Today was our first day of official quantitative data collection with the new game software that Luis programmed. We had 2 groups of 4 women each. the first group was made up of “new learners,” or illiterate, and we had them interact with the letter sheets. We only have enough for 18 letters. I had them do a pre-assessment, which was more of a formality because they didn’t recognize any letters of the Hindi alphabet. Then the facilitator went through each of the 18 letters once. I then had the students go through some of the letters by themselves. Each of the 4 women in this group went through about 10 letters on their own (while still with the group). The session ran about 25 min.
For the 2nd group of 4 women, they had already completed the TARAakshar computer program about 6 months ago and were “educated”. The pre-assessment indicated that they knew all the letters we are using in our test and the numbers 1-10. Initially, I had them play with 4 players for 1 game, but it kept crashing. I believe some reasons why it crashed were due to the phones running out of memory from storing statistical data. I found this odd because I tested it last night and there didn’t seem to be any memory issues. Other times, it seemed that perhaps it was because the students pressed some buttons during certain points in the game and caused the game to malfunction. I then split the women into 2 groups to play two 2-player games. Initially, the 2 games also crashed due to the same reasons. Ultimately just had 2 women play 1 game, whcih was finally completed.
We will repeat the process again tomorrow with the same women. For the uneducated group, we will have them review the letters again. At the end, I’ll have the facilitator ask each student a few questions about letters and see if the students can point to the correct one. For the educated group, I initially assumed that they were all familiar with using the mobile phone and with the functions of the game due to our visits in the previous weeks, but I see it as very necessary to do a review and demo at the beginning again as a refresher. Also, I noticed that it is critical that the facilitator is available and prepared to provide guidance for any question by voicing the questions and providing any help to questions about the functions of the game or phone, at least in this initial phase.