Teaching reading: a case study through mixed methods.

\r\nNatalia Surez*

  • 1 Departamento de Didácticas Específicas, Universidad de la Laguna, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Spain
  • 2 Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Universidad de la Laguna, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain
  • 3 Departamento de Psicología Clínica, Psicobiología y Metodología, Universidad de La Laguna, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain

The present study analyzes the relationship between teachers’ beliefs about learning to read, teaching practices, and discourse. To carry out this study, we benefited from the collaboration of six teachers in kindergarten and the first levels of primary education. First, an attribution questionnaire was used to analyze beliefs about learning to read ( Jiménez et al., 2015 ). Secondly, to study teaching practices, an observation tool was used ( Suárez et al., 2018 ). Thirdly, in order to know the opinion of teachers about how to teach reading, we adapted the instrument to assess teaching perspectives elaborated by Clark and Yinger (1979) . Finally, all the information was triangulated and analyzed using mixed methods. The results indicated that the relationship between beliefs, practices, and discourse is not always consistent. In all teachers, a relationship was found between some of their beliefs, practices, and discourse. At the level of beliefs, all teachers presented one predominant attributional profile, although to a lesser extent, their beliefs were also attributable to other learning theories. The results indicated that all the teachers carried out teaching practices associated with the different learning theories. Similarly to their discourse, all teachers showed diverse opinions about the learning processes involved in reading. These results indicate that teachers maintain eclectic approaches, both when they carry out activities in the classroom and when they think about learning to read.


For almost three decades, research has documented the influence of teachers’ beliefs on educational practice ( Berthelsen and Brownlee, 2007 ; Kuzborska, 2011 ; Barrot, 2015 ). Teacher’s beliefs are thoughts, perceptions, and values about their roles as educators, education, and how students learn ( Vartuli, 2005 ). It has even been shown that if teachers are aware of their own beliefs, the repertoire of teaching skills can be increased ( Tracey and Mandel, 2012 ), leading to a change in classroom decision making, and teaching strategies and evaluation. If we want to achieve improvements in teaching, it is necessary to examine the teachers’ beliefs and modify them ( McAlpine and Weston, 2002 ). A great deal of research in this direction has shown that instructional events can be catalysts for changing beliefs ( Stevens, 2002 ; Theurer, 2002 ; Fazio, 2003 ), since beliefs are permeable mental structures susceptible to change ( Thompson, 1992 ), although there appears to be no consensus on this ( Block and Hazelin, 1995 ; Richardson, 1996 ).

More recent studies have provided us with more detailed information on how beliefs and implicit knowledge influence teachers’ instructional practices ( Cunningham and Zibulsky, 2009 ), actions, and strategies that they implement to teach reading in the classroom. The research carried out in this regard has focused on differentiating three traits appearing in the teaching and learning of reading. Thus, Tolchinsky and Ríos (2009) analyzed the relationship between what teachers say and do (2.250), teaching practice ( N = 2), and students’ knowledge ( N = 814). To do this, they used a self-report questionnaire of 30 questions, with high reliability (α = 0.81) and a Likert scale (0–6). Through a cluster analysis, they detected three differentiated profiles: instructional practices focused on teaching the names of letters, letter–sound relationships, as well as the importance of learning products; a situational approach to activities arising from classroom situations, where students look for the means to understand texts that they do not know; and multidimensional activities such as letter knowledge, recognition, and letter–sound association, as well as reading and writing work from situations that arise in the classroom. The results showed the following distribution: instructional (33.87%), situational (37.06%), and multidimensional (29.06%). Also, they found that 30% of the children were able to recognize unknown words and did not seem to have difficulty in mastering the code, and that teachers used explicit, early, and systematic teaching practices.

Also, in Spain, Barragán and Medina (2008) , analyzed the practices teachers use through questionnaires. They found significant differences depending on the profile and educational level. Thus, nursery/kindergarten teachers showed a higher profile of situational practices (50%), compared to elementary school teachers who showed a profile of instructional practices (70%). Subsequently, they analyzed the profile of practices according to geographical area, finding that the teachers who carried out the greatest number of situational practices were those of the Basque country, followed by teachers from Almería, Cantabria, Catalonia, and the Community of Madrid (more than 50%). Catalonia and Cantabria showed a lower frequency of instructional practices (less than 20%); however, the teachers from León and Asturias used these practices more frequently (more than 55%). The same authors also observed six Early Childhood Education classrooms in Almeria. The results showed a relationship between the declared belief profile and its practices in the classroom. In another study, Ríos et al. (2010) demonstrated the relationship between the knowledge learned and the practices in teaching reading of two Infant Education teachers. They found that the contents worked on by the teacher with a situational profile were reading and writing functions, identification of words in reading, and letter names and sound values.

The teacher with an instructional profile used word identification and word reading. In the study carried out by Baccus (2004) , a direct relationship was found between the teachers’ beliefs and the instructional time dedicated to the teaching of reading. In addition, Rapoport et al. (2016) focused on analyzing the beliefs that teachers maintain ( N = 144) regarding the contribution of executive functions in reading performance and their teaching practice. Their results showed a positive relationship between these two variables ( r = 0.512, p < 0.01).

Ethnicity has been another feature highlighted in studies assessing the dyad of beliefs and practices in teaching. The Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement [CIERA] (2001) examined the beliefs and practices of 250 early childhood teachers. Their results showed a relationship between beliefs (based on the importance of the development of alphabetic knowledge, word recognition, stories, and oral language) and practices. Differences in relation to beliefs were found based on the ethnicity of teachers. African American teachers tended to believe that it was more important for the child to learn to read through teaching the alphabet (e.g., naming letters, saying their sounds), while white teachers thought it was more important for children to learn to read from teaching oral language activities (e.g., answering questions about a story or telling a story from a drawing). On the other hand, they found significant differences depending on the academic training received, so teachers with a higher academic level believed that teaching of oral language was more important, while teachers with lower academic levels did not share this belief.

Also, the report presented by the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) ( OCDE, 2009 ) provides detailed information on the development of variables involved in the teaching and learning process. This report analyzed the beliefs of secondary school teachers in several countries. Their results indicated that most countries (Northeastern Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and Korea) showed constructivist positions ( p < 0.05). Humanities teachers presented more structured beliefs and were little oriented toward students ( p < 0.05), also with differences depending on teaching experience, so the teachers with more years of experience thought and performed more structured practices ( p < 0.05). The analyses also revealed a positive correlation between constructivist beliefs and practices in teachers from different countries ( p < 0.05), except in Korea, where a weak relationship was found between beliefs and practices with a direct style. Finally, they found that positioning depended largely on the quality of the learning environment and job satisfaction ( p < 0.05). In subsequent reports ( OCDE, 2013 ), an average 95% of OECD teachers stated that they agree with constructivist practices.

Other lines of research have not found a bidirectional relationship between the teachers’ thinking and their action in the classroom. An example is the study carried out by Miglis et al. (2014) with 90 Norwegian teachers. They used a 130-item questionnaire to measure beliefs (e.g., their role as teachers, the role of teachers in teaching reading, consistency with current research about the importance of early literacy) and teaching practices (e.g., books, book contents, alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, and reading and writing). They found that teachers reported moderately positive beliefs about their role as a teacher in their students’ reading success, and they “agreed” with the idea that research has found that early literacy is necessary. These beliefs were not related to their practices, since the time devoted to this type of instruction was minimal. However, they discovered that the most widely used practice was “shared reading and reading aloud for 10 min a day” (29.3%). There are numerous studies that have not found a relationship between these two variables ( Wilcox-Herzog, 2001 ). Thus, for example, through two teachers’ collaboration, Pérez-Peitx (2013) was able to observe classroom practices and analyze interviews. Their results also indicated that there was no relationship between these two variables. Along the same lines, another recent study ( Utami et al., 2019 ) based on socio-cognitive theory studied teacher beliefs and practices in reading comprehension tasks. They found that the practices were not always consistent with their beliefs.

To our knowledge, there is no research assessing the profile of the teacher and teaching practices, in relation to all the theoretical principles that govern the teaching and learning processes of reading (i.e., innatist, maturationist, corrective, repetition, sociocultural, constructivist, psycholinguistic approaches).

The objective of this study is to find out whether or not there is a relationship between the beliefs, practices, and discourse used in teaching reading in the classroom, in order to propose more effective teaching strategies.

