- Our online tutor, eBRAVO, explicitly teaches reading strategies used by skilled readers to understand complex texts. Reading instruction occurs as students learn about a science topic that forms part of their secondary curriculum.
- A national survey of U.S. schools shows that a majority of our high school graduates are not proficient readers (NAEP, 2019).
- Learning from text is an important lifelong skill, essential to success in college and for many careers.
- However, most schools do not teach these skills in a systematic way.
- Depending on one’s reading skills and knowledge about the science topic, this program can take a couple of hours or a few weeks to complete.
Learn ecology concepts alongside key reading strategies!
As part of a Department of Education research grant, CU Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science is offering at-home access to eBRAVO Ecology Reader for middle and high school students. For participating in this research study, participants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card after completing the eBRAVO curriculum.
eBRAVO bridges the divide between grade-school, largely narrative reading materials and middle- to upper-grade textbooks. Each feature of the eBRAVO design, structure, and implementation is shaped by a specific goal: to prepare students to comprehending complex, informational texts—in school and in their adult lives. This program revolves around a powerful combination of elements:
- An evidenced-based model of comprehension for informational text
- Specific reading strategies that are supported by the comprehension model
- Taught congruently with knowledge building of ecology content
- Ongoing assessment of students’ comprehension skills and content knowledge with targeted lessons
- Engaging topics and high-quality materials in a teachable program
The comprehension model underlying the eBRAVO curriculum views comprehension as a multi- layered process: Advanced readers use their word knowledge, their language knowledge (how grammatical devices and text structures convey intended meaning), their knowledge about the subject matter, and their general background knowledge in order to build an accurate and coherent understanding of what a text is about.
Emphasizing the crucial role that knowledge plays in comprehension, eBRAVO targets three levels of processing: (1) establishing local level coherence from sentence to sentence; (2) understanding the how paragraphs relate to one another and to the overall topic; (3) deepening one’s understanding of the content and embedding it in memory by inferring connections between the content and one’s own knowledge.
The Ecology Reader is designed to address key aspects of the the Common Core State Standards for secondary science and language arts. Comprehension strategies are explicitly explained, modeled, and practiced as students work through a graduated series of twelve increasingly complex, short chapters about ecology. The Ecology Reader adapts to the needs of each student by assessing their comprehension and providing instruction on up to five specific strategies. The teacher interface allows teachers or parents to monitor student progress and adapt the curriculum in a way that best meets the needs of his/her student(s).
This joint focus on comprehension and knowledge building combined with an adaptive learning environment is what make the eBRAVO Ecology Reader unique.