Our Mission

Girl Writing

The principal mission of the Individualizing Student Instruction (ISI) lab at University of California – Irvine is to apply rigorous research, including randomized controlled trials, design-based implementation research, and development research, to designing, developing and evaluating literacy interventions that are individualized (or personalized) based on students’ learning needs using both classroom instruction and technology. We also investigate the complex dynamics of the classroom learning environment using video-taped classroom observations and have ten coding stations that use Observer Pro technology. This research focuses on supporting teachers and educational leaders in helping each student learn to read and write well, especially the most vulnerable children within the educational system, which includes those in living in poverty, with learning disabilities, who are learning English, and those who struggle with speech and hearing difficulties.

How We Execute on Our Mission: We educate teachers to use learning science research in concert with valid and reliable assessments to inform their instructional strategies. We value the teacher’s professional judgement and leverage technologies designed to support teachers and educational leaders in delivering individualized, measurable reading instruction to improve student learning outcomes.

We are currently enacting our mission by:

  • designing, developing and evaluating Assessment to Instruction (A2i) algorithm-based software and supporting professional development instruction for teachers and educational leaders
  • designing, developing and evaluating interactive e-Book interventions for improving classroom reading practice
  • innovating on our existing classroom observation protocol and process to evaluate quality classroom environments and teaching practices
  • designing, developing and evaluating intelligent reading assessments designed to provide student growth data to teachers, educational leaders and parents
  • observing and measuring classroom environment factors for learning disabled students


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This research is conducted via collaborative partnerships with experts in data mining, computer science, assessment development and validation, classroom observation systems and processes and educational technology. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences and the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD). Please visit our Project page to learn more about our intervention innovations and research studies.