Extensive, rigorious research demonstrates the effectiveness of QuikScan
The benefits of QuikScan have been validated in numerous empirical experiments published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. The initial experiments were conducted by Quan Zhou as part of his dissertation work on QuikScan. Subsequent experiments have been led by Professor Hans van der Meij at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
Below are key findings from the various studies.
- QuikScan increased text recall by 41% over the non-QuikScanned control text. QuikScan increased test scores not just for facts but for higher-order processes such as analysis and synthesis. These findings are more impressive insofar as the readers of the control text benefitted from the presence of a structured abstract. Even though the QuikScanned text was significantly longer than the control text, reading times were no greater because QuikScan promotes more efficient reading (van der Meij & van der Meij, 2011).
- QuikScan enables readers to navigate very quickly from ideas that appear in the QuikScan summaries to the full discussion of these ideas in the body of the text (Zhou & Farkas, 2009).
- Blind and low-vision readers respond very positively to QuikScan and would very much like their study materials in the QuikScan format (Kasch 2013).
These studies were conducted using Classic QuikScan, but these benefits (and others) should apply as well to QuikScan Views.
Major publications on QuikScan and selective reading
The major publications on QuikScan are available below in this annotated list. The list includes annotated slides from presentations.
Zhou, Q. & D. K. Farkas, (2010). QuikScan: Formatting documents for better comprehension and navigation,Technical Communication, May 2010.
This is the comprehensive resource for understanding the benefits of QuikScan and how to QuikScan texts. It doesn't cover implementation.
van der Meij, H. & J. van der Meij (2011). Improving text recall with multiple summaries. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81 (4). DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8279.2011.02024.x
This article, published in a prestigious journal, presents a rigorous experimental study demonstrating that QuikScan results in a 41% increase in text recall.
van der Meij, H., J. van der Meij, and D. K. Farkas (2013). QuikScan formatting as a means to improve text recall. Journal of Documentation, 69 (1). DOI 10.1108/00220411311295342. pp. 81–97
This article reports on another successful QuikScan study that employed a different measure of text recall and tested a Bahasa language (Indonesia) text that is more complex than previously tested QuikScan texts. The article also discusses QuikScan as a possible response to readers' increasing unwillingness to read longer texts.
Farkas, D. K. (2012). Designing for selective reading with QuikScan Views, Proceedings, ACM SigDOC Conference. This article explains the design rationale, features, and benefits of QuikScan Views.
Farkas, D. K (2015). Multiple summaries as an aid to reading literary texts, Presentation given at the 2015 IAIMTE Conference (International Association for the Improvement of Mother Tongue Education), June 3-5. Odense, Denmark (fully annotated pdf of slide deck).
Proposes that QuikScanned editions can prove valuable when students read literary works (both prose and poetry), especially as school assignments.
Farkas, D.K. & C. A. Raleigh (2013). Designing documents for selective reading. Information Design Journal, 20 (1). DOI: 10.1075/idj.20.1.01far. pp. 2-15.
This article briefly discusses readers' resistance to extended texts and then demonstrates that there are three broad approaches to designing texts for selective reading. QuikScan is an instance of the summarization approach.
Kasch, J. (2013). The use of QuikScan by blind and visualy impaired readers, Bachelor's Thesis, University of Twente,
Kasch reports rich qualitative data from a study of blind and low-vision students who read QuikScanned excerpts of their textbooks and other study materials. All the research participants were very enthusiastic about QuikScan. The research was sponsored by Hans van der Meij and Thea van der Geest of the University of Twente.
Lohuis, A. (2013). QuikScan and reading strategies. Master's Thesis, University of Twente.
Lohuis demonstrated, using gaze-tracking, that readers of QuikScan texts readily understand QuikScan and devise individual reading strategies to meet their needs. For example, some readers read the summaries and body text in a linear fashion (no jumping around), while others chose to return to the summaries after reading a section of the text, while others switched back and forth between the summaries and body text as they read each new section of the text.
Zhou, Q. & D. K. Farkas, (2009). QuikScan: Facilitating reading and information navigation through innovative document formatting. Proceedings of the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC).
This proceedings paper reports on a study (part of Quan Zhou's dissertation) demonstrating that QuikScan enhances navigation within texts.
Zhou, Q. (2008). QuikScan: Facilitating document use through innovative formatting. Dissertation. University of Washington (Seattle, Washington, USA).
This is Quan Zhou's dissertation on QuikScan. It includes two empirical studies and a broad literature review. It also explains the use of QuikScan as an assistive technology for blind readers (pp. 191-99).
Zhou, Q. & D. K. Farkas, (2006). QuikScan: An innovative approach to support document use in meetings. Proceedings of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Annual Conference.
This is the earliest QuikScan publication. It discusses QuikScan as a means to support document use during business meetings. This was the main purpose for which QuikScan was originally intended. QuikScan, we believe, can indeed improve the effectiveness of business meetings in which a text is under discussion.
Weiss, Laura A. (2012). Improving texts with multiple summaries by aiding readers to build a text model. Masters thesis. University of Twente, The Netherlands.
This thesis reports on a sophisticated study that establishes the means by which QuikScan improves text recall. QuikScan summaries improved text recall by enabling the reader to build a coherent text model of the main ideas in the text, rather than through simple repetition of these ideas.
Schouten, Evy. (2014). The influence of QuikScan summaries on comprehension and recall of children in grades 5 and 6. Masters thesis. University of Twente, The Netherlands.
This study did not show significant benefits of QuikScan with young readers. However, QuikScan was not explained to these students, and it appears that some of the students were not highly motivated to read the study texts.