Interactive paraphrase training: The development and testing of an iSTART module

Danielle S. McNamara, Chutima Boonthum, Christopher A. Kurby, Joe Magliano, Srinivasa Pillarisetti, Cedrick Bellissens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Comprehension of science texts is challenging, particularly when the reader lacks the skills or knowledge necessary to fill in conceptual gaps in the text content. The iSTART system was developed to help readers learn and practice reading strategies to improve their ability to comprehend challenging text. This study describes a new iSTART module recently developed and tested, called Interactive Paraphrasing (IP), in which students are interactively and adaptively taught how to paraphrase sentences. We compared the effects of iSTART to iSTART with IP (IP-iSTART) with high school students on their strategy use and ability to comprehend text. IP-iSTART increased skilled readers' self-explanation quality, improved their ability to answer online comprehension questions, and increased their use of paraphrases after training. Less skilled readers benefited most in self-explanation quality from the original version of iSTART. Results are discussed in terms of tailoring reading strategy training to the needs of the reader.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781607500285
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389


  • Feedback
  • Paraphrase evaluation
  • Reading strategy
  • Self-explanation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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