Shannon Sheppard is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences & Disorders department and has been working on a compelling study on childhood reading comprehension. The research team includes Readability Matters, ReadWorks and Dr. Sofie Beier at the Royal Danish Academy. Earlier this year they were invited to present the results of the study at the annual Adobe MAX convention and received very positive feedback.

Just this week the Readability Matters team was at SXSW EDU (South By Southwest) in Austin, TX to present insights from a new body of readability research that can inform the design of better learning applications.

Reading is on the cusp of a revolution! Small typographical changes to text format can maximize an individual’s ability to read quickly and accurately and comprehend more. Digital reading allows the shift from what is best for the population to what is best for the individual reader. Insights from a new body of Readability research, including a sneak peek into results that demonstrate average comprehension gains of +20% for K-8 students, will inform the design of better learning applications.

About SXSW EDU The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning. SXSW EDU is a component of the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) family of conferences and festivals. Internationally recognized as the convergence gathering for creative professionals, SXSWedu extends SXSW’s support for the art of engagement to include society’s true rock stars: educators!

About Dr. Shannon Sheppard, Chapman University – Dr. Sheppard has embarked on research to investigate reading comprehension in healthy populations, and in individuals with language impairments. She aims to understand how we can improve reading comprehension, even in strong readers, by manipulating visual features of typography. This work will also inform treatment research in individuals with reading comprehension impairments.

About Dr. Susanne Nobles, ReadWorks –  Dr. Susanne Nobles is Chief Academic Officer at the nonprofit ReadWorks. The mission of ReadWorks is to support the growth of successful, joyful readers by providing K-12 teachers with what to teach and how to teach it—online, for free, to be shared broadly.

About Rick Treitman, Adobe –  Rick is Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Adobe Document Cloud – specializing in Education. Rick’s work as EIR involves early-stage development of tools and solutions for Adobe’s customers. Current projects include readability controls in Acrobat and establishing the Virtual Readability Lab at the University of Central Florida.

About Dr. Rochelle (Shelley) Rodrigo, University of Arizona – Shelley is the Senior Director of the Writing Program; Associate Professor in the Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE); and Associate Writing Specialist (Continuing Status) in the Department of English at the University of Arizona.

About Kathy Crowley, Readability Matters –  Kathy works at the intersection of technology and reading, She founded Readability Matters, a tech-for-good non-profit engaging cross-sector organizations to deliver personalized reading environments, empowering everyone everywhere to achieve more.