Foundations I – Ele-Bot

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About Ele-Bot

The Fast ForWord Foundations I exercise Ele-Bot focuses on the following tasks, goals, and skills.

Task. Identify the picture that best represents a sentence or answers a question.

Goal. Develop the following cognitive and language & reading skills:

Language & reading skills

English language conventions

The ability to understand the elements of the English language—including proper word order, syntax, vocabulary, prefixes and suffixes, plurals, and subject-verb agreement—while working on hundreds of sentences.

Vocabulary

The understanding of words in terms of meaning, phonological structure, and grammatical role.

Listening accuracy

The ability to distinguish differences between sounds and to correctly identify sequences of sound. This skill enables learners to recognize and discriminate the rapidly changing sounds that are important for discriminating phonemes.

Cognitive skills

Memory

The ability to hold a statement or question in working memory while retrieving picture-concept associations from long-term memory and identifying the best response.

Attention

The ability to remain focused and sustain attention.

Processing

The ability to process aurally presented sentences for comprehension (auditory, visual, and linguistic skill building).

Sequencing

The ability to use word order to comprehend simple and complex sentences.

About the science

Ele-Bot presents questions and sentences that involve a range of grammatical difficulty. For example:

  • “The boy is eating.” (easier)
  • “The mouse is not being chased by the cat.” (more difficult)

The higher levels in Ele-Bot expose the student to more complex grammar, but the student is not required to master that complex content in order to advance in the exercise.

Ele-Bot includes Scientific Learning’s patented speech processing technology.

  • At first, Ele-Bot presents sentences in which the speech sounds have been digitally altered using patented methods (including selective intensity increases and duration extensions) to provide enhanced learning opportunities. Initially, the consonant sounds in each word have been lengthened and enhanced relative to the vowel sound. For example, the word cat is initially presented with acoustically modified versions of the /k/ and /t/ sounds.
  • As the student progresses through the exercise, Ele-Bot decreases this processing, and eventually presents the sentences using natural speech.

How students use Ele-Bot

The object of Ele-Bot is to identify the picture that best represents a sentence or answers a question.

To work on Ele-Bot, the student clicks the Go button on Ella the electric robot to hear a sentence pronounced. Two to four pictures are displayed on the screen. The student must click the picture that most accurately represents the sentence. Points are awarded for each correct answer.

At first, Ele-Bot starts with a pre-teaching activity to help familiarize the student with the vocabulary. This activity works a little differently than the regular exercise play described above. To learn more see Vocabulary pre-teaching.

Replay button. During each trial, the student can click the Replay button to repeat the stimuli again. The Replay button is only available during a trial.

Time. The timer at the top of the screen shows the amount of time the student needs to work on the exercise that day, which is based on the student's protocol. It fills in from left to right as time elapses. When the time requirement is met, the exercise automatically closes and returns to the remaining exercises scheduled for that day. If this is the last exercise for the day, Today’s report opens.

Menu. The student can use this menu to exit the exercise early, to check the network connection status, and to see exactly how much time is left to meet the day’s protocol for that exercise. To learn more see Exiting an exercise.

Keyboard shortcuts. Students who are not able to use a mouse can use the following keyboard shortcuts (not available on touchscreen devices):

  • Go button. Space bar
  • Pictures (responses), top left to bottom right. Number keys 1 through 4

Autoplay

To help speed up progress, the student can use Autoplay to take a set of multiple trials with a single click of the Go button. Autoplay becomes available early in the exercise, after the student demonstrates a basic understanding of the concepts (usually after passing a small group of trials). Once introduced, Autoplay turns on by default. The student can turn it off or back on at any time.

When Autoplay is on, the student clicks the Go button one time to start a set of trials. Autoplay always starts with a set of 3 trials. The Autoplay counter shows the number of trials in the current set. If the student gets all of the trials in the set correct, the exercise adds one more trial to the next set. If the student gets any of them incorrect, the program removes one trial from the next set. An Autoplay set will never be less than 3 trials.

The student can earn bonus points by responding correctly to all trials in an Autoplay set. For example, in a set of 3 trials, if each trial earns 2 points, the student would earn 6 bonus points after responding correctly to all 3 trials in the set.

How students progress in Ele-Bot

Introduction

Ele-Bot begins with a short introduction that explains the task.

Tip: You can choose to present the introductions, instructions, and any interventions in another language, if needed. See Fast ForWord exercise intro languages.

Vocabulary pre-teaching

Ele-Bot provides a pre-teaching activity that introduces the vocabulary within the exercise, before the student needs to use that vocabulary. This can be particularly helpful to younger students, English language learners, and special education students.

The pre-teaching activity includes 10 groups of vocabulary words that include approximately 9-10 words each. Each day, at the start of the exercise, the activity presents one group of vocabulary words that relate to the current content. When all 10 groups have been presented, the pre-teaching activity is complete and will not be revisited again.

