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Article
Clownpants in the Classroom? Hypnotizing Chickens? Measurement of Structural Distraction in Visual Presentation Documents
Journal of Documentation (2014)
  • Jodi Kearns, University of Akron
  • Brian C O'Connor, University of North Texas
Abstract
This paper considers the structure of entertainment media as a possible foundation for measuring aspects of visual presentations that could enhance or interfere with audience engagement. Factors that might account for the large number of negative comments about visual presentations are identified and a method of calculating entropy measurements for form attributes of presentations is introduced. Entropy calculations provide a numerical measure of structural elements that account for engagement or distraction. A set of peer evaluations of educational presentations is used to calibrate a distraction factor algorithm. Distraction as a consequence of document structure might enable engineering of a balance between document structure and content in document formats not yet explored by mechanical entropy calculations. Mathematical calculations of structural elements (form attributes) support what multimedia presentation viewers have been observing for years (documented in numerous journals and newspapers from education to business to military fields): engineering PowerPoint presentations necessarily involves attention to engagement versus distraction in the audience. Exploring aspects of document structures has been demonstrated to calibrate viewer perceptions to calculated measurements in moving image documents, and now in images and multimedia presentation documents extending Claude Shannon’s early work communication channels and James Watt & Robert Krull’s work on television programming.
Keywords
  • clownpants
Publication Date
July, 2014
Citation Information
Jodi Kearns and Brian C O'Connor. "Clownpants in the Classroom? Hypnotizing Chickens? Measurement of Structural Distraction in Visual Presentation Documents" Journal of Documentation Vol. 70 Iss. 4 (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jodi_kearns/4/