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IES Contract

Title: Math Monster Mystery: A Formative Assessment in Game Format for Grade 4 Mathematics
Center: NCER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Brown, Robert Awardee: Triad Digital Media
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $750,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: EDIES09C0015

Product Video Demonstration:

Purpose: Large-scale assessments such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Trends in International Science and Mathematics Study (TIMSS) provide useful data for evaluating progress across states and countries. However, these assessments are not designed to provide teachers information on student performance that will directly impact classroom practice. This project team is developing an online computer game that will serve as a formative assessment tool to measure fourth graders' mathematical understanding and provide immediate feedback on instructional practice.

Project Activities: The Monster Mystery (M3) game will be developed around compelling narrative, graphics, and mathematical concepts that are aligned to National Council of Mathematics Teachers standards. The games will be developed iteratively through a cycle of testing and feedback with participating teacher-experts. Comprehensive pre- and post tests using computer-adapted formats will be developed to track student achievement levels. The game will be pilot tested in 8 fourth-grade classrooms over a 2-month period with a focus on demonstrating feasibility, usability, and improvement in mathematical understanding. Interviews with students will also be conducted to gauge student reactions. Teachers will be surveyed regarding their use of M3 and its usefulness as a formative assessment tool with particular attention to how they used the customization tool in response to student performance.

Product: The project will be a formative assessment intervention to supplement fourth-grade mathematics classes. The dashboard tool will give teachers, parents, and administrators a way to create custom games based on existing student data and/or classroom curriculum, view game data by student, group, or class; and compare game data across time. Teachers will be able to use data to focus instruction on individual strengths and weaknesses. The game will be available in English and Spanish.