An evaluation of the effectiveness based on the design of a study guide created by Utah State University

Lexter J. Mangubat

University of the Philippine Open University

EDS 151—Instructional Media Resource

Module 3—Print Media| Activity 2

 

Upon searching on the internet for some examples of print media, I saw this one which is a study guide or somewhat strategy guide which talks about creating study guides. This print material is perhaps addressed to students who are preparing for exams or studying their courses. This guide gives 4 types of study guides that would help address a different kind of learning style. Today, I am going to evaluate the effectivity of its design. Is it catchy enough to attract readers? Does it provide large headings and key points? Does the font style and sizes were constant or were readable enough for the audience? Does the serif and san serif fonts were properly used? Does the graphics were properly selected and placed on the guide? These questions will be answered as I evaluate the material, but first, let us see a portion of the 5 pages material. I will show you the first page of the material. This is crucial since from this page you would tell whether your audience will be attracted to your material or not. Again the material is not mine, I just found it on this site: https://www.usu.edu/asc/studysmart/pdf/creating_stdy_guides.pdf

creating_stdy_guides-1.png What do you think? For me, the material was quite dull but the title made me attracted by it. Since I am studying education, the title of the material is relevant to me so I was quite curious to it. At first, I though this is made for educators and future educators like me. However, I was wrong, and upon browsing the material, I found out that this is made for students like me but not solely for educators and future educators. For me, the title is not appropriately placed. It should not be like placed like that. Readers would tend to bend their neck just to be able to read the title or the heading. The title should be in the upper center and or upper left corner when following the “reading ‘Z’” (Lamb, 2005).

creating_stdy_guides-2

The material provides subheadings and key points that would help the audience in their reading as well as emphasize the main point of the paragraph. It also provided the headings for the succeeding topics. However, the headings were not large enough to become easily to read and could be used for an easy scanning of the materials. According to Lamb (2005), “subheadings should be used for easy skimming”. The style of the headings and subheadings of this material were quite constant (the headings are in CAPS LOCK while the subheadings are in Sentence Form). The use of uppercase letters for this materials was quite good to give emphasis on the headings. However, Lamb (2005) suggested to not use caps lock for short phrases for according to Lamb (2005), it is hard to read words that are in uppercase. Maybe these materials could try to put emphasis on its headings by making it larger than the body. This would lead us to font sizes and styles, according to Lamb (2005), headings must be 1/3 larger than the body of the text. The body must not that too small of 10 point type of font. (Lamb, 2005) Lamb (2005) suggested that a 12 or 14 point type of fonts are easier to read than the standard 11 point of textbooks. As we can see on the picture, the font size of this material is too small. I tried to measure the font size of this material by copying it to Word processor and I found out that the size of the font of the body is 10 point type, and the headings are 11.5 point type, which is too small for the readers. I do not know if this is the accurate size of the font but upon seeing it on its portable type document, the font size is really small for me to be able to read it easily. With regards to font style, according to Lamb (2005), there are two categories that one could use in writing a material—the serif and san serif font. Lamb (2005) said that serif fonts guide the reader in reading due to its “feet” and hence it is good for the body of your document. On the other hand, san serif font is good for headings and subheadings since, as per Lamb (2005), it makes the headings readable easily from a far. In the material, the writer only uses the serif font. It does not have different categories for the body, making its heading quite indistinguishable from the body aside from it being in bold letters and uppercased. I think, following what Lamb (2005) suggested, body in serif font style could really help read this material more effectively and less stress. The good thing about this material is the constancy of the style and size of the body and headings. Lastly, we move on to the graphics and overall layout of the material. For the graphics, the graphics used in this materials were used to supplement and set as examples for the topic being discussed. Hence the used of the graphics is proper. The graphics were also placed after each discussion of the subheadings. Hence, it does not distract the readers of this materials. However, as you can see on the picture above, these two graphics were not properly cited with captions. According to Lamb (2005), we should “associate graphics with text through a caption, labels or a citation in the text. Though the graphics were cited from the preceding discussion, the examples were not properly cited through caption. For the overall layout of the material, we could see that the first page is quite loaded with so much text with small fonts but provided some white spaces, and for the succeeding pages, it contains fewer texts and more graphical presentation to supplement the discussion. The material has some technical issues that did not match the suggestions of Lamb (2005) on his book Building treehouses for Learning: Technology in Today’s Classroom, Chapter 7, Designing & Developing Resources: Print Materials.  Hence, the material is not so well designed but not so worse designed when regarding the font style, sizes and presentation, but the consistency of the materials is the reservation for the decision that I made.

 

Reference:

(Lamb, A. (2005). Designing & developing resources: Print materials (Chap 7). In Building

treehouses for learning: Technology in today’s classrooms, 243 – 272. Retrieved at

http://eduscapes.com/treehouses/TJ7print.pdf)

Utah State University. (n.d.) Creating Study Guides. Retrieved at https://www.usu.edu/asc/studysmart/pdf/creating_stdy_guides.pdf

Advertisements