Thank you for your interest in WestEd’s pilot study of BrainQuake Math Learning Games. Please read the information on this page. If you are interested in participating in this research, fill in the relevant information and hit the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.
Brief description. WestEd (www.wested.org) is a not-for-profit educational research agency that has been funded by the Department of Education to conduct a brief study on the application of teaching mathematics using mobile educational games. BrainQuake (www.brainquake.com) is an educational technology, game-based learning platform that allows students to gain problem-solving skills and number sense through play.  BrainQuake offers a suite of mathematics games covering math concepts regularly taught at the middle school level. The use of BrainQuake also provides advanced student proficiency reports to teachers, including performance, persistence and problem-solving creativity scoring.
Purpose. This study will allow researchers to explore how usable and feasible BrainQuake is for supporting students’ math learning.
Participant tasks.  This study will take place over the course of 8 weeks during the fall 2017 semester. As a participating instructor in the study, you will agree to be randomly assigned to either 1) use BrainQuake resources in your math class, or 2) conduct your math class in the normal way, without the use of BrainQuake resources. Using BrainQuake resources means that you agree to use the BrainQuake suite of puzzles during your math lesson, administered for at least 10 minutes on at least 3 days per week.  You would assign introductory number sense, algebraic and proportional reasoning puzzles, followed by more advanced levels that intersperse the three puzzle types.

In addition to being willing to use the BrainQuake math suite of games, you will be asked to complete a number of study tasks:

1.     If you are assigned to the BrainQuake math suite group, you will use all 3 mathematics puzzles over the duration of the study. If you are assigned not to use the BrainQuake math suite, you will agree not to use BrainQuake math games and conduct class in your standard way during the course of the study.

2.     Both groups will be required to attend a virtual training, conducted by a WestEd staff member in the summer of 2017. The training will show you how to use BrainQuake’s features, and offer guidance on how it can be used effectively in the classroom. If assigned to use BrainQuake math games, you will be encouraged to attend the live online training, but the training may be archived if you are unable to meet the scheduled session. Whether through online or archived format, you will be required to complete the training.  Teacher identities (names, profile pictures, etc.) will not be visible in the archived session.

3.     Regardless of your assignment, hand out a parent/guardian and student informational letter (created by WestEd) that informs students and their parents of the basic goals and procedures involved in the study, and that allows each to opt out of participation. Those who opt out will return the letter to you, whereas those who agree to participate need not return the letter.

4.     Regardless of your assignment, complete two surveys at the beginning of the study, one which asks you about your experience using technology in the classroom and another asking about your background and experience teaching. At the end of the 8-week study, you will be asked to complete a survey identical to the beginning of semester survey on your knowledge of using technology in the classroom. Teachers assigned to use BrainQuake will complete another survey consisting of questions about BrainQuake game usability. 

5.     Regardless of your assignment, administer 2 surveys to your students at the beginning of the study, and 2 surveys to your students at the end of the study. The beginning of study surveys will consist of a mathematics understanding survey and a math motivation survey. The end of study surveys will be identical to the beginning of study surveys. Teachers assigned to use BrainQuake will administer an additional survey asking students about BrainQuake game usability.

6.     Regardless of your assignment, return the in-class surveys administered at the beginning and end of the study to WestEd.

7.     Regardless of your assignment, fill out a short, 5-minute weekly log for each week of the study, which asks questions about how you used the BrainQuake games in your class that week.

8.     If selected, allow one researcher from the WestEd team to observe one classroom lesson. The WestEd researcher will not interfere with the lesson.

9.     If selected, allow one researcher from the WestEd team to conduct a focus group at the conclusion of the observation with 5 randomly selected students.  The focus group can be conducted in the classroom at a time convenient for the teacher.

10.   If selected, participate in an optional phone interview regarding your experience with the study and the BrainQuake product.
Participation is voluntary.  You do not have to participate in this study. Whether or not you choose to take part in the study will have no bearing on your standing or employment at your school. If you do participate in the study, you do not have to answer any survey items that you are uncomfortable with, and you have the right to stop participating in the study at any time without penalty.

All information is confidential.  Your privacy, and that of your students, is protected. Some of the information we will collect include your name and your background information, such as your teaching experience. All contact information, such as phone numbers or emails, will only be used to contact you to coordinate the implementation of the study during the study period. All identifying information will be removed before researchers analyze the data. To ensure confidentiality of the data, we will assign you a random study ID and keep your personally identifying information in a password-protected database. Once data collection is complete, we will destroy study records that contain participant names. Only de-identified data will be used for analysis and only authorized researchers will have access to the data.

Risk/benefits.  The researchers recognize that teachers face substantial pressure to perform well. You may feel discomfort as a result of participating in the study because of this perceived pressure. WestEd does not foresee additional risks of physical, psychological, or social harm to you as a result of participating in this study. In addition, to compensate you for your time spent involved in this study, WestEd will pay you up to a $800 stipend if you are randomly assigned to use BrainQuake resources, and up to a $600 stipend if you are randomly assigned not to use BrainQuake resources. Stipends will be contingent on completion of study tasks. 25% of the stipend will be paid upon completion of the pre-assessment tasks.  The remainder of the stipend is payable upon completion of the post-assessment tasks.  A small subset of teachers will be selected to participate in a phone interview. If you are selected and agree to the interview, you will receive an additional $50 stipend. Your participation may benefit society, as knowledge from this study will result in a stronger understanding of how to use games to support math learning.
Questions.  If you have further questions about this research study, you may contact the research team at bmatlen@wested.org or call Bryan Matlen, the co-principal investigator, at (650)-381-6412. More information about both BrainQuake, www.brainquake.com and WestEd www.wested.org. You may call the WestEd Office of Research Integrity at (415) 615-3372 to ask about your rights as a research subject or to report research-related problems.

Please review the information above. To consent to participation in this study, check the box below and fill in the requested information. If you do not wish to participate in the study, close the browser window or navigate to a different page without submitting the form.

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* 1. Please review the information above. To consent to participation in this study, check the box below and fill in the requested information. If you do not wish to participate in the study, close the browser window or navigate to a different page without submitting the form.

Please provide your contact information below. 

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* 2. Please provide your contact information below. 

Which grade level do you teach?

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* 3. Which grade level do you teach?

Please describe your students' access to computers, laptops or other tablet devices  during the school day:

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* 4. Please describe your students' access to computers, laptops or other tablet devices  during the school day:

Please hit the "Submit" button below to submit your response.

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