Digital Scaffolding for English Language Arts

Principal Investigator: Mark Warschauer

Co-Principal Investigators

Funding: $3,500,000

Funder: USDE Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

Duration: July 1, 2015 to September 30, 2019


The project will test the effectiveness of visual-syntactic text formatting (VSTF) for improving student achievement in reading, writing, and English language arts. The study will be conducted using Chromebook computers and iPads in GGUSD intermediate schools. Seventh and eighth grade students will read for 50 minutes per week in specially-selected texts that support the California (Common Core) State Standards. English Language Arts classes will be randomly assigned to read the texts in either regular block formatting or VSTF. State and district test scores will be used to evaluate the impact of the mode of reading on student achievement. All participating teachers will receive professional development on how best to teach close reading of texts to intermediate students, with or without the extra digital scaffolding.

Note: Visual-syntactic text formatting, also referred to by its trademarked name of Live Ink, was developed by Walker Reading Technologies.