Materials and Methods

The study was carried out from a mixed methods perspective, integrating qualitative and quantitative sources of information through “merge” ( Creswell and Plano-Clark, 2007 ). The proposed design was triangulation ( Morse, 2003 ; Creswell and Plano-Clark, 2007 ; Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2010 ; Anguera et al., 2012 , 2018 ; Creswell, 2014 ), which was found suitable for the aims. A direct observation of teaching reading practices was carried out. The observational study was configured based on three criteria: study’s units, temporality, and dimensionality ( Anguera et al., 2011 ). The observational design can be classified as Nomothetic/Follow-up/Multidimensional (N/F/M) ( Sánchez-Algarra and Anguera, 2013 ; Portell et al., 2015 ). Frequency was analyzed. In order to analyze the relationship between teacher’s beliefs, practices, and discourse, a Pearson’s correlation was carried out.


Six teachers with an age between 25 and 50 years participated. The teachers’ years of experience ranged from 10 to 35 years. They belonged to different Infant and Primary Education units on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). The selection criteria were based mainly on the fact that the staff member taught the subject Spanish Language and Literature, devoting an average time period of 1 h a day to the teaching of reading.

To carry out this study, three fundamental tools were used: a questionnaire to know the teachers’ beliefs, an observation tool to analyze their practices, and a semi-structured interview to analyze the teachers’ speech about teaching and learning to read.

– Questionnaire on Beliefs about Learning and Teaching Reading , composed of 60 items (see Suárez et al., 2013 ; Jiménez et al., 2014 , 2015 ) corresponding to the basic postulates of each learning theory: innatist, maturationist, sociocultural, constructivist, corrective, repetition, and psycholinguistic (see for review Tracey and Mandel, 2012 ). Teachers had to respond according to their degree of agreement or disagreement using a Likert scale of 0–10, where 0 means strongly disagree, and 10, strongly agree. Cronbach’s Alpha was 0.88.

Observation Tool on Reading Teaching Practices. This tool used here was developed by Suárez et al. (2018) and combines a field format and systems of categories. This consists of 14 criteria—alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, use of teaching resources, prior knowledge of children, reinforcement, feedback, modeling, direct instruction, guided oral instruction, extracurricular tasks, reading and writing, psychomotor skills, functional reading skills, and vocabulary—and 77 categories on practices in teaching reading. For the measurement plan, the results showed that the absolute and relative generalizability measures were acceptable (at 0.970 and 0.989) at 30 sessions and that 40 sessions were needed to reach 0.977 and 0.992, respectively. For the generalizability indexes to measure inter- and intraobserver reliability, a four-faceted SRC/O (Session, Criterion, Category/Observer) design was used, and analysis showed the greatest percentage of variability to be related to the Criterion facet (33%), while the Observer facet showed no variability at all. The absolute generalizability coefficient was 0.999, and the relative coefficient was also 0.999. With respect to the intra-rater reliability, using a four-faceted SRC/M (Session, Criterion, Category/Moment) design, analysis showed that 32% of variability corresponded to the Session facet and 33% corresponded to Criterion, while Moment showed no variability. The absolute and relative generalizability coefficients obtained for Observer 1 were both 0.999. The absolute and relative coefficients for Observer 2 were both 0.997, facet showed no variability at all. The absolute generalizability validity using a two-faceted model [Observation (2) and Criterion (74)] showed a value of 0.000 (absolute and relative validity).

– Four digital video cameras and Match Vision 3.0 software ( Perea et al., 2006 ) were used for the sessions to record teaching practices. Data quality was analyzed using the Generalizability Study (GT) version 2.0.E program ( Ysewijn, 1996 ) and the SAS 9.1 statistical package. Teacher discourse was analyzed using Atlas.ti 6.0 ( Friese, 2011 ).

– Structured Teacher Interview on Teaching Practices . We adapted the interview on teaching perspectives elaborated by Clark and Yinger (1979) , composed of 28 questions on aspects related to teaching and learning: general questions about teaching, daily classes, teaching and learning, curriculum, time, and teachers’ “philosophy.” Changes were included in the nomenclature of the subjects of the curriculum and in the section on teacher philosophy (F), where the questions were guided toward the field of reading (see Table 1 ).


Table 1. Interview adapted from Clark and Yinger (1979) .

– For the interviews, a video camera and two Panasonic recorders, model RR-US455 (with 66 h of recording capacity), were used to ensure safe information storage.

– To transcribe information, the program Naturally Dragon Speaking ( Baker, 1975 ), version 12 was employed, and Atlas.ti, version 6, for information analysis ( Friese, 2011 ).

Before the recordings were made, authorization was obtained from both the teachers and the pupils’ parents. All participants provided written informed consent prior to their participation. Likewise, a schedule was agreed on for when the study would be carried out. On the day indicated, the belief questionnaire was applied to the participating teachers, their doubts in this regard were clarified, and approximately an hour was spent to complete it. Seven recording sessions per teacher (twice a week for 1 h each day) led to total of 42 h of recording (see Suárez et al., 2018 ). The interviews were held with the participating teachers and recorded in classrooms devoid of noise. Cameras were located in front of each teacher, and the furniture was arranged in an interview layout. The interviews of the six teachers were recorded, each lasting approximately 1 h. The audio was later transferred to the computer for the literal transcription of the interviews. Subsequently, the available information was collated and all the material subject to data processing organized. To conclude this phase, each interview was reviewed to gain an overall impression of the information provided by each teacher.

In the next phase, the document was segmented and coded through the Atlas.ti 6.0 program. The data were processed using the thematic analysis technique, according to the proposal of Braun and Clarke (2006) . Initially, the hermeneutic units were defined according to the interview questions, taking into account the theories about learning to read. Subsequently, the primary documents were worked on and information segmented. In this case, we focused on words as well as phrases/sentences and texts. The relevant information was then selected, and these units were encoded. Later, we established code families composed of the different variables affecting teaching and its context. Teachers’ opinions about learning to read were categorized. The code families structured the relationship between the previously identified categories and theories on the learning of reading (e.g., innatist, maturationist, sociocultural, constructivist, corrective, repetitive, and psycholinguistic).

In order to classify each teacher according to his/her attributional profile, factor scores for each theoretical approach defined the teachers’ beliefs according to the percentiles (see Table 2 ).


Table 2. Teachers’ profiles in each theory in percentiles.

To determine which theory should be attributed most to each teacher, the score was set around the percentile ≥75, and to determine which theories fitted less, around percentile ≥50 (see Figure 1 ).


Figure 1. Example teacher F. profile.

Although all teachers were characterized by a predominant attributional profile that defined their particular beliefs, we found that their reading teaching behavior could also be attributed to any of the other theories to a lesser extent (see Table 3 ).


Table 3. Summary of teachers’ profiles.

Regarding teaching reading practices, it was found that the most used was feedback (praising or correcting the student), followed by the use of teaching resources (e.g., stories, songs, or poetry), direct instruction (e.g., individual–group reading, aloud or silent, with or without intonation, and fluency) and functional knowledge of reading (e.g., summary, questions, comprehension exercises). To a lesser extent, they used literacy activities, reinforcement through praise (e.g., tangible or verbal), reading and writing, and work on alphabetic knowledge.

The latter strategy indicated that teachers mostly referred to constructivist theory, except teacher M.C., who chose to position herself in psycholinguistic theory. Similarly, teacher F. emphasized that students should build their learning and that teachers should function as a guide. To a lesser extent, she commented on aspects of the maturation and behaviorist theory (see Figure 2 ). Teacher M. also focused on the foundations of constructivism (e.g., prior knowledge, children discover their learning). She also talked about the importance of psychomotor skills, correctness in reading, as well as the involvement of parents. Teacher C. commented that students learn through construction and must discover reading autonomously through the support offered by the teacher. She also emphasized the role that parents play in reading, the importance of resources, oral language work, phonological awareness, as well as maturity in the development of reading. Teacher M.C. placed greater emphasis on the development of phonological awareness and oral language to teach reading. However, teacher S. focused more on student autonomy in the learning process and to a lesser extent on oral language, use of resources, and correction during reading (feedback). Teacher I. focused mostly on the construction of learning and less so on the role of oral language and the use of resources (library).


Figure 2. Teacher F. Network summarizing key concepts associated with the teaching process.

Subsequently, the information was triangulated after analyzing the beliefs, practices, and discourse of the teachers. For this, several researchers who are experts in the learning and teaching of reading skills agreed on the following relationship, in accordance with the basic postulates of each of the theories considered (see Table 4 ).


Table 4. Triangulation between theoretical profile, teaching practices, and teacher discourse.

Then the teachers’ scores were compared in relation to their beliefs, teaching practices (in terms of frequency), as well as teacher discourse, previously analyzed through its categorization into teaching–learning processes and their context (see Table 5 ). Finally, the results were interpreted according to Pearson’s correlation analysis. The results showed a high correlation ( r = 0.72, p < 0.05) in teacher F. and in teacher I. ( r = 0.71, p < 0.05) and a negative and high correlation in teacher M. ( r = −0.81, p < 0.05) between beliefs and practices. Moreover, they showed a moderate correlation in teacher C. ( r = 0.52) and in teacher M. ( r = 0.45) between beliefs and discourse. Finally, the results showed a negative and high correlation in teacher I. ( r = −0.74, p < 0.05) and in teacher M.C. ( r = −0.76, p < 0.05) between practices and discourse.


