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IES Contract

Title: Agile Mind Visualizations to Increase High School Biology Learning
Center: NCER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Chaput, Linda Awardee: Agile Mind, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $750,000
Goal: Phase II Development Award Number: EDIES09C0017

Product Video Demonstration:

Purpose: Integrating innovative forms of technology into classroom practice is one promising strategy for closing the gap between U.S. and international students in mathematics and science. One emerging form of technology in science education employs visualizations of key concepts to increase student engagement in learning. Visualizations can be designed to encourage exploration and the testing of ideas to facilitate understanding. This project team will develop standards-based, web-delivered, interactive visualizations to be embedded within Agile Minds' existing online high-school biology course services.

Project Activities: The project team will develop interactive animated visualizations iteratively with teacher and student feedback. The researchers will conduct two studies during the project period. In the first study, a prototype of the intervention will be implemented in three classrooms over a 2-month period. This study will gauge student and teacher engagement with the prototype and examine how well the intervention integrates within existing practices. Survey and observational data from this study will be used to refine the intervention. After development is complete, the researchers will conduct a 4-month pilot study in eight classrooms to test the feasibility and usability of the intervention and its promise for increasing student performance in high-school biology classrooms.

Products: The product will include 25 visualizations which will be integrated into Agile Mind's existing high-school biology course services and made available within the context of a standards-based curriculum. Together, the course and visualizations will replace existing curricula and be available to students in class, in a computer lab, and at home. Usage data about how students interact with the visualizations will be automatically captured and reported by the software to teachers. The product will include online, real-time teacher support to enable successful integration of the technology within classroom practice.