Readorium Software for Improved Reading Comprehension of Non-fiction Science Text

Award Information
Agency: Department of Education
Branch: N/A
Contract: edies11c0042
Agency Tracking Number: edies11c0042
Amount: $849,950.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
97 Leedsville Dr., Lincroft, NJ, 07738-
DUNS: 139396779
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Harriet Isecke
Business Contact
 Harriet Isecke
Research Institution
Purpose: Prior research indicates that reading difficulties in childhood become more problematic as students move to middle and high school where increasingly challenging material must be learned. Although some older students still struggle with decoding, many more have difficulty constructing meaning from text. Despite research that has identified strategies for teaching students to comprehend what they read, many teachers do not have the training or resources to utilize such techniques. The purpose of this project is to develop a web-based product to support struggling readers in understanding nonfiction text in the area of science. Project Activities: In the Phase I portion of the project, the researchers developed and field tested the prototype in seven middle school science classrooms. Data from the field test showed that teachers and students were engaged while using the new technology. In Phase II, the team will fully develop the product through an iterative design, feedback, and refinement process. Features that will be strengthened include an avatar that provides formative feedback and a recall function to store data and replay lessons at any time. In addition, the researchers will expand the content to include 19 topics and refine the teacher management component. To assess implementation feasibility and usability of the technology, and to gather data on the promise of the product to improve reading comprehension, a randomized controlled study will be conducted in 18 middle school classrooms. Half of the classrooms will be randomly assigned to use the intervention as a supplement to the curriculum and half will continue to use business-as-usual practices. A standardized science assessment will be used to compare learning across the two conditions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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