ERIC Number: ED403286
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Evaluating the Consistency and Validity Properties of Reading Difficulty Formulas for Statistics Texts Used in Education.
Harwell, Michael; Lim, Brenda
The learning difficulties described by students in statistics courses continue to engage researchers from several disciplines. One source of difficulty for graduate students in educational statistics courses is the reading difficulty of the textbook. Instructors making decisions about a textbook typically have little information about the reading difficulty of the text. Although reading difficulty is almost always assessed using a reading difficulty formula, such formulas have not been evaluated for use with graduate students majoring in the social sciences. An evaluation study examined the extent to which five reading difficulty formulas often used with populations in kindergarten through grade 12 consistently and validly differentiate among introductory statistics texts used in a school or college of education. The 5 formulas were applied to 10 textbooks commonly used in introductory statistics classes. The agreement among these formulas in rank ordering texts appears to be moderate at best. Preliminary findings suggest that these formulas are of only modest utility in assessing the reading difficulty of statistics texts, and that the development of new formulas is indicated. (Contains 5 figures, 4 tables, and 32 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).