is to be solved using mathematics. In doing so, we have tried to draw inspiration from as many different fields as possible.

What teachers say about Bolster Academy


Anne Eastaugh

Maths teacher

"The feedback that we have had from students has been overwhelmingly positive. The students are easily able to maneuver through the theory pages and exercises, and the motivation in support classes has become more dynamic and engaging. The Bolster Academy staff are generous with their time, and have provided me with detailed responses to all of my queries."

Steven Richardson

Maths teacher

"As a lecturer I have really enjoyed the flexibility that Bolster Academy offers. Bolster Academy has been well received by our students, and we have received positive feedback on how it has helped to direct students’ study, motivate students to practice, and provide feedback to help students identify weaknesses and misunderstandings."

Michael P. McAssey

Statistics teacher

"The platform allows teachers considerable flexibility to customize the course to their preferences. We have observed a greater success rate in our course since we began using the Bolster Academy platform, and now that it is completely set-up for us we have much less administrative work to perform so that we can focus more on our teaching activities."

Interested in trying us out in your classroom?