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Center for the Applied Study of Cognition and Learning Sciences

CASCLS Projects

The Dyslexia Project
The Dyslexia Project is an ongoing investigation by Dr. Lisa Borden-King, CASCLS’ Field Director. Fifteen years of intensive work with elementary students in the Minot State University Reading Clinic have shown a distinct pattern emerging—of a subgroup of students who do not respond well to any of the reading interventions commonly used by schools. Prior studies have indicated a subgroup of dyslexics who can be identified using non-invasive tests and discriminant analysis. These individuals manifest specific visual and motor characteristics, which are in some respects quite unusual. The proprietary Strategic Feedback Instruction© (SFI) intervention subsequently developed has shown remarkable success with a small group of identified students, and shows promise for dissociating subgroups which may be paired with more targeted interventions.

Eye Tracking Research
The CASCLS eye tracking research is headed by Dr. Deb Jensen, CASCLS Director, and utilizes Tobii X120 Eye Tracking equipment. Two grant studies have extended work in the Dyslexia Project to investigate specific participant eye movement characteristics while reading or viewing selected visual perception stimuli. Dr. Jensen and Dr. Borden-King serve as co-investigators on two grants sponsored through MSU’s Research and Sponsored Programs. The first grant is designed to investigate the eye tracking patterns in grade 2-8 readers. The second grant is an expansion of this research to study the same phenomenon in older adolescents and young adults, to see if these characteristics persist. Undergraduate and graduate students with specific expertise are trained and engaged as test administrators.

Diagnostic Remediation Center
The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) manages federal Elementary and Secondary Education funds provided to school districts for Supplemental Education Services (SES)—remedial reading/language arts and mathematics services. The MSU Diagnostic Remediation Center (DRC) is a DPI- authorized SES provider which has worked with districts and parents to provide those clinical services since 2004. Services align with state standards and use both diagnostic and standardized assessments to target needs and provide progress reports to parents and districts. In 2011, the DPI approved an expansion of the original MSU DRC proposal, which formerly included only students in grades 1- 6, to students in grades 1-8. Undergraduate and graduate student clinicians are employed as DRC Clinicians, based on three levels of clinician expertise in the targeted remediation areas. Also employed are Curriculum Supervisors and District Liaisons, who are either teachers in districts served and/or graduate students, or MSU faculty. Dr. Borden-King serves as the DPI Liaison for the DRC, and Dr. Jensen as DRC administrator.