Visual appeal of handouts and self-made classroom materials: Does it matter?

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Slides for presentation at 20th annual Korea TESOL International Conference, Seoul Korea. October 21, 2012.

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  • Visual appeal of handouts and self-made classroom materials: Does it matter?

    1. 1. Visual appeal of handouts and self- made classroom materials: Does it matter? Cameron Romney Center for Foreign Language Education Momoyama Gakuin University (St. Andrew’s University) October 21, 2012
    2. 2. Agenda• Introduction• Typography• Page Layout• Graphics
    3. 3. ConnectTheory and Practice with ‘Best Practices’
    4. 4. Do you know anything about typography/ page layout/graphics? Do you think it (they) are important? Why or why not?
    5. 5. “Unfortunately, most of the materials made athome, no matter how good in content, areatrocious in terms of layout. In my experienceswith both publishers and students, I have cometo the conclusion that layout is just as important as...no, even more important than...content” Curtis Kelly, 1998
    6. 6. Visual design effects on readers• Motivation Smiley (2004); Misanchuk (1992); Bell & Sullivan (1981)• Comprehension Gasser, Boeke, Haffernan, & Tan (2005); Romney (2004); Smiley (2004); Walker (2001), Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997); Garofalo (1988), Lewis & Walker (1989)• Recall Gasser, Boeke, Haffernan, & Tan (2005); Smiley (2004); Lewis & Walker (1989)• Efficiency/Speed Smiley (2004); Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997)
    7. 7. “...more easily perceiving ... text on apage ... less attentional resources arerequired for the process of reading. Moreattentional resources can then bedevoted to attending to the message inthe text, which results in deeperprocessing and an easier recall of theinformation presented.” (p. 185) Gasser, Boek, Haffernan & Tan (2005)
    8. 8. Does the visual appealof a classroom handout matter? YES!
    9. 9. Typeface i.e. font
    10. 10. “The font is the cookiecutter, and the typeface is the cookie.” (p. 29) Felici (2003)
    11. 11. What fonts do you know?Which ones do you use? Why? How? What’s your favorite font? Why do you like?
    12. 12. Categories of Fonts Style Purpose Historical• Old-style • Text • Renaissance• Modern • Display • Baroque• Slab serif • Decorative • Neoclassical• Sans serif • Romantic• Script • Realist• Decorative Williams (2008) Felici (2003) • Modernist Bringhurst (2004)
    13. 13. Serif and Sans-serifBowley (2009), Bringhurst (2004), Craig (1990), Felici (2003), Kirsanov (1998),Lupton (2004), Madison (2003), Miller (2002), Misanchuk (1992), Romney (2004),Walker & Reynolds (2003),White (2002), Williams (2008), etc.
    14. 14. EM EM
    15. 15. Legibility vs. Readability
    16. 16. Common Problems for L2 Learners
    17. 17. LC l and UC I
    18. 18. LC d, b, q and p
    19. 19. Lowercase i and j
    20. 20. Lowercase c and o
    21. 21. Lowercase f and t
    22. 22. Double story minuscules Images from Wikipedia
    23. 23. Best Practice #1Use the font students are FAMILIAR with
    24. 24. “people most easily read materialprinted in the typefaces withwhich they are most familiar.” (p. 32) Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997)
    25. 25. Copyright page
    26. 26. Identifont & WhatTheFont www.identifont.com http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont (includes an iPhone app)
    27. 27. Bonus Best Practiceset the typeface at a LARGER size
    28. 28. • Less skilled readers benefit from larger text Carter, Day & Meggs (2006); Petterson (1989)• 9-12 pt is standard for adults Carter, Day & Meggs (2006)• 18 pt for 1st grade, 14 pt for 3rd grade, 11 pt for 6th grade Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997)
    29. 29. Bonus Best PracticeUse a font with good LEGIBILITY
    30. 30. “...serifed typefaces are easier toread than san serif” Felici (2003)
    31. 31. Bonus Tip Don’t forget thePRINTING & COPYNG
    32. 32. Best Practice #2 Use typography tosignal sections of the document
    33. 33. Example
    34. 34. Recommended Typefaces Serif Sans Serif• Georgia • Verdana• Lucida Bright • Tahoma• (Bembo) Schoolbook • Helvetica Textbook
    35. 35. GeorgiaImage from Identifont
    36. 36. Lucida Bright Image from Identifont
    37. 37. Bembo Schoolbook Image from Identifont
    38. 38. VerdanaImage from Identifont
    39. 39. TahomaImage from Identifont
    40. 40. Helvetica Textbook Image from Identifont
    41. 41. Page Layout
    42. 42. Best Practice #3Use INCREASED line spacing and WHITE space
    43. 43. Theory“...the reader has an effortlessreturn path to the left edge ... forthe next line.” (p. 115) White (2002)
    44. 44. Theory“Space attracts readers bymaking the page look accessible,unthreatening, and manageable” White (2002)
    45. 45. Best Practice #4Use lines & shapes toORGANIZE the page
    46. 46. Theory“...directing the readers eyearound the page, drawing attentionto specific parts... breaking copyinto sections” (p.86) Dabner (2004)
    47. 47. Bonus Best PracticeUse MULTIPLE columns withSHORTER lines
    48. 48. Theory“When long lines are set...thereis a tendency of the reader toread the same line twice” (p. 86) Craig (1990)
    49. 49. Line Length Guides• 50 - 60 characters (White 2002)• 2 times the alphabet (Craig 1990)• 27 characters minimum, 40 optimum, 70 maximum (Felici 2003)
    50. 50. Graphics
    51. 51. Do you use images in your materials? Why or why not? Do images help students? How?
    52. 52. Levin’s (1981) Typology of images Decoration Increase attractiveness Remuneration Increase sales Motivation Increase interest Reiteration Additional exposures Representational Make more concrete Organization Make more integrated Interpretation Make more comprehensible Transformation Make more memorable
    53. 53. Levin’s (1981) Typology of images Decoration Increase attractiveness Remuneration Increase sales Motivation Increase interest Reiteration Additional exposures Representational Make more concrete Organization Make more integrated Interpretation Make more comprehensible Transformation Make more memorable
    54. 54. Best Practice #5Only use graphics with INSTRUCTIONAL purpose
    55. 55. “If instructional facilitation is nothighly probable, then ... graphicsshould not be used in instructionalmaterial.” (p. 239) Misanchuk (1992)
    56. 56. TheoryGraphics can be a distraction Evans, Watson and Willows (1987); Peeck (1987) Clark & Lyons (2011); Romney & Bell (2011)
    57. 57. Putting it all together A Before and After
    58. 58. Thank Youromney.cameron@gmail.com LinkedInTwitter: @CameronRomney CameronRomney.com

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