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SBIR Phase II: Mobile Games Teaching Rational Number Operations
Phone: (800) 651-2904
Phone: (800) 651-2904
This SBIR Phase II project offers a unique approach to teaching the difficult content of operating with fractions through interactive, adaptive games. Existing products are not effective at teaching fractions, and half of US eighth graders cannot correctly order three fractions, a fourth grade standard. Current research and the Common Core State Standards emphasize using a number line to teach fractions, which is a more effective approach; however, leading curricula are not fully aligned to this method. This project aims to improve 3rd-5th grade students' understanding of fractions through engaging apps that encourage estimation and problem-solving. Unlike other apps, which typically end with just a score, this project will provide rich, actionable insight to help teachers screen and monitor students' progress over time, thereby improving teachers' instruction as well as student learning. Closely aligning with NSF's mission of improving mathematics education for all children, this project fills an essential need in the marketplace for engaging, effective software that aligns with Common Core and provides data-driven intervention support. This software will be specially designed for children who struggle in mathematics and will meet the criteria for intervention software, further increasing its commercial value for the school market and its potential to generate income. This project aims to improve children's use of efficient strategies in estimating and solving fractions arithmetic by targeting children?s metastrategic awareness and metacognitive abilities. This project will include the development of a series of fractions apps and game-based data reporting for teachers to help them tailor instruction and target interventions. Extracting actionable insight from children?s gameplay rather than from standardized tests is a novel innovation that has the potential to dramatically change teaching and learning. The development process will include wireframing novel gameplay and developing app components and features. The backend system will identify learning patterns within clickstream data collected during play and apply data-mining techniques to these patterns. Instead of assessing single actions as correct or incorrect, the backend will identify series of actions and associate them with a particular strategy. This data will be used to inform instructors, test hypotheses, and provide evidence for learning. A dynamic content generation engine will use the insights extracted from student data to provide learners with highly targeted, fine-tuned activities. The project?s research will include both informal design research and a randomized control study with 3rd-5th grade students to determine the effects of using the software on procedural and conceptual knowledge of fractions.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *