SBIR Phase I: Online Game to Assess and Improve Behavioral Readiness and Social Emotional Skills for Students in Kindergarten and First Grades

SBIR Phase I: Online Game to Assess and Improve Behavioral Readiness and Social Emotional Skills for Students in Kindergarten and First Grades

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1746176
Agency Tracking Number: 1746176
Amount: $224,959.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2018
Solicitation Year: 2017
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4364 S. Alston Avenue, Suite 300, Durham, NC, 27713
DUNS: 085539324
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Thomas
 (919) 677-0102
 jthomas@3cisd.com
Business Contact
 James Thomas
Phone: (919) 677-0102
Email: jthomas@3cisd.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This SBIR Phase I project will advance understanding of how game-based methods can be effectively used to help schools bring social emotional learning (SEL) instruction to all students. The end goal of this SBIR project is to create and test a game-based intelligent social tutoring system (ISTS) that both assesses and improves the behavioral readiness and social emotional (SE) skills of Kindergarten and 1st grade (K1) students. SEL is a critically important component of early education for all students, and efforts to bring SEL to the nation?s vulnerable early learners would be particularly impactful, especially in helping to foster equity in academic achievement. The proposed system will guide early learners to learn, and then practice SEL skills in controlled, engaging social simulations. This will provide schools with an easily administered, scalable tool to fill a niche for which there is considerable market pull. In addition to addressing significant societal and market needs, research findings from this SBIR will be used to more broadly inform the efforts of the game development community. As a first step in this R&D effort, this SBIR Phase I project will (a) develop a game prototype consisting of six game-based scenes designed to assess essential SE skills linked in the literature to school readiness and positive behavioral functioning for young students (e.g., Emotion Regulation, Empathy, Impulse Control); (b) conduct game prototype test groups with K1 students to assess the usability and acceptability of the game as well as gather independent parent ratings and behavioral observations of children's SE skills; (c) develop prototype educator dashboard materials for administration of the SEL game with students, including resources to reinforce and extend SEL beyond the game; and (d) conduct a test of the game and dashboard prototypes with teachers and other educators who represent likely purchasers and/or users of the product with students to assess the feasibility and potential value of the proposed product.

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

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