Elena Forzani

Assistant Professor

Dr. Elena Forzani is an Assistant Professor in Literacy Education. Her research focuses on using multiple and diverse methods and perspectives 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 comprehension, with special attention to the critical evaluation of disciplinary texts. Through this work, Dr. Forzani seeks to inform the design and implementation of assessment and instruction that supports different kinds of learners as they engage in reading and inquiry in complex, multiple-text online environments. Dr. Forzani’s current research investigates students’ practices for using knowledge and strategies to evaluate and comprehend online information in topics of their own choosing. She is a past recipient of the International Literacy Association’s Dissertation of the Year Award, and she currently serves on the Visioning and Development Panels for the Reading Framework Update of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Prior to joining Wheelock, Dr. Forzani served as the Assistant Research Director for PIRLS, an international reading assessment housed at Boston College. She previously taught high school English and Reading as well as first grade, and she currently teaches courses in literacy assessment and instruction to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a focus on technology.

PhD, Educational Psychology (Cognition, Instruction, & Learning Technology), University of Connecticut, 2016

MA, Educational Studies (Literacy, Language, and Culture), University of Michigan, 2009

BA, English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College, 2004

Forzani, E., Leu, D., Li, E., Rhoads, C., Guthrie, J., & McCoach, B. (in press). Characteristics and validity of an instrument for assessing motivations for online reading to learn. Reading Research Quarterly.

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


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