ERIC Number: ED397393
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
The Readability of OU Foundation Courses. Text & Readers Programme Technical Report No. 5.
Macdonald-Ross, Michael; Scott, Bernard
The course units which form the core of the four foundation courses at the Open University were sampled for readability, using an electronic version of R. Flesch's (1951) Reading Ease Score. The textload (reading workload) of the courses was predicted by estimating the total length in words of all text components of these courses. Large variations in readability occurred between authors, topics, and courses. Large variations also occurred in the overall textload on these courses. The single best predictor of the reading difficulty of a course unit is the identity of the author, which suggests that one route to better readability would lie in the improved management of human resources in a course team. A substantial amount of the prose was more difficult than passage 3 on the original cloze reading test: prose difficulty is therefore likely to be a major factor in hindering course completion for students with weaker reading skills. (Contains 16 references, and 7 charts and figures of data. Four appendixes present data for each of the 4 foundation courses.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England). Inst. of Educational Technology.