iRAISE (Internet-Based Reading Apprenticeship Improving Science Education)

Note: This WestEd project was completed in 2016.


iRAISE was awarded a three-year Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop and test an online version of the rigorously researched face-to-face RAISE model of WestEd’s Reading Apprenticeship professional development.

iRAISE was designed to provide an online, cost-effective alternative for large numbers of high school biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics teachers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to bring Reading Apprenticeship practices to their classrooms.

The iRAISE development work involved the Strategic Literacy Initiative‘s instructional designers and two sets of teacher design partners in iterative cycles of developing, piloting, and field-testing the 65-hour course. As with RAISE professional development, the goal was to help teachers increase students’ engagement in subject area reading — science in this case — and their comprehension of complex subject area texts.

During the grant period, 131 teachers and 20,250 students were impacted by the iRAISE professional development. A facilitator training program and materials were developed and field-tested to support future scale-up, potentially reaching tens of thousands of students and their teachers.

Ruth Schoenbach, former Co-Director of the Strategic Literacy Initiative, directed the iRAISE project and Heather Howlett was the Project Manager