THE ROLE OF READER AND TEXT FACTORS IN THE READING OF HYPERTEXTS
Relevance of the study• Personal experience• Information literacy - a key skill for acquiring information presented without borders• Make collaborative education successful• Knowledge creation than knowledge absorption needed due to fast paced changes – Rao, JNCASR• Transferable skills to be incorporated into curriculum - Chawdari, NUS
Skills for the 21st Century• communication• acquiring and processing information• synthesising knowledge• integrating knowledge from different disciplines• dealing with uncertainty• creative thinking (discovery, imaging solutions)• analytical skills• building the broader picture from specifics Source: EUA DOC-CAREERS Project
Interdisciplinary and transferable knowledge• Interdisciplinarity: integration of concepts, theories, techniques and perspectives from two or more disciplines to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline.• All cutting edge developments in technologies occur at the interface of two or more disciplines - Anandakrishnan, IIT, Kanpur.• This research has implications for developers, web developers, instructional designers, ELT practitioners, reading researchers and others.
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDYInterplay of factors that affect comprehensionReader factors• Level of second language• Topic familiarityText factors• Linearity• Availability of reading aids
PROCESS OF READINGComponents approach• Automatic word recognition skills• Vocabulary and structural knowledge• Formal discourse structure knowledge• Content/world background knowledge• Synthesis and Evaluation Skills and Strategies• Metacognitive Knowledge and Skills Monitoring Grabe (1991)
PROCESS OF READINGMetaphoric approach• Bottom-up processes• Top-down processes• Interaction of bottom-up and top-down processes• Interactive-compensatory model
Acquisition of information from expository texts• Extraction of relevant information• Assimilation• Remembering• Make inferences from text• Applying knowledge from reading Gibson and Levin (1975)
Factors affecting information acquisition from textsBackground knowledge of the reader - Schema theory• Reconstruct and reorganize information by linking old with new• Conceptual frameworks (schemata) help make sense of what is read• Help hierarchically and systematically organize text information and form their mental representations thus store them in readers’ long-term memory• Types of schemata - linguistic schemata, format schemata and content schemata
Cognitive Flexibility theory• meaning construction involves reassembling of knowledge from various sources or from multiple instances of representation of conceptual structures• prior knowledge summoned is not retrieved as a fixed entity but reconstructed by assembling relevant schemata from various sources• multiple knowledge representations essential for promoting higher-order reading skills
The Construction-Integration Model• Interaction of local level and global level processes• Three levels of mental representation of text meaning- surface representation of the words and sentences- textbase representation of the meaning of the text- situation model representation of what is described by the text integrated with the reader’s background knowledge
Reading Strategiesconscious and purposeful activities employed by readers to achieve specific reading objectives- knowledge based strategies: used in top-down processing, facilitate global comprehension- language based strategies: used in bottom-up processing, assist local comprehension
Classification of Strategies• Direct strategies – help assimilate text input by re-organizing text content, adapting and reconstructing it- cognitive, compensation and memory• Indirect strategies - help judge progress in comprehension, identify inadequacies, detect obstacles, decide remedial action and evaluate the efficacy of processes- metacognitive, social and affective
Strategic Reading• Activate prior knowledge• Monitor and repair comprehension• Determine important ideas• Synthesize• Draw inferences• Ask questions• Navigate Pearson et al. (1992)
Texts and Comprehension• Interaction of reader and text promoted through language-based and knowledge-based cues .- Language-based cues (can be non-verbal cues) signify important ideas, relation among ideas, and organization of ideas (e.g., linearity, signalling devices like headings, subheadings, titles, fonts, boldface, italic, graphics, paragraphing).- Knowledge-based cues help readers evoke relevant content schemata required to comprehend the text (e.g., previews, text summaries, lead-ins).
Text features and HypertextsMultiple reading aids: link to a vast number and types of resources, and so might promote comprehensionDisadvantage - cognitive overload, irretrievability of text and disorientationLinearity: due to their linked or networked nature are unable to use text cues and signal devices.Disadvantage - conscious effort in lower-level processing
Types of texts studied• Is a cohesive structure more essential than reading aids?• In the absence of text structure, will presence of comprehension aids promote comprehension?• Can presence of both text cohesion and comprehension aids result in better comprehension? Text structure and reading aidsPrint texts, Pre-structured texts, Self-navigating texts
Links• Provide the non-linear quality of texts• Deliver the ability to connect to multiple sources and modes of information• Issue: Do only certain reader variables benefit from the absence of static, linear, totality of information presented in linked texts or hypertexts?
