Digital textbooks may not be as powerful of learning tools as print textbooks. According to new research from West Chester University professors Heather Ruetschlin Schugar and Jordan T. Schugar, when middle school students were given the same reading assignment in print versus digital, the readers’ comprehension was higher when they read print books than when they read eBooks.
The professors presented their findings at the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia. The report suggests that enhancements in eBooks such as games and activities actually take away from reading comprehension.
The New York Times has more: “Such flourishes can interrupt the fluency of children’s reading and cause their comprehension to fragment, the authors found. They can also lead children to spend less time reading over all: One study cited by Ms. Smith and the Schugars reported that children spent 43 percent of their e-book engagement time playing games embedded in the e-books rather than reading the text.”