Reading from computer screens vs. reading from paper: Effects on children's information retention and comprehension
Matthew Alexander Kerr, Acadia University , Canada
Acadia University . Awarded
This study examined whether differences exist between how children read on paper and how they read on computer. Both medium of text presentation and reading instructions were examined. Participants were 60; grade five students, who each read two expository texts, one in each medium. Thirty-Four children were asked to read the text to understand it, while the other 24 were given search questions to guide their reading. Following reading each text, participants were asked to recall as much as they could from what they have read. They were then given questions to cue their recall and to measure their comprehension of the passages. When reading on computer, children took longer to read, and recalled more of the text material. Reading instructions did not influence performance. When efficiency variables were examined, which take time into account when examining dependent variables, the benefit of computers to recall disappeared. Children were, however, more efficient at comprehension when reading from paper. The results suggest that the disruption caused to reading by the computer presentation system may serve to not only slow young readers, but also hinder their comprehension efficiency.
Kerr, M.A. Reading from computer screens vs. reading from paper: Effects on children's information retention and comprehension. Master's thesis, Acadia University.
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