Table 5. Percentages of teachers’ beliefs, reading practices, and discourse.

Teacher F. showed links between his theoretical profile and his practices. A relationship between corrective beliefs (27.8%) and practices (29.2%) was found. On the other hand, we observed that in his practices, he used activities associated with other theories: repetition (23.5%), constructivism (19.9%), and psycholinguistic (16%). This also happened when he thought about how children learn to read, since he considered that the construction of learning (77.8%), maturation (11.1%), and providing feedback (11.1%) were fundamental. Other discourse makers, teacher M. did not show a link between her sociocultural (22%) and maturationist (23.4%) theoretical profile and her practices (5.7% and 0.6%). However, the results indicated that her maturationist (23.4%), sociocultural (22%) beliefs were related only to her discourse. So, she thought that the use of psychomotor skills (21.4%), teaching resources such as stories, stories, poems, and texts (14.3%), and teaching previous knowledge (50%) were important. However, practices based on other currents were observed: corrective reading (32.6%) and repeated reading (25.2%), as well as constructivism (19.1%), such as working previous knowledge or reading and writing and psycholinguistic skills (16.6%) [e.g., alphabetic knowledge: teaching letter names and sounds, rules with support rhymes, etc.; phonological awareness: stimulating children to become aware of letter sounds, saying words that begin with a certain sound, separating words into syllables, playing the game veo-veo (I spy.); vocabulary: teaching the meaning of words]. During the interview, opinions related to other theories were also found (i.e., corrective).

As for teacher C., there was a bidirectional relationship between her sociocultural theoretical profile (39.6%) (e.g., use of teaching resources such as stories, songs, writings from different sources, etc.) and her discourse (33.3%). Also, it was found that her psycholinguistic profile (28.9%) was related to her discourse (11.1%) (e.g., oral language or phonological awareness). However, the results indicated that this teacher carried out other practices not related to her theoretical beliefs, such as: feedback (50.8%) and repetition (16.9%). The same occurred with her discourse; she thought that maturation was also important (22.3%).

Regarding teacher M.C., a negative relationship was found between her psycholinguistic discourse (59.3%) and her teaching practices (4.1%). The same happened with her corrective practices (37.6%) and her discourse (14.8%) (e.g., correct when the child is wrong, point out, provide examples, deny). However, when we analyzed her practices, we found activities justified by other theories, such as functional knowledge of reading or use of teaching resources (13%) or repetition (19.6%) and constructivism (13%) (e.g., previous reading and writing, and likewise when we asked her opinion about how children learn to read (e.g., constructivism).

Regarding teacher S., she showed a corrective (17.6%), innatist (17.6%), sociocultural (17.6%), maturationist (16.6%), and constructivism (15.3%) profile. Then, she carried out corrective (35.1%) practices (e.g., feedback, direct instruction). During her discourse, opinions were also found that were constructivist (47.9%) and psycholinguistic (20%). Nevertheless, repetition practices (36%) were observed that had nothing to do with her expressed beliefs.

A relationship was found between the constructivism profile (23%) of teacher I. and her practices (19.3%). Then the result showed a relationship between corrective (12.6%) and repetitive (12.6%) beliefs and practices. Furthermore, this teacher used other practices unrelated to any of her attributed beliefs, such as: sociocultural (10.6%). No relationship between corrective (23%) and repetition (25.3%) practices and discourse were found. In the same way, she referred to the implication of other (e.g., sociocultural and psycholinguistic) theories in infant readers’ learning. The innatist profile of teacher I. was not related to her practices or discourse.

The results of the present study are congruent with previous study results that showed that teachers hold eclectic positions ( Clemente, 2008 ; Jiménez and O’Shanahan, 2008 ; Clemente et al., 2010 ; Rodríguez and Clemente, 2013 ). Other research has shown quite different results, from studies finding a relationship between beliefs and teaching practices in reading learning ( Cunningham and Zibulsky, 2009 ; Tolchinsky and Ríos, 2009 ; Rapoport et al., 2016 ) to studies which indicated a moderate correlation ( Baumann et al., 1998 ). On the opposite side, other authors found no such relationship ( Pérez-Peitx, 2013 ; Miglis et al., 2014 ; Enyew and Melesse, 2018 ; Utami et al., 2019 ).

The data extracted from the belief questionnaires have been complemented with the analysis of teaching practices and each teacher’s interviews, which allowed us to provide additional information ( Castañer et al., 2013 ). In our case, the interview helped us complete the teacher’s profile. We found that the teaching and learning processes are mediated by multiple contextual variables that were not identified by the questionnaire or recorded observations.

Analysis of the practices allowed us to identify not only what activities the teachers performed in their real teaching context but also how their sequence of instruction was oriented in all cases toward the use of their own multiple resources, applying other theories. The relationship found between some beliefs and practices in this study suggests that if teachers are aware of their own beliefs, the repertoire of teaching practices can be increased ( Tracey and Mandel, 2012 ), causing changes in decision making in the classroom and in teaching and evaluation strategies. In addition, as all teachers used many activities characteristic of other theories they did not explicitly hold, we focused on the opposite process, modifying their practices to cause a change in their beliefs ( Fazio, 2003 ), since these are permeable mental structures that can be modified ( Thompson, 1992 ). But how can we achieve this? Some studies confirm that people form their implicit theories through the knowledge they acquire ( Suárez and Jiménez, 2014 ).

The first step is to achieve the teacher’s predisposition to change, always through invitation ( Baena, 2000 ), by encouraging reflection. To do this, they should become aware how their own beliefs are involved in their teaching practice and how they influence student performance. In addition, the false myths about learning to read and teaching practices should be recognized, as prescribed by the National Reading Panel [NRP] (2000) . The question remains whether teachers have received training based on the latest advances in scientific research on the teaching of reading, in order to provide young students (who may or may not have difficulties) with the tools necessary for their learning to proceed optimally.

Online training offers teachers the opportunity to recycle their knowledge ( Costi et al., 2005 ; Jiménez, 2015 ; Jiménez et al., 2015 ; Jiménez and O’Shanahan, 2016 ), which generates an important pillar supporting success, integration, and sustainability in education ( Haydon and Barton, 2007 ; Somekh, 2008 ). It is also an alternative solution to the lack of time and difficulties in reconciling work and family life. It has been found that experience with these resources plays a fundamental role, since it favors a positive attitude of teachers and also confidence in the use of these tools for education ( BECTA, 2009 ). Joshi et al. (2009) found that the training teachers receive is inadequate because textbooks and courses in education reflect superstitions, anecdotes, and beliefs that are not based on scientific evidence. Research has also found that teachers do not properly use the practices that are based on scientific evidence ( Moats, 2009 ). If the learning environment is effective, it can even happen that only a small percentage of students present difficulties in learning to read ( Cunningham and Zibulsky, 2009 ).

The updating of knowledge according to research conclusions is proposed as an alternative for teachers who specialize in teaching reading, since teaching quality is one of the main factors determining the academic success of students ( European Council, 2008 ). For teachers to learn good practices, it is important that they have the following knowledge at their disposal: (1) fundamental research and theories about the development of language and reading; (2) strategies for use in the classroom to teach word recognition, vocabulary, text comprehension, and fluency; (3) tools to work on reading and writing at the same time; (4) the best strategies to teach reading and the materials to use; (5) different techniques for student evaluation; (6) how to maintain a good balance between theory, practice, and information technologies; (7) knowledge of dyslexia and other learning disorders ( IRA, 2007 ); and (8) how to interpret and administer assessment tests to plan teaching ( IDA, 2010 ). In addition, they must learn to ask more complex questions to help students make inferences and more elaborate reflections, as well as work with students’ prior knowledge ( RAND, 2002 ). However, the teacher alone should not be responsible for this process, because we have confirmed that in the teaching environment, there are other strong factors such as society or culture ( Quintana, 2001 ). The challenge now consists of achieving a change in the ways of thinking of those responsible for educational administration. The necessary means should also be provided to facilitate refresher courses and ongoing e-learning for teachers, with training programs that include content based on scientific evidence. One limitation is that the study consisted of six teachers and is not generalizable to a greater audience.

