I think today’s work is best summarized by the notes I added to our team’s Evernote today. I added the following:
- WPM Calculation
This note is just the barebones of the research I have done so far on how reading rates in words per minute (WPM) is calculated. Since this is one of the most common ways in which reading level is assessed, I thought it would be useful to gain some insight. So far nothing is very surprising, as most groups seem to do just what you would expect: count words read per minute by directly counting the words rather than extrapolating or exaggeration or using scroll rates. If this is a useful thing to understand better, I might continue down this road next week.
- Paraphrase Database
The PPDB website and the paper that corresponded to it seem like they should be very useful resources for us, and from what I saw it really will be useful in coming up with pairs of phrases to judge the effect of paraphrases. The only problem I foresee is that there is a massive amount of data and it will be hard to look through.
- Papers to Read – Paraphrasing & Rayner Papers Notes
The first note is a list of papers involving Rayner that I am making my way through to find useful things, for example the pairs of phrases they used in their studies to judge reading skills. The second note is where I am actually storing all the notes from each paper. There is a lot in here that I think merits discussion, because until we decide exactly what our approach is going to be, there is a very wide net of useful information out there. The papers are good indicators of what kinds of things have already been tested — e.g. the effect of word length, frequency, the font in which the text is present, etc.
- Possible Fonts for App
Self-explanatory; a year ago I did some research on the most readable fonts for the CS Teaching Tips websites, so some of those show up here. I also just really like fonts and since one of Rayner’s papers mentioned it, I did a quick lookthrough of my own font collection to see what might work.