Tag Archives: Indiana State University

Students Still Not Yet Ready for Digital Textbooks

19 Jun

While publishers are increasingly creating and selling digital materials and students increasingly have the devices on which to consume that content, only 3% of students last semester used a digital textbook as their primary course material (for a specific course). That’s down from 4% for the fall semester.

Overwhelmingly, students prefer print, according to the survey of 1,540 undergraduate college students at both four-year and two-year institutions of higher education.

When asked why, about half “prefer the look and feel of print;” nearly half say they like to highlight and take notes in the textbooks; and a third cite that they can’t re-sell digital textbooks.

Among those few students who prefer digital textbooks to print, the reasons are the price, the ability to search the text and how easy they are to carry around.

According to U.S. director of Bowker Market Research, Carl Kulo, who developed the research, price and benefit to the student are the main factors that influence students to try and use new and different course materials. Read more on the digital textbook Bowker Market Research

Indiana State University compares Paper vs iPad Textbooks

10 May

Research by an Indiana State University doctoral student found that students did equally well on a test whether reading from a digital book or a printed one.

Jim Johnson, who also is director of instructional and information technology services in the Bayh College of Education, surveyed more than 200 students. Half of the students used an iPad2 to read a textbook chapter while the other half of the students read from a printed textbook chapter. The students then took an open-book quiz with eight easy and eight moderate questions on the chapter.

“Few people have done a lot of research into what I’m doing,” Johnson said. “Mine directly ties performance with perception by undergraduates.”

Johnson’s research specifically examined three questions: Are there any significant differences in reading comprehension test scores of students when using paper texts versus digital texts? Are there any differences in reading comprehension test scores with regard to gender or between text formats and gender? Is there a relationship between the hours of experience using tablet computers and reading comprehension test scores among study participants?

“No matter what the format, no matter what the preference, they did well,” he said. “It was interesting that the gender didn’t matter on the test scores.”

Men had a mean score of 12.87 out of 16 while women had an average score of 13.60 out of 16. Students age 21 had an average score of 13.87 out of 16 while students 25 and older had an average score of 13.5 out of 16.

He also found that there was no significant difference on test scores whether or not the participant had past experience on a tablet.

“The delivery method didn’t make any difference,” he said.

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