The IFeL Usability Lab has been performing research on electronic reading devices for the past two years. The studies focus on the devices’ readability and user-friendliness. The findings have been used to launch the ‘Tablet Didactics’ project, which involves the use of tablets in teaching applications. The first Tablet Didactics course began in May 2011. The first stage of the course involves the training of FFHS lecturers. In the second stage, beginning in the autumn semester of 2011, tablets will be used for teaching purposes in two FFHS pilot classes. The IFeL is responsible for training the lecturers and will support the pilot project in a research role. Following the initial pilot phase, the Tablet Didactics course will also be made available to external lecturers.
For centuries, the most popular medium for reading texts has been paper. And although increasing numbers of people have been working with computers over the past 30 years, many people still believe that reading from a screen involves more effort and time than reading from paper. Special electronic reader devices (e-readers), multi-functional devices and smartphones have recently gained in popularity. At the IFeL Usability Lab, we are researching and comparing various reader and display devices with regard to reading and learning processes. The measurement and evaluation of eye movements provides valuable information on the attentiveness and thought processes involved.