Research Sites
Section Overview


The National Center for Supported eText (NCSeT) has established collaborative research relationships with individual researchers and research teams across the country. At the present time there are four different types of collaborations. Each is described briefly below, accompanied by an overview of the research currently being conducted in each category.

Research Strands

NCSeT is currently supporting four research teams across the country as they conduct a strand of research on “supported etext”. Each team is focused on one or more specific etext support and is working with one or more specific student population. NCSeT has made a three year commitment to each research team, designed to support a strand of research that goes through the following three phases:

Phase 1: Component Analysis. The purpose of this phase is identify a specific etext support and gather data to determine its possible efficacy for improving students’ reading comprehension. During this phase research teams use various exploratory research designs to isolate and investigate one or more specific etext support within a specific electronic reading/learning environment for a specific population of students. The goal is to determine whether the identified etext support has a positive effect on reading comprehension and if so, how best to provide that etext support to students to maximize that effect.

Phase 2: Pilot Study. The purpose of this phase is to conduct a pilot study investigating the learning impact of the identified etext support. During the pilot study it is expected that research teams will be able to (1) develop and refine the intervention to be used in an upcoming experiment, (2) develop and refine instruments and data collection procedures, and (3) identify and address various implementation issues associated with a technology-based interventions.

Phase 3: Experimental Study. The purpose of this phase is to answer questions concerning the effectiveness of one or more e-text support to produce meaningful improvements in the reading comprehension and learning of academic content for a specific population of disabled students at a specific grade level targeted on specific learning outcomes. Randomized assignment to treatment and control or comparison groups is used to determine whether the etext intervention has a positive impact on students’ reading comprehension and learning of academic content.

The following is a list of the four research sites supported by NCSeT as they conduct a strand of research on supported etext. More details on this research are available at the NCSeT Web site by selecting the appropriate entry from the menu provided under “Research Sites”.

Educational Development Center (EDC), Newton, MA
Research Team: Judy Zorfass, Cathy Morroco and Karen Clay
Investigating the use of Visual Thesaurus to improve word knowledge and reading comprehension of social studies texts by middle school students with learning disabilities.

University of Oregon, Center for Electronic Studying (CES), Eugene, OR
Research Team: Lynne Anderson-Inman, Jonathon Richter, Ulad Slabin, Kim Ketterer
Investigating the use of static versus dynamic graphics to improve reading comprehension and conceptual understanding of high school biology texts by students with learning disabilities.

University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Research Team: John Langone, Kevin Ayres, Pat Janes, Jenny Cook and Molly McCarty
Investigating the use of digitized speech (“audio text”), glossary definitions, and illustrative videos to improve word knowledge and auditory comprehension of life skills and leisure reading materials by secondary students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities.

Michigan State University, Lansing, MI
Research Team: Cynthia Okolo, Jing Hong Tian, and Summer Ferreri
Investigating the differential effects of text-to-speech, with and without highlighting, on reading comprehension, engagement, and achievement of middle school students in social studies and language arts.

Individual eText Studies

NCSeT is currently supporting three individual experimental studies on the effectiveness of “supported etext”. Each study is focused on one or more specific etext support and is working with one or more specific student population. These individual etext studies build on prior work by a participating researcher and/or take advantage of an established resource base for project implementation. NCSeT has made a one-year commitment to each site. Although not required, it is hoped that NCSeT support can be leveraged into additional funding from sources beyond those available through NCSeT. The following three research teams are conducting individual experimental studies supported by NCSeT. More details on this research are available at the NCSeT Web site by selecting the appropriate entry from the menu provided under “Research Sites”.

University of Kentucky, Human Development Institute, Louisville, KY
Researcher: Preston Lewis
Investigating the effects of text-to-speech and spoken definitions within Read, Write, Gold (Texthelp, Inc.) on word knowledge and reading comprehension of middle school students with learning disabilities.

Fordham University, New York City, NY
Researcher: Carol Kennedy
Investigating glossary versus dictionary definitions and different instructional prompts on the word knowledge and reading comprehension of biology science text by high school students with learning disabilities who have Spanish as their first language. The study includes English Spanish/ English content specific vocabulary and sentences as well as a text-to-speech reader with Spanish translation capabilities.