In general terms, we can conclude that the relationship between beliefs, practices, and discourse varies according to certain nuances. Thus, of the two beliefs attributed to teacher F., only one (corrective) was related to his form of instruction and his opinion. Among the four beliefs attributed to teacher M. (sociocultural, maturationist, repetition, and psycholinguistic), a relationship was found only between her maturationist and sociocultural profile and her discourse. Both beliefs attributed to teacher C. (sociocultural and psycholinguistic) were related to the discourse content. Of the two beliefs attributed to teacher M.C. (corrective and psycholinguistic), neither of them was related to her actions and reflections. Among the five beliefs attributed to teacher S. (sociocultural, innatist, corrective, maturationist, and constructivist) only two (corrective and sociocultural) were related to her active practices and discourse comments. Finally, of the two beliefs of teacher I. (innatist and constructivist), only constructivism was related to her practices or her opinion.

Although it is true that a relationship was found in all the teachers between some of their beliefs, practices, and discourse, as revealed in their discursive talks, all the teachers thought that learning to read depended on factors underlying other theories not related to their attributional profile. Therefore, despite attributing to them certain beliefs when they teach children to read and when they think of learning to read, it can be concluded that all teachers maintain an eclectic approach.

Data Availability Statement

All datasets generated for this study are included in the article/supplementary material.

Ethics Statement

Ethical review and approval was not required for the study on human participants in accordance with the local legislation and institutional requirements. Written informed consent to participate in this study was provided by the participants’ legal guardian/next of kin.

Author Contributions

NS: this author’s grant was used to run the project Integrando creencias y prácticas de enseñanza de la lectura (Integrating beliefs and practices about teaching reading), ref: PSI2009-11662. She participated actively in the research, analyzed the teaching practices and discourse, and was responsible for the literature review and drafting of this manuscript. JJ: supervised the project and the preparation of the study, offered theoretical guidance, and was responsible for reviewing the manuscript. CS: supervised the design and preparation of the study, offered guidance on methodology, and helped review the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of this article.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

This research has been funded through the Plan Nacional I + D + i (R+D+i National Research Plan of the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness), project ref: PSI2009-11662 and project ref: PSI2015-65009-R, with the second author as the principal investigator. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of a Spanish Government subproject, Integration ways between qualitative and quantitative data, multiple case development, and synthesis review as main axis for an innovative future in physical activity and sports research (PGC2018-098742-B-C31) (2019–2021) (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación, y Universidades/Agencia Estatal de Investigación/Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo regional), that is part of the coordinated project New approach to research in physical activity and sport from a mixed methods perspective (NARPAS_MM) (SPGC201800 × 098742CV0).

Key Concepts


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Keywords : beliefs, teaching practices, reading, teacher discourse, triangulation, mixed methods

Citation: Suárez N, Jiménez JE and Sánchez CR (2020) Teaching Reading: A Case Study Through Mixed Methods. Front. Psychol. 11:1083. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01083

Received: 30 November 2019; Accepted: 28 April 2020; Published: 10 June 2020.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2020 Suárez, Jiménez and Sánchez. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Natalia Suárez, [email protected]

Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

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Working With Academic Literacies: Case Studies Towards Transformative Practice

literacy case study pdf

Theresa Lillis, The Open University

Kathy Harrington, London Metropolitan University

Mary Lea, Open University

Sally Mitchell, Queen Mary University of London

Copyright Year: 2015

ISBN 13: 9781602357617

Publisher: WAC Clearinghouse

Language: English

Formats Available

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Reviewed by Margaret Haberman, Adjunct Instructor, University of Southern Maine on 3/30/21

This book has a tremendous range and numerous contributions from a variety of fields within this subject matter. read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

This book has a tremendous range and numerous contributions from a variety of fields within this subject matter.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

I did not find any inaccuracies or bias based on my reading. Since many of the contributions are not within my field of study, I cannot speak to specific accuracy. However, these essays are about practice and application of techniques and strategies within a variety of fields/content areas.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

These topics will be relevant, in my opinion, for future use.

Clarity rating: 4

I found the text to be accessible.

Consistency rating: 5

The text is consistent within the framework of a text with many different contributors.

Modularity rating: 5

Yes, easily adaptable to needs of an instructor.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

I found the organization of the text to be logical and easy to follow.

Interface rating: 5

Easy to navigate.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

I did not notice any grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

I found this text to be culturally sensitive.

Table of Contents

  • Front Matter
  • Introduction, Theresa Lillis, Kathy Harrington, Mary R. Lea and Sally Mitchell

Section 1. Transforming Pedagogies of Academic Writing and Reading

  • Introduction to Section 1
  • A Framework for Usable Pedagogy: Case Studies Towards Accessibility, Criticality and Visibility, Julio Gimenez and Peter Thomas
  • Working With Power: A Dialogue about Writing Support Using Insights from Psychotherapy, Lisa Clughen and Matt Connell
  • An Action Research Intervention Towards Overcoming "Theory Resistance" in Photojournalism Students, Jennifer Good
  • Student-Writing Tutors: Making Sense of "Academic Literacies", Joelle Adams
  • "Hidden Features" and "Overt Instruction" in Academic Literacy Practices: A Case Study in Engineering, Adriana Fischer
  • Making Sense of my Thesis: Master's Level Thesis Writing as Constellation of Joint Activities, Kathrin Kaufhold
  • Thinking Creatively About Research Writing, Cecile Badenhorst, Cecilia Moloney, Jennifer Dyer, Janna Rosales and Morgan Murray
  • Disciplined Voices, Disciplined Feelings: Exploring Constraints and Choices in a Thesis Writing Circle, Kate Chanock, Sylvia Whitmore and Makiko Nishitani
  • How Can the Text Be Everything? Reflecting on Academic Life and Literacies, Sally Mitchell talking with Mary Scott

Section 2. Transforming the Work of Teaching

  • Introduction to Section 2
  • Opening up The Curriculum: Moving from The Normative to The Transformative in Teachers' Understandings of Disciplinary Literacy Practices, Cecilia Jacobs
  • Writing Development, Co-Teaching and Academic Literacies: Exploring the Connections, Julian Ingle and Nadya Yakovchuk
  • Transformative and Normative? Implications for Academic Literacies Research in Quantitative Disciplines, Moragh Paxton and Vera Frith
  • Learning from Lecturers: What Disciplinary Practice Can Teach Us About "Good" Student Writing, Maria Leedham
  • Thinking Critically and Negotiating Practices in the Disciplines, David Russell in conversation with Sally Mitchell
  • Academic Writing in an ELF Environment: Standardization, Accommodation—or Transformation?, Laura McCambridge
  • "Doing Something that's Really Important": Meaningful Engagement as a Resource for Teachers' Transformative Work with Student Writers in the Disciplines, Jackie Tuck
  • The Transformative Potential of Laminating Trajectories: Three Teachers' Developing Pedagogical Practices and Identities, Kevin Roozen, Paul Prior, Rebecca Woodard and Sonia Kline
  • Marking the Boundaries: Knowledge and Identity in Professional Doctorates, Jane Creaton
  • What's at Stake in Different Traditions? Les Littéracies Universitaires and Academic Literacies, Isabelle Delcambre in conversation with Christiane Donahue

Section 3. Transforming Resources, Genres and Semiotic Practices

  • Introduction to Section 3
  • Genre as a Pedagogical Resource at University, Fiona English
  • How Drawing Is Used to Conceptualize and Communicate Design Ideas in Graphic Design: Exploring Scamping Through a Literacy Practice Lens, Lynn Coleman
  • "There is a Cage Inside My Head and I Cannot Let Things Out", Fay Stevens
  • Blogging to Create Multimodal Reading and Writing Experiences in Postmodern Human Geographies, Claire Penketh and Tasleem Shakur
  • Working with Grammar as a Tool for Making Meaning, Gillian Lazar and Beverley Barnaby
  • Digital Posters—Talking Cycles for Academic Literacy, Diane Rushton, Cathy Malone and Andrew Middleton
  • Telling Stories: Investigating the Challenges to International Students' Writing Through Personal Narrative, Helen Bowstead
  • Digital Writing as Transformative: Instantiating Academic Literacies in Theory and Practice, Colleen McKenna
  • Looking at Academic Literacies from a Composition Frame: From Spatial to Spatio-temporal Framing of Difference, Bruce Horner in conversation with Theresa Lillis

Section 4. Transforming Institutional Framings of Academic Writing

  • Introduction to Section 4
  • Transforming Dialogic Spaces in an "Elite" Institution: Academic Literacies, the Tutorial and High-Achieving Students, Corinne Boz
  • The Political Act of Developing Provision for Writing in the Irish Higher Education Context, Lawrence Cleary and Íde O'Sullivan
  • Building Research Capacity through an AcLits-Inspired Pedagogical Framework, Lia Blaj-Ward
  • Academic Literacies at the Institutional Interface: A Prickly Conversation Around Thorny Issues, Joan Turner
  • Revisiting the Question of Transformation in Academic Literacies: The Ethnographic Imperative, Brian Street in conversation with Mary R. Lea and Theresa Lillis
  • Resisting the Normative? Negotiating Multilingual Identities in a Course for First Year Humanities Students in Catalonia, Spain, Angels Oliva-Girbau and Marta Milian Gubern
  • Academic Literacies and the Employability Curriculum: Resisting Neoliberal Education?, Catalina Neculai
  • A Cautionary Tale about a Writing Course for Schools, Kelly Peake and Sally Mitchell
  • "With writing, you are not expected to come from your home": Dilemmas of Belonging, Lucia Thesen
  • AC Lits Say
  • List of contributors

Ancillary Material

About the book.

