Presentation Title

The Effects of Electronic Text Versus Paper Text on Comprehension: Considerations of Context-dependent Learning, Preference and Interest

Faculty Mentor

Barbara Thayer, Ph.D.

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 30

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Research shows that students prefer to use paper textbooks over electronic textbooks. Questions that have emerged in this literature consider comprehension differences between the two types of text, the role that interest plays in comprehension, and whether text format plays a role in learning. Expanding research in those areas, it was hypothesized that participants would perform better on a reading comprehension test when they (i) took the test in the same format as they read the passage in, (ii) took the test in the format they prefer, and (iii) were interested in the passage they read. In the study, undergraduate students from CSU Channel Islands read four reading passages that were retrieved from the verbal portion of the GRE and were either printed on paper or displayed on a computer. Participants read each passage then answered corresponding comprehension questions in either the same format they read the passage in or in the other available format (i.e., paper or electronic). Statistical analyses revealed that there was no significant difference in comprehension between those who read the passages electronically or in paper format. There was also no significant difference between participants who read the passages in the text medium (paper or electronic) they preferred and those who read in the medium outside of their preference. However, those who completed a paper test performed better than those who took an electronic test regardless of the reading format. Also, comprehension performance was better when there was greater interest in the reading material. Results suggest that students tend to perform better when tested in a familiar manner, despite the format in which they learned the material. The level of interest in reading material significantly impacts how well students do on a test.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

The Effects of Electronic Text Versus Paper Text on Comprehension: Considerations of Context-dependent Learning, Preference and Interest

BSC-Ursa Minor 30

Research shows that students prefer to use paper textbooks over electronic textbooks. Questions that have emerged in this literature consider comprehension differences between the two types of text, the role that interest plays in comprehension, and whether text format plays a role in learning. Expanding research in those areas, it was hypothesized that participants would perform better on a reading comprehension test when they (i) took the test in the same format as they read the passage in, (ii) took the test in the format they prefer, and (iii) were interested in the passage they read. In the study, undergraduate students from CSU Channel Islands read four reading passages that were retrieved from the verbal portion of the GRE and were either printed on paper or displayed on a computer. Participants read each passage then answered corresponding comprehension questions in either the same format they read the passage in or in the other available format (i.e., paper or electronic). Statistical analyses revealed that there was no significant difference in comprehension between those who read the passages electronically or in paper format. There was also no significant difference between participants who read the passages in the text medium (paper or electronic) they preferred and those who read in the medium outside of their preference. However, those who completed a paper test performed better than those who took an electronic test regardless of the reading format. Also, comprehension performance was better when there was greater interest in the reading material. Results suggest that students tend to perform better when tested in a familiar manner, despite the format in which they learned the material. The level of interest in reading material significantly impacts how well students do on a test.