Link FeaturesPlacement of nodes Nature of movement• Internal • Forward• External • Backward • Vertical • horizontalPresentation of links Purposes of hyperlinks• Implicit • build text structure• Explicit • introduce comprehension aids
Classification of links according to their primary function• Authorizing• Commenting• Enhancing• Exemplifying• Mode-Changing• Referencing/Citing• Self-Selecting
Classification of links• Introduction - placing the hypertext within its context: what is the text talking about• Overview - introduces main topics and subdivisions of the text; it may also provide several links to these• Conclusion - sums up the text presented• Argument - presents a specific issue/ sub topic within the larger topic• Elaboration - further details about the topic• Example - illustrates with evidence, an illustration, etc.• Context - points to the larger picture implied by the immediate issue thus assisting global understanding
Prior Research• Paper and hypertext – both good• Amount of reading – can’t decide• Reading order – can’t decide• Self-regulation – deep learning, but only field- independent and good reasoning skills• Networked texts – higher order learning even for unfamiliar topics• Hypertext expertise required• Reading strategies – linear reading, metacognitive, intertextual, navigating (linear, mixed, mixed review)
Prior research in hypertext reading• Self-navigating texts promote deep comprehension• High language level and high topic familiarity can compensate for absence of text factors• High language level can compensate for low prior knowledge and absence of text factorsSo what about the ESL reader characterized by Low L2 Low prior knowledge Low prior knowledge and L2
Inconsistencies in research conducted• levels of language, levels of prior knowledge, familiarity with hypertexts, and interest were not controlled.• Texts were not authentic; all were designed for purposes of conducting research• different task types were used to assess the effects of reading (locate info, assess deep learning)
Addressing gaps in research conducted• reading strategies: strategies related to link behaviour have been documented.Strategies used by ESL readersStrategies used by readers who developed their reading ability reading hypertexts.• navigation strategies: some have been identifiedIs there a good navigating strategy?Do they vary based on levels of language and/or high topic knowledge• use of links: have identified reasons for link selectionAn understanding of link types that may facilitate comprehension.
Current Research• Subjects with varying levels of L2 proficiency chosen• Familiar and unfamiliar texts topics selectedIdentify text factors that will disrupt or support comprehension processes of L2 readers.Will non-linearity disrupt hypertext reading processes?Can availability of reading aids help readers overcome their prior knowledge and language deficits?
Research IssueHypertext comprehension processes of ESL readers - Levels of ComprehensionCan hypertexts promote deep comprehension in ESL readers?• Can hypertexts compensate reader deficits?• What are the roles played by reader factors (level of L2, topic familiarity) in determining levels of text comprehension?• What are the roles played by text factors (linearity, reading aids) in determining levels of text comprehension?