The editors and contributors to this collection explore what it means to adopt an "academic literacies" approach in policy and pedagogy. Transformative practice is illustrated through case studies and critical commentaries from teacher-researchers working in a range of higher education contexts—from undergraduate to postgraduate levels, across disciplines, and spanning geopolitical regions including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cataluña, Finland, France, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Key questions addressed include: How can a wider range of semiotic resources and technologies fruitfully serve academic meaning and knowledge making? What kinds of writing spaces do we need and how can these be facilitated? How can theory and practice from "Academic Literacies" be used to open up debate about writing pedagogy at institutional and policy levels?

About the Contributors

Edited by Theresa Lillis, Kathy Harrington, Mary R. Lea , and Sally Mitchell.

Theresa Lillis is Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics at The Open University, UK. Her main research area is writing- student writing in higher education, scholarly writing for publication, professional social work writing and writing in grassroots political activity. She has authored and co-authored a number of books, including The Sociolinguistics of Writing (2013), Academic Writing in a Global Context (with Mary Jane Curry, 2010) and Student Writing: Access Regulation, Desire (2001).

Kathy Harrington is Principal Lecturer in Educational Development at London Metropolitan University and Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock Centre, London. Previously she was Academic Lead - Students as Partners, Higher Education Academy, and from 2005-2010 Director of Write Now, a cross-institutional initiative developing writing and assessment practice within disciplines. She is co-author (with Mick Healey and Abbi Flint) of Engagement through Partnership: Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (2014).

Mary Lea is an Honorary Associate Reader in Academic and Digital Literacies at the Open University, UK. She has researched and published widely in the field of academic literacies. Her more recent work is concerned with the relationship of the digital to knowledge making practices in the university across academic and professional domains. A recent co-edited volume, with Robin Goodfellow, Literacy in the Digital University: Critical Perspectives on Learning, Scholarship and Technology (2013) considers this emerging area of study.

Sally Mitchell is Head of Learning Development at Queen Mary University of London, where in the early 2000s she established "Thinking Writing," a strand of development activity to support academic staff in exploring the uses of writing in their disciplines and their teaching. She is particularly interested in the ways in which writing development is thought about and positioned institutionally and in questions of who is responsible for students' learning through language.

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Home » Resources » Case study of Amelia, a five-year-old reader who enjoys reading at home

Case study of Amelia, a five-year-old reader who enjoys reading at home

Felicity holt-goldsmith.

Amelia* is a middle ability pupil in a mixed ability class of thirty one children, with a ratio of eighteen boys and eleven girls. The school is average size for a primary school and most of the pupils are drawn from the immediate neighbourhood. When I met Amelia she was graded at Level 1c for her reading, slightly below average for the class. The school endeavours to provide an atmosphere where the enjoyment of reading is promoted and nurtured. Children have reading books from the Oxford Reading Scheme which they take home every day and home and school links are made through reading journals. There is also a selection of books in the classroom and the school is in the process of renovating the library.


To try and gain an understanding of Amelia as a reader I undertook a reading conference and made observations of her reading in a range of different contexts. However, the limited amount of time spent at the placement means that only a speculative analysis can be made. Amelia was still learning to decode but she was able to utilise higher order reading skills such as comprehension. She was an able meaning maker and engaged with a variety of texts. In terms of The Simple View of Reading (Rose, 2006: 40) she would be placed in the section of ‘poor word recognition; good comprehension’ although her skills of decoding words improved quite significantly even during the short time I was at the school. Cain (2010) argues that to understand a text’s meaning a reader needs to establish local and global coherence. Local coherence is described as the ability to make links between adjacent sentences and global coherence is described as the ability to make sense of a text as a whole and relate this to personal experiences (p. 52). Amelia was able to understand the narrative of a story and could relate stories to her own life and other texts. During the reading conference I asked her about a book that she had read a few weeks ago; she was able to retell the story in great detail and described which parts were her favourite. There was also evidence that Amelia was able to engage with the meanings of individual words. For example, when reading aloud to me she read the word ‘buggy’ and said that ‘pram’ could be used as an alternative. It would be important to encourage this interest in the meanings of words in order for Amelia to progress with her comprehension skills. As Cain (2010) suggests, vocabulary knowledge is strongly associated with good reading comprehension.

Phonics and other strategies

Amelia was still learning to decode and used a number of different strategies. She used her knowledge of phonics as one way to decode words. She would split a word up into individual phonemes and then blend these together to read the word aloud. She often used her finger to cover up parts of the word in order to try and make this process easier. However, for some words she did not use this strategy. She struggled to read the word ‘children’ and said that it was too difficult to sound out because it was too long. However, when we read a different book the week after she did not have any trouble reading this word. She explained that she was able to read it because she recognised it and not because she sounded it out, suggesting that she read it from sight. Amelia did use her knowledge of phonics to read although this strategy was used in addition to others. On several occasions she looked at the pictures before attempting to read the text and would subsequently make predictions of what was going to happen in the story. She was also receptive to learning new reading strategies. When she struggled to read the word ‘snowball’ I suggested she split it into two words that she may recognise: ‘snow’ and ‘ball’. The next week we read the same book again and she used the same strategy. Amelia’s use of different reading strategies appeared to be effective and it would be important to encourage her to continue to use a variety of strategies in order for her reading to progress.

Taking it further

Amelia is an enthusiastic reader and enjoys reading at home. She reads to her mother and father on a daily basis and explained that her father reads to her and her sister every night before bed. It appeared that her home life fosters a positive attitude to reading and this was arguably beneficial to her reading progress. Clark (2011) has found that there is a positive relationship between the number of books a child has at home and their reading attainment level. Goouch and Lambirth (2011) also suggest that children who read at home would have a head start at school ‘with their knowledge of how stories work, patterns and tunes in stories, the relationship between illustration and print as well as some clear information about print drawn from reading and re-reading favourite tales’ (p. 8). As previously discussed Amelia seemed to be an able meaning maker and this could partly be due to the fact that reading is a part of her daily routine at home.

It would be crucial to encourage Amelia’s enthusiasm and enjoyment of reading in order for her reading to progress further. Ofsted reports have consistently argued for a greater emphasis on reading for pleasure within the taught curriculum in both primary and secondary schools (Ofsted, 2012: 42). Amelia enjoys reading books about animals and it would be important to consider her interests and try and incorporate this when suggesting reading books. Lockwood (2008) argues that it is important to discuss children’s reading choices and reflect this when updating book stocks. This would be a way of promoting reading for pleasure not only for Amelia but for all the children in the class.

In conclusion, Amelia appeared to have good comprehension skills and her ability to decode was developing. She engaged with texts and was able to express opinions on books that she had read. She used her knowledge of phonics to decode words but did not rely on this strategy alone. Amelia enjoys reading and reads in a variety of different contexts. It would be crucial to encourage this positive attitude to reading in order for her reading to develop further. This could be done in various ways, including ensuring that her interests were reflected in the books that were available to read in the classroom. It would also be important to provide choice and to demonstrate the joy of reading by reading stories together as a class. Trying to promote reading for pleasure would be beneficial not only for Amelia but for all the children in the class.

* A pseudonym

Cain, K. (2010) Reading Development and Difficulties West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Clark, C. (2011) Setting the Baseline: The National Literacy Trust’s first annual survey into reading London: National Literacy Trust.

Goouch, K. and Lambirth, A. (2011) Teaching Early Reading and Phonics London: Sage.

Lockwood, M. (2008) Promoting reading for pleasure in the primary school London: Sage.

Ofsted (2012) Moving English Forward. Available at:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/moving-english-forward  (Accessed: 3rd March 2014).

Rose, J. (2006) Independent review of the teaching of early reading. Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401…

https://www. education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderi… (Accessed: 5th March 2014) 

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Welcome to the Health Literacy Case Study Library

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The MRCT Center is continuing to work with our stakeholders to create additional case studies. Check back soon to discover more examples of how health literacy has already been put into action. If you have a case to share, we invite you to contact us .

Case studies and examples included on this page are not intended to represent the position of or imply endorsement by the MRCT Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mass General Brigham, or Harvard University. Reciprocally, entities and companies mentioned in the case studies and examples do not necessarily endorse the work products of the MRCT Center.

