Background. In recent decades there has been a gradual shift from paper-based to digital-based reading. According to recent evidence, students, mainly undergraduates, show a digital-based comprehension disadvantage (Delgado et al., 2018). Few studies have analyzed the effects of the medium on reading comprehension in beginner readers, considering their experience using technology. Aims. The study sought to compare reading comprehension on paper and on a computer screen in beginner readers with substantial experience in using technology. The aim of the study was to analyze how text comprehension is affected by relevant text and task variables (medium, text genre, level of comprehension assessed) and reader’s characteristics (word reading). Sample. Participants were 115 first graders (mean age = 6;8 years; 58% females). On average, they used technology for learning purposes for 11 hours per week. Methods. Children read four narrative and descriptive texts on a computer and on paper. They answered three types of multiple-choice comprehension questions: on main point, literal and inferential. Word reading accuracy was also assessed. Results. Regression analyses showed that children performed better on screen than on paper or no differences, depending on the type of question. Word reading affected text comprehension in both mediums, with a stronger influence on inferential questions assessed on the computer. Conclusions. Results suggest that young readers with experience using technology do not show a digital-comprehension disadvantage. Of note, efficient basic reading skills are crucial especially when comprehension is assessed through a digital medium and at a deep level.

Digital reading in young readers: Advantage or disadvantage for text comprehension?

Florit Elena
Conceptualization
;
2019

Abstract

Background. In recent decades there has been a gradual shift from paper-based to digital-based reading. According to recent evidence, students, mainly undergraduates, show a digital-based comprehension disadvantage (Delgado et al., 2018). Few studies have analyzed the effects of the medium on reading comprehension in beginner readers, considering their experience using technology. Aims. The study sought to compare reading comprehension on paper and on a computer screen in beginner readers with substantial experience in using technology. The aim of the study was to analyze how text comprehension is affected by relevant text and task variables (medium, text genre, level of comprehension assessed) and reader’s characteristics (word reading). Sample. Participants were 115 first graders (mean age = 6;8 years; 58% females). On average, they used technology for learning purposes for 11 hours per week. Methods. Children read four narrative and descriptive texts on a computer and on paper. They answered three types of multiple-choice comprehension questions: on main point, literal and inferential. Word reading accuracy was also assessed. Results. Regression analyses showed that children performed better on screen than on paper or no differences, depending on the type of question. Word reading affected text comprehension in both mediums, with a stronger influence on inferential questions assessed on the computer. Conclusions. Results suggest that young readers with experience using technology do not show a digital-comprehension disadvantage. Of note, efficient basic reading skills are crucial especially when comprehension is assessed through a digital medium and at a deep level.
9788854951051
paper-based and digital-reading; text comprehension; first graders
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1044128
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