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SBIR Phase II: Artificial Intelligence Tutoring and Assessment for Teacher Development

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0822696
Agency Tracking Number: 0637714
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 157033957
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Benny Johnson
 (724) 733-8603
Business Contact
 Benny Johnson
Title: PhD
Phone: (724) 733-8603
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II research project focuses on bringing the power and benefits of artificial intelligence tutoring technology to the arena of teacher professional development (PD). The proposed innovation is a teacher professional development system built on the principles of artificial intelligence, and delivered via the Internet. Similar to a flight simulator, this technology will offer a realistic but benign opportunity to test and expand a teacher's preparedness through practice with realistic classroom situations. A key objective is the creation of a classroom simulator which incorporates a virtual master teacher, to help teachers deepen their content understanding, learn to respond to student questions more effectively, practice proven pedagogical techniques for improving student understanding and conduct self-monitoring and assessment before getting in front of a live class. An increasing number of schools are forced to rely on new or out-of-field teachers to fill the gap for teaching science and mathematics, often resulting in a substantial decline in quality, depth and individual attention students receive. Because of the well-documented problems of teachers teaching out of their content areas, and low-performing schools having greater percentages of lesser-qualified teachers, states have established stronger criteria for in-service teachers and newly qualifying pre-service teachers. Middle and high school
science and mathematics are the areas where most out-of-area teaching is occurring. In the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, 'The Condition of Education', a key finding is that high school students in high-poverty, high-minority schools were more often taught science, mathematics and English courses by out-of-field teachers than their peers in low-poverty, low-minority schools. This research is expected to impact these issues and in addition address the goals of the American Competitiveness Initiative and the requirements for highly qualified teachers identified in the 'No Child Left Behind' initiative.

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

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