About Inference Galaxy

Inference Galaxy evolved as a partnership of U of M researchers and local school Districts and teachers focused on developing interactive and innovative resources (assessments, interventions, progress monitoring, professional learning) within a MTSS framework to supplant and inform traditional instruction. When children can successfully make inferences across multiple media sources (reading, videos), they are better equipped to understand the overall meaning.

ELCII and TeLCI built on major findings of previous cognitive, developmental, instructional, and assessment work conducted by our research team, highlighting that:

  • Early language comprehension skills that are developed in non-reading contexts (e.g., video comprehension) contribute significantly to later reading achievement
  • Language comprehension skills--and specifically inference skills-transfer across different media
  • Children’s inference skills can be improved using questioning that includes scaffolding and specific feedback (McMaster et al., 2012), and
  • Technology provides a cost-effective, standardized, individualized delivery of instructional tools in classroom settings.

ELCII and TeLCI are only a few examples of educational technologies that have the potential to enhance educational practice. In recent years, the scientific community has made significant progress in this direction, as there is evidence that educational technology (e.g., games, intelligent tutoring systems) improves a variety of student learning outcomes. With continued support through federal funding, technological advances will further solutions to reading comprehension problems. Given the importance of reading comprehension to academic achievement and lifelong success—and particularly to closing achievement gaps—our efforts must continue to both prevent and ameliorate reading comprehension difficulties.