A Typographic Case Study

Nicholas Vanderschantz
2011 International Journal of the Book  
Increasingly children's educational reading material is presented in a screen-based environment. This includes a range of interactive learning tools, interactive whiteboards, on-line standardized testing material, digital books including CD-ROMs and E-Books, as well as digital reference books such as encyclopedia and dictionary. With this increase in on-screen educational reading material and use of on-screen reading material in the school, it seems clear that the quality of material intended
more » ... material intended for children's on-screen reading requires careful consideration to ensure that it is of a high standard and that it will facilitate children's learning. This investigation case study's digital books intended for learning through reading as found to be available to students of New Zealand Primary Schools. The writer analyses a selection of the products of the two publishers that were found available to primary and intermediate school children at two different schools in two different socio-economic school regions. The writer outlines specific consideration of typographic presentation with respect to eye movements that will aid in the development of material for children's on-screen learning including CD-ROM, E-Book, and web-based reading material. Background I NCREASINGLY, CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL reading material is in a screenbased environment. This spans interactive learning tools, on-line standardized testing material, digital books including CD-ROMs and E-Books and digital reference books such as encyclopedia and dictionary. It is, therefore, clear that the quality of material used in classrooms and available in schools for children's on-screen reading requires careful consideration to ensure that it is of a high standard and that it will facilitate children's learning. While research continues with respect to navigation, interaction and learning requirements for interactive software, little research is available to conclude definitive direction for the use of text in children's on-screen reading material. Greater understanding of how the presentation and spacing of text will influence the "readability" of these interactive reading materials is a pre-requisite to achieving this goal of facilitating children's learning, reading and comprehension on-screen. Vanderschantz (2008; argues, that it would appear from the research available today, that much of this literature regarding children's reading is extrapolated from experiments that have been performed predominantly with adults. Vanderschantz (2009) continues to argue that until recently, only assumptions were made regarding children's reading and typographic requirements. It is apparent that theories and findings concerning adults, were often extrapolated and applied to children without specific empirical testing being performed.
doi:10.18848/1447-9516/cgp/v08i04/36900 fatcat:qgsrpec52nbr3kz4k6oj6eoelm