The Comparability of the Definitions and the Measurements of Legibility and Readability in Instructional Text Design Research

By: Helen Kamandhari  

The purpose of this research paper is to discuss the comparability of the definitions and the measurements of legibility and readability across eighty-three journal articles, one thesis, and three dissertations (eighty-seven sources in total). Mixed methods in this integrative review were used to investigate the definitions and the measurements of these two terminologies. The findings of the study showed that the definitions of legibility were present in thirteen journal articles and four theses/dissertations (seventeen sources in total). Legibility was identified in fifty-one sources and described in five sources. The measurement of legibility was found in twenty-four sources (twenty journal articles and four theses/dissertations). The other terminology, readability, was defined in nine journal articles and four theses/dissertations (thirteen sources in total). Readability was identified in twenty-eight sources and described in six sources (all of which came from the journal articles). The measurement of readability was observed in fifteen sources (thirteen journal articles and two theses/dissertations). Though the definitions are present in a total of thirty sources (seventeen sources for legibility and thirteen sources for readability), the consistency of the definitions is not evident. The definitions of legibility and readability are frequently confused for one another in the sources. In addition, the measurements of legibility and readability are not always based on the consistent use of instruments or measures. Thus, in order that comparability can be conducted from one study to another, these two terminologies should be defined and measured on similar bases.

Comparability,Legibility,Readability,Definitions,Measurements,Integrative Review
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Dr. Helen Kamandhari

East Java, Indonesia

Helen Hendaria Kamandhari was born in Jember, Indonesia. She comes from a family of four siblings. She loves traveling and views the world as her playground.  She received her B.A. in English Literature in 1997, her first master’s degree in Business Management in 2004, and her second master’s degree in Teaching English as A Foreign Language in 2007. In 2018, she completed her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (Instructional Design and Technology study program) at Virginia Tech, USA with Fulbright scholarship. She has been working as a tenured faculty at the University of Surabaya since 2005. Her research interests are typography, instructional design and technology, and language learning.