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IES Contract

Title: Teachley Connect: A Game-Based Formative Assessment Platform for K–5 Mathematics
Center: NCER Year: 2016
Principal Investigator: Carpenter, Kara Awardee: Teachley, LLC
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (5/1/2016-4/31/2018) Award Amount: $900,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: EDIES16C0013

Phase II award

Project Website:

Video Demonstration of the Phase I Prototype:

Purpose: Purpose: This project team will fully develop and test Teachley Connect, a platform that syncs a variety of third-party math games to give elementary schools formative assessment data and intervention support. Mobile math games provide opportunities for students to access educationally-meaningful content in and out of the classroom and to supplement instruction. There are a number of examples of math apps that show promise for supporting and assessing student learning in different areas of mathematics, yet few apps in the marketplace provide meaningful data that teachers can use. Many games provide an overall score at the end of the session, but do not help teachers know what skills students are struggling with or how to provide additional support.

Project Activities: During Phase I, (completed in 2015), the team developed a prototype of Teachley Connect, which enables the secure transfer of game and learning data between third-party math games and the Teachley servers. At the end of Phase I, researchers completed a pilot study with 20 students and two teachers and demonstrated that the prototype operated as intended with important trends indicating that the system promotes student engagement and less time spent seeking help. In Phase II, the team will add additional third party math apps to the platform, strengthen the backend management system to tag user game-play data, and build out the teacher reporting dashboard to inform instruction and identify apps to address particular student and class needs. After development is complete, the research team will conduct a larger pilot study to assess the feasibility and usability, fidelity of implementation, and the promise of the Teachley Connect for teachers to use formative assessment data to inform classroom practice, select apps to address individual student needs, and support student math learning. The study will include 12 (grade K to 3) classrooms and randomly assign them into one of three groups: 1) apps only, 2) Teachley-enabled apps, or 3) Teachley-enabled apps + data. Researchers will compare pre-and-post scores of student's math learning, classroom observations, and teacher surveys/interviews.

Product: Teachley Connect will be a mobile tablet-based platform that uses games to give elementary schools rich formative assessment data and intervention support. Teachley Connect will permit students to continue playing exactly where they left off on any tablet. The platform will also connect apps into a single teacher dashboard, providing teachers detailed reports on student performance across games, with insights for informing individual or whole group instruction. The platform will include teacher resources to support the alignment of game play with learning goals and to support implementation.