This article is a study between print and digital text using comprehension measure at the end of a semester. This study was done at the collegiate level with a control group who did all their reading from printed text and the experimental group who received training with online tools to assist them in reading online.
Literature search showed some studies had already been done on the length of time, which showed that print text was faster to read than digital and reading comprehension and speed, which found no significant difference between the two.
This study by Kol & Schcolnik (2000) focused on the giving students the following skills: Using the find feature, highlighter, hyperlinked outline to scan better, skim better and close-read better than those students reading from print.
Their hypotheses were that those strategies would allow them to read better or at least as well as those students reading from print text. (Scan better and skim and close-read as well as print) They defined the following terms, “scanning is defined as quickly looking over a text to locate specific pieces of information by using the find feature of the word processor,” “skimming as reading the hyperlinked outline provided, clicking the outline to access specific sections of the text, quickly reading and highlighting those sections, and scrolling to read the highlighted sections to get the main ideas,” and “close reading is reading intensively to comprehend ideas, logical relationships and /or fine points” (2000).
The same text on brain research from a journal was used to test student’s comprehension. Both used same text font, same size, same color and same color background. The layouts were different the digital study used hypertext links and the print was the entire article. The results were that students did skim better and close read digitally but they did not scan better. The find feature in the end did not help them scan better.
Reflection: Interesting study at the collegiate level but what I take away from this article is the importance of teaching skimming, scanning as pre-reading strategies and the need to find skills to help them read more deeply for comprehension.
Well I am not throwing my books away yet based on this article but I might look into non-fiction eBooks because what I find is the non-fiction especially in science and technology are almost dated when we put them on the shelves and if at the secondary level they can read digital text (not Internet text) as well as print text then it might make sense to have only what is current—who wants to use outdated research!
Kol, S. & Schcolnik, M. (2000). Enhancing screen reading strategies. Computer
Assisted Language Instruction Consortium Journal, 18(1), pp. 67-80.