Sustainability and Scalability of Digital Tools for Learning: ABRACADABRA in Kenya


  • Larysa Lysenko Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University
  • Philip C. Abrami Center for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University
  • C. Anne Wade Center for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University



educational technology, sustainability factors, scaling, sub-saharan Africa


This paper explores factors to increase the likelihood that the implementation of ABRACADABRA, a technology-based approach to teaching and learning literacy, endures and expands beyond the initial research. Started as a pilot study in 12 classrooms, the implementation spread to more than 500 primary classrooms over six years in five areas of Kenya. Drawing from research about scalability and sustainability of educational interventions and value-expectancy-cost theory, an exploratory survey was designed to interview a range of actors involved in the software implementation. We used a combination of an a priori and data-driven coding approaches to analyse the narratives. We then built a model exploring the relationship between expectancy-value-cost beliefs and the factors associated with implementation and sustainability. The model explained an important portion of variance in the self-reported intent to use the software with the most significant contributions from policies, professional development, and students. These findings may be useful in the context of low- and medium-income countries where no research-proven principles exist to building sustainable and scalable educational interventions.

Author Biographies

Larysa Lysenko, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University

Larysa Lysenko, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University. Dr. Lysenko has been working on the CSLP research projects about implementation, sustainability and scale-up of educational technologies for teaching and learning.  She is interested in learning about how teachers advance their practice and how educational innovation impacts their instruction and students’ learning outcomes.

Philip C. Abrami, Center for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University

Philip C. Abrami, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University. Dr. Abrami, the former CSLP Director, has been the leader in developing educational software and has served as the principal investigator on a multitude of large-scale projects. He has published widely on topics ranging from instructional effectiveness to distance learning and educational technology.

C. Anne Wade, Center for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University

C. Anne Wade, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Concordia University. Anne Wade, (M.L.I.S.) currently serves as the LTK+ Global Manager. Building on her experience with project management, knowledge exchange and partnerships for the CSLP, she co-designs training and curriculum materials and oversees the administrative components of the projects.


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