STARstreams: Multimedia and Conflict Resolution

Period of Performance: 08/13/2002 - 07/31/2003

$363K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Academic Edge, Inc.
Bloomington, IN 47408
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There is a national need for conflict resolution and peace education. Skit-based performances and open discussion are two frequently successful methods of working with children to develop conflict resolution skills. This project is creating a core set of conflict resolution modules along with ongoing new video-scenarios and educational materials that explore various conflict situations, providing these materials directly and over the web into classrooms, and providing a web-based conferencing forum for children to discuss the situations presented in the skits with each other, and with therapists experienced with conflict resolution and the actors playing the characters in the skits, thereby fostering communities among participating classrooms. The Phase I effort clearly demonstrated feasibility: all milestones were met and significant gains were observed in all aspects of the field trial. Phase II will continue the work effort by completing a set of 6 "core" conflict resolution modules, creating an online student and teacher Workshop, and developing an extensive and extensible set of online and hardcopy teacher support materials. For Phase II, three summative evaluation activities will be conducted as part of the test of feasibility: analysis of (1) the classroom experiences when using the materials. (2) the online dialogue of the student-participants, and (3) the data gathered from a controlled (waitlisted) pre-post design (N=352). 16 classes will participate at the same time across a one-year period. Based on the intermediary and final outcomes of the field trial, the STARstreams will be revised once more prior to delivering to market. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Schools must play a part in developing competent, socially-aware members of our society. Recent events in Littleton, CO, Port Huron, MI, and elsewhere have only served to thrust the importance of this activity to the forefront. Safe Schools and similar initiatives make this a recognized, often mandated need. By having both a core set of modules and a unique, expanding, online component, AEI will be able to tap not only an initial sales market but also pursue revenue through yearly web access renewals. STARStreams will be a cost-effective means of providing conflict resolution support to large numbers of students.