Communicating research to support the evolution of teaching

Learnus is involved with the iRead research project

Learnus was invited by The London Knowledge Lab and The UCL Institute of Education to be a partner along with others in 7 European countries to develop a programme to foster reading skills in two user groups: primary school children who are learning to read and children with dyslexia. The project, iRead, which is being funded via an EU programme was very highly rated by the review panel.

iRead will build on outcomes from a previous European research project iLearnRW (which received an outstanding evaluation) to develop a suite of learning technologies that foster accurate and fluent reading and comprehension personalized to the unique needs of each learner through an adaptive user model of each child. Thus, the technology will offer differentiated learning as each child will work on content that matches their skills.

The technologies that will be developed are:

a set of learning mini games that fit within classroom timetables;
an assistive Reader with a library of digital curriculum material;
a set of interactive e-books with personalized literacy activities;
a recommender system that will suggest content appropriate to the linguistic skills of a child.

The research will ensure that these technologies are designed with schools to be sensitive to the needs of the classroom. Previous empirical research suggests that these kinds of tools reinforce the repetition of reading skills and provide in-time feedback. Additionally, data from each student’s ongoing interaction with the technology will be collected and visualized to support learning and teaching. This will help students to understand the skills that they need to work on, to better regulate their learning. It will also support teachers in diagnosing and assessing each student’s engagement with reading and their learning progress both at school and home. This should lead to better quality provision.