Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Poster Board # PS3-1

Benjamin H. Levi, MD, PhD1, Chengwu Yang, MD PhD1, Ben Mathews, PhD LLB2, Angela Dick, MA3, Mandy Mundy, BA4 and Claudia Mincemoyer, PhD LLB5, (1)Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, (2)Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, (3)Dept. of Education Technology Services, University Park, PA, (4)Network of Victim Assistance, Jamison, PA, (5)Penn State University, University Park, PA
Purpose:  To evaluate the efficacy of a game-ified online learning module, iLook Out for Child Abuse, that prepares caregivers of young children to report suspected child abuse.

Methods:  A multi-disciplinary team created a game-ified online learning module to educate caregivers of young children (infants – preschoolers) about signs, symptoms, and risk factors of child abuse; their legal and professional responsibilities; and how to report suspected abuse.

   Learners are asked to imagine themselves as an early childhood practitioner.  Using “point-of-view-shot” videos along with text and graphics, learners progress through a storyline in which they encounter children and parents whose behaviors and back-stories portray various indicators and concerns related to physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect; as well as co-workers who demonstrate varying perspectives and levels of awareness about protecting children.

   In addition to pre-/post-assessments of knowledge, attitudes, and perceived self-efficacy about reporting suspected child abuse, iLookOut tracks learners’ responses within the learning module to two kinds of questions.  “Didactic Questions” ask the learner to identify risk factors and signs of child abuse, as well as requirements for reporting abuse.  The learner’s selection of a particular response-item triggers a distinct, brief educational reply.  “Judgment Questions” require the learner to decide what (if any) action is warranted based on what they’ve seen or learned to that point in the storyline.  Resource files (e.g., background on family situation, facts about child abuse, etc.) are made available to learners at different junctures, and iLookOut also tracks which educational resources the learner accesses.

   A randomized control trial is currently underway to evaluate pre/post changes in learners’ knowledge and attitudes about reporting child abuse, using a test/retest methodology.  We also will analyze learners’ response to the Didactic and Judgment questions –to identify patterns of learning and decision-making, as well as correlations between these patterns and individual demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, etc.) and/or features of the setting where the learner cares for children (size of facility, religious affiliation, rurality, etc.). 

   We anticipate enrolling and completing data collection for 400-500 participants by July 15, with analysis completed by September 1.

   Correspondence with SMDM’s meeting planner (Meg Taft) confirmed that this submission was appropriate despite the current absence of data.

Results: None yet 

Conclusions: None yet