SBIR Phase II: Skills- and Assessments-Based Learning Environments

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Is3d, LLC
ATHENS, GA 30601
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


This SBIR Phase II project will complete the research and development required to produce a Skills- and Assessments-based Learning Environment for high school biology classes. This project will create a modular software system that is underpinned by a unique data analysis platform. Using 3D interactive video gaming technology, each module will place a key science concept in the context of solving a real world problem. Students will be assessed at each stage of the problem-solving process, and their performance is exported to an online analysis platform in real time. In doing so, the teacher is given an instant visual representation that helps the teacher identify pain points for each student. By addressing these pain points, the students become more adept at each step of the problem solving process and, as they complete more modules, they are able to hone their overall problem solving skills. This project support NSF's mission by training students in the skills necessary to pursue a career in science, technology, or any problem solving profession. This project will build a grow-able and sustainable software company that will create lasting jobs for artists, software developers, and scientists. This project centers on the ethos that successful scientists solve real-world problems, and students need to experience this first hand. The aim of Phase II is to complete the technical objectives required to bring produce a Skills- and Assessments-based Learning Environment to market, which require: A) the development and implementation of software modules that address teacher-identified curricular "pain points", and B) the development and refinement of the analysis system based on customer feedback. This project presents a refined approach that can be applied to any science discipline, namely: problem solving is a skill, skills can be honed through practice, and the key to solving science problems is mastery of the scientific practices that comprise the scientific method. The system will guide students as they 1) acquire the requisite knowledge; 2) collect data; 3) analyze and interpret data; 4) form and test a hypothesis; 5) refine the hypothesis, if needed, according to the data; and 6) communicate their findings. The analysis system will enable teachers to assess student achievement at each of these steps in real time, thereby allowing them to identify and address areas that are problematic for individual students.