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IES Grant

Title: Coh-Metrix: Automated Cohesion and Coherence Scores to Predict Text Readability and Facilitate Comprehension
Center: NCER Year: 2002
Principal Investigator: McNamara, Danielle Awardee: University of Memphis
Program: Reading and Writing      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,477,200
Goal: Measurement Award Number: R305G020018
Description:

Co-Principal Investigators: Art Graesser, Max Louwerse

This research team plans to develop two automated tools (Coh-Metrix and Coh-GIT) that will enable writers, editors, and educators to more accurately estimate the appropriateness of a text for their audience, and to pinpoint specific problems with the text. Using these tools, the researchers will experimentally examine the effects of text cohesion on reading comprehension with respect to reader aptitudes (e.g., prior knowledge, reading ability, and motivation) in 3rd to 5th grade students and college undergraduates.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: Texts are at the core of our educational system. Successful schools require high quality texts that are appropriate for particular populations of readers. Unfortunately, the tools used to determine the readability of texts are severely limited and may paradoxically aggravate comprehension difficulties. This research team plans to develop two automated tools (Coh-Metrix and Coh-GIT) that will enable writers, editors, and educators to more accurately estimate the appropriateness of a text for their audience, and to pinpoint specific problems with the text. At the conclusion of this research, authors will have tools to assist them in writing more readable texts and in ensuring that students read texts that both support and challenge them as readers.

Research Design and Methods: Using these tools, the researchers will experimentally examine the effects of text cohesion on reading comprehension with respect to reader aptitudes (e.g., prior knowledge, reading ability, and motivation) in 3rd to 5th grade students and college undergraduates.

Project Website: http://CohMetrix.Memphis.edu

Related IES Project: Center for the Study of Adult Literacy (CSAL): Developing Instructional Approaches Suited to the Cognitive and Motivational Needs for Struggling Adults (R305C120001)

Publications

Book

McNamara, D.S., Graesser, A.C., McCarthy, P.M., and Cai, Z. (2014). Automated Evaluation of Text and Discourse With Coh-Metrix. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Book chapter

Crossley, S.A. and McNamara, D.S. (2017). Educational Technologies and Literacy Development. Adaptive Educational Technologies for Literacy Instruction. Taylor and Francis eBooks.

Graesser, A., Louwerse, M., McNamara, D., Olney, A., Cai, Z., and Mitchell, H. (2007). Inference Generation and Cohesion in the Construction of Situation Models: Some Connections With Computational Linguistics. In F. Schmalhofer, and C.A. Perfetti (Eds.), Higher Level Language Processes in the Brain: Inference and Comprehension Processes (pp. 289–310). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Graesser, A.C., and Petschonek, S. (2005). Automated Systems That Analyze Text and Discourse: QUAID, Coh-Metrix, and Autotutor. In W.R. Lenderking, and D. Revicki (Eds.), Advancing Health Outcomes Research Methods and Clinical Applications (pp. 95–112). Mclean, VA: Degnon Associates.

Graesser, A.C., Hu, X., and McNamara, D.S. (2005). Computerized Learning Environments That Incoporate Research in Discourse Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Computational Linguistics. In A.F. Healy (Ed.), Experimental Cognitive Psychology and Its Applications: Festschrift in Honor of Lyle Bourne, Walter Kintsch, and Thomas Landauer (pp. 183–194). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Graesser, A.C., Keshtkar, F., and Li, H. (2014). The Role of Natural Language and Discourse Processing in Advanced Tutoring Systems. In T. Holtgraves (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Social Psychology (pp. 491–509). New York: Oxford Handbooks Online.

McNamara, D.S., Cai, Z., and Louwerse, M.M. (2007). Optimizing LSA Measures of Cohesion. In T. Landauer, D.S., McNamara, S. Dennis, and W. Kintsch (Eds.), Handbook of Latent Semantic Analysis (pp. 379–400). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Snow, E.L., Jacovina, M.E., Jackson, G.T., and McNamara, D.S. (2017). iSTART-2: A Reading Comprehension and Strategy Instruction Tutor. Adaptive Educational Technologies for Literacy Instruction. Taylor and Francis eBooks.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Best, R.M., Floyd, R.G., and McNamara, D.S. (2008). Differential Competencies Contributing to Children's Comprehension of Narrative and Expository Texts. Reading Psychology, 29(2): 137–164.

Crossley, S.A., McCarthy, P.M., Louwerse, M., and McNamara, D.S. (2007). Linguistic Analysis of Simplified and Authentic Texts. Modern Language Journal, 91(1): 15–30.

Duran, N.D., McCarthy, P.M., Graesser, A.C., and McNamara, D. (2007). Using Temporal Cohesion to Predict Temporal Coherence in Narrative and Expository Texts. Behavior Research Methods, 39(2): 212–223.

Duran, N.D., McCarthy, P.M., Graesser, A.C., and McNamara, D. (2007). Using Temporal Cohesion to Predict Temporal Coherence in Narrative and Expository Texts. Behavior Research Methods, 39: 212–223.

Graesser, A.C., and McNamara, D.S. (2011). Computational Analyses of Multilevel Discourse Comprehension. Topics in Cognitive Science, 3(2): 371–398.

Graesser, A.C., Jeon, M., Yan, Y., and Cai, Z. (2007). Discourse Cohesion in Text and Tutorial Dialogue. Information Design Journal, 15(3): 199–213.

Graesser, A.C., McNamara, D.S., Cai, Z., Conley, M., Li, H., and Pennebaker, J. (2014). Coh-Metrix Measures Text Characteristics at Multiple Levels of Language and Discourse. Elementary School Journal, 115(2): 210–229.

Graesser, A.C., McNamara, D.S., Louwerse, M.M., and Cai, Z. (2004). Coh-Metrix: Analysis of Text on Cohesion and Language. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments and Computers, 36: 193–202.

Hempelmann, C.F., Rus, V., Graesser, A.C., and McNamara, D.S. (2006). Evaluating State-of-the-Art Treebank-Style Parsers for Coh-Metrix and Other Learning Technology Environments. Natural Language Engineering Special Issue: Building Educational Applications Using Natural Language Processing, 12(2): 131–144.

Nye, B.D., Graesser, A.C., and Hu, X. (2014). AutoTutor and Family: A Review of 17 Years of Natural Language Tutoring. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 24(4): 427–469.

O'Reilly, T., and McNamara, D.S. (2007). Reversing the Reverse Cohesion Effect: Good Texts can be Better for Strategic, High-Knowledge Readers. Discourse Processes, 43(2): 121–152.

Proceeding

Bruss, M., Albers, M., and McNamara, D.S. (2004). Changes in Scientific Articles Over Two Hundred Years: A Coh-Metrix Analysis. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International Conference on Computer Documentation (pp. 104–109). Memphis, TN: ACM Press.

Cai, Z., McNamara, D.S., Louwerse, M., Hu, X., Rowe, M., and Graesser, A.C. (2004). NLS: Non-Latent Similarity Algorithm. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 180–185). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dufty, D.F., McNamara, D., Louwerse, M., Cai, Z., and Graesser, A.C. (2004). Automatic Evaluation of Aspects of Document Quality. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International Conference on Documentation (pp. 14–16). Memphis,TN: ACM Press.

Hempelmann, C.F., Dufty, D., McCarthy, P.M., Graesser, A.C., Cai, Z., and McNamara, D.S. (2005). Using LSA to Automatically Identify Givenness and Newness of Noun Phrases in Written Discourse. In Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 941–946). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Louwerse, M.M., McCarthy, P.M., McNamara, D.S., and Graesser, A.C. (2004). Variation in Language and Cohesion Across Written and Spoken Registers. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 843–848). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

McNamara, D.S., Floyd, R.G., Best, R., and Louwerse, M. (2004). World Knowledge Driving Young Readers' Comprehension Difficulties. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Embracing Diversity in the Learning Sciences (pp. 326–333). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

McNamara, D.S., Ozuru, Y., Graesser, A.C., and Louwerse, M. (2006). Validating Coh-Metrix. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 573). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ozuru, Y., Dempsey, K., Sayroo, J., and McNamara, D.S. (2005). Effect of Text Cohesion on Comprehension of Biology Texts. In Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1696–1701). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


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