Model Demonstration Coordination Center

Cohort 8 Stepping Up Technology Implementation

University of Oregon, Center for Advanced Technology in Education and Education Northwest

Stepping up to SOAR (Strategies for Online Academic Research)

Stepping Up to SOAR (S-SOAR) is a collaborative effort between the Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE) in the College of Education at the University of Oregon and Education Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Stepping Up to SOAR will develop, test, evaluate, refine, and disseminate professional development models and teacher materials designed to support the adoption and implementation of the SOAR Toolkit. The SOAR Toolkit is an evidence-based set of strategies and online instructional materials designed to increase the proficiency of middle school students with learning disabilities to efficiently and effectively search for, find, evaluate, read, and utilize appropriate and relevant information when researching using online sources. The SOAR Toolkit uses video avatars to teach students thoughtful procedures for acquiring and synthesizing useful web-based information within a digital study environment using student-centered strategies that align with their unique learning needs.

S-SOAR will work with at least 20 middle schools over a period of five years to iteratively design and test five professional development models that promote effective implementation and dissemination of the nine, evidence-based SOAR Strategies in the SOAR Toolkit. In addition, S-SOAR will develop a website (PD Pathways) with online professional development resources that support best practice implementation. Both the SOAR Toolkit and the PD Pathways will be publicly available on an instructional website ( It is anticipated that the SOAR strategies and professional development models will be relevant for teaching all students in middle school strategies for researching and reading online.

Contact Information

Dr. Carolyn Knox
Principal Investigator & Project Director
University of Oregon


Dr. Fatima Terrazas-Arellanes
Co-Principal Investigator & Project Coordinator
University of Oregon


Gerry Crocker
Project Partner
Education Northwest


Dr. Jerian Abel
Project Partner
Education Northwest


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