Colleen S. Portfolio


Course Name

Assistive Technology to Promote Reading Comprehension

Intent of Project

The intent of this project is to address the need for non-traditional instructional approaches to reading comprehension for grammar students.

Needs Assessment

1. Instructional Problem-When using traditional reading comprehension techniques, students are often distracted or overwhelmed by the process of decoding and single word definition, thus missing the intention-the content-of the reading exercise. Educators need access to different methods of comprehension delivery.

2. Intended setting-Although reading comprehension can be practiced in a whole class setting, the intent of these exercises is to be individual.

3. Learners-This course is appropriate for early readers or those who have difficulty grasping the main idea of a written work.

4. Content-Reading comprehension was recently described as “the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language through three elements: the reader, the text, and the activity or purpose for reading.”(Rand Reading Study Group, 2002). Although educators agree on the importance of establishing decoding skills in early learners, there has recently been more of shift in importance of language comprehension when reading. In fact, research has suggested that “language comprehension skills independently predict a child’s reading comprehension over and above decoding skills.” (Broek, et al., 2011). This is an interesting observation considering the environment where comprehension has traditionally occurred-students reading silently books chosen by their teacher. Although teachers of young grammar students now see the benefit of student-chosen works read aloud, there still seems to be a large population of early reading that struggle with content.

5. Solutions-One of the best ways to take the burden of decoding off of the student is through asstive technologies. There are several web-based and automated tools that can assist readers by taking the bulk of word concentration away from the reader. These will be explored for appropriateness.

6. Goals-These exercises are intended to help readers use different technological tools to advance their comprehension without the added responsibility of word analysis or decoding.


By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify various assistive technology aids to support reading comprehension.
  2. Select a particular technology based on the student and/or a specific need.
  3. Integrate the technology, as a supportive aid, to best assist either a single student or the entire class in developing comprehension skills.

Task Analysis


The purpose of this course is to introduce educators to technological aids to promote comprehension in early readers.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify several different technology options for integration in learning.
  2. Choose an appropriate option for a specific need.
  3. Integrate the technology as an aide.

Instructional Map

Prerequisite Skills

Essential Prerequisites

  1. Basic familiarity with Web 2.0
  2. Basic familiarity with word processing software
  3. Basic familiarity with media players and/or tablets

Supportive Prerequisites

  1. Willingness to incorporate technology within lesson plans
  2. Interest in web-based and media-based supportive teaching


RAND Reading Study Group. (2002). Reading for understanding: toward an r & d program in reading comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from on 2/20/2012.

van den Broek, Paul; Kendeou, Panayiota; Lousberg, Sandra; Visser, Gootje.(2011).Preparing for reading comprehension: Fostering text comprehension skills in preschool and early elementary school children. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(1), 259-268.