Readability of Open Education Resources (OERs): A key to success of ODL for the young people
According to Baumel (2002), “20 percent of school age kids are poor readers and remain that way through their lifetime”. It has been proved repeatedly that reading is a language-based skill. Poor reading skills thus results in attainment of poor educational levels. It implies that even if a learner is interested in reading a book, he finds it difficult to read it independently. The technology catches the attention of young people and children. The young ones show a positive trend in learning from newer forms of instruction and instructional resources. A few open resources that have proved their worth in recent times are Project Gutenberg (oldest producer of free e-books on the Internet http://www.gutenberg.org/ ), public domain electronic texts ((http://www.infomotions.com/etexts/ ) and open education resources (OERs) of WikiEducator (http://www.wikieducator.org/Main_Page). It is quite possible to provide standardized learning materials to the young learners with the help of above-mentioned resources. Now the question arises about the readability of these resources. If these resources have a poor readability then they will not be so useful for learners with not so good reading skills and thus resulting in poor education levels. Flesch Readability Index is deemed as a standard as far as the readability of the documents is concerned. It is also said that writers use Zipf’s principle of least effort to simplify communication and that Zipf’s law is applicable in understanding human language. Zipf’s law explains the equilibrium between uniformity and diversity in usage of words. In this communication, we have taken some sets of texts from aforesaid sources and tried to analyze them to investigate the readability of the document and the Zipf’s coefficients. The paper also discusses the implications of these results for ODL for the young people. // Paper ID 144
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