Word Puzzle Game Study

Welcome to the evaluation of the Word Puzzle Game, a learning game designed to improve your child’s literacy development! 

We know many families speak languages other than English. We have translated these materials into Spanish (see below). If you are interested in the game but don’t speak English or Spanish, please ask someone you trust such as a teacher for assistance in reading these materials. 

Researchers from SRI Education, a non-profit research company, are conducting an evaluation of the Word Puzzle Game to help the developer improve the educational value of the game. This work is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the United States Department of Education. 

Who is eligible to participate?

Participation in the study is limited to students in third grade in the United States (U.S.) who have permission from a parent or legal guardian and who have access to an iPad or an iPhone running iOS 11 or higher. To be eligible, students must reside in the U.S. and must agree to play the game only in the U.S. Upon completion of the study the parent or legal guardian of the child who played the game will have the opportunity to enter a contest to win one of two $1,000 prizes for their child’s third grade teacher. 

How does the study work?

  • The parent or legal guardian will sign up the child for the study online.
  • The child will have an opportunity to try out the game to see if they like it. If they like the game they can continue with the study. 
  • The child will take an entrance survey online.
  • The child will be randomly assigned to one of two groups:
    • One group will play the online game for 6 weeks using their iPad or iPhone (the “Early Start” group)
    • One group will delay playing the game for 6 weeks (the “Late start” group)
  • At the end of 6 weeks all children will take an exit survey using their iPad or iPhone.
  • Parents will have the option of entering a contest to win one of two $1,000 prizes for their participating child’s third grade teacher.  
  • The entire study will be conducted online.

What are the benefits of participating in the study? 

  1. All children will have access to the online game that may help to improve their literacy skills. The Early Start group of children assigned to play the game for 6 weeks during the study will have access to the game right away and they can keep the game if they complete the exit survey at the conclusion of the study. The Late Start group of children assigned to delay playing the game for 6 weeks during the study will have access to the game after they complete the exit survey at the conclusion of the study. 
  2. Upon completion of the exit survey, the parent will have an opportunity to enter a contest to win one of two $1,000 prizes for their child’s third grade teacher. To be eligible to receive the contest award, the teacher must work in a United States public or public charter school. Complete details of the contest are available here.

Participation is voluntary and you or your child may decide to discontinue participating at any time. We ask that you make the iPad or iPhone available to your child and invite them to play the game. 

To participate, we need a confirmation from the parent that the child is in third grade in the United States, has easy and regular access to an iPad or iPhone, and has their consent to participate in the study. To send notifications to the family we will need a parent’s email address.

SRI researchers will not need the child’s name or other personal information for the study. 

After the study and the contest, neither SRI or the game developer will track usage of the game on the tablet. To improve the educational value of the game, SRI and the game developer will track usage of the game during the study. SRI and the game developer will not track usage of other sites or other activities on the tablet either during or after the study.

If you have any questions, please review our frequently asked questions page or contact the SRI Education research team at: educational-games@sri.com. 

Parental Consent 

Directions to parent or legal guardian: Please read the following statements.  By clicking “Continue” below, you confirm that you understand all the following statements and that they are all true for your child, and you also confirm that you would like your child to participate in the study.

  • I confirm that my child is in third grade in the United States (U.S.).
  • I confirm that my child resides in the U.S.
  • I confirm that my child will play the game in the U.S.
  • I confirm that my child has easy access to an iPad or iPhone on a regular basis.
  • I will make the game available to my child to play at least four days every week as the game is designed to educate students through short, regular exposure. 
  • I will neither play the game nor answer the survey questions for my child. 
  • I will not allow others, including other children in my household, to play the game until the research study has concluded. 
  • I have read the above and would like my child to participate in this SRI Education evaluation of The Word Puzzle Game.

Next steps: 

  • Please click “Continue” below to access instructions to enter the game. Once in the game, you will be asked to enter your email address.  Your child will then get to play for a bit to confirm interest and will then be asked to complete the entrance survey.
  • After completing the entrance survey, your child will be assigned to either play the game regularly for the next 6 weeks or will be asked to delay playing the game for 6 weeks.
  • During the 6-week period, SRI and the game developers will occasionally send an email to you to offer encouragement. 
  • At the end of the 6-week period, SRI and the game developers will send an email to remind you to have your child complete the exit survey. 
  • After the child completes the exit survey, the parent will be invited to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a prize for the child’s third-grade teacher. 

If you have any questions, please review our frequently asked questions page or contact the SRI Education research team at: educational-games@sri.com. 

Thank you for joining us!

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