Print

Project Description

What is The Structure Strategy?


The structure strategy is a well-tested method that helps readers to focus on the text organization, helping them to organize their reading accordingly, and show significant improvement in recall of expository text (e.g., Meyer, 1999). Meyer, Young, and Bartlett (1989) found that the strategy helped readers remember more ideas and more important ideas, as well as remembering the ideas longer .

Intelligent Tutoring for the Structure Strategy


Some students fail to succeed in tasks such as identifying main ideas from expository text and giving cohesive and complete accounts of what they read because of how they read, rather than because they do not read. Meyer, Brand, and Bluth (1990) showed that good readers in the ninth grade (as measured by standardized reading achievement tests and corroborated by teacher appraisals) could use the structure strategy, while most poor readers could not.

We are excited to report that ITSS (our web-based tutor for the structure strategy) has shown significant improvement in reading comprehension on standardized measures during our pilot tests in Western Pennsylvania (Meyer and Wijekumar, 2007). As a result of our important findings we have been awarded a Department of Education Grant to improve reading comprehension among students in grades 4,5,7, and 8. This grant will build on a previous development grant from the U.S. Department of Education that created and tested a web-based intelligent tutoring system to teach students how to use the structure strategy. As noted above, the structure strategy is a well-tested method that helps readers to focus on the text organization, helping them organize their reading accordingly, and showing significant improvement in recall of the contents of expository text (e.g., Meyer, 1999; Meyer, Young, & Bartlett, 1989, Meyer and Wijekumar, 2007; Meyer and Wijekumar, in press). Teachers have also noted marked improvement in the quality of writing among students using the structure strategy.