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Elena Forzani

Program Director, Literacy Education
Assistant Professor

Dr. Elena Forzani is director of the Literacy Education program and an assistant professor at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Forzani’s research centers on using multiple and mixed methods to understand and support digital literacies practices across the elementary and secondary levels. In particular, her work investigates the cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational dimensions of online reading, and especially how readers evaluate the credibility of online information. Through this work, Dr. Forzani seeks to inform the design of equity-oriented instruction and assessment environments.

Dr. Forzani was the assistant research director for PIRLS and ePIRLS, international print and digital reading assessments. She is a former first grade and high school English and reading teacher, as well as a former literacy specialist. Her scholarship has been published in multiple researcher and practitioner journals, including Reading Research Quarterly, Computers in Human Behavior, Computers & Education Open, The Reading Teacher, and The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. Dr. Forzani currently serves on the NAEP Standing Reading Committee.

Pronouns: she/her

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PhD, Educational Psychology (Cognition, Instruction, & Learning Technology), University of Connecticut
MA, Educational Studies (Literacy, Language, and Culture), University of Michigan
BA, English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College

Forzani, E., Corrigan, J., & Kiili, C. (2022). What does more and less effective internet evaluation entail?: Investigating readers’ credibility judgments across content, source, and context. Computers in Human Behavior, 135, 1-16.

Forzani, E., Afflerbach, P., Aguirre, S., Brynelson, N., Cervetti, G., Cho, B.-Y., Coiro, J., García, G. E., Greenleaf, C., Guthrie, J. T., Hain, B., Hinchman, K., Katz, M.-L., Lee, C. D., Pacheco, M., Pearson, P. D., Ross, A., Skerrett, A., & Uccelli, P. (2022). Advances and Missed Opportunities in the Development of the 2026 NAEP Reading Framework. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, & Practice.

Forzani, E., & Ly, C. N. (2022). Beyond multimodality to multiplicity: Developing more equitable and relevant literacy learning spaces for young children. The Reading Teacher, 75(5), 611-620.

Kiili, C., Forzani, E., Brante, E. W., Räikkönen, E., Marttunen, M. (2021). Sourcing on the internet: Examining the relations among different phases of online inquiry. Computers & Education Open, 2, 1-11.

J., & McCoach, B. (2021). Characteristics and validity of an instrument for assessing motivations for online reading to learn. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(4), 761-780.

Forzani, E. (2020). A three-tiered framework for proactive critical evaluation during online inquiry. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 63(4), 401-414. doi: 10.1002/jaal.1004

Zawilinski, L., Forzani, E., Timbrell, N., & Leu, D.J. (2019). Best practices in new literacies and the new literacies of online research and comprehension. In Morrow, L.M., & Gambrell, L.B. (Eds.). Best practices in literacy instruction. 6th Edition. New York: Guilford Press.

Forzani, E. (2018). How well can students evaluate online science information? Contributions of prior knowledge, gender, socioeconomic status, and offline reading ability. Reading Research Quarterly, 53, 385-390. doi: 10.1002/rrq.218

Coiro, J., Coscarelli, C., Maykel, C., & Forzani, E. (2015). Investigating Criteria Seventh Graders Use to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 59(3), 287-297.

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., Timbrell, N., & Maykel, C. (2015). Seeing the forest, not the trees: Essential technologies for literacy in the primary and upper elementary grade classroom. The Reading Teacher. Newark, DE: International Literacy Association.

Leu, D. J., Forzani, E., Rhoads, C., Maykel, C., Kennedy, C., & Timbrell, N. (2015). The new literacies of online research and comprehension: Rethinking the reading achievement gap. Reading Research Quarterly, 50(1), 1-23.  doi: 10.1002/rrq.85

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., & Kennedy, C. (2015). Income Inequality and the Online Reading Gap: Teaching our way to success with online research and comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 68, 422-427. doi:10.1002/trtr.1328

Forzani, E., Slomp, D., & Corrigan, J. (2022, December). Privileging justice and fairness in assessment: Towards a conception of critical assessment practices for new literacies and beyond [Paper presentation.] Literacy Research Association Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

Ly, C.N. & Forzani, E. (2022, December). “Where’s the learning loss here?”: Assessing the multimodal skills preschoolers bring into the classroom from home [Paper presentation]. Literacy Research Association Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

Hooper, M., & Forzani, E. (2022, April). Comparing student performance in ePIRLS and PIRLS: Understanding factors that relate to online reading performance [Paper presentation]. National Council on Measurement in Education Annual Meeting. San Diego, California, United States.