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Addressing Learning Disabilities with UDL and Technology: Strategic Reader


Tracey E. Hall, Nicole Cohen, Ge Vue, and Patricia Ganley


Learning Disability Quarterly




CAST created The Strategic Reader, a technology-based system blending Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) in a digital learning environment to improve reading comprehension instruction. This experimental study evaluates the effectiveness of The Strategic Reader using two treatment conditions for measuring progress (online versus offline). Using both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, strong evidence is found that students using the online tool experience significant growth in comprehension scores.

The difference in score growth in the online vs. offline conditions is especially large for students with LD: Only in the online progress-monitoring condition do LD students experience a statistically significant score increase. Additionally, students with LD report to be both substantially more engaged by (and with) Strategic Reader, finding many aspects of the tool differentially more helpful than their general education peers. In sum, the results provide promising paths for both curricular design and further research in the design of digital environments.

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Hall, T.E., Cohen, N., Vue, G. & Ganley, P. (2015). Addressing learning disabilities with UDL and technology: Strategic Reader. Learning Disability Quarterly 38(2): 72-83. doi: 10.1177/0731948714544375.

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