Empirical and Perceived Utility of Text Boxes
This paper presents 2 studies that investigated the utility of textbook boxes. In the first study, 230 participants completed a perception questionnaire. The major finding was that professors and students rarely studied boxed text. In the second study, 177 participants read identical text with an insert that instructed them to stop reading and record the time. The insert appeared as boxed text for some and as regular text for others. There were no significant differences in hit rates or latency among the boxed and regular text groups. Taken as a whole, participants reported ignoring boxed text, but in reality skimmed both boxed and regular text. We recommend that instructors emphasize important text regardless of its location.