Reading and Writing

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

Computerized Presentation of Text: Effects on Children’s Reading of Informational Material

  • Matthew A. Kerr
  • Sonya E. Symons


This study examined whether children’s reading rate, comprehension, and recall are affected by computer presentation of text. Participants were 60 grade five students, who each read two expository texts, one in a traditional print format and the other from a computer monitor, which used a common scrolling text interface. After reading each text, participants were asked to recall as much as they could from what they had read and then answered questions that measured text recall and comprehension. Children took more time to read the passage and recalled more of the text material that they had read from the computer monitor. The benefit of computer presentation disappeared when efficiency variables, which take time into account, were examined. Children were, however, more efficient at comprehending text when reading from paper. The results suggest that children may take more time to read text on computer screens and that they are more efficient when reading text on paper.


Computer Screen Computer Presentation Computer Monitor Reading Rate Text Material 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. An organism that is visible from space. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2001, from
  2. Baccino, T., Pynte, J. 1994Spatial coding and discourse models during text readingLanguage and Cognitive Processes9143155Google Scholar
  3. Carver, R.P. 1990Reading rate: A review of research and theoryAcademic PressSan Diego, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  4. Carver, R.P. 1997Reading for one second, one minute, or one year from the perspective of rauding theoryScientific Studies of Reading1343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Castelhano, M.S., Muter, P. 2001Optimizing the reading of electronic text using rapid serial visual presentationBehaviour and Information Technology20237247Google Scholar
  6. Cataldo, M.G., Oakhill, J. 2000Why are poor comprehenders inefficient searchers? An investigation into the effects of text representation and spatial memory on the ability to locate information in textJournal of Educational Psychology92791799Google Scholar
  7. Clark, R.E. 1994Media will never influence learningEducational Technology Research and Development422129Google Scholar
  8. Clark, R.E., Sugrue, B.M. 1990North American disputes about research on learning from mediaInternational Journal of Educational Research14507519Google Scholar
  9. Cocklin, T.G., Ward, N.J., Chen, H., Juola, J.F. 1984Factors influencing readability of rapidly presented text segmentsMemory and Cognition12431442Google Scholar
  10. Creed, A., Dennis, I., Newstead, S. 1987Proof-reading on VDU’sBehaviour and Information Technology6313Google Scholar
  11. Dillon, A., Richardson, J., McKnight, C. 1990The effects of display size and text splitting on reading lengthy text from screenBehaviour and Information Technology9215227Google Scholar
  12. Dillon, A. 1992Reading from paper versus screens: A critical review of the empirical literatureErgonomics3512971326Google Scholar
  13. Duffy, T.D., Bednar, A.K. 1991Attempting to come to grips with alternative perspectivesEducational Technology311215Google Scholar
  14. Eklundh, K.S. 1992Problems in achieving a global perspective of the text in computerbased writingInstructional Science217384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fry, E.B. 1975Fry readability scaleJamestownProvincetown, Rhode IslandGoogle Scholar
  16. Gould, J.D., Grischkowsky, N. 1984Doing the same work with hard copy and with cathode-ray tube (crt) computer terminalsHuman Factors26323337Google Scholar
  17. Jacobson, M.J., Maouri, C., Mishra, P., Kolar, C. 1995Learning with hypertext learning environments: Theory, design, and researchJournal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia4321364Google Scholar
  18. Jacobson, M.J., Spiro, R.J. 1995Hypertext learning environments, cognitive flexibility, and the transfer of complex knowledge: An empirical investigationJournal of Educational Computing Research12301333Google Scholar
  19. Jonassen, D.H. 1993Effects of semantically structured hypertext knowledge bases on users’ knowledge structuresMcKnight, C.Dillon, A.Richardson, J. eds. Hypertext: A psychological perspectiveEllis HorwoodChichester, West Sussex, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  20. Jong, M.T., Bus, A.G. 2002Quality of book-reading for emergent readers: An experiment with the same book in a regular or electronic formatJournal of Educational Psychology94145155Google Scholar
  21. Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., Sweller, J. 1999Managing split attention and redundancy in multimedia instructionApplied Cognitive Psychology13351371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mayer, R.E., Moreno, R. 1998A split-attention effect in multimedia learning: Evidence for dual processing systems in working memoryJournal of Educational Psychology90312320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McKnight, C., Dillon, A., Richardson, J. 1990A comparison of linear and hypertext formats in information retrievalMcAleese, R.Green, C. eds. State of the artIntellectOxfordGoogle Scholar
  24. Moreno, R., Mayer, R.E. 1999Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguityJournal of Educational Psychology91358368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moseley, D., Mearns, N., Tse, H. 2001Using computers at home and in the primary school: Where is the value added?Educational and Child Psychology183146Google Scholar
  26. Muter, P., Kruk, R.S., Buttigieg, M.A., Kang, J.T. 1988Reader-controlled computerized presentation of textHuman Factors30473486Google Scholar
  27. Muter, P., Latremouille, S.A., Treurniet, W. C., Beam, P. 1982Extended reading of continuous text on television screensHuman Factors24501508Google Scholar
  28. Muter, P., Maurutto, P. 1991Reading and skimming from computer screens and books: The paperless office revisited?Behaviour and Information Technology10257266Google Scholar
  29. Piolat, A., Roussey, J., Thunin, O. 1997Effects of screen presentation on text reading and revisingInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies47565589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rahman, T., Muter, P. 1999Designing an interface to optimize reading with small display windowsHuman Factors41106117Google Scholar
  31. Rouet, J.-F. 1992Cognitive processing of hyperdocuments: When does non-linearity help?Lucarella, D.Nanard, J.Nanard, M.Paolini, P. eds. Proceedings of the 4th ACM Conference on HypertextAcademic PressNew York, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Slosson, R.L. & Nicholson, C.L. (1990). Slosson Oral Reading Test - revised. East Aurora, New York: Slosson Educational Publications. The art of deception (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2001, from
  33. Wenger, M.J., Payne, D.G. 1996Comprehension and retention of nonlinear text: Considerations of working memory and material-appropriate processingThe American Journal of Psychology10993130Google Scholar
  34. Wilkinson, R.T., Robinshaw, H.M. 1987Proof reading: VDU and paper text compared for speed, accuracy and fatigueBehaviour and Information Technology6125133Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Acadia UniversityWolfvilleCanada

Personalised recommendations