Do Print Text Books Lead to Higher Reading Comprehension Than Their Digital Counterparts?

April 17, 2014

According to a new research study from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, print textbooks may be more effective as learning tools than digital. Professors Heather Ruetschlin Schugar and Jordan Schugar headed a study that found when the same assigned reading was given to middle school students in print versus digital formats, the print books led to higher reading comprehension than ebooks did. According to the report, presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Philadelphia, ebook enhancements such as activities and games tend to take away from actual reading comprehension.

The New York Times wrote, “Such flourishes can interrupt the fluency of children’s reading and cause their comprehension to fragment… They can also lead children to spend less time reading over all: One study cited…reported that children spent 43 percent of their e-book engagement time playing games embedded in the e-books rather than reading the text.”

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