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Understanding the impact of an iPad on the reading experience of struggling adolescent readers

Hughes, Tom (2013)
Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Although evidence suggests that enjoyment in reading is declining (Sainsbury and Schagen, 2004), students that enjoy reading are likely to read more often and be better readers (Clark and De Zoysa, 2011). The last decade has seen a well-publicised proliferation of digital reading devices as a platform for the delivery of electronic books (e-books). E-books include features that influence the reading experience, and the present study aims to explore the impact of using an iPad as an e-book on the reading experience (state enjoyment) of struggling adolescent readers. A mixed methods approach was used, including an experimental repeated-measures design where thirty participants (from years 7 – 9) were allocated to groups that read the same book for fifteen minutes across three conditions (a print book, iPad without features deployed, iPad with features deployed). The conditions were experienced in different orders and state enjoyment was measured through a questionnaire. Follow up focus groups were conducted to complement the questionnaire data. Analysis of the results shows that the iPad (with features deployed) had a significant, positive impact on the state enjoyment of struggling adolescent readers. Although some of the impact is likely attributable to the novelty of the iPad, the focus groups suggested that the dictionary and narration, and the size of the font were important for struggling adolescent readers. Whilst care must be taken with the results of this study, not least as it does not consider the maintenance of any changes in enjoyment, it is tentatively suggested that electronic reading devices with congruent features may encourage disaffected, struggling adolescent readers to return to reading. The implications of this are discussed.

Type of Work:Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Howe, Julia and Leadbetter, Jane
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:L Education (General)
LB Theory and practice of education
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4447
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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