Sunday, January 25, 2004

Students Learn Better from Web Pages That Contain Print Cues: "Students learn just as well from the World Wide Web as they do from print, … but only if Web pages offer some of the same elements found on today's typical printed page.

"In written tests, students who read an article about influenza on the Web scored the same as students who read the story on hard copy—about 73 percent—but only when the Web article contained traditional print cues for organizing information, such as page numbers and a table of contents. These print cues supplemented the common Web cues for organizing information: in-text hyperlinks. Students who read the story on the Web without these cues scored only about 67 percent.

"Both print cues and Web cues were needed to make the Web perform as well as traditional print, said William P. Eveland, assistant professor of journalism and communication at Ohio State University. 'We found that a well-designed Web site can convey information just as well as a print magazine,' he said. 'But if a Web site isn't designed properly, people learn less.'"

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