The Research Behind our Tools

Dr. James “Mike” Royer’s research focused initially on the development, validation, and uses for a new technique for measuring reading and listening comprehension. The technique is called the Sentence Verification Technique (SVT) and has been used in well over 100 research studies—the majority conducted by researchers other than Mike who are examining reading and listening comprehension.

Learn more from these articles by Dr. Royer and other researchers:

“Development of Cognitive Component Processing Skills That Support Skilled Reading,” by Gale M. Sinatra and James M. Royer, Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 509-519.

A major thrust of Royer’s research was an attempt to identify the reasons why readers had difficulty with reading comprehension. This research resulted in the development of computer-based procedures that identified a variety of cognitive difficulties that inhibited reading comprehension. These computer-based procedures provide the foundation of the Assessment tools contained in the Reading Success Lab software. This article was one of the first that examined the validity of the response time and accuracy tasks that were subsequently incorporated into the Reading Success Lab software.  Aspects of the study that were not included in the published article examined the reliability of the assessments and a number of additional validity indices. Read the article.

“A Cognitive Theoretical Approach to Reading Diagnostics,” by James M. Royer and Gale M. Sinatra, Educational Psychology Review, 1994, 6, 81-114.

This article provides the theoretical rationale for using a procedure like that incorporated in the Reading Success Lab software as a reading diagnostic procedure.  The article sketches out a theory of reading development and identifies problems that could inhibit learning to read.  It also describes the characteristics that a good reading diagnostic system should have.  Those characteristics are present in the Reading Success Lab assessment module. Read the article.

“A Cognitive Theoretical Approach to Reading Diagnostics,” by James M. Royer and Gale M. Sinatra, Educational Psychology Review, 1994, 6, 81-114.

This article provides the theoretical rationale for using a procedure like that incorporated in the Reading Success Lab software as a reading diagnostic procedure.  The article sketches out a theory of reading development and identifies problems that could inhibit learning to read.  It also describes the characteristics that a good reading diagnostic system should have.  Those characteristics are present in the Reading Success Lab assessment module. Read the article.

“Can the Computer-Based Academic Assessment System (CAAS) Be Used to Diagnose Reading Disability in College Students?” by Cheryl A. Cisero, James M. Royer, Horace G. Marchant, and Stanley J. Jackson, Journal of Educational Psychology, 1997, 89, 599-620.

This article examines research demonstrating that the CAAS system is a viable means of diagnosing reading disability in college populations. Read the article.

“A Developmental Review of Response Time Data That Support a Cognitive Component Model of Reading,” by Barbara A. Greene and James M. Royer, Educational Psychology Review, 1994, 6, 141-172.

This article provides a review of research studies that collect both accuracy and response time (time to perform a reading task) information. This literature review was used to select the tasks that were subsequently incorporated into the Reading Success Lab assessment module. Read the article.

“Uses for the Sentence Verification Technique for Measuring Language Comprehension,” by James M. Royer, unpublished.

This article reviews the research completed by Dr. Royer and others who examined the reliability, validity and uses for comprehension tests generated using the Sentence Verification Technique procedure.  The entire article is not published, though various components of the article have been published. Read the article.

“The Nature and Effectiveness of Learning Disability Services for College Students,” by Kenneth A. Rath and James M. Royer, Educational Psychology Review, 2002, 14, 353-382.

This review article examines the research literature on the provision of learning disability services for college students. One of the interesting aspects of the findings is that relatively few colleges provide services designed to make students better readers. Instead, services focus on helping them learn and perform on tests through the use of services such as tutors or the provision of accommodations. Read the article.

“Fluency Training as an Alternative Intervention for Treatment Resistant Readers,” Chapter Sixteen, Single Word Reading: Biological and Behavioral Perspectives, by James M. Royer and Rena Walles, Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum. (pp. 327-353)

Royer’s research on the causes of reading comprehension difficulties led to a desire to try and “fix” the problems that blocked the development of skilled reading. This desire resulted in Royer starting a clinic at the University of Massachusetts that provided services to children and adults with learning difficulties. The clients served by the clinic were referred by a range of educational professionals, and quite often included individuals who had had a lot of phonics-based reading interventions, which had failed to make students better readers. Over time, Dr. Royer developed interventions that proved to be successful with all students, including those who were dyslexic or simply poor readers. These intervention procedures provide the foundation for the Skill Builder interventions contained in the Reading Success Lab software. This book chapter reports research showing that students who have not benefited from phonics-based instruction can make good progress in developing reading skills using the intervention techniques implemented in the Reading Success Lab Skill Builder. Read the article.