List of cases on this page:

> Supporting participant research retention using community engagement and health literacy best practices

> Environmental Health Literacy

> How one pharmaceutical company included patient input in clinical trial development

> Health Literate Consent Forms: Collaborating with the IRB

> A Health Literacy Approach to Developing Assent Templates for Pediatric Studies

> Using Health Literacy to Improve Follow-Up Data Collection

>  Implementing implicit bias exercises for study staff working with African American caregivers of children with autism

Health Literacy Case Study Highlights: Supporting participant retention in research.

Health Literacy Case Study Highlights: Communicating complex research results.

A Case Study from Sanofi Genzyme , developed with the MRCT Center

How one study team used health literacy principles to share environmental exposure information with non-English speaking immigrants using translated materials in Boston

A Health Literacy Approach to Developing Assent Templates for Pediatric Studies

Using health literacy to improve follow-up data collection

Implementing implicit bias exercises for study staff working with African American caregivers of children with autism.

How to Write a UX Case Study in 10 Steps

How to Write a UX Case Study in 10 Steps

Alesya Denga

When you're starting out as a UX designer, you know that you need case studies for your portfolio. However, there's not a lot of concrete information out there on exactly what should be in a case study. People have different expectations for UX case studies, so in this article, we'll guide you through 10 steps to build a solid UX/UI case study.

If you really want to showcase your work effectively, approach your case study with the same diligence you would apply to a design project. Don’t just throw something together quickly because you need to fill your portfolio. You’ll miss a valuable opportunity to stand out. Think of creating a case study as a project in itself:

  • Begin with research and inspiration : Look at other successful projects and case studies.
  • Choose the content to highlight : Focus on the most impactful aspects of your work.
  • Sketch layouts or structures : Plan how you’ll present your information visually.
  • Develop a wireframe : Create a rough layout for your case study.
  • Refine the design and visual presentation : Ensure your case study is visually appealing and consistent.
  • Plan your release : Think about when and where you’ll publish your case study; consider a small social media campaign.
  • Extend your reach : Write additional blog posts, articles, or use other project elements to generate interest.
🧠 Uxcel top tip: A compelling title is crucial for drawing readers in. Avoid generic titles like "Landing Page Case Study." Instead, be creative and engaging. For example, "From Clicks to Conversions: Enhancing Our Landing Page UX" is more likely to capture attention.

What is a Case Study?

Use Case Study Cover Image

A case study in UI/UX is a comprehensive narrative of a design project. It details the designer's approach to solving a user interface or user experience problem, including the project’s background, the problem addressed, the designer's role, and the steps taken. This format can significantly boost your chances of getting hired.

Purpose of a Case Study

The purpose of a case study is to:

  • Communicate design thinking : Recruiters seek candidates who can explain their designs clearly and appealingly.
  • Showcase skills and process : Highlight your abilities, thought processes, choices, and actions in context through engaging, image-supported stories.
  • Engage recruiters quickly : Enhance your portfolio with 2–3 case studies featuring your best writing and captivating visuals to capture recruiters’ interest within 5 minutes.

10 Steps to Create a UX/UI Case Study

Step 1. introduction.

Your introduction sets the stage for your case study, providing readers with a clear understanding of the project's background and your involvement. Here’s how to craft a compelling introduction:

Explain the project

  • Overview : Start with a brief description of the project. What is it about? Is it a mobile app, a website redesign, or a new feature?
  • Your role: Clearly define your role in the project. Were you the lead designer, a team member, or focused on a specific area like user research or visual design? If you collaborated with teammates, be sure to acknowledge their contributions.
  • The scenario : Provide some context for the project. Why was it initiated? What were the business goals or user needs that drove the project?

Set the context

  • Project background : Give a brief background of the project. Mention any relevant details such as the industry, target audience, and the problem that needed solving.
  • What you’ll cover : Outline what your case study will discuss. This gives readers a roadmap of what to expect.

Step 2. Define the objectives

Defining the objectives of your project is crucial for setting the direction and scope of your work. This step involves clearly outlining what you aim to achieve and how you plan to get there.

  • Clearly state objectives : Articulate the specific goals you aimed to achieve with the project. This helps readers understand your focus and the criteria for success. For example, the main objective could be to improve user satisfaction scores related to the checkout process and decrease the overall time taken to complete a purchase by 30%.
  • Define success metrics : Mention the key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics you will use to measure the success of your project. This adds a quantitative aspect to your objectives. In the realm of the checkout scenario, the metrics could be checkout completion rate, user satisfaction scores from post-purchase surveys, and the average time to complete a transaction.

Step 3. Research goals and methods

Empathy map with 4 sections: Says, Thinks, Does, and Feels

Research is a critical component of any UX/UI project. It provides the foundation for understanding user needs, identifying pain points, and informing design decisions. This step involves setting clear research goals, using appropriate methods, and sharing valuable insights.

  • Understand user needs : Define what you aim to learn about your users, including their behaviors, preferences, motivations, and pain points.
  • Identify pain points : Specify the problems you need to uncover, focusing on areas where users struggle or express frustration.
  • Gather feedback : Describe how you will collect feedback from users about existing or proposed designs.
  • Explain research methods : Use methods such as one-on-one interviews, surveys, competitive analysis, and analytics review. Explain how these methods will help you achieve your goals.
  • Detail your findings : Summarize the most important insights gained from your research, which should directly inform your design decisions.
🧠 Uxcel top tip: Share snippets of interviews or research deliverables to add visual interest to your process. However, don’t overdo it—no one wants to read four pages of interview transcripts.

Step 4. Define the problem

Defining the problem is crucial, as some designs may look great but solve non-existent issues or overlook more important ones.

  • Clearly state the issue : Ensure readers understand the specific problem by describing it in precise terms. A well-defined problem should be specific and measurable, such as "users struggle to find their account settings" instead of a vague statement like "the app is confusing."
  • Provide context : Offer detailed information about the problem uncovered during research. Specify the conditions under which the problem occurs, the affected user segments, and any relevant data.

Step 5. Define the audience

The user persona containing a quote, demographics, bio, and traits

Defining your audience is essential for creating a product that meets user needs effectively.

  • Identify target users : Clearly understand who will use or is already using the app or product. Determine the demographics, behaviors, and needs of your primary users.
  • Create personas : Develop detailed personas to represent your target audience. These should include information such as age, occupation, goals, challenges, and preferences to help guide your design decisions.
Explore how to create personas in the Personas in UX Research lesson, which is part of the UX Research course.

Step 6. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a crucial step where creativity and collaboration come into play. It’s about generating a wide range of ideas and narrowing them down to the most viable solutions.

  • Use ideation techniques : Describe the ideation techniques you and/or your team used if any, such as brainwriting, SCAMPER, Crazy 8s, mind mapping, affinity diagrams, and sketching. Explain how these techniques helped in exploring different aspects of the problem and generating innovative solutions.
  • Generate and share ideas : Present the initial ideas that emerged during brainstorming sessions. This can include rough sketches, mind maps, or notes from whiteboard sessions. Highlight the diversity of ideas and the collaborative effort.
Explore efficient ideation techniques in the Ideation Techniques & Challenges lesson, which is part of the Design Thinking course.

Step 7. Share your process

Customer journey map with phases Discovery, Registration, Setting a habit, and Completing tasks

Sharing your process is vital for demonstrating how you approached the project and the reasoning behind your decisions. Include user flows, information architecture, and initial wireframes to show the evolution of your design. Along the way, briefly explain why you made certain design choices and how they address the problem or enhance the user experience.

🧠 Uxcel top tip : Don't expect people to read everything. Find the balance between showing your design work and articulating your decisions. If you need to describe some of the decisions you made or explain the process in more detail, try writing on Medium or your personal/company blog and then link it to your case study.

Step 8. Provide your solution

screens of a habit building app

This step is where you showcase the final solution to the problem you’ve been addressing. It's your opportunity to present your design work and explain how it effectively resolves the identified issues.

  • Present designs or interactive prototypes : Demonstrate how users interact with your design. You can even record videos to show key interactions and transitions.
  • Color palette : Share your thoughts on how the selected color palette supports the overall design and brand identity. Provide color swatches and examples of how colors are applied in the interface.
  • Typography : Describe the typography used in your design and its impact on readability and aesthetics. Include examples of headers, body text, and other typographic elements.

Include any additional design assets or elements that contribute to the final solution, such as icons, imagery, and illustrations.

Step 9. Testing and iteration

If you conducted testing and iterations after the launch, this is the step to discuss it. Sharing these insights shows how you refined your designs to create a better user experience.

  • Share testing insights : briefly mention the reasons for testing, the methods used, and the findings.
  • Detail improvements : Describe the specific changes made based on the testing feedback. Highlight how these iterations improved the user experience and addressed any identified issues.

