Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Pretending you have got to the bottom of the page when sharing a book!

Pretending you have got to the bottom of the page when sharing a book!

Thousands of the students I have seen have had the common experience of sharing a book with someone at school and having to pretend to have finished when the other person asks...'Have you finished yet?'
We rarely admit when we haven't! But we do wonder how on earth the other person got to the end so fast! Sometimes when we had hardly got a quarter of the way down the page.

The strange thing is that no one ever talks about it. When the teacher said.

'It will only take 20 minutes to read the chapter for homework.’

What they really meant was
'It only took me 20 minutes' to read it!’

Most people took ages to do the reading. At a study at a local College we found that the reading speed for straightforward text, nothing complicated ranged from 117 to 470 words per minute!

The people who were the slowest were the people who had the lowest qualifications!

But that was reading on white. Things were different when the screen colour was set up for them... personalised.

One person this week went from 210 words each minute to over 700 words per minute. Quite exceptional.

There is nothing natural about reading on a white screen or white paper. But a lot of good readers on white find it really difficult and slower if they have to read on another colour!

Font size is another factor. Most books in schools and colleges are printed in the equivalent of font size 10 or 11.

When testing the students, most read best on fonts of 13 plus.
Try it yourself.

One student at Lincoln University needed a font of 35! he didn’t have an eyesight problem, no need for glasses. He just needed a big font. Some people feet need big shoes for them to walk fast!
Perhaps websites ought to start with a larger font and then people reduce the size if they want to? E A Draffen at Southampton University I am sure would agree with this.

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