[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visual-syntactic text formatting (VSTF) algorithms first analyze, then reformat a sentence into cascading patterns that cue syntactic structure and assist visual- processing. VSTF was evaluated in yearlong, classroom- based, randomized controlled trials, with in-class reading sessions (25 minutes per session, twice a week), using electronic textbooks for high school students. Pretest- posttest analysis showed that, in each grade, VSTF students had significantly higher scores on nationally standardized (and conventionally formatted) reading proficiency tests over controls; effect sizes ranged from .41 to . 69 standard deviations, and the one-year growth in reading proficiency with VSTF was equivalent to 2 to 3 years' of additional growth in study and national controls. VSTF groups also significantly increased scores, with medium effect sizes, on standardized quizzes and examinations for comprehension and retention of the material in the textbooks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new process, visual-syntactic text formatting (VSTF), transforms block-shaped text into cascading patterns that help readers identify grammatical structure. The new method integrates converging evidence from educational, visual, and cognitive research, and is made feasible through computer-executed algorithms and electronic displays. Among college readers, the VSTF method instantly increased reading comprehension and efficiency of reading online text, while reducing eyestrain. Among high school students, who read with the format over an entire academic year, the VSTF method increased both academic achievement and long-term reading proficiency by more than a full standard deviation over randomized controls.