Research Issues• Reading strategies used by ESL readers• Reading strategies used for comprehending hypertext types• Navigating strategies• Links that are helpful
Research DesignSubjects: 24 non-native users of English- Background information questionnaire- Hypertext domain expertise questionnaire• scores in IELTS test:high levels of English proficiency (HL2) between 6.5 – 8low levels of English proficiency (LL2) between 3.5 – 5• Graduates and above• Similar domain expertise• Hypertext experts
TEXTS - 6Difficulty level determined through Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score - between 9 and 10.Effects of text variables: 2 print, 2 pre-structured, 2 self-navigatingprint - effects of availability of author-determined order of readingpre-structured - influence of pre-determined order and presence of comprehension aidsself-navigating - lack of structure and availability of comprehension aidsEffects of availability of prior knowledge: One text in each mode of presentation dealt with a topic familiar to the subjects and the second one with an unfamiliar topic.Determined through Topic familiarity questionnaire
Texts ChosenI. Print, familiar: What Are Business Rules?http://www.dulcian.com/BRIM%20Documents/What%20Are%20Business%20Rules.htmFlesch-Kincaid Readability Score: 10Print, unfamiliar: Fatal anaphylactic reactions to food in childrenhttp://www.cps.ca/english/statements/AL/al94-01.htmFlesch-Kincaid Readability Score: 9II. Pre-structured, familiar: Improving the Accessibility of Your Web Sitehttp://www.w3.org/WAI/impl/improvingFlesch-Kincaid Readability Score: 9Pre-structured, unfamiliar: Reading: a cognitive processhttp://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1540719&lastnode_id=0Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score: 9III. Self-navigating, familiar: Web developmenthttp://www.december.com/web/develop.htmlFlesch-Kincaid Readability Score: 9.5Self-navigating, unfamiliar: Politexts, Hypertexts, and Other Cultural Formations in the Late Age of Printhttp://www.ibiblio.org/cmc/mag/1995/mar/kaplan.htmlFlesch-Kincaid Readability Score: 10
Tools Used• The think aloud protocol - direct access to readers’ thought processEach TOL utterance is parsed and coded into restatements of text (surface), paraphrasing of text information (textbase ), and integration of text information with subjects’ prior knowledge (situation representation)• Metacognitive response sheet – aid to TOL, prompts• Retrospective interviews – after TOL• Free recalls – orally produced, recorded and transcribedScored for number of idea units, not coherence• Distractor tasks – after every recall• Summarizing task – written or keyed in. scored for main ideas (2 marks) and supporting details (1 mark)
Research Design• Interaction-effects of reader factors and text factors in hypertext comprehension High L2 / Low L2 familiar Unfamiliar PR PS SN PR PS SN
Order of Data CollectionSix texts read in the order:• print familiar• print unfamiliar• pre-structured familiar• pre-structured unfamiliar• self-navigating familiar• self-navigating unfamiliarWhile reading perform TOLAfter reading:• Respond to Retrospective interview questions• Record a Free recall• Perform a Distractor task• Give a written summary
Findings• High L2 – familiar • High L2 – unfamiliarPS – least surface and most PS – least surface clauses textbase clausesPS - Well-organized summariesSN – most situation clauses• Low L2 – familiar • Low L2 – unfamiliarPS - least surface, most PR – highest level of textbase and maximum comprehension situation clauses
Conclusions regarding levels of comprehension• L2 or topic familiarity threshold required for PS hypertext comprehension - Text coherence and reading aids (PS) help overcome L2 or pk deficit• L2 and topic familiarity threshold required for SN hypertext comprehension
Reading Strategies• High L2 readers use more reading strategies• Low L2 readers use additional cognitive strategies in PS texts• Low L2 readers use additional metacognitive strategies in PS texts• High L2 and Low L2 use very less word-based strategies while reading electronic texts
Navigating strategies• Linear – mostly by LL2 or by HL2 when reading unfamiliar texts and SN texts• Mixed – HL2 and familiarity of topic• Preview – gain a general layout of text• Review – understand purpose of links• No links clicked
Links• Links found useful • Links not usedIntroduction ContextOverview ExplanationConclusion ArgumentWord meanings ContrastAssistance with text Example structureGraphic representation of text content
Findings• Basic information regarding text topic should be available outside nodes• Links to activate prior knowledge to occur at the beginning of texts• Links with word meanings help while reading unfamiliar texts• Nodes should be short and important points highlighted with bullets• Links are clicked seeking answer to a question• Link nodes should provide direct information on the clicked word; it should not open to further links• Links, unless clearly named, might cause mismatch between reader predictions and node contents• Too many links is not a good idea• In the absence of guidance readers visit irrelevant links• Node contents can help make or break a text’s reliability and reliability of other links in the same text
• Text coherence is an essential factor for adequate comprehension• Presence of comprehension aids in addition to text coherence helps overcome comprehension deficits• Lack of coherence seems to facilitate generation of situation clauses in high L2 proficiency and high prior knowledge readers• A threshold of either language competence or prior knowledge availability seem to be a pre-requisite to accessing hypertexts: Readers with low L2 and low prior knowledge find print texts easiest to comprehend.• A second higher threshold of language and prior knowledge competence seem to be a pre-requisite to accessing self-navigating hypertexts• Reading hypertexts seem to promote better metacognition activity•