Step 10. Conclusion and final thoughts

This final step should be concise but informative. Reflect on the process and share your final thoughts and any lessons learned throughout the project. If possible, include specific metrics or feedback to demonstrate the impact of your work.

Explore our design brief to test your skills by creating a UX/UI case study for a landing page that embraces diversity and inclusivity principles.

Tips for a Successful Case Study

  • Permission : Get your employer’s or client’s permission before selecting a project for a case study, especially if you've signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
  • Consistency : Use cohesive color palettes from tools like Coolors or Adobe Color to ensure a clean and consistent presentation.
  • Brand personality : If relevant, discuss the brand personality and design principles in your case study.
🧠 Uxcel top tip: Set an eye-catching cover image. If you don't have many followers yet, attracting attention can be challenging. We recommend giving special attention to the cover image of your case study—something that stands out and grabs people's attention as they scroll through their feed. Ask yourself: "What will make my project noticeable at first glance?"

Writing a UX case study is crucial for your career, especially when you're just starting out. A well-crafted case study not only showcases your skills but also demonstrates your ability to think critically and solve problems effectively. By including every necessary step—from initial research to final design—you can present a comprehensive and compelling narrative that highlights both your qualitative and quantitative research. This thorough approach will captivate your audience, impress potential employers, and significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job.

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What was Trump found guilty of? See the 34 business records the jury decided he falsified

literacy case study pdf

Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records after prosecutors successfully convinced a jury he disguised hush money reimbursement as legal expenses. He is the first former president to be convicted of a crime.

Each count is tied to a different business record that prosecutors demonstrated Trump is responsible for changing to conceal or commit another crime .

Those records include 11 checks paid to former lawyer Michael Cohen , 11 invoices from Michael Cohen and 12 entries in Trump's ledgers.

The jury found that Trump authorized a plan to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 hush money payment issued to Stormy Daniels and spread the payments across 12 months disguised as legal expenses.

Live updates: Former President Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in hush money case

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

Breakdown of 34 counts of falsifying business records

Here are the 34 business records Trump was found guilty of falsifying, as described in Judge Juan Merchan 's jury instructions :

  • Count 1: Michael Cohen's invoice dated Feb. 14, 2017
  • Count 2: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust dated Feb. 14, 2017
  • Count 3: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust dated Feb. 14, 2017
  • Count 4: A Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust Account check and check stub dated Feb. 14, 2017
  • Count 5: Michael Cohen's invoice dated March 16, 2017
  • Count 6: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust dated March 17, 2017
  • Count 7: A Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust Account check and check stub dated March 17, 2017
  • Count 8: Michael Cohen's invoice dated April 13, 2017
  • Count 9: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated June 19, 2017
  • Count 10: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated June 19, 2017
  • Count 11: Michael Cohen's invoice dated May 22, 2017
  • Count 12: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated May 22, 2017
  • Count 13: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub May 23, 2017
  • Count 14: Michael Cohen's invoice dated June 16, 2017
  • Count 15: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated June 19, 2017
  • Count 16: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated June 19, 2017
  • Count 17: Michael Cohen's invoice dated July 11, 2017
  • Count 18: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated July 11, 2017
  • Count 19: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated July 11, 2017
  • Count 20: Michael Cohen's invoice dated Aug. 1, 2017
  • Count 21: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated Aug. 1, 2017
  • Count 22: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Aug. 1, 2017
  • Count 23: Michael Cohen's invoice dated Sept. 11, 2017
  • Count 24: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated Sept. 11, 2017
  • Count 25: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Sept. 12, 2017
  • Count 26: Michael Cohen's invoice dated Oct. 18, 2017
  • Count 27: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated Oct. 18, 2017
  • Count 28: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Oct. 18, 2017
  • Count 29: Michael Cohen's invoice dated Nov. 20, 2017
  • Count 30: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated Nov. 20, 2017
  • Count 31: A Donald J. Trump account check and check stub dated Nov. 21, 2017
  • Count 32: Michael Cohen's invoice dated Dec. 1, 2017
  • Count 33: Entry in the Detail General Ledger for Donald J. Trump dated Dec. 1, 2017
  • Count 34: A check and check stub dated Dec. 5 2017

Jurors saw copies of these records entered as evidence. Evidence from the entire trial is available on the New York Courts website .

Contributing: Aysha Bagchi

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Former President Trump is found guilty in historic New York criminal case

Ximena Bustillo headshot

Ximena Bustillo

Andrea Bernstein

Former President Donald Trump appears for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday, before a jury of New Yorkers convicted him on 34 felony counts.

Former President Donald Trump appears for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday, before a jury of New Yorkers convicted him on 34 felony counts. Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

For live updates about the verdict,  follow NPR's live blog .

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump has been found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, a historic verdict as Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, campaigns again for the White House.

This is the first time a former or sitting U.S. president has been convicted of criminal charges.

On Thursday, 12 New York jurors said they unanimously agreed that Trump falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 hush money payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels to influence the 2016 contest.

The decision came after about a day and a half of deliberations.

Former President Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, on May 20, 2024.

4 takeaways from the historic felony conviction of Donald Trump

As the verdicts were read, Trump remained silent and still. But the former president spoke to reporters outside the courtroom, calling the trial a "rigged, disgraceful trial" and saying that the "real verdict" will be rendered on Election Day.

Trump's legal team signaled it would appeal the conviction.

New York Judge Juan Merchan set sentencing for July 11 — just four days before the start of the Republican National Convention. Trump faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison, but as a first-time, white-collar offender, no prison time is necessary, and he could receive probation instead.

The jury heard from 22 witnesses during about four weeks of testimony in Manhattan’s criminal court. Jurors also weighed other evidence — mostly documents like phone records, invoices and checks to Michael Cohen, Trump’s once loyal “fixer,” who paid Daniels to keep her story of an alleged affair with the former president quiet.

The facts of the payments and invoices labeled as legal services were not in dispute. What prosecutors needed to prove was that Trump falsified the records in order to further another crime — in this case, violating the New York election law that makes it a crime for “any two or more persons [to] conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.” The jurors were able to choose whether those unlawful means were violating the Federal Election Campaign Act, falsifying tax returns or falsifying other business records.

Trump’s defense focused intently on the credibility of Cohen and argued that influencing an election is not illegal.

The verdict came more than a year after a grand jury indicted Trump on March 30, 2023, marking the first time a former or sitting president faced criminal charges.

Republicans dismissed the indictment as an overreach of power by Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who had brought the charges. On Thursday, following the conviction, Republican elected officials quickly rallied around Trump again.

At a news conference Thursday evening, Bragg said: "While this defendant may be unlike any other in American history, we arrived at this trial — and ultimately today at this verdict — in the same manner as every other case that comes through the courtroom doors: by following the facts and the law, and doing so without fear or favor."

What the jury heard

In August 2015, two months after Trump announced his 2016 presidential bid, David Pecker, then the publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid, met with Trump and Cohen at Trump Tower, according to testimony from Pecker and Cohen.

At that meeting, Pecker testified, it was agreed that he would be the “eyes and ears” of the Trump campaign. His job was to look out for negative stories from women that he could “take off the marketplace” by buying up the rights to the stories but never publishing them.

The plan, as Pecker outlined it, was that he would suppress these stories and at the same time publish negative stories about Trump’s opponents. Some of these stories, Pecker said, were sent to Trump and Cohen for approval prior to publication.

Over the next year, Pecker said, he carried out this role. His testimony was corroborated by Keith Davidson, an attorney who represented both Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. In about June 2016, McDougal considered going public with her story of a yearlong affair with Trump. But Pecker bought the rights to that story, with the expectation that he would be reimbursed by Trump. That never happened.

In early October 2016, according to the testimony of former Trump communications aide Hope Hicks, the campaign was rocked by the release of the Access Hollywood tape, where Trump could be heard boasting, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p****.”

The next day, according to Pecker, Cohen and Davidson, Daniels threatened to go public with accusations that she'd had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 in a Lake Tahoe hotel suite during a celebrity golf tournament.

In her testimony, Daniels said there was a “power imbalance” when, after leaving the suite’s restroom, she found Trump on the hotel bed in his underwear. That’s when, Daniels said, they had sex.

She testified that Trump had dangled a possible role on his TV show The Celebrity Apprentice . This detail — that the sex wasn’t entirely wanted — caused the defense to request a mistrial, which was denied. It also provided a motive for Trump to suppress the story. Prosecutors said, “Trump knew what happened in that hotel room” and didn’t want it to come out. The adult-film actor’s testimony also included intimate details of her alleged sexual encounter, some of which Judge Merchan agreed with the defense were not necessary.

As October 2016 drew to a close, Cohen testified, he frantically opened bank accounts and tried to come up with a way to pay the $130,000 to keep Daniels quiet. But Trump, Cohen said, wanted to delay the payment until after the election, with the idea that after the election, it wouldn’t matter whether Daniels was paid.