Collier County School District, Naples, FL
Researcher Team: Bill Schulte, Keith Smolkowski, Lynne Anderson-Inman
Investigating the effects of different etext supports within WYNN (Freedom Scientific, Inc.) on the reading comprehension of students with various types of disabilities.

Doctoral Dissertations

NCSeT is currently supporting two doctoral students as they conduct individual experimental studies on the effectiveness of “supported etext”. Each study is focused on one etext support, investigating its effectiveness to improve the reading comprehension of a specific student population. The following two doctoral students are conducting individual experimental studies supported by NCSeT. More details on this research are available at the NCSeT Web site by selecting the appropriate entry from the menu provided under “Research Sites”.

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Doctoral Student: Edward Parker, supported by Margo Izzo, Jeanne Novak, Kelly Dillon
Investigating the use of “Guided Notes” in WYNN to improve on-task behavior and reading comprehension of high school students with learning disabilities reading about career awareness and transition to work.

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Doctoral Student: Ben Fisher, supported by Lynne Anderson-Inman and Mark Horney
Investigating the differential impact on reading comprehension of “descriptive captions” versus “instructional captions” for illustrations and graphics in high school biology texts read by students with learning disabilities.

Analyses of Existing Data Sets

NCSeT is currently supporting the analysis of two existing data sets for the purposes of answering questions related to the efficacy of specific etext supports. The following two collaborations have been established by NCSeT to enable these analyses. More details on this research are available at the NCSeT Web site by selecting the appropriate entry from the menu provided under “Research Sites”.

Sioux Falls School District, Sioux Falls, SD
Research Team: Keith Smolkowski, Sharon Schueler, Lynne Anderson-Inman
Investigating the effects of TestTalker (text-to-speech software by Freedom Scientific, Inc.) on the performance of students with disabilities taking South Dakota’s state-wide test (Dakota STEP) in reading and math for years 2003-2006.

University of Kentucky, Louisville, KY
Research Team: Keith Smolkowski, Jeff Gau, Preston Lewis, Lynne Anderson-Inman
Investigating the effects of Lexiflow (text-to-speech software by Texthelp, Inc.) on reading comprehension of students with disabilities in grades 6-8.

  • Updates   ( 8 Articles )
    Each of the research sites listed below has been working on a strand of research supported by funding from the National Center for Supported eText (NCSeT). The overall goal for each research site is to identify effective etext supports and investigate the conditions under which these supports have a positive impact on the literacy and learning of students with disabilities.
  • Collier County   ( 2 Articles )
  • EDC   ( 9 Articles )

    Research Team: Judy Zorfass, Karen Clay, Alise Brann

    Investigating the use of Visual Thesaurus to improve word knowledge and reading comprehension of social studies texts by middle school students with learning disabilities.

     

     

  • Fordham University   ( 3 Articles )

     

    Fordham University
    Graduate School of Education
    Center for Educational Parnterships
    113 W, 60th Street, room 1115
    New York, New York 10023

     

    Dr. Carol Kennedy, Dr. Anita Batisti

     

     

     

  • Michigan State   ( 3 Articles )

    Research Team: Cynthia Okolo, Jing Hong Tian

    Investigating the differential effects of text-to-speech, definitions, summaries, and video clips on reading comprehension of middle school students in social studies and language arts.

  • Ohio State   ( 4 Articles )
    Description will be displayed here.
  • University of Georgia   ( 8 Articles )

    Research Team: John Langone, Kevin Ayres

    Investigating the use of text-to-speech and video to improve word knowledge, reading fluency, and comprehension of life skills and leisure reading materials by students who are developmentally delayed or have autism.

  • University of Kentucky   ( 6 Articles )
    Description of this site will be here.
  • CES   ( 5 Articles )

    Each research site will have its own category with items such as:


    Overview of research site
    Overview of the research
    Current Activities
    What we've learned so far [findings]