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ERIC Number: ED508015
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan-20
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
A Case Study Analyzing the Reading Levels of Print and Electronic Health Education Material for Health Consumers with Low Levels of Literacy
Gerstle, Alan John
Online Submission
The purpose of this case study was to determine if two samples of health education literature (one in print media; the other in electronic media), and published by the same health education organization, provided the requisite reading level for their intended audiences: immigrants and native speakers with a fourth-grade level of literacy. A randomly selected page from a Spanish language health education publication and an informational webpage intended for health care consumers--both targeting individuals with approximately fourth-grade reading skills--were assessed with appropriate readability instruments to determine their level of difficulty. The results indicated that while the Fernandez-Huerta Scale indicated that the printed material was suitable for Spanish readers with a fourth-grade reading level, the Flesch Reading Ease Formula indicated that the English language webpage required a reading level of 12th grade or higher. This suggests that electronic text may not be as rigorously tested to comply with the needs of low-literacy individuals. Given the relatively recent and substantial growth of electronically-based health education material, and the lack of expertise that website designers may have (as compared to traditional textbook publishers) in gearing content for individuals with varying levels of literacy, both private and public organizations that provide electronically-delivered health education material should be vigilant in assuring the content meets the requirements of the intended audience. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 12; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Formula; Flesch Reading Ease Formula