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Blending Skills Training and STEM Education: Game-Based First-Responder Application


OBJECTIVE: Develop a mobile application that uses innovative game-based strategies and visualization techniques to teach medical first-responder skills combined with intelligent tutoring systems to teach underlying STEM principles. Game design, architecture, and research approach should allow for the optimization of pedagogical approaches based on performance of the individual learner and across a large population of users. DESCRIPTION: Computer-based medical training applications are usually developed to mimic skill sets that would normally require a live patient or manikin rather than considering what a computer provides that these methods do not. Thus, medical simulations have focused heavily on training specific skills and techniques as a surrogate to other modes of training. However, computer game-based technologies provide the opportunity to combine skills training with generalizeable educational principles. For example, instead of simply providing instruction on where to apply a tourniquet, a computer-based system can reinforce the lesson with demonstrations and discussion of the underlying physiology of the circulatory system. Thus, a student may learn why wounds in slightly different locations respond differently or why applying pressure in certain conditions is essential. The game-based approach also allows for integrating the lessons into dramatic and engaging scenarios. Combining skills training with the underlying STEM principles from biology/physiology should more readily allow for the generalization of the skills to novel situations. This tool is envisioned for both medical training and in basic civilian education science classes. The goal is to create a game-based application on mobile platforms to teach first responder principles that integrates intelligent tutoring systems to not only teach basic skills, but answer the underlying questions of why a student should or should not have responded the way they did. Using this application, students should learn BOTH basic skills and also basic principles of human physiology. Thus, this can be used as a classroom resource for science education as well as a resource to teach medical skills for first responders. The underlying architecture should allow for the analysis and optimization of the software to both the individual user and across the entire population of users. We are not seeking standard computer-based learning systems, but game-based interactive systems that are engaging and challenging to the user. Design and development should be to professional game standards and the proposed game concepts should be compelling, innovative, and designed to motivate users for continued interactions. Innovative approaches for visualization and interaction with these different types of information are required. The system should educate, train, and assess the student"s knowledge. The patient models should respond accurately and be based on underlying physiology models that respond appropriately to both injury and treatment. The simulation should include a case editing tool that instructors and students can use to customize injury scenarios. The system should be developed in such a way to allow customization of options for basic first responders with limited resources to more advanced options for Corpsmen/Medics/EMTs. Proposals must reflect team expertise in medical training (military and civilian), education, and game production. Teams that do not reflect a balance between these skill sets will not be considered. Proposals should clearly outline proposed development tools, design standards, educational approaches, and validation strategies. Proposals must also discuss details of transition strategy and market opportunities. PHASE I: Identify the exact training/education goals of the prototype system and metrics for success. Develop the conceptual design and framework for the proposed system. At a minimum, provide extensive storyboards outlining gameplay, user interface, and user interactions. Develop detailed strategies for using this application for medical training and in the classroom. In preparation for Phase II, develop a robust methodology with clear metrics for assessing usability, user acceptance, and effectiveness of the application. It is important to note that there will be no human use testing in Phase I. PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and validate an initial prototype on mobile-based software platforms that can be used in a variety of educational/military environments. The required deliverable for Phase II will include: the prototype system, demonstration and testing of the prototype system, and a Final Report. The Final Report will include (1) a detailed design of the prototype mobile, game-based application(s) tool sets, (2) the experimental results from such toolsets, and (3) a plan for Phase III. PHASE III: Delivery of a complete game-based mobile application with validated pedagogical efficacy that is engaging and ready for integration into identified learning environments. Scenarios should be applicable to civilian first-responder training. Application should be available for licensing or download. Delivery of a complete game-based mobile application (IOS/Android) with validated pedagogical efficacy that is engaging and ready for integration into identified learning environments. Scenarios should be applicable to first-responder scenarios encountered by military personnel.
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