Multimedia Hiv/std Prevention Curriculum-middle Schools

Period of Performance: 09/15/2000 - 09/14/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Academic Edge, Inc.
Bloomington, IN 47408
Principal Investigator


Adolescents who have sexual intercourse having the highest rates of STDs of any age group. This project addresses the need for readily available, interesting, and effective prevention curriculum by combining the use of multimedia, streaming video, and web-based conferencing with research- based prevention curriculum components. An experienced regional theater group will be streamed over the net into health classrooms followed by a period of online discussion of the skits with the actors participating in the dialogue. Additional materials include expert guest discussions, easy-to- understand support materials, and pointers to additional information. Materials will be delivered in various technological formats to increase accessibility. The primary product will be a book plus CD-ROM that contains archived sessions and teacher support The CD-ROM will link to the web for updated resources and new sessions. Phase I will (1) produce a full curriculum design document, (2) produce three of these serials, (3) create in-class support materials , (4) setup the online conference rooms, and (5) integrate these resources within a web- based learning environment. Design and development will follow a user-centered design methodology with teacher and student participation in several iterations of the various components of the package. 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 dia1ogue of the student-participants, and (3) the data gathered from a pre-post design. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The number of new cases of STDs is estimated to be approximately 15.3 million a year (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999). Adolescents who have sexual intercourse have the highest rates of STDs of any age group (Berman & Hein, 1999). The STDs are a serious health problem among adolescents, causing serious damage to more teenagers than do all other communicable diseases combined (Yarber, 1983). School mental health personnel and teachers are often unprepared to teach STD prevention effectively and need effective, engaging prevention curriculum materials. Innovative, web-enhanced prevention curriculum materials that are easy to use and easy to integrate into existing curricula strands should prove popular with schools and health agencies. Distributing interactive theater in this manner moves it from a local, one-time expenditure often perceived as unjustifiable to the status of a long-term curriculum purchase. The use of a book/CD product as an entryway to the rich media resources also positions the product as a justifiable expenditure--an important issue because of the current general lack of acceptance of internet subscriptions: folks like to have a product in hand. Private schools, home school and other parents, represent additional markets.