AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth International FLAIRS Conference

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Automatic Natural Language Processing and the Detection of Reading Skills and Reading Comprehension
Chutima Boonthum-Denecke, Philip McCarthy, Travis Lamkin, G. Tanner Jackson, Joseph P. Magliano, Danielle S. McNamara

Last modified: 2011-03-20


The primary goal of this study is to assess two approaches for detecting comprehension processes in R-SAT (Reading Strategy Assessment Tool). One approach is based on Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) while the other is a combination of literal word matching and soundex. A secondary goal is to assess the potential for detecting specific reading comprehension strategies, either in isolation or combination. Participants typed “think-aloud” protocols while reading texts presented on computers. Human judges rated these protocols for the presence of the various reading comprehension strategies. LSA, word, and combined algorithms were compared and the results showed that a combination of both approaches yielded the best results. However, performance of the combined algorithm varied in terms of the type of processes and the grain size of the human coding system. Lastly, the use of reading strategies (either in isolation or combination) is positivity related to students’ Gates–MacGinitie reading comprehension scores, which illustrates the merit of this approach for assessing comprehension skill.

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