A Nagasaki colleague of mine has been doing some research on speed reading with ESL students. The basis of the idea is that if they can increase their basic reading speed, their ability to perform well on TOEIC and similar tests will improve.
So we looked at a few sites like Spreeder.com. But they did not really come close to what we wanted. I even took the plunge and added a scroller widget to PoodLL to see how that would work. You can see try it here.Read more about that, and see a video here
But the thing is that none of those methods are very “natural.” Books and even eBooks don’t scroll automatically. And there is a whole load of research on effective paper based methods that people use now. So we have started planning a Speed Reading module for Moodle.
The teacher will set a passage of text and a few multi choice questions in the settings for the activity. The students will be presented with a blank screen, and a start button. Upon pressing the start button they will see the passage of text, either scrollable or page-flippable. There will be a timer/finish button also. When they press that button the reading passage will be replaced by the questions. Speed reading theory suggests students aim for a 70% mark. If they comprehend more than that, they are reading too slowly (apparently). The students results and times will be stored in a Speed Reading gradebook, but not submitted to the Moodle gradebook.
Would you use this it it were available? Or do you have any thoughts on this?