Social Quest is an application developed by Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Rosie Simms to improve pragmatic language comprehension and expression in a variety of social situations for older elementary, middle school
About Social Quest:
Navigating through the vast and complex world of social norms and expectations can feel stressful, and overwhelming; Social Quest is an app that is designed to help students who struggle with social situations reflect, predict, and practice good social etiquette and problem solving skills within everyday life so that they feel better prepared and less stressed as they encounter social situations in real life.
Social Quest is an application developed by Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Rosie Simms to improve pragmatic language comprehension and expression in a variety of social situations for older elementary, middle school, and high school-aged populations. The app utilizes a problem-solving quest theme in which students navigate various locations and earn “rewards” linked to social competencies.
Social Quest incorporates narratives about real-world situations in the home, school and community along with questions designed to increase positive social communication. The app is based on story-based intervention, a technique found to be effective for children with autism as documented in the National Autism Center’s Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools (2011)*. Questions about what to say, do, and infer in a wide variety of situations will target skills such as perspective-taking, conversational maintenance and transitions, gauging other people’s reactions, taking turns, problem solving, understanding humor, greetings, and scripts for social contexts. Situations and questions also address development of self-talk for social situations, a strategy that can reduce anxiety and improve communication skills (Sze & Wood, 2007)
Social Quest can be used to:
• Help students identify correct and incorrect responses to a social situation.
• Give students the opportunity to give more than one answer in a given social situation, reflecting the flexibility of social scripts.
• Choose to respond to questions from differing locations: Home (kitchen, bedroom, living room, bathroom, garage/yard); School (classroom, auditorium/library, cafeteria, hallway/office, yard/gymnasium; Community (grocery store, mall, restaurant, neighborhood, movies, doctor/dentist office).
• Stimulate individual or group discussion of occurrences and narratives related to students’ own life or similar contexts, which in turn allows them to practice social skills and language.
16 Target Areas
within the home, community, and school
On the receptive activity, the student is presented with multiple choice questions. Each set of answer choices contains two correct answers and one incorrect answer. The player’s settings selected for the individual student determine whether the student needs to find just one or both of the correct answers. Having to find both correct answers is a great beginning step for promoting flexible thinking. Only finding one correct answer is a good scaffolding tool for a student who is not yet at that higher level.
On the Expressive activity the student is presented with an open ended question; the adult working with the student marks “correct”, “almost”, or “incorrect” each time the student responds. The app allows the student to respond multiple times to the same question before proceeding with the “next” button. This is a great tool for working on flexible thinking and encouraging a student to think of multiple possibilities on how to deal with a particular social situation
Use 1-4 player
Players can select multiple targets
Students earn visual “rewards” to reinforce their progress throughout the app, and these are based on key social competencies for upper elementary-high school students (Bedrosian, 1985, Larson & McKinley, 2003, Landa, 1992, Smith-Myles, 2004). For example, the “Hall of Rewards” will eventually be filled with virtual tokens such as a Steed, to “help you be motivated and get going,” and a Book of Spells, “to help you makplans and complete tasks.” Earned rewards can be reviewed at any time and can be used outside the context of the app to discuss and promote use of skills.
Each student has their own “Hall of Rewards” where they can see all the trophies they have earned.
There are over 70 trophies that each student can unlock!
After completing a session the app saves details about the performance including the number of the location(s) played, the activity played, items completed, and the overall accuracy. These results can be easily emailed, printed (from an air-ready printer), or exported into TRC (a great free app for creating progress reports).
The general game settings allow flexibility in how the app responds to an incorrect answer: keep going, buzz, or remove item.
This is important for individually tailoring to the student’s needs as some students perform well with a game show like “buzz” while others are too distracted by it. Still other students may benefit more from the “remove item”.
Additionally, the user has the ability to turn on or off the audio reading the questions. Turning off the audio allows the student to work on their reading skills. Turning on the audio provides scaffolding for students who may have trouble reading.
The player settings are selected upon adding a player.
These settings are where you select the activity for the student “Receptive” or “Expressive”. These settings also give the option of whether the student must find both correct answers while using the receptive activity or just one correct answer. The option for “require 2 correct answers in receptive” is for promoting flexible thinking; understanding that there is almost always more than one correct way to respond to a social situation is an important element in succeeding in social situations.
• More than 800 questions across Receptive and Expressive Activities
• A wide selection of specific locations and corresponding social contexts to work on
• Multiplayer capabilities: each game can support from 1 to 4 players
• Each player can select multiple targets
• Receptive Activity in which students identify correct answers to a social question
(presented with text, audio, and accompanying image).
• Ability to customize the receptive activity to require student to provide one or two
correct answers to modify level of difficulty.
• Expressive Activity in which students respond to open-ended questions corresponding
to those asked in Receptive Activity.
• Expressive questions are worded more broadly to promote generalization of skills
• Over 70 virtual trophies that students can unlock providing additional motivation
• Hall of Rewards provides virtual reinforcement of progress and context for further
discussion of skills
• Data and report card kept on each student, report can be printed or emailed to parent or self for record-keeping
• Ability to add student photo or avatar to represent each player in the game
Smarty Ears has done it again! They created a fun app to address a difficult skill. Many of my readers are always looking for apps/materials for pragmatic groups. This one should be on your list!
I really like some of the self talk included into this app. It’s a great strategy for our students and I like that the questions directly request those skills. I love the variety of locations for social situations. It’s a great opportunity for discussing that our whole world is social! More than 800 questions are included, which gives it plenty of variety.