Chancellor's Professor Carol Connor (PI) and Co-PI Danielle McNamara (ASU) have been awarded a four-year IES Grant: "Developing Electronic-Books to Build Elementary Students' Word Knowledge, Comprehension Monitoring, and Reading Comprehension."
Researchers will develop and test a series of digital books that embed strategies to improve word knowledge, comprehension monitoring, metacognitive skills, and overall reading comprehension for students in grades 3 to 5. While Kindles, iBooks, tablets, and electronic-books have become ubiquitous and offer affordances and have strong potential to improve readers' understanding, little content has been developed specifically for educational settings and few technologies provide adaptive supports to improve reading. The WKe-Books to be developed in this research will use a choose-your-own adventure format with challenging vocabulary (e.g., cognizant), as well as comprehension monitoring pages that will incorporate three strategies: word learning, deep-level question generation, and summarization across three genres: fiction, social studies, and science.
To develop the four WKe-Books, the researchers will use a design-based implementation research (DBIR) procedure whereby iterations of research and development will occur until feasibility, usability, and learning aims are met. After development is complete, the researchers will use a randomized control trial (RCT) to examine whether WKe-Books shows promise for improving students' word learning and comprehension monitoring. The researchers will use a delayed treatment design with classrooms randomly assigned to implement the WKe-Books immediately or later. During the pilot phase of the study, the team will also examine the feasibility of teacher implementation of the Book Clubs, and usability of WKe-Books by students. In the final year of the study, the researchers will complete analyses, dissemination, and materials.
The research will take place in lower-income urban elementary schools in Arizona and California, with student populations that are approximately 70% Hispanic, 25% English Learner, and 60% who qualify for the National School Lunch Program. The research will include 15 teachers (4-5 teachers per grade) and approximately 400 students per year.
Key measures will include gathering data using a combination of researcher-developed assessments, standardized assessments, eye movement tasks, content knowledge assessments, and data from the student-user logs to monitor achievement of development aims in the DBIR studies. In the pilot RCT study, the researchers will use standardized reading assessments, including the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, the Pair Cancellation Test; and the Academic Knowledge Test, as well as researcher-developed measures.