A Broadly Accessible Virtual Reading Tutor

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$374K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mentor Interactive, Inc.
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Principal Investigator/Program Director (Last, first, middle): Cole, Ronald, A. RESEARCH & RELATED Other Project Information 1. * Are Human Subjects Involved? l Yes m No 1.a. If YES to Human Subjects Is the IRB review Pending? l Yes m No IRB Approval Date: Exemption Number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Human Subject Assurance Number 00007232 2. * Are Vertebrate Animals Used? m Yes l No 2.a. If YES to Vertebrate Animals Is the IACUC review Pending? m Yes m No IACUC Approval Date: Animal Welfare Assurance Number 3. * Is proprietary/privileged information m Yes l No included in the application? 4.a.* Does this project have an actual or potential impact on m Yes l No the environment? 4.b. If yes, please explain: 4.c. If this project has an actual or potential impact on the environment, has an exemption been authorized or an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) been performed? m Yes m No 4.d. If yes, please explain: 5.a.* Does this project involve activities outside the U.S. or m Yes l No partnership with International Collaborators? 5.b. If yes, identify countries: 5.c. Optional Explanation: 6. * Project Summary/Abstract 1582-MENTORAbstract_SUMMARYPhaMseim_1e_Tanypde_:2a[1p]p.plidcfation/pdf 7. * Project Narrative 3538-MENTOR project_narrative[1].pdf Mime Type: application/pdf 8. Bibliography & References Cited 3318-MENTORNIHApr06References_r3[M1]i.mpdefType: application/pdf 9. Facilities & Other Resources 5600-MENTOR facilities.pdf Mime Type: application/pdf 10. Equipment 7794-MENTOR EQUIP.pdf Mime Type: application/pdf Tracking Number: Other Information Page 5 OMB Number: 4040-0001 Expiration Date: 04/30/2008 Principal Investigator/Program Director (Last, first, middle): Cole, Ronald, A. Project Summary Millions of children in the U.S. are at risk for learning to read well despite major advances in our understanding of the causes and cures for poor reading. In this Fast- Track proposal we propose to address this significant need and opportunity with a computer-based reading program that combines the power of one-on-one tutoring with the benefits of self-assessing, individualized, scientifically-based reading instruction. We plan to position this product, Foundations to Literacy", as a service over the Web, so that it is accessible in classrooms and resource rooms, community learning centers and homes. The goal of the Phase I work is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of delivering an immersive, individualized one-on-one tutoring experience to children in organizations and homes using a scalable, cost-effective Application Service Provider (ASP) delivery model. Success in the Phase I project will be measured by satisfactory learning experiences by 16 children connected to a single server who are using the program simultaneously. The goal of the Phase II research and development effort is to enhance the functionality of the Foundations to Literacy program by incorporating a new set of learning activities into the program that teach children to read text fluently with good comprehension. Improving reading comprehension is a national priority, and research has shown that good comprehension requires sufficient vocabulary and the ability to read words in context fluently and automatically. We propose to develop a novel set of learning activities that facilitate acquisition of basic oral vocabulary-the meanings of spoken words-and also teaches children to recognize printed versions of these words accurately and rapidly. In addition, using speech recognition technology to measure the