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This report provides an executive overview of the impact evaluations of two winning literacy apps, Antura and the Letters and Feed the Monster, in the EduApp4Syria competition. The impact evaluations had three goals:
1. Assess the impact of each game on players’ literacy skills;
2. Assess the impact of each game on players’ psychosocial wellbeing;
3. Assess each game’s ease of use and ability to engage children.
To answer these questions, the evaluations employed a quasi-experimental design that used both quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings for the impact on the first two research goals provide weak but encouraging evidence that smartphone learning games can build basic Arabic literacy skills and improve the psychosocial wellbeing of Syrian refugee children. The positive findings for both literacy and psychosocial wellbeing serves as a proof of concept for using smartphone apps for teaching literacy to refugee children and other children who do not have access to effective instruction. Findings for the third goal show that older children scored higher on the oral reading fluency subtest, but younger children showed higher rates of change on all subtests. Boys made larger gains on all subtests except for oral reading fluency, while girls scored the same with Antura and the Letters and higher with Feed the Monster. In addition, parents supported use of the apps, saying their children were learning and that playing the apps made their children happy. Children reported that they enjoyed playing the games and that the games made them happy.
More information about these games and their full impact evaluation reports can be found at allchildrenreading.org. The games in their updated versions can be downloaded by searching for “EduApp4Syria” on Google Play or the Apple App Store.