Elena Forzani

Assistant Professor

Dr. Elena Forzani is an Assistant Professor in Literacy Education. Her research focuses on the use of digital technologies for literacy learning in primary classrooms, with a particular focus on the comprehension of online disciplinary texts, including the critical evaluation of online information. She seeks to understand how to design and implement assessment and instruction that targets the needs of different kinds of learners within digital contexts.

Prior to joining Wheelock, Elena worked at Boston College as the Assistant Research Director for PIRLS, an international reading assessment. She was also a fellow at the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut, where she worked on the ORCA (Online Research and Comprehension Assessment) Project. Elena previously taught high school English and Reading in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as first grade in rural Louisiana.

Ph.D., Educational Psychology (Cognition, Instruction, & Learning Technology), University of Connecticut, 2016

M.A., Educational Studies (Literacy, Language, and Culture), University of Michigan, 2009

B.A., English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College, 2004

SED LS790: Literacy Assessment to Inform Instruction
SED LR501: Teaching Reading
LW736: Teaching Writing, K-12

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. & Maykel, C. (2013). Evaluating Connecticut Students’ Ability to Critically Evaluate Online Information. CARReader, 10, 23-37.

Forzani, E. (2013). Teaching digital literacies for the Common Core: What Results from new assessments tell us. The Connecticut Reading Association Journal, 1(4), 12-17.

Forzani, E., & Leu, D. J. (2012). New literacies for new learners. The Educational Forum, 76, 421-424.

Leu, D.J., Kiili, C., & Forzani, E. (in press). Individual differences in the new literacies of online research and comprehension. To appear in: Afflerbach, P. (Ed.) Handbook of Individual Differences in Reading: Reader, Text, and Context. New York: Routledge.

Leu, D.J., Zawilinski, L., Forzani, E., & Timbrell, N. (2014). 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. 5th Edition. New York: Guilford Press.

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., & Kennedy, C. (2013). Providing classroom leadership in new literacies: Preparing students for their future. In Shelley B. Wepner, Dorothy S. Strickland, and Diana Quatroche, (Eds.) The Administration and Supervision of Reading Programs, 5th edition (pp. 200-213). New York: Teachers College Press.

Forzani, E. (2015, April). Investigating the effects of gender and socioeconomic status on students’ ability to critically evaluate online information in science. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Forzani, E. Leu, D., Kulikowich, J., Sedransk, N., Coiro, J. (2014, April). The Effects of Teacher Factors on Students’ Ability to Critically Evaluate Online information. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Leu, D. J., Kulikowich, J. M., Sedransk, N., Coiro, J., Liu, C., Cui, W., Forzani, E., Kennedy, C., & Maykel, C. (2014, April). The ORCA Project: Designing Technology-based Assessments for Online Research, Comprehension, And Communication. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Forzani, E., Maykel, C., & Kennedy, C. (2013, December). How Well Do Students Judge Their Ability to Critically Evaluate Online Information?: Results from an Internet Use Survey and an Online Reading Comprehension Assessment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Dallas, TX.

Kulikowich, J. M., Leu, D., Sedransk, N., Forzani, E., Kennedy, C., & Maykel, C. (2013, December). Optimizing designs of online literacy assessment: A contextual approach.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Dallas, TX.

Forzani, E. (2013, October). Helping Pre-service Teachers Develop Knowledge and Skills for Critically Evaluating Online Information Using Blackboard. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

Forzani, E. (2013, May). Maximizing the Authenticities of Apprenticeships and the Efficiencies of Schooling: A Shared Context Approach to Writing Instruction from a Situated Perspective. Paper presented at the 25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.

Forzani, E., & Burlingame, C. (2012, December). Evaluating Representative State Samples of Seventh-Grade Students’ Ability to Critically Evaluate Online Information. Paper presented at the 62nd Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA.

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