The aim of this paper is to research the difference in reading and learning from print versus electronic media in a professional and educational setting. To what extent does the materiality of the medium influence the efficiency and effectively of the reader? What is needed to create “digital born” information rich texts? In part 2 changing presentations of educational texts on paper, LCD screen and through a mind map are addressed.
In depth comparative tests with a great number of subjects between print-on-paper, e-ink screens and LCD screens. In part 2 the results of learning from differently structured texts from paper, screen and mind maps respectively are reported. The subjects had to read the texts and subsequently had to answer knowledge questions about the content. Group discussions have been carried out thorough the test.
All tests show that print-on-paper is still a superior medium for learning and digesting complicated and elaborate texts, while electronic screens are appreciated for quick information gathering, communication and navigation. Electronic representations of information and knowledge demands that the structure of the writing has to change.
Given the rapid development in electronic displays, many issues – in particular ergonomical – become a “moving target”. An important limitation – which is one of the quests of this research – is the lack of sufficient genuine digital born texts.
The need is to start and review the writing process; the appearance but also the structure of information and knowledge rich texts. A second issue is the need to develop easy capabilities to make electronic texts as easy a “tool” as the print text with underlining, comments and notes.
This is deep qualitative research in comparison with quantitative tests and a comparison between professional information acquisition and learning
The authors thank their colleagues Gerlof Donga, Jacob Molenaar, and Jos Vrolijk for their continuing support during the course of the project. Alexa Brinkman participated as research student in the first test. Her persistency was of great value. The authors thank Keith Jones for his many helpful comments and corrections. They also thank Rens Groeneveld of Notubiz/Docwolves, Bob van Duuren of VanDuurenMedia, Marieke Gierveld of Noordhoff andTannet Remmelts of SDU for their kind collaboration and interactions. The project received a grant of the SIA-RAAK foundation under number 2009-14-3H, which is gratefully acknowledged.
Stoop, J., Kreutzer, P. and G. Kircz, J. (2013), "Reading and learning from screens versus print: a study in changing habits: Part 2 – comparing different text structures on paper and on screen", New Library World, Vol. 114 No. 9/10, pp. 371-383. https://doi.org/10.1108/NLW-04-2013-0034
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