ERIC Number: ED222226
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Student Reading Ability vs. Textbook Readability at Palomar College.
Levy, Stanley A.; Dixon, Melinda E.
In 1979, a study was conducted at Palomar College (PC) to measure student reading levels; to determine textbook readability in humanities, science, and vocational education courses; and to make recommendations for adjusting the curriculum and/or screening procedures in order to facilitate increased student success in reading technical content-area material. A total of 110 texts were evaluated using the Fry Readability Formula to obtain mean textbook readability grade equivalents for individual disciplines as well as average text readability levels for entire divisions. Student reading ability was assessed for a stratified sample of 1,027 students using the Nelson-Denny Form A Reading Test. The study found the overall average of textbook readability to be at the college sophomore level; however, there was a range of approximately 5.7 grade levels among the various disciplines. Five of the 17 disciplines examined used texts that averaged at the 13th or 14th grade level. Of the students tested, 65.8% read at or above the 12th grade level and 24.2% tested between the 7th and 10th grade levels. Students aged 18 to 21 scored significantly lower than those aged 22 to 50. The highest reading levels were found in students from the letters, engineering, and psychology departments, with the majority reading at or above the 13th and 14th grade levels. The lowest reading levels were found in vocational programs, with a majority of students reading below the 13th grade level. (KL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Palomar College CA