Presentation & Display

Research: Display Size Impacts Student Comprehension

More than half of students (58 percent) in a recent study could not read content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel in an average-sized classroom. The study from Epson and Radius Global Market Research asked 106 students ages 12 to 22, in groups of about 30 at a time, to read educational content such as charts and text-based information displayed on a "top-selling 70-inch flat panel" in a traditional 30-foot-by-30-foot classroom. The students sat in five rows, with the first row about 8 feet from the display and the last row at a distance of about 27 feet.

The students were then asked to write down six short pieces of information based on what they saw on the display. On average, 17 out of 30 students in each group wrote down at least one item incorrectly, which the researchers attributed to difficulty reading the displayed content.

The findings are consistent with the 4/6/8 Rule for display size recommendations, a "long-standing guideline commonly used by AV integrators and installers for determining the appropriate sized displays for different environments," as well as the InfoComm DISCAS draft standard, according to a press release. "Using the DISCAS draft standard to calculate the Farthest Viewing Distance for Basic Decision Making, a 70-inch display would not be recommended for viewing text-based educational content at distances of approximately 18 feet and beyond."

"Display size in the typical classroom has a direct impact on a student's ability to read and comprehend the information presented — no matter where they are in the room," said Jason Meyer, education product manager for Epson America, in a statement. "This research shows that if the classroom display image size is too small, student comprehension is at risk."

For more information about the study, go to the Epson site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].