Presentation Title

Differences in Reading Comprehension Between Traditional Textbooks and Electronic Textbooks

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 31

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Electronic textbooks (e-books) are a viable alternative to traditional print textbooks for many students. The cost is significantly less, e-books are perceived as more portable, and use of resources and waste are reduced. However, many students still prefer traditional textbooks. One question that remains is whether students learn differently using e-books. If students perceive their learning is impacted by the format of the text that may account for preference. The present study examined paper textbooks and e-books to evaluate differences in students’ comprehension. It was hypothesized that reading comprehension would be negatively impacted in students using e-textbooks when compared with traditional paper textbooks. Participants read a 7-page passage from a textbook, “Psychology and Law”. Participants either read an electronic PDF format of the text or a printed-paper version. Upon completion of the reading, participants were given a two-minute break, and then asked to complete a 13-question multiple choice test to assess their comprehension. Statistical analyses demonstrated no significant effect of the format of the text (electronic or paper) on reading comprehension. Furthermore, GPA, year in school, and diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder did not affect comprehension in this model. These results suggest that students’ ability to comprehend material is not impacted by text format. It is likely then that preference for print textbooks does not reflect perceived differences in learning. Future studies will investigate differences in retention over time as a function of text type.

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

Differences in Reading Comprehension Between Traditional Textbooks and Electronic Textbooks

BSC-Ursa Minor 31

Electronic textbooks (e-books) are a viable alternative to traditional print textbooks for many students. The cost is significantly less, e-books are perceived as more portable, and use of resources and waste are reduced. However, many students still prefer traditional textbooks. One question that remains is whether students learn differently using e-books. If students perceive their learning is impacted by the format of the text that may account for preference. The present study examined paper textbooks and e-books to evaluate differences in students’ comprehension. It was hypothesized that reading comprehension would be negatively impacted in students using e-textbooks when compared with traditional paper textbooks. Participants read a 7-page passage from a textbook, “Psychology and Law”. Participants either read an electronic PDF format of the text or a printed-paper version. Upon completion of the reading, participants were given a two-minute break, and then asked to complete a 13-question multiple choice test to assess their comprehension. Statistical analyses demonstrated no significant effect of the format of the text (electronic or paper) on reading comprehension. Furthermore, GPA, year in school, and diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder did not affect comprehension in this model. These results suggest that students’ ability to comprehend material is not impacted by text format. It is likely then that preference for print textbooks does not reflect perceived differences in learning. Future studies will investigate differences in retention over time as a function of text type.