Improving Readability of an Evaluation Tool for Low-income Clients Using Visual Information Processing Theories

Marilyn S. Townsend, Kathryn Sylva, Anna Martin, Diane Metz, Patti Wooten-Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Literacy is an issue for many low-income audiences. Using visual information processing theories, the goal was improving readability of a food behavior checklist and ultimately improving its ability to accurately capture existing changes in dietary behaviors. Using group interviews, low-income clients (n = 18) evaluated 4 visual styles. The text plus color photographs style was preferred over the other 3 visual styles: text only, text plus black and white line drawings, and text plus gray-scale photographs. Employing cognitive interviewing in an iterative process, clients (n = 25) recommended simplifying text for 10 items, modifying content for 15 of 16 visuals, and replacing text with visual content for 7 of 16 items. Professional staff (n = 7) and educators (n = 10) verified that visuals and revised text accurately reflected the content of each item. Clients reported that the revised checklist captured their attention, added pleasure to the evaluation process, improved their understanding of the behaviors in question, and facilitated comprehension of text. Readability scores improved by more than 2 grades. This process can be duplicated by others interested in enhancing the quality of existing evaluation tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Fingerprint

readability
Information Theory
Automatic Data Processing
information processing
photographs
income
low income
Checklist
literacy
teachers
evaluation
eating habits
interviews
Aptitude
Pleasure
color
Color
Interviews
Food
comprehension

Keywords

  • EFNEP
  • FSNE
  • low-income
  • low-literacy
  • program evaluation
  • readability
  • visual information processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Food Science

Cite this

Improving Readability of an Evaluation Tool for Low-income Clients Using Visual Information Processing Theories. / Townsend, Marilyn S.; Sylva, Kathryn; Martin, Anna; Metz, Diane; Wooten-Swanson, Patti.

In: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Vol. 40, No. 3, 05.2008, p. 181-186.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Townsend, Marilyn S. ; Sylva, Kathryn ; Martin, Anna ; Metz, Diane ; Wooten-Swanson, Patti. / Improving Readability of an Evaluation Tool for Low-income Clients Using Visual Information Processing Theories. In: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2008 ; Vol. 40, No. 3. pp. 181-186.
@article{fbb10132a4dd42bb9521efeb14de4fc0,
title = "Improving Readability of an Evaluation Tool for Low-income Clients Using Visual Information Processing Theories",
abstract = "Literacy is an issue for many low-income audiences. Using visual information processing theories, the goal was improving readability of a food behavior checklist and ultimately improving its ability to accurately capture existing changes in dietary behaviors. Using group interviews, low-income clients (n = 18) evaluated 4 visual styles. The text plus color photographs style was preferred over the other 3 visual styles: text only, text plus black and white line drawings, and text plus gray-scale photographs. Employing cognitive interviewing in an iterative process, clients (n = 25) recommended simplifying text for 10 items, modifying content for 15 of 16 visuals, and replacing text with visual content for 7 of 16 items. Professional staff (n = 7) and educators (n = 10) verified that visuals and revised text accurately reflected the content of each item. Clients reported that the revised checklist captured their attention, added pleasure to the evaluation process, improved their understanding of the behaviors in question, and facilitated comprehension of text. Readability scores improved by more than 2 grades. This process can be duplicated by others interested in enhancing the quality of existing evaluation tools.",
keywords = "EFNEP, FSNE, low-income, low-literacy, program evaluation, readability, visual information processing",
author = "Townsend, {Marilyn S.} and Kathryn Sylva and Anna Martin and Diane Metz and Patti Wooten-Swanson",
year = "2008",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.jneb.2007.06.011",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
pages = "181--186",
journal = "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior",
issn = "1499-4046",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Improving Readability of an Evaluation Tool for Low-income Clients Using Visual Information Processing Theories

AU - Townsend, Marilyn S.

AU - Sylva, Kathryn

AU - Martin, Anna

AU - Metz, Diane

AU - Wooten-Swanson, Patti

PY - 2008/5

Y1 - 2008/5

N2 - Literacy is an issue for many low-income audiences. Using visual information processing theories, the goal was improving readability of a food behavior checklist and ultimately improving its ability to accurately capture existing changes in dietary behaviors. Using group interviews, low-income clients (n = 18) evaluated 4 visual styles. The text plus color photographs style was preferred over the other 3 visual styles: text only, text plus black and white line drawings, and text plus gray-scale photographs. Employing cognitive interviewing in an iterative process, clients (n = 25) recommended simplifying text for 10 items, modifying content for 15 of 16 visuals, and replacing text with visual content for 7 of 16 items. Professional staff (n = 7) and educators (n = 10) verified that visuals and revised text accurately reflected the content of each item. Clients reported that the revised checklist captured their attention, added pleasure to the evaluation process, improved their understanding of the behaviors in question, and facilitated comprehension of text. Readability scores improved by more than 2 grades. This process can be duplicated by others interested in enhancing the quality of existing evaluation tools.

AB - Literacy is an issue for many low-income audiences. Using visual information processing theories, the goal was improving readability of a food behavior checklist and ultimately improving its ability to accurately capture existing changes in dietary behaviors. Using group interviews, low-income clients (n = 18) evaluated 4 visual styles. The text plus color photographs style was preferred over the other 3 visual styles: text only, text plus black and white line drawings, and text plus gray-scale photographs. Employing cognitive interviewing in an iterative process, clients (n = 25) recommended simplifying text for 10 items, modifying content for 15 of 16 visuals, and replacing text with visual content for 7 of 16 items. Professional staff (n = 7) and educators (n = 10) verified that visuals and revised text accurately reflected the content of each item. Clients reported that the revised checklist captured their attention, added pleasure to the evaluation process, improved their understanding of the behaviors in question, and facilitated comprehension of text. Readability scores improved by more than 2 grades. This process can be duplicated by others interested in enhancing the quality of existing evaluation tools.

KW - EFNEP

KW - FSNE

KW - low-income

KW - low-literacy

KW - program evaluation

KW - readability

KW - visual information processing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=42949138062&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=42949138062&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.06.011

DO - 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.06.011

M3 - Article

VL - 40

SP - 181

EP - 186

JO - Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

JF - Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

SN - 1499-4046

IS - 3

ER -