Researcher Spotlight

""TAM members from George Mason University, Dr.  Anya Evmenova and Dr. Kelley Regan are currently working on Project WeGotIT!: Writing Efficiently with Graphic Organizers: Teacher Integrating Technology! It is a five-year federally funded project supported by the Office of Special Education Programs, Stepping Up Technology Implementation.  Project WeGotIt! aims to promote an effective integration of technology-based graphic organizers (TBGOs) with embedded self-regulated learning strategies in order to improve writing literacy across the curriculum for students with and without high incidence disabilities who struggle with writing in elementary, middle, and high schools.  Writing is an important skill that is required for all content areas as well as many different areas of life.  TBGOs incorporate several research-based strategies including mnemonics, strategy instruction, self-regulated learning strategies, the use of word processing, and graphic organizers. In addition, the technology offers many universally designed supports that can enhance learning for all students. As a result of multiple iterations, Project WeGotIT now offers three different versions of a technology-based graphic organizer (or TBGO). There is a computer-based graphic organizer, or CBGO, that uses Microsoft Word® on a personal computer, a mobile based graphic organizer application or MBGO that can be used on an iPad, and a web-based graphic organizer, or WBGO. All versions incorporate several self-regulated learning strategies: goal setting, self-instruction, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation. They also include support features, such as a mnemonic strategy, color coding, drop-down menus, text hints, audio comments, and text-to-speech. Though the platforms are similar, there are some differences. TBGOs are available for three essay genres: persuasive, argumentative, and personal narrative. As of Fall 2016, TBGOs have been used with 30 teachers and more than 600 students including almost 400 struggling writers. When using the TBGOs, the majority of struggling writers increase the quantity of their writing and ALL students, including struggling writers and typical students, improve the quality of their writing. The most promising finding is that given sufficient practice, students maintain their performance when the graphic organizer is removed. For more information about Project WeGotIT!, please visit the website: http://wegotit.gmu.edu

Recent publications about Project WeGotIT!  in CEC journals:

Research: Evmenova, A. S., Regan, K., Boykin, A., Good, K., Hughes, M., MacVittie, N. P., Sacco, D., Ahn, S. Y., & Chirinos, D. S. (2016). Emphasizing planning for essay writing with a computer-based graphic organizer. Exceptional Children, 82, 170-191. doi: 10.1177/0014402915591697

Practice: Regan, K., Evmenova, A. S., Kurz, L. A., Hughes, M. D., Sacco, D., Ahn, S. Y., MacVittie N. P., Good, K., Boykin, A. & Chirinos, D. S. (2016). Researchers apply lesson study: A cycle of planning, implementation, and revision. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 31, 113-122. doi: 10.1111/ldrp.12101.