To work on the vocabulary teaching activity, the student clicks the Go button. One or two pictures that represent a vocabulary word from the exercise appear on the screen. Ele-Bot pronounces the word, and sometimes uses it in a sentence. After a few moments, the picture or pictures disappear. The student must click the Go button to continue with the activity until all of the words for the day have been presented. Then the student can begin the standard exercise task.

Progression

In Ele-Bot, the student progresses through five speech processing levels in the exercise. Within each level, Ele-Bot presents multiple groups of language structures that range in difficulty.

The student does not work on all language structure groups in each speech processing level. Instead, as the student progresses in the exercise, Ele-Bot introduces new groups and removes mastered groups. This helps the student move through the content at an appropriate pace while focusing on the content that challenges the student. To master a group, the student must pass that group within two levels, and pass it on the first attempt in at least one of those levels.

  • Level 1 presents Groups 1-5
  • Level 2 presents Groups 1-8
  • Level 3 presents Groups 1-10, excluding mastered groups
  • Level 4 presents Groups 1-10, excluding mastered groups
  • Level 5 presents all content, including mastered groups, as one large group

The number of trials in Ele-Bot depends on the student’s performance:

  • Students who pass groups in fewer attempts get fewer trials (a minimum of 576 trials).
  • Students who struggle and repeat groups get more trials (based on performance).

Advancement

In Ele-Bot, the student must pass all the groups in a level to advance to the next level:

  • Groups 1-3. The student must answer 90% of the trials correctly.
  • Group 4. The student must answer 80% of the trials correctly.
  • Groups 5-6. The student must answer 90% of the trials correctly.
  • Groups 7-10. The student must answer 80% of the trials correctly.

If the student fails to meet the advancement criteria for a group, the student receives an intervention and repeats the group.

Ele-Bot adapts to student performance within each level by evaluating each group individually. The student only repeats groups that were not passed. This way, the student can focus on learning the material that provides more of a challenge. However, to make sure that the student has learned the material, the student will work on all grammar structures at the highest level (Level 5), regardless of previous performance.

Interventions

The exercises use built-in, responsive technology to detect when a student is struggling and administer targeted, inline instruction—right when the student needs it—without any external resources or assistance required. This “smart learning” design helps reduce frustration as it quickly gets students back on track, where they can continue making progress and achieving gains.

Ele-Bot provides a variety of in-product interventions when needed, such as:

  • Direct instruction
  • Pre-teaching
  • Guided practice

The student can receive 1 or 2 of these interventions at a time, depending on the task and difficulty level in which the student is struggling. Each one can take anywhere from a few seconds to 2-3 minutes to complete. When appropriate, the student’s progression in the exercise stops temporarily while working through an intervention, then resumes when the student returns to the regular exercise content.

Tip: You can choose to present the introductions, instructions, and any interventions in another language, if needed. See Fast ForWord exercise intro languages.

Mastery

To complete the exercise, the student must master all of the skills in the exercise and reach a percent complete score of 100%. To learn more see About completing a program.

How Ele-Bot rewards progress

Points. The exercise awards points as follows:

  • 2 point for each correct response
  • 10 bonus points after 12 correct responses
  • During Autoplay, students earn double the usual amount of points when they complete a set of trials without any errors. For example, in a set of 3 trials, if each trial earns 2 points, the student would earn 6 bonus points.

Feeder meter. The feeder meter tracks and celebrates every 1% of content completion. At 10% complete, the meter is full, and it “feeds” that percentage into the progress meter and resets. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Percent Complete History report.

Progress meter. The progress meter tracks and celebrates every 10% of content completion. Each marker represents 10% of the exercise. When all 10 markers light up, the exercise is complete. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Percent Complete History report.

Completion status. The completion status sign shows the actual percent complete score for the exercise. The score updates each time the student completes 1%. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Percent Complete History report.

Current streak (3 in a row). At the start of each new session, the exercise tracks and shows the current “winning streak” of consecutive correct trials. After 3 consecutive correct trials in a session, a “3 in a row” sign slides onto the screen. The score increments until the streak is broken (on the first incorrect trial), at which point the sign disappears from view. The current streak sign resets to zero at the end of each streak, and at the start of the next session.

Highest streak. At the start of each new day, the exercise tracks and shows the student’s best “winning streak” of consecutive correct trials. The score appears after the first 3 consecutive correct trials, and remains on the screen throughout the day. Any time the student surpasses his or her highest streak that day, the sign updates to show the latest number. The highest streak score resets to zero at the start of the next day.

More rewards. In addition to the current streak sign, the exercise uses other fun animations to encourage progress.

  • The light bulbs on Elle’s head light up to indicate the number of consecutive correct responses. When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly, a peanut appears in the bag on the left and the counter resets.
  • When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly three times, Elle gets to eat the peanuts, and the empty bag moves to the right side of the screen.
  • When the student accumulates four empty peanut bags, the golden peanut bag appears. This bag fills with gold peanuts instead of regular peanuts. Bonus points are awarded when the golden peanut bag is filled, and the student earns a special gold peanut, which is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen.