Abstract

Good textbooks are organized in a systematically progressive fashion so that students acquire new knowledge and learn new concepts based on known items of information. We provide a diagnostic tool for quantitatively assessing the comprehension burden that a textbook imposes on the reader due to non-sequential presentation of concepts. We present a formal definition of comprehension burden and propose an algorithmic approach for computing it. We apply the tool to a corpus of high school textbooks from India and empirically examine its effectiveness in helping authors identify sections of textbooks that can benefit from reorganizing the material presented.

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