Friday, 5 March 2010

Reading Stamina

A student I have just seen was describing how she could only read for a short period at a time. She is in her final year. She needs her computer screen to be darkened and the red and green reducing to a particular value to get the best reading experience.
In addition she needs a font 16 to avoid difficulties.
On a white background, with small fonts ( fonts 10and 11 are normal in most textbooks at this level) she struggles.
Her reading on white is slow and gets slower. One eye does the ‘reflex’ movement mentioned in the last blog making her very easily distracted when reading. The more she pushed herself to read, the longer the recovery time she needs.. People seem to assume it is a ‘time management problem’ . But really everything just took so long she ran out of time!
Get it right for her and life is much better. I will recheck her before her finals this year.

One student I saw a few years ago had a reading time on white of 2 minutes 14 seconds on white! Using the eye tracker , after this time his eyes just went all over the place! You could describe it as a nystagmus.. another story.
When the screen was right this did not happen. He had taught himself to read very quickly in his short reading window which. Then it used to be time for a break, a dark room, or looking at pictures. Strangely he used to have a ‘time management problem’ as well!
Often the person’s eyes start to ache on white, or even they experience sharp pains and the eyes seem to be being pulled in opposite directions.
Two of the students today used to get really aching eyes. So I will discuss that next.

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