Supported eText NCSeT Typology Overview of the NCSeT Typology
Overview of the NCSeT Typology


The descriptions and illustrations of eleven types of supportive eText resources were developed by Lynne Anderson-Inman, Ph.D. and Mark Horney, Ph.D. of the National Center for Supported eText (NCSeT) at the University of Oregon.

The underlying assumption of supported text is that electronic text (e.g., a word, phrase, paragraph, page, or document) can be infused with additional text and/or media in ways that promote better understanding of what the author intended to communicate. In addition, the concept assumes that electronic text can be structurally presented or organized in ways that accommodate individual learning needs/styles or that can facilitate the accomplishment of targeted instructional objectives. Together, it is assumed that these enhancements can help readers overcome the perceptual, conceptual, and comprehension hurdles found in the text materials they are asked to read. Although implementations of supported etext are potentially appropriate for any learner at any reading level, most applications to date have focused on the needs of students with reading disabilities that make it hard for them to access or comprehend printed text in traditional formats.

From multiple research and development projects focused on investigating the nature and impact of supportive electronic text, we developed a typology that describes the specific types of resources that can be used to transform electronic text. In previous publications we describe eight types of supportive resources that can be used to make the process of reading a specific text easier or more educational (Anderson-Inman, 2004; Anderson-Inman & Horney, 1998; Horney & Anderson-Inman, 1999). Unlike typologies suggested by instructional design or educational, the resources in this list do not focus on what media is being used to modify or enhance the electronic text, but rather what function the supportive resource plays in the reading process. The latest iteration of the typology has eleven types of supportive resources (Anderson-Inman & Horney, 2007). It is this typology that guides the work of the National Center for Supported eText (NCSeT), a five-year national research center at the University of Oregon funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Each of the eleven types of supported etext resources is described and illustrated on the following pages.



Anderson-Inman, L. (2004). Reading on the Web: Making the most of digital text. Wisconsin State Reading Association Journal. 44 (2), 8-14.

Anderson-Inman, L. & Horney, M. (1997). Electronic books for secondary students. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 40(6), 486-491.

Anderson-Inman, L. & Horney, M. (1998). Transforming text for at-risk readers. In. D. Reinking, L. Labbo, M. McKenna, & R. Kieffer (Eds.). Handbook of literacy and technology: Transformations in a post-typographic world. (pp. 15-43). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Anderson-Inman, L. & Horney, M. (2007) Supported etext: Assistive technology through text transformations. Reading Research Quarterly. 42 (1), 153-160.

Horney, M.A. & Anderson-Inman, L. (1999). Supported text in electronic reading environments. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 15(2), 127– 168.