• High language proficiency readers use more reading strategies than low language proficiency readers.• Certain reading strategies used by both high L2 and low L2 readers are the same: difference is in terms of frequency and manner of use.• A transfer of strategies from print medium to electronic medium may be possible. However, the electronic medium also requires specific, additional strategies.• Comprehending self-navigating hypertexts require further inter-textual and synthesis strategies
• Linear Navigating Strategy helps comprehend unfamiliar texts better• Use of a Linear Navigating Strategy and links previews help acquire familiarity of text layout• Link reviews might facilitate comprehension• Number of links selected does not seem to determine the amount of information recalled• Certain link types help adequate and coherent comprehension (overviews, introductions, conclusions and word meanings)
Pedagogic Implications• Informed Strategy training programme Pouwer (2001) : help readers to transfer strategies they use in print reading contexts. Include skills like: - Guessing word meanings - Gathering information by going beyond the text (from Google, Wikipedia) - make optimal use of multiple representations and form coherence among them. Provide scaffolding to support the use of higher order thinking skills: Readers with high L2 levels unable to move beyond textbase level representation of text, and readers with low levels of second language competence were unable to move beyond a surface level comprehension
Instructional Design Implications• Reduce cognitive overhead using- visual text coherence cues like headings, subheadings, typographical features, connectors, and enumerators- non-visual text coherence cues like linear organization of texts- identify the relationship between links and chart out a navigation path for readers to follow
Instructional Design ImplicationsUse of links- links that provide text structure: table of contents, introduction, overview- links that provide language support: word meanings- links that deliver knowledge support: Context, Argument, Contrast, Graphic, Explanations, Example, ConclusionPresentation of links- Explicit links required for SN texts- Too many external links cause disorientation- Allow readers to get back to main page- Allow preview without visiting links- Short and direct information- No irrelevant information
Further Research• are pre-structured hypertexts accessible only to those readers who have crossed a threshold of language competence and have a minimum level of prior knowledge?• Do we need higher reading skills and proficiency in topic domain to access self-navigating hypertexts?• are there additional strategies used by say, a native user of English or an ESL user who scores a band 9• Is there a good navigating strategy?• Will linked structure cues help readers overcome reading deficiency?
New TechnologyFor texts that are universally accessible, highly personalized and allow cognitive flexibility• Smarter links• guided tours• dynamic coherence• indicators that denote the location of nodes
THE ENDTHANK YOU Further on are specific slides
Exploratory paradigm• To research into territories not ventured into before• Factors that influence a process• Variables that affect a product• Description of process, not control it• Form hypotheses for further research
Data in a nutshell Surface HL2 hpk HL2 lpk 33.3%3530 24.4%2520 PS15 SN 9.3% PR10 4.6% 5.2% 5 1.3% 0 1 2 PS SN PR PS SN PR
Text HL2 hpk HL2 lpk8070605040 PS30 SN20 PR10 0 1 2 PS SN PR PS SN PR
Text LL2 hpk LL2 lpk80 69.4% 67.2%70605040 34.2% PS30 23.4% 25.2% SN20 14.3% PR10 0 1 2 PS SN PR PS SN PR
Situation LL2 hpk LL2 lpk20 18.7%1816 14.6%1412 10.5%10 8.5% PS 8 7.2% SN 6 PR 3.3% 4 2 0 1 2 PS SN PR PS SN PR
Examples for implicit and explicit linksImplicit: We can categorize corporate organization structures into two types.Explicit: We can categorize corporate organization structures into two types. For details on the two types of corporate organization structures, see structures. ORWe can categorize corporate organization structures into two types. Click here for details on structures.
Harrison’s classification of linksAuthorizing - Describes an organizations legal, formal policies, contact information, etc. that authenticate the site and its content - About Us Customer Service PoliciesCommenting Provides opinion about the site and/or its content - Press Releases TestimonialsEnhancing Provides more factual information about site content by offering greater detail or painting the "bigger picture” - Guidelines for Membership Site MapExemplifying Provides a specific example of content within a broader category - Future Events Todays HoroscopesMode-Changing Moves users from the reading mode to one that requires a different kind of activity - Online Survey Shopping CartReferencing/Citing Provides information that "informs" or supplements the sites content - Bibliography Related LinksSelf-Selecting Allows users to narrow a search by making choices based on their age, sex, geographical location, life situation, personal interests, and so on - For Seniors Only Your Local ChapterOur eyes do not just fixate on the features of the text, instead, we make use of parafoveal vision.
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