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IES Grant

Title: Factors Affecting Comprehension by Teens During Online Reading in Science: The FACTORS Project
Center: NCER Year: 2017
Principal Investigator: Rhoads, Christopher Awardee: University of Connecticut
Program: Literacy      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (07/01/2017 - 06/30/2019) Award Amount: $599,879
Type: Exploration Award Number: R305A170370

Co-Principal Investigator: McCoach, D. Betsy

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to explore factors that contribute to online reading success in science for adolescents. Online reading is becoming more and more important for studentsí success in school and beyond, but research shows that many students cannot successfully read online or conduct other types of online research activities such as evaluating the trustworthiness of online sources of information. In addition, a separate achievement gap appears to exist for online reading as a function of income level, independent of the offline reading achievement gap. Understanding what student, teacher, and school characteristics contribute to online reading ability is important for helping all students, especially low-income students, become more proficient in online reading.

Project Activities: In this study, researchers will use data from three previous studies, one of which was funded by the Institute (Assessing Online Reading Comprehension: The ORCA Project). Researchers will conduct a series of studies to examine how teacher variables (e.g. teaching experience, experience with the Internet), student variables (e.g. offline reading ability, Internet use in classrooms), motivation to read, and one-to-one laptop access at school are associated with better online reading outcomes.

Products: Products include evidence of what teacher, student, and school factors are associated with increased online reading achievement. The research team will also produce peer reviewed publications.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The data used in this study were collected in Maine and Connecticut.

Sample: The sample includes data from approximately 1,325 seventh grade students and 40 teachers.

Intervention: In this exploratory study, the researchers are examining predictors, mediators, and moderators of online reading in science for seventh grade students.

Research Design and Methods: The research team will combine data from three projects in this study. The ORCA Project (Assessing Online Reading Comprehension: The ORCA Project) developed measures of online research and reading comprehension for use with seventh grade students. One of the two states which participated in the ORCA project provided a laptop computer to each seventh grade student to ensure everyone had continuous access. The research team will draw data for the current project from the Motivation for Online Reading project, and the Home-School Project. Both of these projects administered additional measures on reading motivation and home and school Internet use to the students and teachers in the ORCA project. Six studies will be conducted in this project. Study 1 will examine the factor structure of teacher Internet use, student Internet use, and student motivation for online reading measures. Study 2 will examine teacher factors as potential predictors, moderators, and mediators of online reading achievement. Study 3 will examine student factors as potential predictors, moderators, and mediators of online reading achievement. Study 4 will examine motivation as a predictor of online reading. Study 5 will explore one-to-one laptop access as a predictor of online reading. Finally, study 6 will use qualitative data to examine teachers' and students perceptions of online reading instruction in the content areas.

Control Condition: Due to the nature of the research design, there is no control condition.

Key Measures: Online reading comprehension will be measured by the ORCA assessments. Offline reading comprehension will be measured using the state reading assessments for Connecticut and Maine. The Student Internet Use Survey and the Teacher Internet Use Survey will be used to measure internet use, and the Motivation for Online Reading (MOR) scale will be used to measure reading motivation.

Data Analytic Strategy: In Study 1, researchers will use confirmatory factor analyses to look at the factor structure of the internet use surveys and the MOR scale. In Studies 2, 3, and 4, the research team will use multiple regressions to look at teacher and student predictors, moderators, and mediators of online reading. In Study 5, the research team will use hierarchical linear modeling, with students clustered in schools, to look at the association between one-to-one laptop programs and online reading. Researchers will use grounded theory using analytic inductive analysis to analyze qualitative data in Study 6.

Related IES Project: Assessing Online Reading Comprehension: The ORCA Project (R305A090608).

Project Website: