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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 from this project:

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: 137–164.

Bruss, M., Albers, M., and McNamara, D.S. (2004). Changes in Scientific Articles Over Two Hundred Years: A Coh-Metrix Analysis. 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 K. Forbus, D. Gentner, T. Regier (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 180–185). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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

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

Duran, N.D., Hall, C., McCarthy, P.M., and McNamara, D.S. (2010). The Linguistic Correlates Of Conversational Deception: Comparing Natural Language Processing Technologies. Applied Psycholinguistics, 31 (3): 439–462.

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.

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. Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 941–946). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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.

Graesser, A.C. (2011). Learning, Thinking, and Emoting With Discourse Technologies. American Psychologist, 66 (8): 746–757.

Graesser, A.C, and McNamara, D.S (2010). Self-Regulated Learning In Learning Environments With Pedagogical Agents That Interact In Natural Language. Educational Psychologist, 45 (4): 234–244.

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., 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. 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., 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., McNamara, D.S., and Kulikowich, J.M. (2011). Coh-Metrix: Providing Multilevel Analyses Of Text Characteristics. Educational Researcher, 40 (5): 223–234.

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.

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

Jackson, G.T., Guess, R.H., and McNamara, D.S. (2010). Assessing Cognitively Complex Strategy Use In An Untrained Domain. Topics In Cognitive Science, 2 (1): 127–137.

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 K. Forbus, D. Gentner, T. Regier (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 843–848). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

McCarthy, P.M., and Jarvis, S. (2010). MTLD, vocd-D, and HD-D: A Validation Study Of Sophisticated Approaches To Lexical Diversity Assessment. Behavior Research Methods, 42 (2): 381–392.

McCarthy, P.M., Guess, R.H., and McNamara, D.S. (2009). The Components Of Paraphrase Evaluations. Behavior Research Methods, 41 (3): 682–690.

McCarthy, P.M., Renner, A.M., Duncan, M.G., Duran, N.D., Lightman, E.J., and McNamara, D.S. (2008). Identifying Topic Sentencehood. Behavior Research Methods, 40 (3): 647–664.

McNamara, D.S. (2010). Strategies To Read and Learn: Overcoming Learning By Consumption. Medical Education, 44 (4): 340–346.

McNamara, D.S., Louwerse, M.M., McCarthy, P.M., and Graesser, A.C. (2010). Coh-Metrix: Capturing Linguistic Features Of Cohesion. Discourse Processes, 47 (4): 292–330.

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.

McNamara, D.S., Floyd, R.G., Best, R., and Louwerse, M. (2004). World Knowledge Driving Young Readers' Comprehension Difficulties. In Y.B. Yasmin, W.A., Sandoval, N. Enyedy, A.S. Nixon, and F. Herrera (Eds.), 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 R. Sun and N. Miyake (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (p. 573). Mahwah, NJ: Eribaum.

Myers, J.C., McCarthy, P.M., Duran, N.D., and McNamara, D.S. (2011). The Bit In The Middle and Why It's Important: A Computational Analysis Of The Linguistic Features Of Body Paragraphs. Behavior Research Methods, 43 (1): 201–209.

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, 47 (2): 121–152.

Ozuru, Y., Best, R., Bell, C., Witherspoon, A., and McNamara, D.S. (2007). Influence Of Question Format and Text Availability On The Assessment Of Expository Text Comprehension. Cognition and Instruction, 25 (4): 399–438.

Ozuru, Y., Briner, S., Best, R., and McNamara, D.S. (2010). Contributions of Self-Explanation to Comprehension of High- and Low-Cohesion Texts. Discourse Processes, 47 (8): 641–667.

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

Rus, V., Hempelmann, C., Graesser, A.C., McNamara, D.S. (2006). Evaluating State-Of-The-Art Treebank-Style Parsers for Coh-Metrix and Other Learning Technology Environments. Natural Language Engineering, 12: 1–14.


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