Comprehension By Design

About this Research


This peer-reviewed article describes how task analysis, content analysis, and concept analysis informed the design and development of Headsprout Reading Comprehension. Detailed examples serve to illustrate the process of analyzing what students need to do to comprehend texts, and how that analysis was translated to instructional sequences in the program.


Headsprout Reading Comprehension owes part of its design to the following analytical efforts:

  • Task analysis systematically examines the processes students need to engage in to answer reading comprehension questions.
  • Content analysis surveys the range of component skills required to enable reading comprehension across a variety of texts.
  • Concept analysis yields concrete attributes of each major type of reading comprehension question and serves as the basis for developing comprehension strategies for each type of question.


Leon, M., Ford, V., Shimizu, H., Heimlich Stretz, A., Thompson, J., Sota, M., Twyman, J. S., & Layng, T. V. J. (2011). Comprehension by design: Teaching young learners how to comprehend what they read. Performance Improvement, 50(4), 40-47.

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