Summary of Findings: Speed Reading (3.5 out of 5 stars)
Note: This post represents the synthesis of the thoughts, procedures and experiences of others as represented in the 5 articles read in advance (see previous posts) and the discussion among the students and instructor during the Advanced Analytic Techniques class at Mercyhurst University in November 2014 regarding Speed Reading specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use unstructured data.
Speed reading is an analytic modifier used to improve the average reading speed measured in words per minute of a reader without reducing comprehension. Speed reading attempts to eliminate fixation, regression, and auditory reassurance. Teaching speed reading involves a fundamental paradigm shift in how most people are traditionally taught how to read, moving away from phonetic reading in favor of direct semantic processing from visual cues to reduce cognitive load and enable faster reading.
1. Speed reading can significantly reduce the amount of time needed in collection and analysis
2. There are several ways to increase reading speed and maintain comprehension
3. There are a variety of courses and supplemental tools to accelerate the speed reading learning process
4. Past research has identified the leading causes of slow reading speeds, enabling readers to reflect and adjust on those causes at their own pace
1. There are many different speed reading techniques, with no universally accepted best practice
2. Slow process that requires a significant time commitment (approximately an hour a day)
3. Reading at high speeds can have a tiring effect on the individual as opposed to reading at normal speeds
4. While there is evidence that shows these techniques help increase speed, there is a lack of strong evidence showing increased reading comprehension
5. When learning speed reading, reading comprehension is lower until the participant becomes more comfortable with the technique
Step by Step:
Note: This step by step discussion lists only techniques examined by this group of analysts
- Increase your peripheral vision
- Chunking: Read multiple words at a time (3 to4) as clusters.
- Pen or Hand: The reader uses a pen to move the eyes word to word at an accelerated pace
- Deadline Strategy: set a determined amount of time to read a passage. Continue decreasing the amount of time to increase speed.
- First Sentence: Slow down on the first sentence of a paragraph and speed up for the rest of the paragraph
- Read passages or books that are interesting to you. This will prevent your mind from wandering off while reading.
Students first went to www.readingsoft.com, a free speed reading online program, and read the reading passage at their normal reading speed to get their words per minute score, which they wrote down. After the initial reading test, students spoke about factors that can slow down a persons reading speed: fixation, regression, and auditory reassurance. Students then discussed ways to increase their reading speed (please refer to step-by-step). Again, the students were asked to retake the www.readingsoft.com reading test using one of the techniques discessed. The presenter then told the class to write down their second reading speed and to go online and find a short article of interest and copy and paste it into www.accelareader.com After changing the settings in this online program, students were able to view and use some of the techniques used to increase their reading speed.
What did we learn from the Speed Reading Exercise
Additionally, the use of various speed-reading techniques lead to increase reading-speeds for the participants.
The relationship between speed-reading and forecasting accuracy is unclear and untested.