Have got a copy of Eleanor L. Criswell’s Design of Computer-Based Instruction at last. Here are some important although slightly dated stats
People read about 25 per cent faster from text pages than they do from computer displays (Gould et al, 1987, cited by E.L. Criswell 1989, p. 83)
In the late 1980s that might have been the case, but now the computer display has evolved and the stats are not that reliable.
The following are likely to increase reading speed from a computer display
- using high-quality images
- using paperlike fonts
- screen lightning being brighter than the room lightning (can be achieved by either keeping screen contrast very high and adjusting brightness as necessary, or reducing room brightness)
- the eye being unable to detect any flicker in the screen
- the screen being located and designed for minimal head and eye movement
- viewing the screen from a distance of about 16 inches/40 centimetres
- viewing the screen at a 90-degree angle
Well, it is obvious that not everyone is likely to follow the guidelines above now that there are laptops around and many users surf the Net lying reclined on the sofa or in a similar e-reading unfriendly position. That in its turn means that larger amounts of text should be made available for printing off when e-courseware development is concerned and time is an issue.