Richard,

I want to run a small readability experiment this semester
as a class exercise. I've done a lot of web searching looking
for guidelines, but not found anything really helpful.


I wrote about an interesting readability experiment here:
http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2009/01/20/readability-an-experimental-view/

Perhaps you could show them single statements and manipulate
the variables names, asking subjects to judge which was more
informative:
http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2009/12/11/information-content-of-expressions/

My idea is
- 3 programs, about 2 pages each
- 3 styles
- Latin square
- record reading times + time to find mistakes +
confidence in answers + comprehension questions +
demographics (age, experience)
- students should criticise the experiment
Looking at it dispassionately, the program size isn't really
enough to evaluate the question I'm interested in, but it's
about as much as I can ask people to do for an assignment.
The point is to give the students experience with what a
(toy) software engineering experiment is like.

Anyone have any ideas on what good comprehension questions
look like?

The programming language is basically an imperative pseudocode
to avoid the "if this is Java then it ought to be laid out/
spelled/structured/ like this" effect.



--
Derek M. Jones                         tel: +44 (0) 1252 520 667
Knowledge Software Ltd                 mailto:de...@knosof.co.uk
Source code analysis                   http://www.knosof.co.uk

--
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity 
in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

Reply via email to