WiREAD

Reading Collaboratively With Critical Lenses

What is WiREAD? (3:05)

  • Develops self-directed learners who can think critically, communicate clearly and collaboratively construct knowledge

    • Scaffolds students to read a given text critically using critical lenses, a set of perspectives for thinking (e.g. the lens of "audience")

    • Enables students to use the critical lenses to engage in a collaborative discussion (guided by various comment types)

  • Provides a web-based platform to enable students and teachers to view and analyse the level and quality of their participation

As teachers, we want our students to be able to read a given text critically, and be able to articulate their understanding of the text. WiREAD seeks to nurture these abilities through a web-based environment with simple tools for learners to guide their reading and empower discussions.

To scaffold students to read a text critically, WiREAD provides students with a set of critical lenses adapted from Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning. To enable students to use these critical lenses in a discussion of the text, WiREAD provides a set of comment types.

WiREAD was successfully piloted in one mainstream secondary school over two years, involving 1 HOD, 6 teachers and 379 students using 20 multimodal texts. Teacher participants observed an improvement in the quality of students’ critical discussions of the multimodal texts. Students’ performance in post-tests also showed a significant improvement in their critical reading fluency performance.

Using two guiding structures, critical lenses and comment types, WiREAD scaffolds students to first read a given text critically, and then use the critical lenses in an engaging discussion involving various comment types.


Step 1: Critical reading

To read a given text, students apply one or more critical lenses, a set of perspectives for thinking adapted from Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning.

Wearing the critical lens(es), students consider the following in analysing the text:

  • message
  • purpose
  • audience
  • assumption
  • viewpoint
  • inference
  • impact

Step 2: Collaborative discussion

Students use the comment types as a guide to discuss the given text. The varied comment types guide students to use the critical lenses in different ways: to ideate, justify, validate, challenge or clarify.

For example, a student may challenge (comment type) a peer’s analysis of the audience (critical lens). A student may also use evidence to justify (comment type) his/her analysis of the author’s viewpoint (critical lens).


Step 3: Formative assessment using the online platform

Students and teachers use “My Learning Dashboard” to analyse the quality of their discussion, enabling them to modify their behaviour to achieve desired outcomes.

  • Observation: Teacher participants observed an improvement in the quality of students’ critical discussions of the multimodal texts.

  • Performance in critical reading tests (pre- and post- tests): Comparing scores before and at the end of the project, the WiREAD group showed a slightly significant improvement in their critical reading fluency performance, compared to the control group who saw a slight decline in performance.

Without the WiREAD online platform


  • One strategy is to assign different groups to wear different lenses, and respond to a given article using sticky notes. Students will read the given text using the selected critical lens. Get the groups to indicate which lens and which comment type they are using. Download sample lesson plan

  • Peers may then respond to the groups’ comments using additional sticky notes.

  • As students become familiar with the critical lenses and comment types, they can simultaneously use multiple lenses and comments types.

With the WiREAD online platform


  • Contact the Principal Investigator Dr Jennifer Tan, if you are interested to use the online WiREAD platform with your students.

  • ReED Vol 17, 2015 "We Read with WiREAD"[PDF]

Question-Icon
Research team

To learn more about WiREAD, please contact Dr Jennifer jen.tan@nie.edu.sg.



    Co-Principal Investigator (Lead Research Investigator)
  • Dr Jennifer Tan, Office of Education Research, NIE

    Principal Investigator
  • Mr Albert Lim, Principal, Ngee Ann Secondary School (NAS), MOE

    Co-Principal Investigator
  • Mdm Muneira Daud, HOD English Language, NAS, MOE

    MOE Partners
  • Ms Tay Siu Hua, MOE
    Research Assistant
  • Ms Christin Jonathan, NIE
    Software Engineer
  • Mr Simon Yang, NIE
Research led by
Author
Co-Principal Investigator (Lead Research Investigator)
Dr Jennifer Tan, NIE
Principal Investigator

Mr Albert Lim, Principal, Ngee Ann Secondary (NAS), MOE

Co-Principal Investigator

Mdm Muneira Daud, HOD English Language, NAS, MOE

To learn more about WiREAD, email: jen.tan@nie.edu.sg

What teachers & students say

“I've seen the quality of comments [and] talk improve among the students. The other thing that I felt was really good was when they looked at the learning analytics maps they realised a lot of things about themselves…. They were motivated to want to do more and to be more engaged in what they were doing.”

