|Awardee:||ECHELON GROUP INCORPORATED|
|Doing Business As Name:||Echelon Group, Inc.|
|Estimated Total Award Amount:||$ 150,000|
|Funds Obligated to Date:||
|Award Start Date:||07/01/2010|
|Award Expiration Date:||12/31/2010|
|Awarding Agency Code:||4900|
|Funding Agency Code:||4900|
|Primary Program Source:||490100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT|
|Award Title or Description:||SBIR Phase I: Electronic Reading Tool: Story Interactive Media Player|
|Federal Award ID Number:||1013979|
|Program:||SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I|
|Street:||6281 Los Robles|
|Awardee Cong. District:||16|
Primary Place of Performance
|Organization Name:||Echelon Group, Inc.|
|Street:||6281 Los Robles|
Abstract at Time of Award
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to address is the lack of focused, high quality reading tools that incorporate modern presentation techniques, high quality artwork, and cutting edge technology. These components have been shown to have pronounced positive impact on reading comprehension in students that have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as the greater population. The problem will be attended by creating a tool that goes beyond a single story approach. The project proposes to establish a canvas from which many stories can be created using a structure that incorporates research-based reading strategies and multi-sensory presentation techniques using electronic technologies. Simply stated the basis of modern education is contingent upon reading and comprehension skills therefore it is logical and intuitive that every effort be made toward mastery of this skill set. The outcome of the proposed innovation is a platform that removes technology barriers and encourages high quality development. Utilizing a high resolution 3D graphics rendering engine in focused story presentation broadens the definition of interactive and will allow a deeper immersion in the story, which research suggests is key to using technology to enhance comprehension.
Project Outcomes Report
This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.
Echelon Group has developed a prototype of a web based, interactive application to increase reading comprehension skills in students that have higher word reading skills (decoding) but have poor reading comprehension. The “Electronic Reading Tool: Story Interactive Media Player (Story IMP™)” incorporates strategies based on proficient reader research to develop higher order reading comprehension skills, and is a user-friendly tool that increases enjoyment of reading. The model incorporates written language with multi-sensory learning experiences that enable students to interact with the text and illustrations. The Story IMP™ is a robust platform that allows online publishing of fiction and nonfiction books into its digital format .
Researchers evaluated the Story IMP™ with autism spectrum disorder students in El Paso, Texas. Participants in the study group showed marked improvement in all measures of reading comprehension, whereas participants in the control condition showed little or no improvement. The greatest effects observed were in overall reading ability, fluency, comprehension and rate. The pattern suggests that that the electronic storybook may be an effective tool for improving reading comprehension among Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students. As noted by Dr. Vannesa Mueller, a Speech-Language Pathologist at UTEP, for many children with ASD reading comprehension is very difficult. Word decoding is a relative strength, but making sense of the whole is elusive. Children with ASD need help filtering unnecessary information. This inability to choose what is essential to focus on and what is superfluous or redundant is a hallmark trait of these children and it is also what makes social interactions and language and communication so difficult. The Story IMP™ developed by Echelon Group helps to focus the attention of these children. The subtle animation is not overwhelming and does not interfere with the story. The animation helps call attention to relevant details in the story. Additionally, the comprehension questions help the child to focus in on what is important in the story. These elements may motivate children with ASD to read and re-read the story which is one factor that is guaranteed to show increases in reading comprehension – practice. Like any other skilled activity, practice is necessary for a child to become a proficient reader.
Last Modified: 03/08/2011
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