ERIC Number: ED334989
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
A Fine-Tuned Look at White Space Variation in Desktop Publishing.
Knupfer, Nancy Nelson; McIsaac, Marina Stock
This investigation of the use of white space in print-based, computer-generated text focused on the point at which the white space interferes with reading speed and comprehension. It was hypothesized that reading speed and comprehension would be significantly greater when text was wrapped tightly around the graphic than when it had one-half inch of white space surrounding it. The subjects were 128 undergraduate students from an introductory computer literacy course, and the readings included approximately six pages of informative text about HyperCard and desktop publishing. Three sets of reading materials were used, all of which included the same text arranged in a single column format. Set one, which contained no graphic, was used with the control group. Sets two and three contained 12 identical graphics with wrap-around text, but set two had no white space between the text and the graphic, and set three had one-half inch of white space. A pretest was administered before the three sets of reading materials were randomly distributed to the students, who were instructed to read through the text one time without hurrying. The time was recorded, and the posttest was given immediately. Since analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed no significant differences in the mean pretest scores of the three treatment groups, ANOVA was also conducted on the posttest score to measure differences in comprehension and speed. Significant differences in comprehension were found between the groups, with group three (one-half inch of white space) comprehending significantly less than the subjects in groups one and two. There were no significant differences in reading speed among the three groups. Figures illustrating different types of formats for incorporating graphics in text are appended. (28 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Research Presentations at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; see IR 015 132.