- Teacher


“eye opening”, “helps me to know my strengths and weaknesses” “shows which skills and [critical] lenses I have not used”

- Student feedback
Participants

379 secondary school students

1 HOD, 6 teachers

1 secondary school

Contents

Research led by
Author
Co-Principal Investigator (Lead Research Investigator)
Dr Jennifer Tan, NIE
Principal Investigator

Mr Albert Lim, Principal, Ngee Ann Secondary (NAS), MOE

Co-Principal Investigator

Mdm Muneira Daud, HOD English Language, NAS, MOE

To learn more about WiREAD, email: jen.tan@nie.edu.sg

WiREAD

Reading Collaboratively With Critical Lenses

Question-Icon
How WiREAD can help your students
  • Develops self-directed learners who can think critically, communicate clearly and collaboratively construct knowledge
    • Scaffolds students to read a given text critically using critical lenses, a set of perspectives for thinking (e.g. the lens of “audience”)

    • Enables students to use the critical lenses to engage in a collaborative discussion (guided by various comment types)

  • Provides a web-based platform to enable students and teachers to view and analyse the level and quality of their participation
Question-Icon
Why WiREAD?

As teachers, we want our students to be able to read a given text critically, and be able to articulate their understanding of the text. WiREAD seeks to nurture these abilities through a web-based environment with simple tools for learners to guide their reading and empower discussions.

To scaffold students to read a text critically, WiREAD provides students with a set of critical lenses adapted from Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning. To enable students to use these critical lenses in a discussion of the text, WiREAD provides a set of comment types.

WiREAD was successfully piloted in one mainstream secondary school over two years, involving 1 HOD, 6 teachers and 379 students using 20 multimodal texts. Teacher participants observed an improvement in the quality of students’ critical discussions of the multimodal texts. Students’ performance in post-tests also showed a significant improvement in their critical reading fluency performance.

Question-Icon
How WiREAD works

Using two guiding structures, critical lenses and comment types, WiREAD scaffolds students to first read a given text critically, and then use the critical lenses in an engaging discussion involving various comment types.


Step 1: Critical reading

To read a given text, students apply one or more critical lenses, a set of perspectives for thinking adapted from Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning.

Wearing the critical lens(es), students consider the following in analysing the text:

  • message
  • purpose
  • audience
  • assumption
  • viewpoint
  • inference
  • impact

Step 2: Collaborative discussion

Students use the comment types as a guide to discuss the given text. The varied comment types guide students to use the critical lenses in different ways: to ideate, justify, validate, challenge or clarify.

For example, a student may challenge (comment type) a peer’s analysis of the audience (critical lens). A student may also use evidence to justify (comment type) his/her analysis of the author’s viewpoint (critical lens).


Step 3: Formative assessment using the online platform

Students and teachers use “My Learning Dashboard” to analyse the quality of their discussion, enabling them to modify their behaviour to achieve desired outcomes.

Evidence from WiREAD research
  • Observation: Teacher participants observed an improvement in the quality of students’ critical discussions of the multimodal texts.
  • Performance in critical reading tests (pre- and post- tests): Comparing scores before and at the end of the project, the WiREAD group showed a slightly significant improvement in their critical reading fluency performance, compared to the control group who saw a slight decline in performance.
Question-Icon
How can teachers get started?

Without the WiREAD online platform


  • One strategy is to assign different groups to wear different lenses, and respond to a given article using sticky notes. Students will read the given text using the selected critical lens. Get the groups to indicate which lens and which comment type they are using. Download sample lesson plan
  • Peers may then respond to the groups’ comments using additional sticky notes.
  • As students become familiar with the critical lenses and comment types, they can simultaneously use multiple lenses and comments types.

With the WiREAD online platform


  • Contact the Principal Investigator Dr Jennifer Tan, if you are interested to use the online WiREAD platform with your students.
Question-Icon
Related links
  • ReED Vol 17, 2015 “We Read with WiREAD”[PDF]
Research project
  • WiREAD: Enhancing Students’ 21st Century Critical Literacy Skills through a Web-based Collaborative Reading and Learning Analytics Environment
Question-Icon
Research team

To learn more about WiREAD, please contact Dr Jennifer jen.tan@nie.edu.sg.



    Co-Principal Investigator (Lead Research Investigator)
  • Dr Jennifer Tan, Office of Education Research, NIE
    Principal Investigator
  • Mr Albert Lim, Principal, Ngee Ann Secondary School (NAS), MOE
    Co-Principal Investigator
  • Mdm Muneira Daud, HOD English Language, NAS, MOE
    MOE Partners
  • Ms Tay Siu Hua, MOE
    Research Assistant
  • Ms Christin Jonathan, NIE
    Software Engineer
  • Mr Simon Yang, NIE

This research on WiREAD was funded by Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) under the eduLab Programme (NRF2013-EDU001-EL019) and administered by National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Singapore NRF and NIE.

This knowledge resource was written by Jeanne Marie Ho and Monica Ong.

What is WiREAD? (3:05)

What teachers & students say

“I've seen the quality of comments [and] talk improve among the students. The other thing that I felt was really good was when they looked at the learning analytics maps they realised a lot of things about themselves…. They were motivated to want to do more and to be more engaged in what they were doing.”

- Teacher


“eye opening”, “helps me to know my strengths and weaknesses” “shows which skills and [critical] lenses I have not used”

- Student feedback
Participants

379 secondary school students

1 HOD, 6 teachers

1 secondary school