The software products available for purchase on the Reading Success Lab website were developed from Dr. James M. Royer's research on reading comprehension and reading difficulties. The program of research that resulted in the development of the projects began in the 1970s and continues today. The information below provides a brief description of that research and lists some of the research publications that resulted from the research.
Research on Reading Comprehension
From 1977 to 1985 Dr. Royer's research focused on the development, validation, and uses for a new technique of measuring listening and reading comprehension. The technique is called the Sentence Verification Technique (SVT) and many SVT publications can be found on Royer's publication list at his university website.
Two articles summarizing much of this research are listed below.
Royer, J. M. (1990). The Sentence Verification Technique: A new direction in the assessment of reading comprehension. In S. Legg and J. Algina (Eds.), Cognitive assessment of language and math outcomes. Norword, NJ: Ablex. (pgs. 144-191).
Royer, J. M., Carlo, M. S., & Cisero, C. A. (1992). School-based uses for the Sentence Verification Technique for measuring listening and reading comprehension. Psychological Test Bulletin, 5, 5-19.
Research on Reading Comprehension Difficulties
Around 1985 Dr. Royer's research began attempting to identify the reasons why students had difficulty with reading comprehension. The research on comprehension difficulties resulted in the development of computer-based procedures that were useful in identifying a variety of problems that readers might be experiencing. The diagnostic software he developed forms the foundation of the Assessment Modules that are now available for purchase at the Reading Success Lab website. Some of the representative publications that came out of this research are listed below.
Sinatra, G. M., & Royer, J. M. (1993). The development of cognitive component processing skills that support skilled reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 509-519.
Greene, B. A., & Royer, J. M. (1994). A developmental review of response time data that support a cognitive component model of reading. Educational Psychology Review, 6, 141-172.
Royer, J. M., & Sinatra, G. M. (1994). A cognitive theoretical approach to reading diagnostics. Educational Psychology Review, 6, 81-114.
Cisero, C. A., Royer, J. M., Marchant, H. G., & Jackson, S. J. (1997). Can the Computer-based Academic Assessment System (CAAS) be used to diagnose reading disability in college students? Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 599-620.
Research on Remediating Reading Difficulties
After spending several years examining the reliability and validity of the diagnostic procedures used in the assessment software, Royer's research began to examine ways of fixing the problems that blocked the development of skilled reading ability.
In the early 1990s Royer started a clinic at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst that worked with children and adults with reading problems. This clinic had three primary goals: 1) to develop effective diagnostic procedures that identified the nature of reading difficulties and that resulted in prescriptions for improving the difficulty, 2) to develop effective intervention procedures that strengthened weak reading skills, and 3) to advance theory that produced a better understanding of the nature of reading difficulties. Royer's clinic worked with individuals with specific reading disorders (dyslexia), with attentional disorders, and over time also worked with students with math learning difficulties.
Royer discovered that many of the students that were referred to his clinic had had a lot of phonics based reading interventions and that those interventions often failed to make students better readers. Over time he developed interventions that proved to be successful with all students (dyslexic and poor readers). These intervention procedures provide the foundation for the Skill Builder interventions available for purchase at the Reading Success Lab website. Some of the research publications showing the effectiveness of intervention procedures are listed below.
Royer, J. M. (1997). A Cognitive Perspective on the Assessment, Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Skills. In G. D. Phye (Ed.), Handbook of academic learning. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. (pp. 199-234).
Royer, J. M., Rath, K. A., & Tronsky, L. N. (2001). Automaticity training as a reading intervention for adolescents with attentional disorders. Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disorders. (Vol 15), 3-16. New York: JAI Press.
Royer, J. M., & Walles, R. (2007) Fluency Training as an alternative intervention for treatment resistant readers. In E. Grigorenko and A. Naples (Eds.) Single Word Reading: Biological and Behavioral Perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum.. (pp. 327-353)
Research on Teaching Reading Comprehension Skills
Royer is currently conducting research on procedures for improving reading comprehension performance in students who have mastered word decoding skills. A publication summarizing this research is currently being written.