SBIR Phase I: ENGAGE: An Online MultiPlayer Game for Math Proficiency
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project is aimed at evaluating the impact of using multi-player educational video games in the classroom to improve student engagement in elementary school math subject areas, and developing an educational game system that enables progress monitoring and tailors game content to student needs. Multi-player educational video games can provide practice of high-leverage skills in an engaging virtual environment while collecting progress. Currently, US students lag behind their counterparts in other developed nations when measured on mathematics proficiency. Additionally, there are gaps in math achievement among numerous demographic groups, at least partially due to non-availability of materials and an inability to provide specialized, differentiated instruction. To close these gaps, new avenues of instruction, assessment, and progress monitoring are needed to connect with, and engage modern technologically- and socially-driven students and get them interested in practicing mathematics at a young age. Of the 53 million K-12 students in the US, 93% play video games, with multi-player gaming being the fastest growing and most engaging segment. The competitive aspects of multi-player video games, if used in classroom settings with educational content, will increase student engagement, time on task, and motivation, yielding higher math proficiency.
In light of the Response to Intervention (RtI) mandates set forth by the IDEA 2004 legislation, combined with the need for schools to utilize progress monitoring tools and research-based interventions for at-risk students, the market potential for high-quality, web-based practice/assessment applications are expanding. The product solution proposed here is unique both in theory and implementation: being grounded within adaptive-questioning assessment theory provides a more accurate measure of student performance and a more consistently challenging and engaging environment for the student, and the multi-player, computer-based implementation creates a number of benefits not currently available commercially. In our system, students will play competitively and collaboratively in a variety of multi-player games, and teachers will receive detailed reports of student progress, and be able to customize content for differentiated student groups. This software will be offered as an online subscription service and accessed through school computer labs or students' personal computers. Teachers, schools, districts, and parents of students will subscribe to our service to fulfill the RtI mandates and provide an enhanced learning environment for their students. There are over 90,000 elementary schools in America in 14,000 districts, making education one of the largest and most stable markets in the country.
Small Business Information at Submission:
11460 S WILDER ST Olathe, KS 66061
Number of Employees: