iSTART: Interactive strategy training for active reading and thinking

  • Danielle S. McNamaraEmail author
  • Irwin B. Levinstein
  • Chutima Boonthum


Interactive Strategy Training for Active Reading and Thinking (iSTART) is a Web-based application that provides young adolescent to college-age students with high-level reading strategy training to improve comprehension of science texts. iSTART is modeled after an effective, human-delivered intervention called self-explanation reading training (SERT), which trains readers to use active reading strategies to self-explain difficult texts more effectively. To make the training more widely available, the Web-based trainer has been developed. Transforming the training from a human-delivered application to a computer-based one has resulted in a highly interactive trainer that adapts its methods to the performance of the students. The iSTART trainer introduces the strategies in a simulated classroom setting with interaction between three animated characters—an instructor character and two student characters— and the human trainee. Thereafter, the trainee identifies the strategies in the explanations of a student character who is guided by an instructor character. Finally, the trainee practices self-explanation under the guidance of an instructor character. We describe this system and discuss how appropriate feedback is generated.


Work Memory Capacity Latent Semantic Analysis Content Word Target Sentence Reading Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle S. McNamara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Irwin B. Levinstein
    • 2
  • Chutima Boonthum
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MemphisMemphis
  2. 2.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk

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