A comparison of students' use of surveying, predicting, and setting purposes for reading as a reading comprehension strategy in linear text and hypertext
Eric C. MacDonald, Widener University, United States
Widener University . Awarded
The rapid deployment of technology and its continual evolution have brought about changes in conceptions of text and literacy. Reading comprehension research has shown that explicit explanation in reading comprehension strategies promotes independent, actively involved reading. However, most reading research has been conducted in linear text, including the study of comprehension strategies. The purpose of this study was to compare students' applications of the survey, predict, and set purposes strategy in linear text and hypertext. Subjects were 41 middle school students in a private school that provides extensive instruction in reading comprehension strategies. Background information on learner characteristics such as general ability, reading ability, computer self-efficacy, teacher ratings of self-regulation/strategy use, and student ratings of motivation/persistence and study habits were collected. Students completed measures of strategy use after surveying both a linear text and a hypertext expository text lesson. They were then encouraged to reread the text using the purpose questions developed as part of the surveying strategy and then completed comprehension measures. A final questionnaire was administered to gain additional qualitative insight into students' thinking regarding the use of the strategy in these two types of texts. There is some indication that students may find reading hypertext more difficult than reading linear text. General reading comprehension and some aspect of scaffolded learning emerged as factors influencing the comprehension of both types of text. Teacher strategy rating was unique to linear text, while hypertext surveying emerged as a primary factor in the hypertext, with the student-rated measure of motivation/persistence a small factor as well. Students appeared to utilize many of the same components of the strategy in both types of text. While many preferred the linear text to the hypertext for both use of the surveying strategy and for reading and remembering, many of these same students would like more experience with hypertext for learning content area materials.
MacDonald, E.C. A comparison of students' use of surveying, predicting, and setting purposes for reading as a reading comprehension strategy in linear text and hypertext. Ph.D. thesis, Widener University.
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