LiteracyAccess Online Redesign Phase, Spring 2003



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LiteracyAccess Online

Redesign Phase, Spring 2003



Things to Consider


Literacy Explorer
Literacy Explorer is the major component of LiteracyAccess Online (LAO). Literacy Explorer houses both strategies and tools to assist the learner and the facilitator in the reading process. Literacy Explorer provides a framework to assist a learner and the facilitator through the suggested steps of a literacy session. The following steps are suggested:
(Please note that these steps are directed towards the dyad of a learner and facilitator)

Steps for a literacy lesson

Tools/Resources available through Literacy Explorer

1. Select reading materials

  • Story Bank

  • Read from the Web

2. Participate in pre-reading activities to prepare for the reading.

  • Picture Walk

  • Vocabulary Walk

  • Questions to consider

3. Read the selection.

  • Hot-linked vocabulary words

  • Questions to consider

  • On-line dictionary tool

  • Text-to-speech tool

4. Participate in post-reading activities to follow-up on the reading experience.

  • Overview of targeted skill areas

  • Writing activities
  • Phonics activities


  • Word activities

  • Reading comprehension activities

  • Story Builder?



  1. Selection of Reading Materials: Reading materials may be obtained from a variety of sources. Literacy Explorer provides the facilitator and the learner with access to a Story Bank, exclusive to LiteracyAccess Online (LAO), which contains pre-made stories. Additionally, Literacy Explorer offers the Read from the Web tool, exclusive to LiteracyAccess Online (LAO), which provides access to search engines, and reading support tools that may be used by the learner and facilitator while previewing reading materials from the web

  2. Pre-Reading: The focus of the Pre-Reading section of Literacy Explorer is to provide the learner and the facilitator with activities or suggestions of activities as a means to prepare the learner for an upcoming reading activity.

  3. Read: The focus of the Read section of Literacy Explorer is to provide the learner with a reading experience given assistance from the facilitator. If a reading selection from the Story Bank has been made, built-in support features such as hot-linked words and prompting questions are available to the learner and the facilitator. If a reading selection from the web was chosen through use of the Read from the Web, support features such as an on-line dictionary tool and text-to-speech tool are available for use by the learner and the facilitator.
  4. Post-Reading: The focus of the Post-Reading section of Literacy Explorer is to provide the learner and the facilitator with activities and suggestions as a follow-up to the reading experience. This section contains an overview of targeted skill areas (e.g., phonics, fluency, making words, vocabulary, writing to read, and comprehension) for the learner and the facilitator. In addition, this section presents the learner and facilitator with activities in the areas of writing, phonics, words, and reading comprehension.



Things to Consider:

  • I tried to define the purpose of each section in Literacy Explorer, so I could get a better understanding of what features may or may not be needed in each section.

  • Should “Read a Story” be changed to “Read” in the navigation bar since the reading materials are not solely stories (e.g., information obtained from the web)? Or, is the focus of Literacy Explorer to encourage the learner to use an existing story (from Story Bank) or create a story in Story Builder?

  • Because Story Builder is more about composing/writing, would Story Builder be considered a tool to be placed in the Post Reading section of Literacy Explorer? Recall that “Rewrite the ending of a reading selection” and “Write your own Story” are both Writing Activities available in this section. But, again we wanted to bring tools such as Story Builder to the forefront. Do we suggest that the two mentioned activities could be performed using Story Builder (because they are nice and practical ideas)?

  • Should the skill review information in the Post-Reading section be moved to the upper half of the page, considering it may be a resource that is used prior to engaging in the activities?

Read from the Web: Read from the Web, a feature exclusive to LiteracyAccess Online (LAO), provides a learner and the facilitator with the support to search for and read preferred text from the web while still in the framework of the LiteracyAccess Online web site. Read from the Web offers a variety of supports to assist the learner and the facilitator while reading material from the web. To help meet the needs of both a learner and the facilitator, Read from the Web provides reading prompts (e.g., Reading Keys to Letters, Reading Keys to Words, Reading Keys to Meaning), access to an on-line dictionary to explore word meaning, and a text-to-speech feature to explore the pronunciation of words. Additionally, Read from the Web also offers tips for the facilitator to assist the learner through the reading process such as reader prompts, motivation tips, and web-based resources.




Suggested Steps for Using Read from the Web

Tools/Resources available within Read from the Web

1. Search for the preferred text on the web.

  • Search feature

2. Informally assess the difficulty level of the selected text.

  • How hard is the story? feature

3. Participate in pre-reading activities to prepare for the reading.




4. Read the selection.

  • Reading Keys to Words

  • On-line dictionary

Listen to the Word (text-to-speech)

5. Participate in post-reading activities to follow-up on the reading experience.






Things to Consider:

  • Read from the Web should try to reflect what is being encouraged in the overview of Literacy Explorer (the reading process). As noted above in the table, there are some gaps in accessing some tools for pre-reading and post-reading. There are some writing activities available for post-reading, but should Story Builder be encouraged instead of these separate tools? Should we suggest the ideas (e.g., rewriting the end of the story, summarize your story, etc.) and use of Story Builder to do it? Or, are we distorting the purpose of Story Builder?


  • Should “Tips for your Reading Partner” be renamed to something like “Facilitator Tips” or “Tips for the Facilitator”)? Because who the text is directed towards is not clearly defined throughout the web site, this is a little confusing.

  • Should the Resources section in Tips for your Reading Partner be rethought, considering some of the resources are learner-directed, while some are facilitator’s resources-directed? Do we want to bring the learner resources out so they are more accessible to the learner? Do we want to label them “Web Resources” or “”Check out these web resources” since they all seem to be web resources.

  • Some comments on Tips for your Reading Partner:

Reader Prompts +


Assess the Reader – (not active)

Assess the Story – (Should this be done by the facilitator earlier in the game)

What to search for. – (Limited list of ideas)

Tips for motivation +/-

Resources: +/- (Some great sources for learrners to find reading material but embedded in facilitator resource sites)

  • What to search for” is limited in scope. Can this be expanded? In addition, is this intended for use by the facilitator or the learner? If intended for learner use, should a better version be generated and brought to the front for easy access?


E. Delsandro, 4/03






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