• Question: Is reading on a screen cognitively similar to reading on paper? What about typing vs. handwriting? I find that my students seem to prefer reading on the small screen of the phone to the bigger screen of a laptop. And I wonder whether it might have adverse effects in terms of recalling material – I always find it easier to recall text when I can map it to a physical location in a book rather than an e-reader (but perhaps that’s a function of my age!). My 5-year-old, who is required to do online reading as part of his homework, likes the interactive nature of online quizzes following the reading, but he seems to prefer reading to me over reading to himself on the computer.

    Asked by gertzerl17 to Sarah, Rebecca, Matt, Jo, Jessie, Courtenay on 27 Feb 2018.
    • Photo: Sarah McGeown

      Sarah McGeown answered on 27 Feb 2018:


      here’s a really interesting paper on multimedia learning by Mayer and Moreno that might be helpful http://www.uky.edu/~gmswan3/544/9_ways_to_reduce_CL.pdf

    • Photo: Rebecca Merkley

      Rebecca Merkley answered on 27 Feb 2018:


      Here’s an open access paper on e-readers versus paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0075634. I believe the possible advantages are that you can control things like spacing and font size with e-readers. I haven’t read the full paper, but I don’t think there were any negatives, per se. Just that not everyone showed an advantage in reading speed and comprehension with using the e-reader. The authors suggested that it could help overcome visual attention deficits, with the shorter line lengths. But that not might be what all students who struggle with reading have trouble with.

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