CLASS: A Windows Laptop Computer System for the
In-Class Analysis of Classroom Discourse
CLASS 4 Documentation and Coding Manual [zip]
CLASS program developed by Martin Nystrand at the
Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) for the in-class analysis of classroom
discourse. It is a research tool used to build profiles of classroom interaction and to investigate
the effects of classroom discourse on student achievment. Not to be confused with the University
of Virginia's TeachStone pen-and-paper instrument first appearing in 2009 and used in
professional development, CLASS is a research tool developed since 1988 under the auspices
of three national research centers (The National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, 1985-90);
the National Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, 1990-95; and the National
Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, 1996-2001) and has been funded through
to 2016 by the US Department of Education's Institute for Educational Studies to develop a new
version that will autonomously measure and assess key indices of classroom discourse. No
observer or research assistant data collector needed, nothing intrusive in classrooms, no violation
of teacher or student identity. Just a super smart phone app-like device and some microphones
that autonomously process classroom discourse.
CLASS has been used in several large-scale empirical studies across the United States and was
key to finding the first empirical support ever for the role of open-ended discussion in literature
Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. The Stratification of Learning Opportunities in Middle and
High School." National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, 1985-90
Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. Discourse Environment and Student Achievement (the
National Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, 1990-1995
Applebee, A., Langer, J., Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. Discussion-Based Approaches to
Developing Understanding: Classroom Instruction and Student Performance in Middle and
High School English, National Center on English Learning and Achievement, 1996-2001.
Langer, J., Applebee, A., Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. The Partnership for Literacy: A Study
of Professional Development, Instructional Change and Student Growth. National Center on
English Learning and Achievement, 1996-2001.
CLASS has become a stock in trade for much empirical research on classroom discourse and has
been regularly cited in major published research papers as a key tool in the collection of classroom
Caughlan, S. (2003). Exploring the Gap Between Espoused and Enacted Cultural Models of
Literature Discussion. 52nd Yearbook. Literacy Research Association, pp. 150-161.
Caughlan, S., Juzwik, M. M., & Adler, M. (2008). From research to practice: Recontextualizing
the CLASS program across boundaries. English Education, 41(1), 66-86.
Caughlan, S., & Kelly, S. (2004, August). Bridging Methodological Gaps: Instructional and
Institutional Effects of Tracking in Two English Classes. Research in the Teaching of English, 39,
Christoph, J. & Nystrand, M. (2001, November). Taking risks, negotiating relationships: One
teacher's transition toward a dialogic classroom. Research in the Teaching of English, 36, 249-
Gamoran, A., & Nystrand, M. (1994). Tracking, instruction, and achievement. International
Journal of Educational Research, 21, 217-131.
Gamoran, A., & Nystrand, M. (1991). Background and instructional effects on achievement
in eighth-grade English and social studies. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1, 277-300.
Gamoran, A., & Nystrand, M. (1992). Taking students seriously. In F. Newmann (Ed.),
Student Engagement and Achievement in American Schools (pp. 40-61). New York: Teachers
Gamoran, A., Nystrand, M., Berends, M., & LePore, P. (1995, Winter). An organizational
analysis of the effects of ability grouping. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 687-716.
Heintz, A., Borsheim, C., Caughlan, S., Juzwik, M. M., & Sherry, M. B. (2010). Video-based
response & revision: Dialogic instruction using video and web 2.0 technologies. Contemporary
Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10(2). Retrieved from
Juzwik, M., Nystrand, M., Kelly, S., & Sherry, M. (2008). Oral Narrative genres as dialogic
resources for classroom literature study: A contextualized case study. American Educational
Research Journal, 45, 1111-1154.
Juzwik, M. & Sherry, M. B. (2007). Expressive language and the art of English teaching:
Theorizing the relationship between literature and oral narrative. English Education, 39(3),
Kelly, S. (2010, May). A Crisis of Authority in Predominantly Black Schools. Teachers College
Record, 112(5), 1247-1274
Kelly, S. (2007). Classroom discourse and the distribution of student engagement. Social
Psychology of Education, 10, pp. 331-352.
Kelly, S. (2009). Social identity theories and educational engagement. British Journal of
Sociology of Education, 30(4), 449-462.
Kelly, S. (2008, January). What Types of Students' Effort Are Rewarded with High Marks?
Sociology of Education, 81(1), pp. 32-52.
Kelly, S., & Turner, J. (2009, July). Rethinking the Effects of Classroom Activity Structure on
the Engagement of Low-Achieving Students. Teachers College Record Volume, 111(7),
Nystrand, M. (2007, March 27). Keynote Address: Opening-and Sustaining-Dialogue: From
Practice to Theory and Back. The International Association for the Improvement of Mother
Tongue Education (IAIMTE). Exeter, UK March 27, 2007.
Nystrand, M. (2006, May). Research on the role of classroom discourse as it affects reading
comprehension. Research in the Teaching of English, 40, 392-412.
Nystrand, M. (2009, September). En què consisteix la felin d'un mestre. La formació del
professorat de llengues, 49, 82-110.
Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. (1997). The big picture: The language of learning in hundreds
of eighth- and ninth-grade English lessons. Chapter 2, Opening Dialogue: Understanding the
Dynamics of Language and Learning in the English Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.
Nystrand, M., Gamoran, A., & Carbonaro, W. (2001). On the ecology of classroom
instruction: The case of writing in high school English and social studies. In P. Tynjälä, L.
Mason, & K. Londa (Eds.), Writing as a learning tool (pp. 57-81). Dordrecht, the Netherlands:
Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Nystrand, M., Wu, L., Gamoran, A., Zeiser, S., & Long, D. (2003, March-April). Questions in
time: Investigating the structure and dynamics of unfolding classroom discourse. Discourse
Processes, 35, 135-196.Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. (1991). Instructional discourse, student
engagement, and literature achievement. Research in the Teaching of English, 25, 261-290.
CLASS 5.0, under
development, will be available for multiple platforms.