Technology Support for Evidence-Based Writing Instruction: IES SBIR Research Study

In multiple large-scale studies and in every school that uses it, the SRSD method of writing instruction has been found to be effective at raising literacy and SEL outcomes. Due to this demonstrated success, the federal government has funded a study dedicated to learning about how technology can support this evidence-based writing instruction method.

This project was led by thinkSRSD with support from American Institutes for Research (AIR) and federal funding through the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Division.

What is the purpose of the project?

We examined the feasibility of a technology platform that delivers evidence-based instruction and includes AI-powered scoring capabilities.

Explicit Instruction

Teach students how to take themselves through close reading and using the full writing process, independently.


Writing Sub-skills

Develop the underlying linguistic skills (word choice, syntax…) needed to compose sentences that are rich, expanded, varied and cohesive.


AI Scoring

Provide automated feedback that will offer teachers data-based instructional recommendations and support students with goal setting.


Why is this work important?

This study looked at a critical gap in our knowledge about improving writing instruction. There is strong evidence to demonstrate the positive impact of SRSD on students’ writing, academic, and social emotional skills. This research explored how to scale SRSD using technology, with a focus on lowering the burden on teachers and emphasizing key writing sub skills such as sentence level instruction.

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About Us

  thinkSRSD is the community of teachers and researchers who use and study SRSD. We offer SRSD in-person professional development and e-learning courses taught by teachers with decades of experience using SRSD. The teachers at thinkSRSD have taught SRSD courses for over 10 years, since offering the very first open enrollment course in SRSD in 2008.

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