The benefits of more electronic screen space on students' retention of material in classroom lectures

Joel Lanir, Kellogg S. Booth, Kirstie Hawkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many lecture halls today have two or more screens to be used by instructors for lectures with computer-supported visual aids. Typically, this additional screen real estate is not used to display additional information; rather a single stream of information is projected on all screens. We describe a controlled laboratory study that empirically assesses the effect on students learning of using the increased classroom screen real estate to project an additional stream of information. We measured how well participants learned from a two-stream presentation compared to a one-stream presentation duplicated on both screens. Data indicate that using extra screen real estate can indeed improve learning. In particular, learning was most improved when pertinent prior information was shown alongside currently explained information. There is also evidence that visual comparisons were improved with parallel viewing using extra screen real estate. Subjective data gathered from participants showed a strong preference for learning with two streams of content over a regular one-stream presentation. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-903
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Media in education
  • Pedagogical issues
  • Secondary education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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