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Multimodal Bilingual Platform and Formative Evaluation Dashboard for English Language Learners

Award Information
Agency: Department of Education
Branch: Institute of Education Sciences
Contract: 91990018C0018
Agency Tracking Number: 91990018C0018
Amount: $900,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 99190018R0005
Solicitation Number: 99190018R0005
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-05-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-05-09
Small Business Information
5753 Chelton Drive
Oakland , CA 94611
United States
DUNS: 079881191
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Cynthia Harrison Barbera
 (202) 245-7550
Business Contact
 Cynthia Harrison Barbera
Phone: (202) 245-7550
Research Institution

Purpose: In prior research and development, the project team developed Storyworld, a web-based activity with mini-games to support English Learners (EL) in language acquisition. In this project, the team will fully develop and test a formative assessment dashboard that provides teachers with insights into EL student's progress as they use Storyworld. ELs are the fastest-growing student population in U.S. schools, with reports showing that nearly 1 in 10 public school students are ELs and approximately three in four U.S. classrooms include at least one EL. Many teachers remain unprepared for the challenge of helping ELs master both the English language and academic content.

Project Activities: With Phase I funding in 2017, the team developed a Storyworld prototype that presented teachers with a dashboard that displayed results from a reading comprehension activity completed by 30 EL students in grade 1 and 2. At the end of Phase I, researchers completed a pilot study with three teachers. They found that the prototype operated as intended, and that teachers were able to review reports and use the findings to guide face-to-face instruction with students. In Phase II, the team will fully develop the user interfaces beyond reading data, to include listening, speaking, and writing data, and materials to support teacher use of data to guide instruction. After development is complete, the team will carry out a pilot study to examine the usability and feasibility, fidelity of implementation, and the promise of the dashboard to inform teacher insights and guide instruction, and improve EL student's language proficiency. Thirty-six Kindergarten to grade 2 classes with 10 students per class will participate in the pilot study. Half of the classes will be randomly assigned to use Storyworld and the dashboard and the other half assigned to a business-as-usual control. The researchers will compare student pre to post learning using a standardized measure of English language acquisition, the Language Assessment Scales.

Product: The research team will develop a formative assessment dashboard to present data to teachers on ELs performance after using Storyworld, a web-based product with mini-games to supports language acquisition through activities done simultaneously in the student's native language (e.g., Spanish and Mandarin) and in the target language (e.g., English). Reports will inform teachers of K-2 ELs' progress in across reading, listening, speaking, and writing, and provide recommendations for supporting instruction. The dashboard will present results in the student's native language and in the English, show individual trajectories, and provide class-wide growth patterns.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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