COMPUTER-BASED ADAPTIVE TUTOR FOR ADULT READING COMPREHENSION
Small Business Information
25 Mall Road, Suite 300, Burlington, MA, 01803
Dr. Jean Macmillan
AbstractWe propose to develop a computer-based adaptive tutor to improve the reading comprehension skills of adult readers. Our instructional strategy is based on the Reciprocal Teaching method, demonstrated to improve reading comprehension. The "scaffolded" Reciprocal Teaching method demonstrates strategies for full reading comprehension, then gradually withdraws instruction, encouraging learners to practice and gain comprehension on their own. The challenge for this project is to capture the spirit and techniques of Reciprocal Teaching in a computer-based tutor. We focus on three components of advanced reading: reading to understand key concepts, reading to evaluate the legitimacy of ideas, and reading to apply ideas and information to new circumstances. We believe that the learner needs both generic instruction in reading-comprehension strategies and content-specific instruction that shows how to apply those strategies to a specific text. We also propose note-taking as a valuable tool for increasing reading comprehension. The adaptive tutor will use these three instructional strategies to improve reading understanding, evaluation, and application skills. The products of Phase I will be a tutoring framework, adaptation principles for creating individual learning paths, a prototype that demonstrates the concept, a system architecture for Phase II, and a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the tutor.
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