Thursday, May 8, 2008

Read aloud modality

When I was looking for some news coverage about the tragedy of the Belgian soccer player Francois Sterchele who died this morning in a car crash, I discovered a great modality of interactivity. On the Dutch news site of, one can click on the 'read aloud' button so that a gentle woman reads the message aloud. Apart from some pronounciation problems (clearly it is a a computer software program who transfers the written text into voice so that for example names aren't well pronounced), this feature can be a great help for people with hearing problems!

I haven't seen this feature on another website, if someone of you knows another example of this innovative feature, please email me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Important three days

Tomorrow and the two days following tomorrow will be of high importance for my research. During these days, my third research phase takes place.

Research question: how do online vs. standard online news messages differ in effect on information-processing and objective and subjective knowledge outcome

Procedure: computer experiments + eye tracking experiments

Manipulations: 4 stories in 16 different versions: Form (2) x complexity (2) x Story (4) x Order (4)

Location: Centre for Media Research in Leuven

Participants: 70-95 students

Wheather forecast: hot, hotter, hottest

My personal condition: very tired, but excited

Special thanks to: my supervisor Prof. d'Haenens for making this idea possible, dr. P. hendriks-Vettehen and dr. Peter De Graef for their valuable contributions to my experimental design, the Flemish Ministry of Media for funding this innovative research and of course Koen Moens, webmaster of for doing a great job when manipulating the online news stories and answering my email questions so quickly!
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