This point, that Trump was making the payment to influence the election by keeping women voters on board, was corroborated by a number of other witnesses. Hicks testified that Trump, by then in the White House, told her that it was better the story came out in 2018, rather than 2016.

Cohen ultimately wired the money himself to Daniels, with the understanding, he said, that he would be repaid by Trump. Cohen testified to a number of conversations with Trump, backed up by phone records, including on the day he wired the payments. But the defense rattled Cohen on cross-examination when it presented evidence that one of the calls that Cohen had said was made through Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, was instead with Schiller about threats from a 14-year-old prankster.

Still, the heart of the case rested on the testimony of what happened after the election, when the records were falsified, in particular the handwritten notes and documents from the Trump Organization’s former comptroller, Jeff McConney.

McConney authenticated a key record: the bank statement showing Cohen’s wire transfer. That record included handwritten notes from Cohen and Trump’s former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, describing the $130,000 payment that would be “grossed up” to cover Cohen’s taxes. That sum, combined with another reimbursement and a bonus, for a total of $420,000, was paid out over 12 months at a rate of $35,000 per month.

The payments would be described as pursuant to a “legal retainer.” (Weisselberg, who is serving jail time for perjury in Trump’s civil fraud trial, did not testify.)

On the stand, Cohen described a repayment scheme that formed the basis of the 34 counts of falsified business records: 11 falsified invoices, 12 falsified ledger entries and 11 checks falsely recording the repayment as legal “retainers.” Nine of the checks were signed by Trump himself.

Cohen said he and Weisselberg met and discussed the agreement with Trump shortly before he left for Washington, on or about Jan. 17, 2020. Cohen said Trump approved the deal, saying at the end of the meeting that “it was going to be one heck of a ride” in Washington. Cohen said he and Trump discussed the arrangement again, in early February, in the Oval Office. Photos and White House records corroborated that the two met in the Oval Office at the time.

The defense presented just two witnesses, including Robert Costello, an attorney who wanted to represent Cohen after Cohen’s home and office were searched by the FBI in 2018. Costello had been put on the stand to refute Cohen’s claim that Costello was pressuring Cohen to stay on Trump’s “team.” But Costello’s emails showed that Trump was deciding which of Cohen’s lawyers he wanted to pay and that Costello was concerned about not giving “the appearance that we are following instructions from [Rudy] Giuliani or the president,” referring to the former New York City mayor who was Trump’s lawyer at the time.

Trump supporters and their opponents spar outside of the criminal court where the former president is on trial on Wednesday in New York City. The prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments in the former president's hush money trial with prosecutor Joshua Steinglass speaking for four hours and 40 minutes. Judge Juan Merchan will give the jury their instructions before they begin their deliberations today. Former U.S. President Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Trump verdict would likely move only a small number of votes, poll finds

How this conviction could affect the 2024 election.

Trump has continually blasted any criminal charges he faces as “election interference” affecting his 2024 presidential campaign.

The hush money case likely is the only one of Trump’s four ongoing criminal cases that will be heard ahead of Election Day in November, since federal trials in Washington, D.C., and Florida, as well as a state case in Georgia, are in various stages of delays.

This decision in New York is likely to have rippling effects as Trump campaigns as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. For now, the other 54 criminal charges he faces have not turned off potential voters, and among some Republicans, the cases have bolstered support for him. However, a conviction may not play well with independent and swing voters.

The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll , from May, showed that 17% of voters surveyed said they would be less likely to vote for Trump if he were convicted, while 15% said they would be more likely to vote for him. And 67% of registered voters nationally said it makes no difference to their vote if Trump is found guilty in his hush money trial.

Ian Sams, spokesperson for the White House counsel’s office, said in a statement: "We respect the rule of law, and have no additional comment.”

President Biden's campaign, however, had a longer statement. “In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law," said spokesperson Michael Tyler. "There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box. Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president."


Read the Verdict Sheet in the Trump Manhattan Criminal Trial

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Former President Donald J. Trump was convicted on Thursday on all 34 counts of falsifying business records by a jury of 12 New Yorkers, who deliberated over two days.

A PDF version of this document with embedded text is available at the link below:

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Our Coverage of the Trump Hush-Money Trial

Guilty Verdict : Donald Trump was convicted on all 34 counts  of falsifying records to cover up a sex scandal that threatened his bid for the White House in 2016, making him the first American president to be declared a felon .

What Happens Next: Trump’s sentencing hearing on July 11 will trigger a long and winding appeals process , though he has few ways to overturn the decision .

Reactions: Trump’s conviction reverberated quickly across the country  and around the world . Here’s what voters , New Yorkers , Republicans , Trump supporters  and President Biden  had to say.

The Presidential Race : The political fallout of Trump’s conviction is far from certain , but the verdict will test America’s traditions, legal institutions and ability to hold an election under historic partisan tension .

Making the Case: Over six weeks and the testimony of 20 witnesses, the Manhattan district attorney’s office wove a sprawling story  of election interference and falsified business records.

Legal Luck Runs Out: The four criminal cases that threatened Trump’s freedom had been stumbling along, pleasing his advisers. Then his good fortune expired .


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    Amelia* is a middle ability pupil in a mixed ability class of thirty one children, with a ratio of eighteen boys and eleven girls. The school is average size for a primary school and most of the pupils are drawn from the immediate neighbourhood. When I met Amelia she was graded at Level 1c for her reading, slightly below average for the class.

  15. PDF Case Analysis Process: An Equity Literacy Approach

    ([email protected]) for their book, Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education (Routledge, 2014). Check out the book for this more than 35 school- and classroom based case studies on issues like race, class, (dis)ability, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, along with a more detailed description of the case analysis process.

  16. Thalia Learns the Details: A Student Case Study

    Student Case Study: Thalia. Student: Kindergarten, age 5, August Birthday. School: Amigos, Cambridge, MA. Teachers: Jim St. Clair and Maria Castro. Class Size: 36 students in two classes. "Thalia's very interested in the idea of literacy and she's interested in books. It's the details she's a little bit fuzzy on.

  17. PDF Best Practices in Financial Literacy: A Case Study

    Best Practices in Financial Literacy: A Case Study. 1. Implementing Best Practices Within an Adult Basic Education Program. Class Description. For several years, Eli Gibbons has been teaching adult basic education (ABE) elective courses for young adults representing a variety of cultures in a north Houston suburb.

  18. PDF The Case for Financial Literacy

    The Case for Financial Literacy Achraf El Madnaoui, Angye Bardales, Deven Rozario, Jen Khosid, Maddox Garetti, Yaxi Shi, Shen Shen Lau T ab l e of C on te n ts I. Abstract II. Introduction- Maddox Garetti III. Financial Management- Shen Shen Lau IV. Taxes- Jen Khosid V. Consumer Policy- Achraf El Madnaoui VI. Home Ownership- Deven Rozario VII.

  19. Case Study Library

    Welcome to the Health Literacy Case Study Library. The MRCT Center has worked with stakeholders around the country to develop case studies and examples showing how health literacy has been integrated into various clinical research settings. Click on the presentations below to learn more about each case and key takeaways that could be applicable ...

  20. How to Write a UX Case Study in 10 Steps

    Explore our design brief to test your skills by creating a UX/UI case study for a landing page that embraces diversity and inclusivity principles. Tips for a Successful Case Study. Permission: Get your employer's or client's permission before selecting a project for a case study, especially if you've signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

  21. READ: Verdict sheet in Trump's hush money case

    A Manhattan jury found Donald Trump guilty of all 34 charges of falsifying business records Thursday, an unprecedented and historic verdict that makes Trump the first former president in American ...

  22. 4 Phases of the Project Management Lifecycle Explained

    Reading books is a low-cost way to gain insight into the project management lifecycle and project management in general in your spare time. Read more: 12 Project Management Books for Beginners. Take online courses or watch tutorials.

  23. What was Trump convicted of? See the 34 falsified business records

    Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records after prosecutors successfully convinced a jury he disguised hush money reimbursement as legal expenses. He is the ...

  24. PDF Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its control

    64 contextualised case study of the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on women and 65 children, with some assessment of their uneven distribution across socio-economic, age and 66 gender groups. We used different types of primary and secondary data from multiple sources 67 to produce a holistic descriptive analysis.

  25. Donald Trump is found guilty in hush money case : NPR

    The hush money case likely is the only one of Trump's four ongoing criminal cases that will be heard ahead of Election Day in November, since federal trials in Washington, D.C., and Florida, as ...

  26. Read the Verdict Sheet in the Trump Manhattan Criminal Trial

    verdict sheet supreme court of the state of new york part 59 county new york the people of the state of new york indictment no. 71543-23 against justice juan merchan date donald j. trump 05/29 ...