Laboratory for the Assessment and Training of Academic Skills (LATAS)

LATAS Research

Our LATAS research has three goals: First, to develop assessment procedures that will identify the specific academic skill that is blocking the development of reading or math capability. Second, to develop instructional interventions that will remove those blocks. And finally, to advance our theoretical understanding of learning disabilities. One of our primay assessment procedures is the Cognitive Aptitude Assessment Software CAAS™ that we developed and is now commercially available.

Our research is conducted with children and adults who have been referred to LATAS by professional psychologists, school systems, and parents. Most of the individuals we work with have been diagnosed as having a learning disability, and most have a history of receiving special education services that have not proven to be effective. My VITA lists a number of publications that describe our LATAS research activities.

Assessing Higher Order Learning Outcomes

This research program is based on the assumption that text comprehension and learning from text involves several levels of cognitive processing. At the lowest level we extract the surface meaning of the text we are reading. At a higher level we develop the ability to make inferences about the content of the text. And at a yet higher level we develop the ability to recognize "big ideas" in the text. For instance, we develop the ability to look at a physics problem and recognize that the problem involves a particular physical principle. Our goal is to develop procedures that can assess competency at each of these levels and then examine possible uses for the procedures that we have developed. So, for example, the procedures could be used to track progress through instructional programs or to select individuals for positions requiring high levels of competency.

We would like to introduce you to the LATAS Staff at UMass and James M. Royer, Ph.D.

Our research is directed towards the creation of a theoretical understanding of the nature of learning disabilities.

Parents, are you concerned about learning disabilities?

If you are a researcher or an educator who is interested in further information about CAAS™ we encourage you to download a trial version of the Researchers Cognitive Aptitude Assessment Software.


Goals | Approach | Diagnostic Assessment
Educational Interventions | Theory Development
Do Our Efforts Work? | Costs
Data We Collect | Confidentiality of Data