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IES Contract

Title: Agents of Influence
Center: NCER Year: 2023
Principal Investigator: Dalmia, Anahita Awardee: Alterea, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8 months (06/23/2023 – 02/23/2024) Award Amount: $250,000
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: 91990023C0017

Purpose: While the internet is an indispensable digital environment for communication and information, it can also be a vehicle that presents misleading or even false information. Many schools lack interventions that provide media literacy education for students to be prepared as citizens with the skills identify misinformation. This project will develop a prototype of Agents of Influence, a web-based video game for middle and high school students to promote digital literacy and resilience to misinformation. In the game, students will engage in a secret mission to protect a virtual school from misinformation by assessing the trustworthiness of content.

Project Activities: The team will develop a prototype in Phase I that will include a short digital game-based lesson, curricular materials, an educator dashboard, and a field guide. At the end of Phase I, a pilot study will occur over two weeks to test the prototype with twenty high school classrooms with educators and 200 students. Researchers will examine if the prototype functions as intended, if educators believe the game can be successfully delivered in the context of coursework, if students are engaged while playing, and if students identify misinformation in the content of the game.

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