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ERIC Number: EJ851863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1529-1944
Readability Levels of Health-Based Websites: From Content to Comprehension
Schutten, Mary; McFarland, Allison
International Electronic Journal of Health Education, v12 p99-107 2009
Three of the national health education standards include decision-making, accessing information and analyzing influences. WebQuests are a popular inquiry-oriented method used by secondary teachers to help students achieve these content standards. While WebQuests support higher level thinking skills, the readability level of the information on the website is often overlooked. Readability refers to the ease with which a text can be read and understood. If an individual's reading skill level is significantly below that of the readability level of the document, then it can be reasonably assumed that the individual was not able to fully comprehend what s/he read. This can adversely impact the health literacy and, ultimately, the education of the child. A recent review of 105 randomly chosen health-related website pages representing the six risk factors for youth was performed. The analysis yielded an average reading level of grade 11 and low correlation between target audience and readability grade level. This grade level far surpasses the reported grade level reading of the average adult in the United States and most secondary students. The first line of action for health educators is to determine the readability characteristics of WebQuest materials used by their students and implement suggestions to enhance reader comprehension. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A