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Development and evaluation of a serious game for bullying prevention with young students

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44HD090805-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44HD090805
Amount: $1,416,154.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NICHD
Solicitation Number: PA16-302
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-08-31
Small Business Information
Durham, NC 27713-2565
United States
DUNS: 046981549
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (919) 677-0102
Business Contact
Phone: (919) 677-0101
Research Institution

Abstract Bullying is all too common in the early school yearsoccurring at approximately the same rate in Kindergarten andstKgrades as in later elementary schoolResearch underscores how bullying at an early age is predictive of continued bullying and peer victimizationand how all involved bulliesvictimsand bystandersare at elevated risk for negative outcomes in many aspects of a childandapos s socialemotionaland academic lifeRecent reviews of school based programs demonstrate that punitivedisciplinary approaches to bullying prevention do not workand that social emotional learningSELis a critical ingredient in effective programsUnfortunatelylogistical barrierse gtimecostneed for trained stafftoo often undermine schoolsandaposabilities to implement traditional in person SEL strategies with all studentsThis SBIR Fast Track will leverage cuttingedge intelligent social tutoring game technology to create a newevidence based serious game specifically designed to help younger students develop the social emotional skills they need to navigate bullying situationsC Institute is a leader in the field of game based Intelligent Social Tutoring SystemsISTSwith extensive experience creating and testing SEL gamesCandapos s ongoing collaboration with the Bellevue Public School in WACommunities in Schools Wake County Public SchoolsNCand our commercialization partnerPersonalized Learning Gameswill provide a solid foundation on which to buildtestand commercialize the proposed serious KSEL game productFive specific aims will be accomplishedIn Phase Iwe willcreate a serious game prototype based on input from Kstudentsparentsand educators with a custom graphic design and storyworld and five prototype social problem solvingSPSscenesWe will alsoconduct end user tests with Kstudents and educators who will review and evaluate the prototypeIn Phase IIwe willdevelop the full product through an iterative testing process for a total ofSPS scenes aligned to CASELandapos s SEL frameworkSelf managementSelf awarenessSocial AwarenessRelationship SkillsandampResponsible Decision Makingas well as online StudentHomeand Educator PortalsThenwe willconduct a randomized active control pilot study to test the serious gameandapos s impact for improving Kstudentsandapossocial emotional behaviorability to problem solve in bullying situationsself efficacy for coping with bullyingand awareness of behaviors that constitute bullyingWe expect the SEL serious game to result in significant improvements in all areas compared to the active control groupLastlywe willprepare for commercialization by conducting focus groups with educators to finalize the complete product and formulate implementation guidelines for schoolsWe will also develop all needed online training demos and materialsfinalize online reporting functionsand integrate e commerce functions into the websiteOur proposed product will meet a significant market need as the first rigorously tested serious game for SEL bullying prevention with younger studentsWe have already secured a pathway to marketwith Personalized Learning GamesInccommitted to offering the product Project Narrative Bullying is alarmingly prevalent in the early school gradesand decades of research underscore how early bullying and peer victimization foster both shortand long term detrimental effects for all those involvedWhen bullying persists into the later school gradesthe risk for negative consequences of exposure to bullying further increaseincluding behavioralacademicand mental health difficultiesEffectiveschool based bullying prevention efforts embed social and emotional learningSELstrategiesproviding students with instruction and practice in a variety of bullying situationsHoweverschools face logistical barriers that hinder their ability to implement SEL bullying prevention programs to all studentsincluding timecostand scalabilitySerious games can lower these barriers while also offering an inherently engaging and safe platform for social learning and practiceThe end goal of the proposed Fast Track SBIR is to bring effective game based SEL to schools on a broad scale to address the need for feasiblescalableand effective SEL tools for bullying prevention with younger students

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

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