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Print and Print-like Formats better than Scrolling Online

In Reasearch on March 27, 2010 by Jim Luke Tagged: , ,

Students Retain Information in Print-Like Formats Better

By Jill Laster

A study at Arizona State University has found that students had lower reading comprehension of scrolling online material than they did of print-like versions.

The report, “To Scroll or Not to Scroll: Scrolling, Working Memory Capacity, and Comprehending Complex Texts,” described how two groups, of 20 students each, wrote essays after reading materials in either in print-like or scrolling formats. Those given the scrolling versiions to read had poorer comprehension of the material.

It is harder to keep track of where information is located within an online document versus the more-apparent page markers in a print-style text, said Christopher A. Sanchez, a co-author of the study. He is an assistant professor of applied psychology at Arizona State.