Barnes awarded $1.5 million to design technology-based program for middle school students with reading comprehension difficulties

Aug. 26, 2016


Photo of Marcia Barnes
Marcia Barnes

MCPER has received a $1.5 million federal grant to design a technology-based inference-making intervention for middle school students who have difficulties with reading comprehension.

The new 3-year project—Project Connect-IT (Connecting Text by Inference and Technology: Development of a Text-Integration Intervention for Middle School Students with Comprehension Difficulties)—will develop and test the promise of a technology-based intervention designed to provide instruction and practice in the making of inferences that are necessary for understanding both narrative and informational texts. The project will work with students with or at risk for reading comprehension difficulties and their teachers to design instruction that helps students integrate ideas in the text and that helps them to use their world knowledge to understand what they are reading. In the last year of the project, inference-making and reading comprehension outcomes will be compared for students who receive the technology-based inference-making intervention, a teacher-led version of the intervention, or the school’s typical reading instruction. Marcia Barnes will serve as principal investigator of the project, with Nathan Clemens and Sharon Vaughn as the co-principal investigators, MCPER Associate Director Greg Roberts as the methodologist, and Deborah Simmons and Melissa Fogarty as co-principal investigators at Texas A&M University.

The funding, which started July 1, 2016, is from the National Center for Special Education Research within the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.