A group of Princeton Psychologists took classes of students in an Ohio school and taught half of the students using Powerpoint presentations, handouts, and worksheets in standard fonts and half of the students using the same materials but in disfluent fonts such as Monotype Corsiva, Comic Sans Italicized and Haettenshweiler.

Their conclusion was that disfluency; actively making things harder to learn, improved long term learning and reflection.

There is strong theoretical justification to believe that disfluency could lead to improved retention and classroom performance. Disfluency has been shown to lead people to process information more deeply, more abstractly, more carefully, and yield better comprehension, all of which are critical to effective learning.

The students retention in English, Physics, U.S. History and Chemistry was then tested and a significant improvement was found in those who had learnt from materials with fonts that were more difficult to read.

This study demonstrated that student retention of material across a wide range of subjects (science and humanities classes) and difficulty levels (regular, Honors and Advanced Placement) can be significantly improved in naturalistic settings by presenting reading material in a format that is slightly harder to read…. The potential for improving educational practicesthrough cognitive interventions is immense.

Worth trying out before the next testing cycle?

Via Wired

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