A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception

A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye... Purpose – This paper aims to assess the usability of electronic books (e‐books) and paper books (p‐books) with objective measures, including user comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 56 sixth‐year public school students participated in this study. This paper was conducted in the following order: pre‐CFF measurement, p‐/e‐book reading, post‐CFF measurement, quiz, and questionnaire. A standard CFF device, a computer with a monitor for reading e‐books, p‐books, desks, and chairs were provided. Findings – This paper found that there is a significant “book effect” on quiz scores; compared to e‐books, p‐books appear to enable better reading comprehension. Regarding eye fatigue, students had significantly greater eye fatigue after reading e‐books than after reading p‐books. Students were satisfied with the e‐book, but they preferred p‐books. Research limitations/implications – Students would show satisfaction with e‐books and acknowledge their usefulness, but still prefer p‐books. However, a clearer understanding of this paradox in perception is needed. Further studies should try to explore the students' perceptions of e‐books. Practical implications – Surprisingly, though, Korean students studied herein, who have had a higher level of exposure to technology than those in other countries, did not show positive behavioral intentions toward e‐books. Overall, the responses from the Korean students suggest that there was general satisfaction with reading e‐books on screen. However, this study also found a discordance in the students' perceptions of e‐books. In this study, most students grew tired of reading on the screen; this tiredness could have an adverse effect on both reading comprehension and the perception of e‐books. In further analyzing user responses, many of the critical remarks were found to refer to the screen/text size or clarity rather than to the e‐book itself. Originality/value – Although this study suggests that students in general are not yet ready to entirely give up p‐books, e‐books are becoming increasingly common. However, great challenges remain in terms of making e‐book content more available and in enabling improved comprehension and reducing eye fatigue. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Electronic Library Emerald Publishing

A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception

The Electronic Library, Volume 30 (3): 19 – Jun 1, 2012

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0264-0473
D.O.I.
10.1108/02640471211241663
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to assess the usability of electronic books (e‐books) and paper books (p‐books) with objective measures, including user comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 56 sixth‐year public school students participated in this study. This paper was conducted in the following order: pre‐CFF measurement, p‐/e‐book reading, post‐CFF measurement, quiz, and questionnaire. A standard CFF device, a computer with a monitor for reading e‐books, p‐books, desks, and chairs were provided. Findings – This paper found that there is a significant “book effect” on quiz scores; compared to e‐books, p‐books appear to enable better reading comprehension. Regarding eye fatigue, students had significantly greater eye fatigue after reading e‐books than after reading p‐books. Students were satisfied with the e‐book, but they preferred p‐books. Research limitations/implications – Students would show satisfaction with e‐books and acknowledge their usefulness, but still prefer p‐books. However, a clearer understanding of this paradox in perception is needed. Further studies should try to explore the students' perceptions of e‐books. Practical implications – Surprisingly, though, Korean students studied herein, who have had a higher level of exposure to technology than those in other countries, did not show positive behavioral intentions toward e‐books. Overall, the responses from the Korean students suggest that there was general satisfaction with reading e‐books on screen. However, this study also found a discordance in the students' perceptions of e‐books. In this study, most students grew tired of reading on the screen; this tiredness could have an adverse effect on both reading comprehension and the perception of e‐books. In further analyzing user responses, many of the critical remarks were found to refer to the screen/text size or clarity rather than to the e‐book itself. Originality/value – Although this study suggests that students in general are not yet ready to entirely give up p‐books, e‐books are becoming increasingly common. However, great challenges remain in terms of making e‐book content more available and in enabling improved comprehension and reducing eye fatigue.

Journal

The Electronic LibraryEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 2012

Keywords: Electronic book; E‐books; Paper book; Reading comprehension; Eye fatigue; Students' perception of electronic books; Students; Perception; South Korea

References

  • Use of e‐books in an academic and research environment
    Anuradha, K.T.; Usha, H.S.
  • Comparison of student performance using Web and paper‐based homework in college‐level physics
    Bonham, S.W.; Deardorff, D.L.; Beichner, R.J.
  • Beyond print: reading digitally
    Brown, G.J.
  • Electronic books: viewpoints from users and potential users
    Chu, H.
  • An evaluation of second generation ebook readers
    Gibson, C.; Gibb, F.
  • E‐book reading groups: interacting with e‐books in public libraries
    Landoni, M.; Hanlon, G.
  • Comprehension and workload differences for VDT and paper‐based reading
    Mayes, D.K.; Sims, V.K.; Koonce, J.M.

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