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Game FACTS (Fun, Adaptable-Content Trainer Suite): The Use of Microgames as a Sup

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44ES017356-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44ES017356
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIEHS
Solicitation Number: ES11-008
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2012
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
501 N MORTON ST, STE 206
BLOOMINGTON, IN 47404-3744
United States
DUNS: 90171328
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (812) 325-9100
Business Contact
Phone: (217) 520-6504
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION: PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT. This Phase II SBIR project, Game FACTS (Fun, Adaptable-Content Trainer Suite): The Use of Microgames as a Supplemental Learning Tool for Worker Health and Safety Training builds upon the work of the previously fundedPhase I SBIR project Micro-games for WMD Training for Skilled Support Personnel. Phase I focused on the development of microgame (i.e., short-duration game) prototypes for worker health and safety training. The ultimate goals of Phase I and Phase II are tosupport interactive e- teaching in safety and health training in order to improve trainers' ability to provide engaging, effective instruction, and to increase worker motivation to learn (and subsequently, efficacy) in these important topics. In doing so,WisdomTools hopes to ultimately improve both worker and public safety and health. Based on the lessons learned in Phase I, Phase II will enhance the already strong commercialization potential of the games by addressing the need for trainers to be able tocreate, update, and alter instructional content to ensure its relevance for their own learners and worksites, simplified controls, more sophisticated support for learning game play, additional game types to suit different learning styles, and normalization of content for use in different game formats. Phase II of this project will focus on training to increase understanding and awareness of several worker health and safety topics that are the subject of frequent refresher training, including: 1) use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), 2) types and selection of respiratory protection and filters, and 3) signs, symptoms, prevention, and first aid for heat-related illnesses. In addition, it will revisit the content areas selected for Phase I, which inclued: 1) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 2) air contaminant detection equipment, and 3) the Incident Command System. In Phase II, WisdomTools will design, develop and test Game FACTS, a suite of advanced training technologies that includes three main components: 1) a series of six different microgame formats, 2) question and feedback content on the topics described above, including succinct and relevant information resources suitable for download or printing, and 3) an authoring tool for trainers that will allow them to update, adapt, or replace game resources, questions, and feedback with content of their own choosing to meet course needs. Through user participatory design, semi-structured interviews, usability testing, pilot testing, and learning gains/attitudinal change analysis, this Phase II effort will examine questions related to the implementation of Game FACTS, including determining: 1) the features and functionalities that are needed to support trainers in customizing game content to meet learning goals; 2) the worker health and safety content that is most suitable and critical for repeated practice and, 3) whether the use of a game and skill-drill based learning approach produce a net positive increase in learner knowledge, skills, and attitudes(KSAs) as compared with KSAs before the training course. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Narrative By designing and developing Game FACTS (Fun, Adaptable-Content Trainer Suite): The Use of Microgames as a Supplemental Learning Tool for Worker Health andSafety Training, this Phase II SBIR project will improve worker knowledge of safe work practices across a variety of topics and improve the ability of health and safety trainers to provide learners with effective, engaging, and customized content, thus improving both worker and public health and safety. Game FACTS is an innovative game-based training suite that includes an authoring tool which allows trainers to edit, replace, and otherwise customize the content that appears inside the games to best meet the needs of their training course. This Phase II effort will build on the Phase I effort by improving existing game designs, creating new game designs, and creating the trainer authoring tool. The resulting product will improve the overall effectiveness oftraining that helps, for example, to prevent the spillage of toxic substances into the environment.

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

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