Elizabeth Murray

Senior Research Scientist/Instructional Designer
email: Click here

Short BiographyEducationCurrent ProjectsSelected Publications

Short Biography

Elizabeth (Boo) Murray applies her technical skills, mathematics background, special education experience, and clinical specialties to the development of universally-designed software.

Dr. Murray is Co-Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Education’s Steppingstones of Technology Innovation program, " Science Writer: A Universally Designed Thinking Writer." She has also served as Co-Principal Investigator for a project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, to develop and test a prototype of a digital high school biology text containing embedded supports for student learning, in collaboration with the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas.

Before joining CAST, Dr. Murray was an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University, and Assistant Director of Occupational Therapy for the Shriver Center University Affiliated Program. During her tenure as an occupational therapist, Dr. Murray presented extensively on the effects of deficits in visual perception on academic learning in children.

Her doctoral research analyzed the relationship between visual-spatial abilities and mathematics achievement in boys with and without learning disabilities. She received training in mathematics assessment at the Learning Disorders Unit of Children's Hospital in Boston and conducted evaluations of visual-spatial and mathematics abilities of children with a variety of disabilities for 15 years. She has also worked as an elementary and special education teacher in the Philadelphia public schools.


Sc. D., Therapeutic Studies, Boston University, Boston, MA

Certificate, Occupational Therapy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

M.Ed., Special Education, University of Delaware, Newark, DE,

B.S., Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Current Projects

Science Writer – an OSEP-funded project to create a technology-based writing approach to meet the challenge of supporting students (grades 6-10) with and without disabilities in the science report-writing process. The project integrates research-based writing strategies and curriculum based measurement into a flexible, technology-based writing environment.

Principled Science Assessment Designs for Students with Disabilities – a U.S. DOE-funded project in collaboration with SRI and the University of Maryland to apply the principles of UDL to the Principled Assessment Designs for Inquiry (PADI) system. The goal is to create assessments in science that more accurately reflect the knowledge, skills, and abilities of students with disabilities. The project team will conduct empirical studies and develop guidelines for state departments of education and assessment developers to increase the validity of inferences from science assessment scores for all students.
Online Writing Assistance for All/ MassOne Writer – an OSEP-funded project to develop and evaluate a web-based tool that will integrate the principles of Universal Design for Learning with research-based writing strategies to support middle school students with specific learning disabilities.

Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) – an OSEP-funded Center hosted by the American Institutes for Research to support state and local education agencies in developing systems that effectively integrate instructional technology so that all students achieve high educational standards. CAST provides UDL expertise through innovative professional development, technical assistance, communities of practice, and web-based resources.

Oracle Educational Foundation Project – In collaboration with SRI, the Gateway School and the Oracle Education Foundation, CAST is supporting teachers in incorporating UDL into project-based learning.

Strategy Tutor – With funding from the Carnegie Foundation, CAST is developing a web-based strategy instructional tool that helps students with diverse learning needs read and understand websites, especially those rich with educational resources. Strategy Tutor structures the online reading experience to help students learn to evaluate material and acquire the reading-comprehension skills they need to read and learn from educational websites.
Selected Publications

Murray, B., Silver-Pacuilla, H., & Helses, F. I. (2007). Improving basic mathematics instruction: promising technology resources for students with special needs. Technology in Action , 2(5), 1-8.
Coyne, P., Ganley, P., Hall, T., Meo, G., Murray, E. A., & Gordon, D. (2006). Applying universal design for learning in the classroom. In A. Meyer, & D. Rose (Eds.), A practical reader in universal design for learning . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Bundy, A. C. & Murray, E. A. (2002). Sensory integration: A. Jean Ayres's theory revisited. In A. C. Bundy, S. J. Lane, & E. A. Murray (Eds.) Sensory integration: Theory and practice (2nd Ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.

Henderson, A., Pehoski, C., & Murray, E. A. (2002). Visual-spatial abilities. In A. C. Bundy, S. J. Lane, & E. A. Murray (Eds.) Sensory integration: Theory and practice (2nd Ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.

Anzalone, M. E., & Murray, E. A. (2002). Sensory integration and other practice theories: An integrated approach to treatment. In A. C. Bundy, S. J. Lane, & E. A. Murray (Eds.) Sensory integration: Theory and practice (2nd Ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.



CAST's Mission
To expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through the research and development of innovative, technology-based educational resources and strategies.

Did You Know...?
CAST's research areas include literacy, online learning, assessment, textbook design, accessibility, classroom practice, and education policy.